Being an adult is a double-edged sword. It becomes easier to appreciate fine art and story, but there’s a downside to it. The sharp eye to critique for an adult is much stronger than that of a child. It becomes harder to overlook flaws and enjoy something for what it is, whereas a kid can be more easily amused. And personally, watching movies with my kids has taught me to re-appreciate the simple job of a film for what it is.
It’s relatively easy to watch children’s films when they’re made by Disney and Pixar. In those cases, great care was taken with the story and its characters to be thought provoking and poignant. There’s no trouble getting sucked in and enjoying one’s self. Even sillier animated films like Shrek are able to sneak in the adult oriented joke to keep a parent’s attention.
But live action children’s films can be a different story. Specifically I’m talking about the Eddie Murphy comedy Daddy Day Care and it’s cash-grab of a sequel Daddy Day Camp. While the first movie had some heart to it, the sequel, which completely recast all of its main characters, is pretty poor in terms of … well, everything. But the film also offers a wide range of slapstick comedy that kids enjoy. From a storytelling standpoint, the movie was torturous to watch, but I couldn’t help but enjoy the fact that my kids were laughing their heads off. They didn’t care about plot, theme, or characters. They just had a good time watching a silly movie. It wasn’t in need of a critique. It was just supposed to be good, stupid fun. Which was exactly what it was.