Welcome to Respawning’s Film & TV Club! The purpose of this is to get a bunch of us together once a week and allow us the chance to chat shit about whatever takes our fancy in the world of Films & TV!
With Happy Time Murders soon to hit cinema screens, we decided to look over our favourite films and TV shows that are either kids’ shows with adult themes or humour, or outright parodies!
I am on a full on fucking Spider-Man hype at the moment in anticipation of the PS4 being released THIS WEEK. However that’s a club for another time, but it does tie in here… My favourite thing at the moment which is targeted at kids (I’m bending the rules here because there aren’t any adult themese but fuck it) is Ultimate Spider-Man on Disney XD, I got the whole series recently and I have been binging it at every moment I am not re-reading the comics.
It’s so stupid and definitely a kids show but I love it because it has the Spiderboy in it… it also helps that it has the best Iron Fist on TV featured quite heavily (Fuck you Netflix).
Best kids shows with adult/mature themes? Four great ones everyone should check out: Swat Kats, Gargoyles, Batman: The Animated Series, and Steven Universe. All are amazing in their own ways. But we have to talk about Batman without question. Developed by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski, the series was an exploration of the more darker, gritty version of Batman that had come about due to Burton’s 1989 film interpretation. The show had a very dark atmosphere, both thematically, and visually – scenes almost always took place at night, and Gotham itself looked like this metropolitan labyrinth of Gothic architecture. And despite the contemporary setting, everyone dresses as if from the 40’s and 50’s for the most part, which helps further those noir vibes.
The show was groundbreaking for kid’s animation; it respected its audience’s intelligence, and wasn’t afraid to deal with harder topics in suitable ways. Episodes like Mad Love explored abusive relationships; Growing Pains featured the unavoidable death of a child by a villain; Baby Doll explored a disabled person’s inability to cope without her support network and routine; and Heart of Ice depicted Dr. Freeze’s tragic past with his wife, Nora, and demostrated that things were not always black and white. Infact, we owe Batman: The Animated Series quite a lot – it is the origin for Harley Quinn, and before this show gave Dr. Freeze his best known origin story, he was merely a generic baddy. The show still holds up to this day due to the carefully written Series Bible writers had to follow – as this Comics Alliance article covers, there was never to be any origin story coverage due to it being done to death, and pop-culture references should be minimal so ‘the humour can hold up in ten or twenty years’.
The show did have other rules, but they were occasionally bent depending on circumstance: No guns (older-style guns were ok though, hence all the Tommy Guns); no illicit drugs; no breaking glass; no alcohol; no smoking (though I swear the bulky detective often had a smoke in his scenes); no nudity; no child endangerment (Growing Pains probably got out of this on a technicality); no religion; and no strangulation. Regardless, even abiding by those most of the time, the show got away with a lot, as mentioned (some may also recall this infamous line of Harley’s that somehow totally went past the sensors). Being from such a serious, well-written, and thoughtful show, its no wonder this incarnation of Batman appeared in future DC series (Justice League for example), and even had two spin offs of its own (The New Batman Adventures and Batman Beyond). Definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it, or haven’t in years.
I think the time is right to admit to something.
I really, really like the new Star Wars trilogy. So far, at least.
Why do I say this? Well, it’s painfully obvious that selling toys has been the prime reason for ‘Star Wars’ to exist for some time now, ever since ‘Return of the Jedi’ was in production. And to be perfectly fair, it’s obviously working to the detriment of the films themselves- Captain Phasma anyone?
But, maybe it’s because I, like many, grew up amongst Star Wars, but I still look wildly forward to each and every star wars release. I’m not the superfan I used to be, but Episode 9’s potential excites me.
I find the evolution of Luke Skywalker’s character compelling, I find Kylo Ren to be a relatable and enjoyable villain, and I think Rey is every bit as ‘absolutely fine’ as every other Star Wars protagonist. The new films are a visual treat without fail, expand on the Star Wars mythos in a way suiting the weaponised cheese level the original trilogy had, and the setup of having alternating ‘Episode’ and ‘Story’ films means the studios are able to explore areas of the story in detail unfathomable for a standard series.
While the MCU may have taken its place as my Sci-Fi first love, Star Wars continues to this day to bring me joy with each new release- because I can look past each one’s flaws and find the childlike wonder beneath, same as it ever was.
(Oh, and the order best to worst? Empire, Last Jedi, Rogue One, New Hope, Solo, Awakens, Return of the Jedi, Revenge, Clones, and phantom)
Ive mentioned it before in other articles fuck me with a Kaio-ken X 20 dick do I love Dragonball. All Dragonball, I’m talking original, Z, GT and Super. The childlike Goku is one of my heroes and the wild and wacky adventures mixed in with the serious world ending threats used to amuse me when I was 7 and still does 20 years later!
Even now I still find time at last once a year to give at least one of the series a watch, for example this year was GT which is possibly the most childish of all. I mean Goku is literally a child during it… it’s a universe trotting fun and colourful follow up to it’s darker and more fighter based older brother Z.
Now if you don’t need mind it’s time to watch some more!
So the first thing that sprung to my mind is Who framed roger rabbit, a film that predates my birth and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. As a child I loved all the tons and the slapstick over the top comedic relief that Roger himself provides whilst being suitably terrified by Judge Doom and his Dip. So much so that even now I occasionally get the reoccurring nightmare of a man being run over by a steamroller (dark). As an adult I like that I can appreciate on a different level and all the adulty themes in it. Jessica and Rogers marriage for example, need I say any more? I love the mix of cartoon and real world and I have a huge soft spot for handrawn animation, I’m totally gutted that Disney seem to have turned their back on this, don’t get me wrong I love animation but there’s something special about the hand drawn feel. So if we are looking at kids stuff/ kids stuff parodys this has gotta be the one for me! Remember, Jessica isn’t bad, she’s just drawn that way.