As the star of Monsters, Inc., one of the most successful animated movies of all time, actor Billy Crystal knows a thing or two about what makes a family film work. The Emmy-winner says that too many movies these days are missing the mark.
BabyCenter recently had the opportunity to talk to Billy about Monsters University, which hits theaters on June 21. He explained what makes the movie different: “These are truly family movies. They’re truly for people, you know, I mean in the best way. 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.”
I’d have to agree with him, though you could argue that violence has always found a strange and unsettling home in children’s films. I’d rather not have to fast forward through scenes as my kids sit cringing with their hands over their eyes; and, though I know there are some who may disagree, I personally don’t think guns have a place in kids’ films, period.
As a mom and as a movie-goer, what I appreciate most about a good family film is its heart. As Billy puts it, “you need for the audience to feel something besides having a romp.” Having already seen Monsters University, I’d say it fits that bill.
Though he’s starred in over 50 movies, the 65-year-old actor insists that his Monsters character, Mike Wazowski, is his very favorite. Not surprisingly, his grand-kids agree. Billy recalls the day when he had to explain to them what he does for a living after they were confronted by paparazzi while out and about.
“The only movie I could show them- and I couldn’t show them the orgasm scene from Harry and Sally- so I showed them [Monsters, Inc]. And then I was Grandpa Mike Wazowski…. So I did that for a year. They’d call me up- ‘Hello, oh, is Grandpa Mike Wazowski there?’”
Do you worry about violence in today’s family films?