Discovering the Psychology of Animated Movies: Why Adults Enjoy Watching Them

IMG 3464 - Discovering the Psychology of Animated Movies: Why Adults Enjoy Watching Them

Throughout history, live movies have frequently outshone their animated counterparts. Animations are often labeled immature or childish, creating a social stigma that has limited them to a younger audience.

But there have always been exceptions, and there is no better example than The Simpsons. This animated series has entertained adults since 1989 and is the longest-running sitcom and American-scripted primetime TV series. The Simpsons Movie grossed an impressive $527 million, with the franchise extending to comic books, merchandise, video games, and music, among other things.

You can find similar success stories in other parts of the world, too. Anime series and movies from Japan are excellent examples. They have spread like wildfire across continents, capturing a massive audience of kids and grownups alike.

Despite the social stigma, more and more adults are enjoying animated films. But what is driving this trend? Let’s explore the intriguing psychology of this imaginary world.


The Unshakable Nostalgic Feeling

For many people, childhood memories invoke happiness, joy, and other positive emotions. They represent a carefree period in life with little to no responsibilities—a time full of hope, dreams, wonder, and excitement.

Animated movies could easily re-create these nostalgic feelings with their storylines, songs, and characters. But it is not just about watching the classics. Even modern-day films could elicit similar emotions with symbolic references.

For some adults, for instance, “When You Wish Upon a Star”—Walt Disney Studio’s widely popular theme music—is enough to take them back to their childhood with a warm, fuzzy, and reassuring feeling.


Simple Entertainment

Animated movies and live cinema have one thing in common—they both deliver pure entertainment.

Consider Avatar, which combines the best of both live and animated worlds. It has captivated audiences of all ages, winning 73 awards and becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time along the way. And its blockbuster sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, remains closely behind it, crossing $2 billion in sales. The secret to their success is the sheer entertainment value they offer. It has enabled them to surpass popular live-action movies created for grownups, in the likes of Titanic and Avengers: Endgame.

Best of all, the animation world provides entertainment for everyone, with genres ranging from comedy and romance to action and sci-fi. You will find movies to enjoy with your adult friends, as well as those you can watch together with your kids for some quality family time.


De-Stressing Effects

When you need a break, animations can be excellent stress-busters, just like real-world movies. They allow you to keep aside the worries and frustrations of your regular life and immerse yourself in a world of fantasy.

Movies like Despicable Me and Megamind, for instance, will have you rolling on the floor laughing—no doubt, an excellent therapy to unwind after a stressful day. There are shows that will generate many other positive emotions, from optimism, hope, and courage to comfort and joy.

However, this is not to say that animated movies are a remedy for mental health. If you particularly experience stress or depression, it is important to seek support by speaking to your loved ones and finding a licensed therapist on Leadar.


The Online Community

Some animated movies have created a cult-like following. But it is not just US blockbusters, such as Disney classics, that have amassed massive fan bases. Japanese anime shows, for instance, are even known for their annual conventions that attract ardent followers from all parts of the world.

These fan activities provide you with the opportunity to join an active community of like-minded individuals with an affinity for animated cinema. You get to meet influencers, make friends, and connect with a global audience and an exclusive community of animation enthusiasts.

The community effect is undeniably a bonus for any grownup exploring the world of animated movies. Only remember to practice caution when interacting with unknown individuals on online forums, social media, and message boards.


A Form of Art

Animations are essentially an art form. They are an expressive medium of visual entertainment that can stimulate creativity. Animated films for grownups are much more complex than live cinema, yet they can be far simpler in their expression of complex concepts.

These movies can also challenge your imagination. Compared to their real-world counterparts, they make it easier to visualize and bring to life highly intricate and abstract ideas. The storylines, plots, and characters are detailed and impressive, which makes them significantly sophisticated to suit an adult audience.

So, don’t be deceived by their fantastical appearance. You can appreciate animated movies for their tasteful expressions, creativity, style, and technique. Japanese anime, for instance, has its own design style and animation methods that make it unique even within the cartoon world.


Powerful Lessons

Many animated films center on meaningful topics. Some discuss regular challenges of adult life, from family relationships to dilemmas at work. Others shed light on social, economic, and political issues around us.

There are movies that take a satirical approach to human flaws and provide a deeper look into human nature. Many reflect on human values—from kindness and generosity to courage and equity. Some will even help you explore lesser-known topics, such as Greek mythology and the samurai culture.


To Conclude

For decades, animated movies were associated with a younger audience. This has prevented grownups from enjoying their many benefits. However, with blockbuster films in the ranks of The Simpsons Movie, Demon Slayer, Beowulf, and Sausage Party, animations have successfully rivaled live movies, capturing the heart of an adult audience.

But the psychology of animations is much more complex and intricate than it may appear on the surface. Just like live-action films, these movies offer pure entertainment with a diverse range of genres, from romance to action thrillers. They can invoke childhood memories and are a perfect source to unwind and escape from the stresses of adult life.

Besides, animations are an art form with style and technique. They also offer powerful life lessons and a community of fans for you to engage with. Inarguably, there are many reasons for you to enjoy an animated movie, not just on your own but with your whole family.

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