90's kids will grow up with the Disney Classics as their favorite all-time Disney movies. Mine is Lady and the Tramp, and it always will be. However, in the past 10 years, Disney has taken a serious shift in the way their animated films affect the different age groups. Animated movies, one would argue, are for children. Disney is breaking that stereotype, creating animated movies that are actually arguably more enjoyable for adults than for kids. The kids have just become an excuse to see the movies in theaters.
The 90's kids are now adults (I know, you can all start feeling old now). Not only do we still have a soft spot in our hearts for all the Classics (Aladdin, Toy Story, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Pinnochio, Little Mermaid, etc), but the more recent movies are hitting us in the feelers because of the way they now also relate to our adult lives. Disney has grown up with our generation, and they are expanding their audience with every new movie they release.
Finding Nemo was one of the first animated movies that really launched this new generation of Disney movies. Now, I was still a child when this movie came out, but I can watch it now and still be just as in love with it, not to mention its sequel that finally came out this summer: Finding Dory. In addition to Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. was released which had plenty of adult humor and scenes that only adults could really laugh at. Of course, it still highly relates to children as well, because what kid doesn't love monsters who dance, scare and make you laugh? The sequel that was finally released in 2013, Monsters University, was even more relatable for my generation as we were entering college ourselves. The kids may not understand the humor within all the sororities and the hard transition of finding friends, but we sure did.
Shifting somewhat away from animated films, Disney has come out with some live-action remakes of the Classics that may be more for adults than kids period. The Jungle Book was incredible, if I do say so myself, and if I was 5, it might have been a little too scary for me at times. Pete's Dragon which just came out this summer turned out to be one of my favorite current Disney live-action movies. It was adorable, gripping, heartbreaking, and did I mention adorable? It reaches, as I've mentioned, an audience that is much larger than your average children's movies typically reach. Let's just say that when I went to see it in 3-D with my friend, there were only about two children (under 12) there. That speaks volumes to the growing up that Disney has done as they've expanded their horizons and audience.
This is really only the beginning of this new Disney generation. Where most companies fail to appease multiple age groups and all kinds of people, Disney has bridged the gap between children and adult animation, making truly the most family-friendly movies that really everyone does enjoy (without having to fake it for the kids' sakes). As us millennials are growing up, so Disney grows with us, not leaving the upcoming generation behind, but simply growing, expanding and strengthening their reaches. As if you needed more reason to love Disney, right?