Why I can't stand animated films

Time Out ed on his beef with Disney, Pixar and co

Why I can't stand animated films

Warning! I’m about to offend a great many of you. What I’m about to talk about is a topic that is close to the hearts of many, and my views on it are somewhat controversial. But we’re all adults so hopefully we can address the issue as such, and that we’ll be able to accept each other’s opinions and remain friends afterwards. So here goes… I don’t get adults’ fascination with Disney films.

I’ve sat with scores of friends and listened for hours as they’ve debated their favourite Disney animation. ‘Aladdin I think, or perhaps Robin Hood – that was a good one,’ I say hesitantly when my opinion is asked for. ‘But then again I can’t be sure, because the last time I saw either was probably 1996.’

Until recently I hadn’t been to the cinema in six years, so I’m fully aware that I’m not exactly a go-to guy when it comes to having an opinion about the big screen. Gangster and war films aside, I don’t even like watching films that much, so maybe I’m missing something. But when I’ve asked Disney fanatics to explain the appeal, the response I usually get consists of a piercing stare, frantic arm-waving and raised maniacal voices. ‘What do you mean? How could you possibly not like Disney? Why would you even say that?’

I’ve always assumed it was nostalgia thing, which I do understand. Admittedly I haven’t thought about dusting off any of my old Fireman Sam or Postman Pat video cassettes recently, but a rummage around my parents’ attic inevitably brings a smile to my face as I unearth little gems from my childhood. Incidentally, is anyone still trying to complete the Merlin’s Premier League sticker album from either 1993/1994 or 1994/1995? Because I do have swapsies available… at a price.

But the success of Frozen, the latest Disney blockbuster, especially with adults, is proof that it’s not just a case of harking back to yesteryear to relive your childhood. I read recently that a 31-year-old woman in Japan filed for divorce from her husband of six years on the grounds that, when she asked whether he loved Frozen as much as she did, his reply was that he ‘wasn’t that into it’.

‘If you can’t understand what makes this movie great, then there’s something wrong with you as a human being,’ was her reported justification for the break-up. Wow.

Of course, we’re all entitled to our preferences, and I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to forcing my opinions on other people. Replace the word ‘Disney’ with ‘football’ and I’ve used all the aforementioned arguments many a time in the last few weeks.

So maybe it’s me who’s got the problem, and will have to accept that the current generation of twentysomethings who grew up feasting on The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast to such an extent that it’s left a permanent scar is just the norm these days. If so, I must have missed the memo – but I’m not that sad about it.

Oh, and by the way, I did break my ‘no cinema’ policy recently after I was invited to go by a friend. There were a few good films on that I was quite interested in, but I let her choose the movie. And what did she pick? Rio 2. Sigh. Unsurprisingly, we haven’t been back to the cinema together since.

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