I’ve anyways been quite enamored with monsters, my dad would come into the living room in the morning and tell me to turn off Beetlejuice (animated series) because he thought it would give me nightmares. To be fair, I did have nightmares (like most kids), but they had nothing to do with cartoons (like with many kids).
- On a side note; I tried unsuccessfully every Halloween for years to watch the whole live-action movie, but always got interrupted or came in late, only to realize how stupid the whole thing was once I got to see it in it’s full chronological glory. Stupid, but extremely entertaining.
I don’t know if kids today will ever appreciate monsters the same way. Sure we already had sympathetic monsters (like Angel and Edward Scissorfingers), and monster school series (all of which got canceled quickly, causing me to now be absolutely confused about how well Monster High is doing), but the level of monster sympathy really seems to be spiking. With this comes a dulling down of the monsters though; vampires lack fangs and sparkle in the sunlight, werewolves have a conscious in wolf form, and zombies fall in love.
Why do I care? Why does this matter? Well, monsters, in yesteryear were used in cautionary tales. Vampires and Sirens taught us to be ware of strangers no matter how sexy they were, and Werewolves taught us to beware of people we knew no matter how good they seemed in public. Stories like Frankenstein’s monster taught us there were consequences to playing god, while creatures like Ammut were intended to put the fear of god(s) in you. These tales had the benefit of being longer and more interesting than a simple comment to stay away from strangers is, and we know how well that worked out for Little Red Riding Hood (by the way, the original tale does not end happily).
So in a world where monsters are friendly, where do you get the sort of warnings that really make an impression?