The modern lifestyle leaves us little time for quality and meaningful offline communication. Moreover, even when we do manage to get together in the same space, we have to fight for each other’s attention with gadgets, social media, and streams of easy-to-consume entertainment content. This struggle becomes especially pronounced when it comes to different generations of the same family.
Cartoons can be a great way to spend time “together and with pleasure”.
Watching bright, good stories will not only set everyone in a positive, optimistic mood, but will also help adults, for example, cope with several challenges of parenthood.
A cartoon is a great way to better understand your children’s lives. Which characters do they like? What events do they particularly react to while watching? What is exciting or scary? All this can give parents a lot of useful information. Moreover, using the example of stories told in cartoons, you can easily explain complex social concepts or simple life truths to your child.
However, regardless of the purpose and the exact composition of your next cartoon viewing, we have prepared a selection of animated films that are worth watching not only for children but also for those who consider themselves adults. And, of course, these stories will definitely come in handy during a cozy family viewing.
It is not easy to combine life-affirmation and death in one story, but the creators of the animated film Coco succeed. The boy Miguel, who dreams of becoming a musician, lives in a family of cobblers where music is forbidden. On the day when, according to tradition, the living remember the dead, and the line between reality and the afterlife disappears, Miguel gets his hands on a magic guitar. The boy will have to travel to the Land of the Dead to unravel the ancient mystery of his family, to bring back the memory of his unjustly forgotten great-grandfather, and finally to reclaim his right to make music.
Undoubtedly, Coco is one of the best examples of the classic Pixar style. It is a fascinating and touching story about a boy’s journey to the afterlife, decorated with great artistic decisions, high-quality musical performances and deep meanings that are clear to everyone – regardless of borders. It is about ancestral memory and mortality. It also visualizes the “wonderful and terrifying” adventure that each of us thinks about from time to time: the journey that probably awaits a person after death.
The second part of the cartoon is scheduled for release this year.
My Neighbour Totoro
“We are as happy as we can be!” sing the cheerful voices on the soundtrack of Studio Ghibli’s 1988 Japanese animated film. Director and screenwriter Hayao Miyazaki has created a heartwarming and surprising tale of sisterhood, a glowing catbus and the amazing power of nature.
The film tells the story of 1957, when Kusakabe Tatsuo, a professor at Tokyo University, and his two daughters, Satsuki and Mei, move into an old abandoned house in a Japanese village to be closer to the hospital where their mother, Yasuko, is being treated. The new house, like the place where it is located, is full of amazing creatures: forest spirits capable of performing real miracles. One day, Mei accidentally meets the great Totoro, the guardian of the forest.
In My Neighbour Totoro, Hayao Miyazaki subtly addresses the issue of Japan’s loss of nature through economic success, and uniquely reveals the wonderful world of children’s fears and imaginations that only children can see. The film became a classic in Japan. It was seen by 800,000 people in the first few months of its release. Director Hayao Miyazaki became a nationally recognised animator.
The talented Japanese director had many other animation films in his career, many of which are classics of world art.
Mavka. The Forest Song is a Ukrainian 3D animated film based on Lesya Ukrainka’s drama-fairy tale The Forest Song and folk mythology. The film premiered in Ukraine on 2 March 2023.
The original work, The Forest Song, tells the story of the love between Mavka, a fantastic forest creature, and Lukash, a human musician. The young man betrayed Mavka and was punished by losing his musical talent. To restore Lukash’s talent, Mavka sacrifices her own life.
Borrowing only the setting and the names of the main characters from classic Ukrainian literature, the creators of Mavka. The Forest Song offer the viewer a melodramatic story about the opposition between the world of nature and civilisation, which can be overcome only through sincere love. Ultimately, only the main characters, Mavka and Lukash, who are in love, are able to reject the stereotypical archaic prejudices of their worlds against each other. As in Pocahontas or Avatar, the protagonists fight for love while saving unique, defenceless worlds from destruction.
High-quality animation and the unique world of Ukrainian folklore created a fantastic mix of a friendly, sincere story about the importance of dialogue and preserving natural resources.
The start of production of the cartoon was announced back in 2015. On 2 March 2023, the animated film Mavka. The Forest Song was released. The film has become one of the highest-grossing Ukrainian film projects, attracting a large audience not only in Ukraine but also abroad.
How to Train Your Dragon
The small village of Vikings, who hunt, fish and herd sheep in peace, have only one problem: the dragons in their neighbourhood. The Vikings believe that the dragon tribe is an eternal, deadly enemy that constantly steals their sheep, destroys their homes and tries to eat them. Eventually, people begin to plan a war against the menacing creatures with wings.
But the settlement leader’s son is not quite ready for this. Not only does the boy lack the warrior spirit, the tall stature and the muscles of steel that characterise everyone in his tribe, but he has also managed to make friends with a dragon!
This story shows that strength is not always in the muscles, and that children often lack the trust of adults.
Since the release of the first story, the animated film has had three sequels. All parts of the animated story beautifully illustrate simple truths: what we think of as ‘pride and strength’ often creates problems, and what scares us can hide true strength and growth.
Toy Story is a classic 1995 film from Pixar Animation Studios. The film was a groundbreaking triumph for the studio – the first feature-length work to be entirely modelled on a computer. Many modern studios continue to borrow from its innovations: realistic digital animation and lightning-fast, witty dialogue co-written with Joss Whedon, director of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Avengers.
The story describes the adventures of toys belonging to a boy named Andy. It turns out that they are all alive, although people don’t know it. When the boy receives a new and beautiful Space Ranger, Buzz Lightyear, for his birthday, he completely forgets about his previous favourite, Sheriff Woody.
Woody is upset when he realises that his time as “favourite toy” is over, because Buzz Lightyear is different. The toy Space Ranger is convinced that he is a real intergalactic superhero, until one day he realises his true role. Paradoxically, one of the most popular cartoons in human history is based on the idea of frustration.
Almost 30 years ago, audiences saw the first Toy Story, and today the cartoon has three more instalments.
It’s hard to squeeze hundreds more outstanding animated works into such a modest list, which tell amazing and fascinating stories to adults and children alike. However, no matter which cartoon you choose to watch this week, remember that the amazing emotions of watching it will be even brighter if you share them with those you love.
Source: The Gaze