A severe flu infection. Or a bad day at work. Or a long journey through traffic jams. Or a fight with a close one.
Such situations are intense and tiring on the body, and more often on the mind as well. What is it that you do as ‘first-aid’ to your mind and body in such times? Drink coffee? Smoke? Work out? Go to sleep? Cook? Watch TV?
For me for several years the solution to any stress build up is quite simple – I watch an animation movie. I have an intense love for watching stories of hypothetical animated characters which often, have out-of-this-world possibilities and insane humor!! They take me into a new world and bring me back to this world refreshed. My introduction to animation movies began with Toy Story when I was in primary school.
I remember watching it with my cousins over the summer vacations; and it was such a delight. Woody and Buzz Lightyear formed a part of my day dreams for days after that. Sure enough I had been watching Disney cartoons even before that, but this was different. This was when animated characters are a part of a MOVIE! Where they were actually a part of a long story; with a defined start and end, and had so many characters. These were not the 15 min shows that we saw on TV every day or every weekend.
Soon after; creative and imaginative animation movies have become an important part of my life. What started as a source of rolling laughter and awesome imagination as a school kid however soon began to transform itself into a source of very pertinent everyday life philosophies as I grew up. The charm of these just kept multiplying as I began to realize the bigger messages from each of these stories. I, in fact, also realized that I have a lot of like-minded friends and cousins who derive similar happiness from animation movies.
So why do we love this world of animated movies so much? What is it that appeals to us?
Why do these movies, initially designed for kids; have a much deeper impact on us as thinking adults?
Why do these seemingly child-like concepts and definitions become our go-to stuff when we grow up?
I guess as we grow up, along with the humor in the lack of plausibility of the situations in these, it’s the conceptual take-home that comes screaming out at us.
There is absolutely nothing that cannot happen in an animation movie! Talk about any miraculous event that defies every law of science ever demonstrated – it happens in an animation movie. Cartoon gravity, forces, chemistry are all beyond any rules that we see in our world. Because the world of animation has absolutely no confinement and limits for thinking, the possibilities are endless. And so are the ways of conveying larger messages. And that is why we need more of these in our lives.
Because Inside Out taught us that once in a while it’s fun to see how our emotions must be thinking! And in a fun way, that makes us realize that it is often we ourselves who decide which emotion should get the final gear move in our brain!
Because we need to be assured that physical in-capacities were never as much a limitation as mental in-capacities, which Zootopia and Kung Fu Panda showed us.
Because we learnt from Up that we must love wholeheartedly even when we grow old, and that beautiful friendships exist across the barriers of age.
Because we can be friends within different species, across different tendencies and temperaments, and then fight calamities together as in Ice Age and Madagascar.
Because Gru and his girls from Despicable Me showed us that happy families need not always be composed of the classical structure of members; and an ex villain with a heart that cares and melts down can change to become such an awesome father to little adorable girls! Because cuteness, honesty and innocence can win over anyone’s heart.
Because Wall E taught us that what seemingly appear as inanimate objects have an equally intense love and deserve to be respected.
Because Kung Fu Panda tells us we should often do our best and leave the rest to destiny. It’s the greatest match maker ever.
Because the adorable Shrek and Tangled showed us how the most seemingly impossible love stories do work out.
This is just a glimpse of the many awesome movies I have seen and the great stuff they tell us.
I guess we go back to these stories because more often than not we need to be reminded of what the essential lessons in our life are; through a world that is essentially different from ours. I seek these reminders from these stories. And they create optimism. They make us feel positive. And above all, are reassuring. To me the best part about watching this animation stuff is this reassurance. That things may or may not go our way but we must continue to believe in the goodness. Because goodness always gets its due, sometimes not in the most predictable way but it does. And that there is no impossible ever.
Cheers are due to the brilliant concept writers and illustrators for these movies. I wish I could personally go and convey this to them. And may God bless guys like Pixar and Dreamworks Animation!
On that note, Despicable Me 3 releases this week. Anyone up to give me company?