Pixar's much-ballyhooed feature Up opens this weekend, and the theaters will be chock full of families with little ones ready for some colorful eye-candy and delightful storytelling. But how are those little ones going to act when they see not one, but two separate instances of bright, red blood on the screen? I'm sure no one is going to need therapy after seeing this, but it's interesting that Pixar is breaking down the blood / screen barrier.
Disney films have long been sanitized, and although we've seen death in Disney's animated movies before (Bambi's mother, Simba's dad, Nemo's mother, countless goons in The Incredibles and so on), they really never feature blood, despite the violent nature of many of the plots. Usually the characters die off-screen, and the audience is spared any actual shots of the red stuff.
In The Lion King there's a brief spray of blood in the battle between Mufasa and Scar, but otherwise you get red scratches on the characters, which look cartoonish (well, it's a cartoon) and not very realistic. They did the same "scratches for wounds" thing in Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, and even with Sleeping Beauty there's only a tiny trickle of blood as Phillip slays Maleficent. A bit surprising given the fact that she has a huge sword buried through her massive heart.
So what does this all mean? Well, it ain't the end of the world. Blood's just another fact of life, but parents should probably be prepared for questions about the two scenes that involve blood. It's cool that Pixar isn't afraid to show the stuff, because it could have easily been left out of both scenes. I just wonder if they'd ever form an offshoot like Disney did with Touchstone Pictures so they could release more adult CGI films that are a bit more ... horrific? For now, you'll have to settle for Up.