"It's Made for Kids" is an excuse used to dismiss criticism towards products and forms of media intended for younger audiences. This article will focus on the matter regarding video games.
Everything wrong with this excuse
It is well-known that kids are easier to entertain by simple things that adults may find boring or poorly-executed. Likewise, they are unlikely to understand and/or appreciate more highly-complicated and mature adult movies. Because of that, movies targeted at younger audiences tend to be simpler than shows targeted at an older audience, but that doesn't mean that movies aimed at kids should be too simplistic, realistic, and basic.
Often when movies meant for younger audiences or kids aged six and up are criticized for either poor quality, how they teach negative messages, rely on cheap comedy, use lazy animation, or lack any real substance and logic, some people might use "It's made for kids" as an excuse for doing so. Saying that "it's made for kids" shouldn't be a good enough excuse for making low-quality and effortless movies and excessively kid-friendly movies that grown-ups will find boring or poorly-executed. This excuse also treats kids like they are unintelligent beings or idiots with no real taste that will be entertained by literally anything they watch, which isn't true.
On the other hand, some older people dismiss movies targeted at young audiences as "Kiddie shows". Just because a show has a younger target audience that doesn't mean that older people teens and/or adults aren't allowed to watch them enjoy and/or won't find challenge and substance in them. If the show is well made, anyone can enjoy them.
Even if amovie is aimed at kids, the adults may also be interested in it (the movie would be rated either G-rated or PG-rated, and the television parental guidelines rating "G" means "General Audiences", not just kids, but both kids and adults). There are many shows aimed at younger audiences that can also be enjoyed by grown-ups, for example, Toy story, Star Wars, Marvel,Finding Nemo, Pixar, Disney , just to name few; the aforementioned shows are kid-friendly, but yet they have enough substance and real effort put in to be entertaining for adults and don't pander towards kids (either younger or in their pre-teen years).
There is no excuse for making a poorly-made movie just because of who its demographic is targeted towards.
How to make a good kids' movie
- A pleasing colorful art style and character design that is easy on the eye but not too "cartoonish", "basic", "realistic", or "simplistic".
- Humanoid/anthropomorphic animals, talking vehicles and trains, and fantasy creatures are usually a good pick for this.
- A premise or plot that isn't too complicated, but not too simplistic either.
- No swearing and/or sexual content and minimal blood. Mild cartoon violence is fine, especially if the characters in the show are non-humans or the violence is used as "slapstick". Tom and Jerry is an example of this, and so is Looney Tunes.
- Educational value, especially in movies rated G.
- Immersive characters that serve as good role models as protagonists or real challenges as antagonists.
- Some children's movies even lack antagonists to retain a pleasing mood.