i'm not disputing that at all, Chris. I was simply thinking back to a time when that wasn't even necessary, that cartoons had to have different types of ratings. But i realize those days are long gone.
When was that? Animated films, like all movies, have been rated by the MPAA since the system was introduced in the late '60s. True, traditionally most American animated films have been rated G, but there have always been exceptions, including the R-rated Heavy Metal
and the X-rated Fritz the Cat
. And of course there have always been animated films in Japan and Europe that have been aimed at adults as well as those aimed at children.
You're talking as though it was preferable for all animated productions to be aimed solely at children. It wasn't. That was too restrictive on the art form. It's good to have productions accessible for children, of course, but it's good to have productions targeted at older audiences too. It's not a zero-sum choice.
Animation is a medium, not a genre. It makes no more sense to expect all animation to be alike in content than it does to expect all novellas or all musicals or all oil paintings to feature the same subjects. There have always been comics and cartoons aimed at children and there have always been comics and cartoons aimed at adults. In most of the world, there's never been a perception that cartoons were a specifically youth-oriented medium. That perception exists in the United States mainly because Disney came to dominate feature-film animation for so long and they chose to target their product solely at family audiences. And that limited the medium of animation in America for a long time, robbed it of breadth and kept it from fulfilling its full potential. Meanwhile, Japan was doing amazing adult-oriented animated films such as Akira
and Grave of the Fireflies
, while still doing plenty of family-friendly films and shows as well.