Author Topic: Darker plots in kids shows  (Read 3073 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Kay Alett

  • Hero Member
  • Species: Gryphon
  • part-time hobbyist
  • *****
  • Female
  • Posts: 4885
    • Only The Strong: Wanderers
Darker plots in kids shows
« on: September 22, 2011, 12:57:10 pm »
Hoagiebot brought up the point that the new episode of MLP:FiM is darker in plot than other episodes. I posted my thoughts in that thread but I'll throw in some quotes to save my fingers.  8)

The overall tone of this episode seems somewhat darker than any other episode that I think that I have seen for this series-- it doesn't really seem to quite fit with the overall bright and warm tone that all of season 1 had, and I have to wonder if some of the more creepy elements like the talking apple piles, the mocking balloon garden, and the creepier than usual music soundtrack might be a bit off-putting to the youngest viewers that this show is supposed to be targeted at.  The original villain Nightmare Moon and her antics weren't really all that dark or imposing by comparison.  I am not saying that MLP:FiM shouldn't have a more serious lot every now and then, but as I said before the more foreboding tone of this episode just doesn't seem to quite fit with the tone of the episodes from season 1.

Hopefully I don't sound overly negative about the season 2 opening episode.  Overall, I felt that this episode of MLP:FiM was pretty close to MLP:FiM's usual high standard, and for all I know all of my minor misgivings may still be resolved in part 2 of this story-- it is really kind of hard to accurately critique anything when you've only seen half of the story!  In any case, I will be looking forward to watching the resolution of this story on my DVR on Sunday night

Personally I love that the episode goes on like any of the others ithout re-establishing anything. It always feels clunky to me to re-introduce things at the start of a season. I like just jumping in and going. I did kinda feel that the episode has a feel of "The Mare in the Moon" but I don't mind, its only the second time they've faced down a dark power like this. I also LOVED how much darker the episode was. I enjoy the sweet light-hearted nature of the show but I've been wanting to see some more grim elements get put in. As for the whole "Its a kids show" argument, I don't see that as being valid. Kids live in the real world and the real world isn't pretty. I had a good childhood with lots of playing and I had quite a lot of dark points in it that didn't spoil me from "being a kid" and quitee honestly I always cartoons that took on darker, more serious situations. Its one othe reasons I liked TMNT growing up and as i got a little older The Sonic Sat AM and the 90s Batman cartoon. I honestly think that saying something is just "A kids show" is simply an excuse to not put in a lot of effort in the writing. Kids can take dark elementss to cartoons better than you think.

I believe Americans are too obsessed with the image of "innocense of youth" I think that kind of thinking does not prepare a child for the realities of the world. If you let them grow up thinking everything is cookies and sunshine all the time they're gonna be pretty damaged when reality comes in.

I'm not saying the show has to be as dark as the darkest Grimdark fan fiction, I'm simply trying to state that a little seriousness, complex plot and dark elements added to a show "for kids" is not a bad thing and in the end can teach a child a better lesson about life than any letter Twilight can write at the end of an episode.

Those are my thoughts on the subject of darker plots. I'll make a new thread for this subject So if anyone wishes to discuss that particular subject please post in that thread.

In order to keep this subject from being debated further HERE I thought I'd put up a thread where we can all talk about it.
Semi-Retired from Furry.
 - - - -
Come bitter Rain,
And wash from my Heart
That saddest of all Words: Home

Offline Sk Skunk

  • Hero Member
  • TANSTAAFL
  • *****
  • Male
  • Posts: 633
Re: Darker plots in kids shows
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2011, 02:03:42 pm »
I wonder if it's a realization that some of these cartoons are appealing to older kids, adults. Many cartoons have had inside jokes, for the adults that were watching with their kids. As noted, some cartoons, have been dark from the start.

The world is a "dark" place. No matter how peaceful, loving, and understanding some would like the world to be, the reality is often quite the opposite. Things are tough now, but it could be much worse. Many of us, no matter how tough things have been, have no idea of the stress that so many others have to go through. Life is not fair. Everyone does not win the blue ribbon. The good guys often loose. Dora the explorer is not how life works. We can't be a happy go lucky sponge living in a pineapple, making a living flipping burgers.

Or these dark plots could just be people trying to push the edge, be extreme, radical, cool...

"Who am I to say where my possibly non-existent soul has or has not been."

