Kids appreciation post

This post has no real purpose, it’s just a listing of animated kids in films I’ve seen. The requirements for getting into this post are that the character must be shown as a younger version of themselves  in a prologue or flashback or something  and be from a western animation I know (duh). No characters who are just kids all the movie but don’t flashback to their even younger years, there would be far too many of those.

I thought I’d want to upload this on the international Children’s Day, but it turned out that it’s in November, and I’m not waiting that long. So, I scheduled it to the nearest Children’s Day I knew instead, which was the Japanese one.

Cinderella

Cinderella appears as a kid at the beginning of her movie I guess. For two seconds or something, nothing much to say here. Except that the dress is pretty dumb.

kids_cinderella

Lady and the Tramp

I’m not a dog person, but Lady here manages to be tolerable. At least I don’t want to kick her for pandering to the “daww everyone loves puppies!” crowd (I don’t love puppies). Those huge droopy ears must help a lot, they’re adorable when she grows up.

kids_ladyAndTheTramp

Sleeping Beauty

I was sure the titular character wasn’t shown as a baby at all and we only see her crib, but actually she does appear in the opening story book pictures (somewhat). What we do see is prince Phillip, whose reaction to baby Aurora I like a lot.

kids_sleepingBeauty

The Fox and the Hound

I like these two a lot despite them being canines. Even the cutesyness doesn’t bother me that much, since their friendship leads to an interesting story.

kids_foxAndTheHound

The Little Mermaid (or the prequel and sequel to be precise)

To be entirely fair I haven’t seen the movie with Little Ariel, but she and her sisters are kinda cute here so they’re allowed in with the excuse that I have seen the “main” movie.

kids_tlm

I have seen the TLM sequel, and I didn’t like it, and I didn’t like Ariel’s daughter Melody either. Aaaand I didn’t find her cute either, her baby design is too far in the forced cute territory, and she reminds me more of a doll.

kids_tlm2

The Lion King(s)

I salute Lion King for managing to make all the lion cubs look different without resorting to superficial differences like scars or stuff like that. Nala and Kiara look very similar, but I’ve never had trouble telling them apart.

kids_lionKing1

kids_lionKing2

Scar’s not-son Kovu gets plenty of fun expressions. And I have no recollection whatsoever of Vitani, but here she is anyway.

kids_lionKing3

Hercules

Baby Hercules is uncute. That is all.

kids_hercules

Oh, wait, that is not all, I find his My Little Pony uncute as well.Too much cutesyness.

Tarzan

Little Tarzan is helped a lot by the fact that he spends a sizable chunk of the movie as a kid in the movie, so he has a lot of time to show interesting characterisation in his early years as well as opposed to a two-minute flashback to super sugary sweetness.

And he also benefits from being a boy I guess, so he doesn’t need to conform to the “girls must always look cute” mentality that seems to apply to Disney animation (at least according to that Frozen animator guy).

kids_tarzan

Emperor’s New Groove

I can’t bring myself to dislike baby Kuzco even if he is a baby. First, he’s cartoony enough, second, Kuzco is nothing but awesome, and third, he’s shown being a spoiled brat so the point of the scene isn’t “daww what a cute babby!

kids_emperor

Atlantis : the Lost Empire

Little Kida only appears for a few seconds, which is good for me since I don’t find her particularly cute. Her part of the scene being mommy mommy, I want my doll doesn’t really help her case.

Also, at least in this picture her top looks really strange, I think it should be a bit higher.

kids_atlantis

Treasure Planet

This is another one of those “forced cute” kids I don’t like. Aww, isn’t he the cutie-wutiest! Hiding under the bedsheets, and cuddling with his mama! Blergh. Maybe parents of teenagers in the audience can relate to the “he used to be such a sweet child, and now he’s grown into a grumpy teen, baww!” story.


kids_treasurePlanet

Bolt

What, a puppy I actually find cute?! What is this?! Usually when you push big-eyed puppies in my face I go ewwww, but this one does something just right. I think it has something to do with the round and soft features, like a corgi. Because I  love corgis for being kinda round with so short legs that it looks like someone took a “normal” dog and photoshopped its legs to half their normal length.

Penny is okay I guess. I remember very little of the movie so I can’t say much about either of the characters, but at least she’s not a cooing baby.

kids_bolt

Princess and the Frog

Tiana and Charlotte are old enough not to fall into the doll-like uncanny valley. They also have great personalities and make funny expressions, so the prologue isn’t just kids being cute for the sake of being cute. Besides, Charlotte is awesome regardless of how old she is.

kids_patf

Tangled

I complained about baby Rapunzel in Rapunzel’s character review entry, and I still don’t like her. I find babies uncute in general anyway, and this design is pandering way too much to the “awww it’s a cute widdle baby so adorable she looks like a doll!!!” mentality.

kids_tangled

UP

Unsurprisingly Pixar does a lot better job with its kid characters than Disney. Or at least to me they look and behave way more interesting than Barbie’s baby sister #560, whatever her name was.

