How To Build A Better Animated Family Movie – Part 2: The Premise Appeals To Both Kids AND Adults

Despicable Me - Gru in Ballet Waiting Room

(c) Universal Studios

2. THE PREMISE APPEALS TO BOTH KIDS AND ADULTS

Here’s why the premise appeals to children: kids love it when they get the better of adults. The premise promises that even as formidable an adult as a super-villain can be psychologically disarmed by mere children. For kids, it’s empowering; it’s wish-fulfilling.

Here’s why the premise appeals to adults, or at least all adults with kids in their lives — parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. (and why it has to: we are, after all, the ones buying the movie tickets, purchasing the DVDs, and streaming from Netflix): even a super-villain can be overwhelmed and undermined by the demands of children. Like Gru, we’ve had to smell kids’ breath at bedtime to make sure they’ve brushed their teeth. Like him, we’ve put up with them touching – and breaking — our most precious stuff, even though we’ve just told them not to. And like him, we’ve had to deal with a kid holding her breath until she gets what she wants. Gru may think he’s a super-villain, but the minute he gets kids, he’s us.

Up next, 3. THE PROTAGONIST IS TRULY LIKABLE

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