Why animated movies are the most important genre of film

Should we be taking life advice from cartoon characters?

Animated movies are a staple of modern day cinema.

They are perhaps the most important genre in the film industry.

And not only in terms of box office gross and franchise success. But also their contribution to our cultural heritage, their ability to articulate mythology and their way of communicating meaningful messages to audiences of worldwide.

What’s fascinating is, after you watch a few hundred of these animated movies, multiple times over, thematic patterns begin to emerge.

Think back to the last animated feature films you’ve watched. Whether you liked them or not, and whether you cried your eyes out or not, odds are, one of the following lessons was taught.

  • Be yourself, but work together.
  • Treasure everything, but accept change as a natural part of life.
  • Own your unique gifts, but ask for help and trust in those around you.
  • Share your joys, but only with those who appreciate them.
  • Learn to let go, but never give up on yourself.
  • Seek the treasure, but value the friends you gain along the journey.
  • Honor your background, but don’t let it limit your future.
  • Feel everything, but don’t worry about needing a reason to.
  • Have a new adventure, but find your way back home.
  • Keep moving forward, but remember where you came from.
  • Accept that people will call you crazy, but still see how far a simple idea can take you.

Southpark said it best in their award winning episode about imagination:

Fictional characters affect our lives more than most real people in this room. They have had a bigger impact on the world than any of us have. They’ve changed our lives and changed the way we act on the earth. Doesn’t that make them kind of real? They’re imaginary, but they’re more important than most of us here. And they’re all gonna be around long after we’re dead. In a way, those things are more real than any of us.

Should we be taking life advice from cartoon characters?

Absolutely. Remember, just because it’s not the lesson you’re interested in learning right now, doesn’t make it any less valuable.

Are you extracting insight from divergent sources of information?