Lately, with the numbers of manchildren (and womanchildren of course blah) steadily growing, angry nerds on the INTERNET have been defending what are commonly considered "kids' things" and holding the position that those childish matters could be enjoyed by adults just the same. That was the inspiration for this writing/article thing.
But are people correct when they say "_____ is not just a kids' thing"? Hard as it may be to believe, often they are correct.
A long long time ago, animation was invented. The prospect of taking a whole bunch of drawings and treating them as frames of a film was the craziest idea since electricity-powered streetlamps. And yet, a bunch of crazy folks did it. One of the first animations was the one of a dinosaur eating a tree. It was AMAZING, like a drawing come to life! From primitive tech demos like that came the Felix cartoons and Looney Tunes. Early cartoons were all experimental, since NO ONE did animation before, and there was no guaranteed audience. So, the creators made cartoons to please themselves, and hopefully their friends. Tex Avery and Chuck Jones both made animation for themselves the way they wanted, and were lucky enough that the movie going public liked it. Cause, in case you are unaware, there was no television for a while, and all animation was shown in theaters.
Needless to say, all cartoons were made by adults. Duh. Made for other adults. Keep that in mind.
But as time went on, animation somehow became a kids' thing. How did that happen?
As the years gone by, several reasons happened.
First of all, around the 1940s, producers noticed that kids liked cartoons quite a lot, and went to see the colourful imagination-fest more eagerly than the jaded mature adults. So, animators were told to make their wacky cartoons more child-friendly. I'm serious! – watch some of the oldest cartoons, you'll be surprised how naughty some of them are. Also, notice how in almost all early cartoons the protagonists are almost exclusively adults, while later we would see an influx of children taking those roles. Because, AS WE ALL KNOW, children cannot relate to adults or like grown up characters *cough PopeyeSupermanMickeyMouse*.
Second, television happened. TV producers realized that children have much higher tolerance for shit quality and shit writing than adults. Cheap, badly written cartoons were cheaper to produce than live action. Adults wanted the kids to go the fuck away for most of the day (cause who wants to spend time with their unwanted children, amirite?). So, when you put the two and two together, we have the following: the rise of limited animation, and the rise of shit writing in animation. The Double Rise of Two Shits.
Third, Di$ney. They made the first COLOURED animated feature film, and it was a hueg hit. Because on the over-the-top strong emphasis on fameelee in Murrika, adults would go with their children to see Di$ney films from then on. Seeing how profitable family films are by their very nature (family = more seats), Di$ney producers (Walt wasn't the one man in charge of where money comes from, despite what people believe) made it so the movies be more child-friendly, and the stories simpler for the tiny child brain to understand. To this very day, the Di$ney Corporation is trying their best to preserve an innocent child-friendly image (which is toxic for creativity in animation, but they haven't cared for decades now).
Fourth, human stupidity. The general public does not give a FUCK why things are the way they are. Women belong in the kitchen, invading foreign countries to preserve FREEDOM is a good idea, capitalism is the best darn system ever created, Coca Cola is good for you, and cartoons are for children. The general public is never arsed to find out why things are the way they are, and how we came to this. Too much thinking will make your brain explode and shrink your dick, right? And nobody wants a shrunk dick, RIGHT??
So, the combination of corporate greed and public ignorance are the two main reasons which made animation to be known as "kids' stuff".
For comics, it was superhero shit.
Satyrday chapters coming up next!