Cinephile's Thoughts

Why The Boss Baby confused children

It all started with The Simpsons. Producers risked making an animated series for adults which became one of the symbols of our century. It wasn’t only about the fact that it was animated, it had also jokes, references or even characters which children wouldn’t understand. South Park or Family Guy exist thanks to this innovative idea.

In the cinemas, the first animated movie which succeeded all over the world and was aimed mainly at adults then children was DreamWork’s Shrek. Shrek was funny, with a character never seen before and references to everyone’s childhood through the classical children stories, like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. As brilliant and new the Shrek was, it started a kind of dangerous trend: animated movies too complicated for a child to be understood. One of the recent examples? The Boss Baby. The Boss Baby is a story of, as title says, a baby who’s in charge of a corporation where only Babies work. He’s temporarily send to a normal family in order to fulfill his professional goal and boost his career: find out why people prefer puppies over babies. The bossy baby is not a family person and is shown as a stereotypical businessman: stressed out, always in a suit, with a bossy way of talking. Here’s where the problem arise: would a child understand this reference?

We’re adults and for us, Teletubbies look stupid. We question their sex, whether they are homosexual and why of them who look like a man, has a bag but we forget about something important: children even don’t understand that. And if one teletubbie is gay? Isn’t it better to show our children all possbilities and let them create their own opinion? As a young girl I wasn’t wondering why Smurfette was the only woman in the smurfs village. I just loved the theme song and that each smurf was representing one human characteristic.

What the cinema need is clear difference between what’s for children and what’s for adults. Let it be animated or filmed, we need easy things for children to let their imagination work, which make them laugh and evolve step by step to understand movies like The Boss Baby or Shrek once they are teenagers. Because of the lack of such border, the questions which I hear often in a cinema are: is this movie really for a child or rather for adults? It’s not that the audience doesn’t want their children to hear jokes about sex, they just know that it’ll be boring for a child. The Boss Baby tried to had such division in his movie: babies were delivered in a taxi, something which adult couldn’t even laugh at but one could enjoy jokes like: People from Long Iceland doesn’t know how to make an Ice Tea. Even though the movie was entertaining, it was really confusing, starting with the main idea of showing a baby which looked like a boss.

Coco and Ferdinand are the two upcoming movies to be released this year and a hope that they’ll really aim only at children. Hopefully, if they make references to sex or our adult life, it’ll be only as the famous, hidden SEX word on a sky in The Lion King. Dear mum and dad, if you are bored in the cinema watching a movie while your child comments everything and laughs a lot, I’m really sorry but this means that your child is watching something appropriate for him or her. Something which will let appreciate Shrek and The Boss Baby in a few years.

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