Offline Old Rabbit

  • Species: Rabbit Artist
  • Official Birthday Wisher.
  • *
  • Male
  • Posts: 15493
    • Art by Oldrabbit
Re: Darker plots in kids shows
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2011, 12:07:41 pm »
Kids need to learn about the realities of life. Public schools can
be a good teacher on how to live and deal with others. Good
and bad.

Even though life can be cruel and isn't fair. Kids need to have
hope. To strive for a better life. A good story leaves a
person feeling a bit better even when the world is dark around them.

I like good endings to stories, but they don't have to be sugercoated
and unrealistic either..  Even a ending that is sad can still leave one
feeling good about the future.

So there isn't anything wrong with a darker plot. I don't think little
kids should be exposed to bloody violence, but feeling a little sad
shouldn't hurt them. It makes a good ending feel even better.
 
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 12:14:27 pm by Old Rabbit »
Avatar drawn by me.
oldrabbit.com

Offline Yip

  • Species: vulpes vulpes
  • *
  • Female
  • Posts: 4005
    • Furaffinity
Re: Darker plots in kids shows
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2011, 04:19:10 am »
The animated film I loved most as a kid was The Secret of NIMH. Part of the reason for this is because unlike most the other animated movies, this one doesn't treat you like a kid. It has a great story, and they didn't try to sugar coat it. There are a lot of elements of that story that are quite dark. In fact, looking back on it, it's actually a lot darker than I realized it was as a kid.

At any rate, I firmly believe that kids in general are able to handle these sort of deeper and/or darker plots more than adults generally seem to think they can.

Offline Rocket T. Coyote

  • Hero Member
  • Species: Canis Latrans Rocketus
  • The Furry Model Rocketeer
  • *****
  • Male
  • Posts: 2399
Re: Darker plots in kids shows
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2011, 11:54:33 pm »
IIRC, 1960s shows like Jonny Quest and Captain Scarlet could be rather dark. People were killed in some episodes.
"The coyote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry. He is always poor, out of luck, and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him. And even the fleas would dessert him for a velocipide."~Mark Twain
(Baps the old humorist.)

Offline Necryn

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Female
  • Posts: 35
Re: Darker plots in kids shows
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2011, 07:38:03 am »
There are plenty of kids movies and kids shows that have really dark elements, and honestly I loved them as a kid.  There are even Disney movies like The Black Cauldron that are very dark.  Invader Zim was on Nickelodeon, but had a rather dark and creepy style and theme.  Some classics like The Secret of Nimh (which someone else mentioned), Watership Down (the animated movie), and the old Hobbit and Lord of the Rings animated films (both in the kids section of most stores and movie rental establishments) had some very dark moments and imagery.  Some classic children's books such as A Wrinkle in Time have some very dark and mature themes for a children's story.  Darkness in kids films, or kids media in general, is nothing new.  I think we've come to expect bright, happy, sappy, and EMPTY programming for kids in the name of their "innocence," as these days it seems like the new fad is "protecting the kids," even if they really don't need as much coddling as we think they do.

Offline Kay Alett

  • Hero Member
  • Species: Gryphon
  • part-time hobbyist
  • *****
  • Female
  • Posts: 4885
    • Only The Strong: Wanderers
Re: Darker plots in kids shows
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2011, 09:17:28 am »
See all those films you listed are fairly old. I cannot think of anything made for kids recently that has such imagery.
Semi-Retired from Furry.
 - - - -
Come bitter Rain,
And wash from my Heart
That saddest of all Words: Home

Offline Rocket T. Coyote

  • Hero Member
  • Species: Canis Latrans Rocketus
  • The Furry Model Rocketeer
  • *****
  • Male
  • Posts: 2399
Re: Darker plots in kids shows
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2011, 03:30:23 pm »
The search for Atlantis animated movie seemed to have dark elements. Also Titan AE.
"The coyote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry. He is always poor, out of luck, and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him. And even the fleas would dessert him for a velocipide."~Mark Twain
(Baps the old humorist.)

Offline Gearbox

  • Sr. Member
  • Species: Fennec-coyote hybrid
  • Ghost Foxote
  • ****
  • Male
  • Posts: 476
Re: Darker plots in kids shows
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2011, 05:29:18 pm »
The search for Atlantis animated movie seemed to have dark elements.
I watched that a bunch of times as a kid. I do remember it being a little more "grim" than most other stuff I watched, but that didn't subtract from it at all. The fact that there was still a good amount of humor in it didn't hurt, either.