Incredibles 2 director Brad Bird argues that animated movies are actually not kids movies. The filmmaker made a name for himself by directing some of the most beloved animated films in modern cinema history: The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille. And after taking some time to helm a few live-action properties, he's back in force with a sequel to his 2004 classic.
Just like his past animated movies, Incredibles 2 also released with a PG (Parental Guidance) from the MPAA for its action sequences and "brief mild language." While the former reason is something all audiences would've expected going into the theater, it's the latter reason that is actually causing quite a stir. Many people feel that the movie shouldn't include an allusion to vulgar language, despite not going as far as to say those words. Why? Because it's animated movie, which, to general audiences, means it's a kids movie. But the director doesn't feel the same way.
In response to complaints about Incredibles 2's language, Bird argued that his movie is not a children's movie. Sure, it's a family movie that could be seen by children, but being an animated movie doesn't automatically classify it as being explicitly for children. That's why there are jokes for parents to enjoy as well. Here's what he said on Twitter:
This is not the only controversy that the film has faced. Incredibles 2 also received criticism for its use of strobe lights, which could cause some viewers to have seizures or fall ill, without warning viewers prior to buying tickets. However, the film has managed to remain extremely successful at the box office; it has earned nearly $647 million at the box office, surpassing the total of the original film in just a few weeks.
This seems to indicate that the idea of that animation is for children is not very widespread, which makes sense considering that many of those who expressed interest in the film were those who saw the original as children. What's interesting is that several other Pixar movies include adult jokes and themes as well. Up dealt with incredibly mature themes including that suicide and infertility, and Inside Out even played around with the idea of depression.
If more people were willing to accept the idea that animation can be intended for any age group, then the variety of cartoons would sky-rocket. Shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Steven Universe, and Teen Titans have already proven that there is an audience for cartoons, especially those that are beautifully animated and deal with mature themes. Of course, an animated movie or TV show being made for all ages doesn't mean they aren't also suitable for children, but what Bird seems to be getting at is that an animated, PG-rated movie shouldn't also be assumed to be only for children.