You all follow Movies with Mikey, right? He’s a guy who really loves the movies, and does these wonderful analyses of pop culture — between him and Lindsay Ellis I’m learning to see movies with a fresh eye.
Anyway, he’s started a new series, “Lessons Animation Taught Us”, and it’s…interesting.
Much of it is about how children and adults see these kid’s movies with a different eye. Lessons learned:
He really liked Disney’s “Sword in the Stone” as a kid — I didn’t care for it myself, but I read TH White’s book first, which I found much more vivid than the movie — but it’s really the story of an abused child deprived of all agency and trapped in a fate he didn’t want.
“Dumbo” is horrifying. It’s the story of an abused, tortured child told through the lens of a racist culture. Don’t show it to your children.
But the movie we are all obligated to see, and the one we should take more lessons from, is “Grave of the Fireflies”.
Let that one sink in for a moment.
I took my daughter to see that one when she was a teenager. We thought, ah, Studio Ghibli, it’ll be fun and quirky and thoughtful and beautiful. It’s a about a 3 year old girl dying slowly of starvation after the firebombing of Japan in WWII. We walked home afterwards in a kind of shocked silence.
Mikey is right, though. Americans should actually all see the consequences of our actions abroad.