Innocent but imaginative Calvin, of Calvin and Hobbes fame, once mused, “If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.” Six-year-old Calvin’s starry-eyed view of the world, I assume, is significantly different from that of the typical frazzled adult. I image he lives a life filled with animation, wonder and color (and lifelike stuffed animals). Perhaps he would like the grown-ups in his world to take a (movie) break from their jobs and household chores and hole up in their own little island paradise filled with candy and creativity, a respite from shorter days, colder nights (and long lines at their local Wal-Mart). Once there, maybe they’d focus on stars of every kind, not just the ones found in a darkened sky, and they’d see the space between the sun and the sky through special, innocent eyes. Possibly they’d see humanity in all its childlike wonder, as the creators of this year’s animated films surely did, and become inspired by the marathon of feel-good animated films that invaded our movie theaters in 2012.
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax encouraged the dreamer in everyone while a Brave princess showed a lot of strength and heart. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted traveled well through America on friendship and loyalty, Ice Age Continental Drift glided along entertainingly on that same significant theme, as Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania and ParaNorman got everyone in a family-loving, appropriately eerie, Halloween mood. Wreck-It Ralph is currently causing anything but destruction at the Box Office, as the villain in the arcade game strives to provide inspiration instead of his usual annihilation. Ending the year determined to land on the right side of the Naughty and Nice list is the eternally good (but with an edge) Santa Clause and his fairy tale cohorts who valiantly meet the Rise of the Guardians to save their holiday-laden kingdom.
Whichever family-friendly films you choose, in the land of animation, there’s always time to find the child within and to look with wonder at the stars…
Hope your weekend is filled with childlike wonder and stars!