I made this joke once because I was getting tired of seeing the dark and gritty remakes of stuff I enjoyed as a child, essentially ruining childhood favorites. I’m not against darker elements in my stories, even in an update, but sometimes they go a bit far in trying to turn something for kids into something for adults (sometimes pretending it’s still for kids when it’s really for them).
Kids stories have a stigma about them because certain parent groups think kids can’t handle mature subject matter like death and illness. However, while it needs to be handled with (pardon the expression) “kids gloves” you can discuss heavier subjects that kids run into in a way that doesn’t emotionally damage them for life. Filmation was good at this and so was Sesame Street. Yes, the show that taught preschoolers and kindergartners letters and numbers at times took on darker themes to help children get through tragedies they may not otherwise understand. You just have to know how to do it.
In this video by PhantomStrider he and guest presenter BlameitonJorge tackle six episodes in which the Muppets of Sesame Street deals with hospitals, the loss of a loved one, bullies, disasters, and even prison.
Links to episodes:
Sesame Street is the best example of counterarguments for everything you hear said about stories. Continuity? It’s had the same continuity for 50+ years. Heavy subjects? This is stuff kids deal with all the time, so why shouldn’t they talk about it in a way that helps kids deal with grief and fear. This may be one of the most important shows on television and despite the altered format HBO stuck on it when they took over and took a half-hour out of it I’m glad it’s still on and I hope they keep the show going as long as possible.