Billy Crystal may not look like a grandfather, but the 65-year-old comic spends plenty of time these days chasing after his kids’ kids.
Crystal tapped into those experience for his recent comedy Parental Guidance, a humorous clash between the generations. He’s clearly watched his fair share of films marketed to younger audiences, and he doesn’t always like what he sees.
Crystal shared his frustration with the current state of Hollywood product while promoting his new Pixar prequel, Monsters University.
We’re seeing this disintegration of the family movie into these blockbuster things that kids should not be exposed to–the explosions, the carnage, the violence that’s [too] old [for them]. That’s what they’re becoming, and there’s less and less of these kind of movies being made. And this one is truly for everybody.
Crystal’s point will help sell Monsters University, a genuinely clean film that doesn’t stoop to potty humor or mindless violence to entertain. His argument stretches beyond his promotional duties. As the father of two young sons I’m amazed at how violence seeps into kiddie content, driven by fast-paced images that feel both unnecessary and unnerving.
Animated fare routinely brushes up against mature themes. Just consider the death sequence in the 1942 Disney classic Bambi as Exhibit A. It’s a sequence parents can prepare their children to witness and discuss afterward. It’s much harder for a mom or dad to help a child break down the lightning-quick images in too many supposedly kid-friendly films these days.