kids_up

Brave

Little Merida is my favourite out of this bunch, she’s just so incredibly precious. That hair looks glorious any day, and the somewhat nonstandard design for a female face takes it away from the icky Rapunzel-face syndrome.

kids_brave

Monsters University

Little Mikey is dangerously close to the forced cute territory, which is pretty weird considering he’s just a walking eyeball. But because he is a walking eyeball he’s strange enough not to be overly cutesy. I’m still baffled how little it affects his expressions that he only has one giant eye, most of the time I completely forget about it. I guess that means it’s a great job on the character design then?

kids_mU

Frozen

Little Anna is in the same territory as little Rapunzel, i.e. I find her one of the least cute kids in this post. Too cutesy, too calculated, too manipulative. In the third pic where she’s a bit older she’s more tolerable, but the youngest pics of her are pretty icky to me.

kids_frozen1

Despite having practically the exact same face as her sister, I don’t dislike little Elsa nearly as much as little Anna. And the reason for that is probably because Elsa is a few years older so we never see her in that “too young to be cute” phase. And I find the emotions on Elsa’s face more interesting than what we see on Anna’s, but I guess that too can be traced back to the ages and the fact that they’re going through completely different problems.

kids_frozen2

Little Kristoff and Sven are in the prologue as well, and for some reason I really couldn’t care less. Moving on.

kids_frozen3

The Swan Princess

Swan Princess was quite mess of a film, but the relationship starting from childhood was a nice idea even if the execution totally fell apart. But thanks to the childhood song Odette had a ton of outfits, which makes me want to write a character review of her just so that I could make a compilation of them for the “outfits” section.

Odette manages to avoid the pitfalls of icky forced cuteness surprisingly well even if she has a pretty generic face; even as a baby her eyes aren’t the size of a teacup. And when she grows up we see her making grumpy faces, behaving in a bratty way, and even getting injured with a black eye! How uncute and un-princessy! Scandalous! Makes her look a lot more like a real kid to me when the creators aren’t afraid of not having her look pretty every second she’s on screen.

kids_swanPrincess1

No good pictures of little Derek? Come on, internet, don’t fail me now! Nobody who has a DVD of this thing has uploaded good quality screen shots?

kids_swanPrincess2

Anastasia

I don’t find little Anastasia exactly cute, but I like the design for not being the usual round-faced cutesy little girl. Though I really question her clothing choices, but I guess that’s supposed to be historically accurate or something.

kids_anastasia

Despicable Me

Little Gru is cartoony enough to manage to be cute. And his mom is such a douche that I can’t help but feel sorry for him. Eh!

kids_despicableMe

Hotel Transylvania

There also were some shots of her as an infant, but I thought she looked really creepy in those and they involved changing diapers so I didn’t include that.

Despite her entire childhood scenes consisting of “Aww what a cutie she is!” moments, Mavis somehow manages to escape the “forced cute” territory and is genuinely cute in my book. I think it’s the somewhat nonstandard design of her mouth that does the trick.

kids_hotelTransylvania

Puss in Boots

I am a cat person, and therefore any cat is cute by default. Or if I don’t find a cat cute the cat is doing something seriously wrong. Puss in Boots isn’t doing something seriously wrong. And since his shtick was to trick his enemies with hyper adorableness it’s hardly surprising that the cute factor was turned up to eleven in his childhood flashbacks.

kids_pussInBoots

Avatar : the Last Airbender

Avatar the Last Airbender does almost everything incredibly well, and the childhood flashbacks are no exception. Most importantly in the flashbacks the kids are old enough to have a defined personality so it’s not just watching a giggling baby, and they’re past the too-young-to-be-cute age.

kids_avatar2

The Fire Nation kids are just as good. Little Zuko is about the cutest thing ever, and there was something delightfully off about Little Azula from the start. Now that I think of it, I really want to write more on the Avatar kids. Azula probably makes it to my top 10 all time favourite animated females list at least.

kids_avatar

Avatar : Legend of Korra

The Avatar kids get stellar reviews from me, but Korra falls behind in this category as well. She’s too young to be cute, and the undersized shirt and uneven pant legs feel too calculated.

kids_korra

Bumi, Kya and Tenzin as kids on the other hand fare a lot better. Okay, Kya and Tenzin are still pretty young, but since it’s a photo it’s a bit different. Little Bumi is a darling though.

aangFamilyAnd that’s all for this post! …this was supposed to be an “appreciation” post, but I see that most of the time I just complained how I find the kids uncute… The lesson learned is that in order to be cute in my eyes, it is useful to be above the age of five and and do something (ANYTHING) else besides being ‘adorable’ in a forced an manipulative way. Cartoony features apparently help as well. Well, you have a list of pictures so you can decide yourself whether you find them cute or not.

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One Response to “Kids appreciation post”

  1. Meg Says:

    Nice post! I agree with your opinions on the kid Disney characters. Too syrupy cute for my taste.

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