Animated Films: Playing on Nostalgia

Animated films and TV series are taking over the internet, however their core audience may surprise you. Adults, touched by nostalgia, have flocked to social media sites to jump on film-focused trends.  

Let’s dive into the worlds of ’Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’, ’Mario Bros: The Movie’, ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’, and ‘Arcane,’ the TV series based on the ‘League of Legends’ video game. These hits aren’t just movies and shows; they’re a trip down memory lane for the older audience – and social media users are all over it.

80s and 90s babies are most likely familiar with a DreamWorks favourite, ‘Shrek’, released in 2001. So, when Shrek’s faithful sidekick Puss in Boots, voiced by Antonio Banderas, returned to the big screen in ’Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’, it sparked excitement in anyone over 20 years old. The film had many references to childhood stories and, after its release, blew up on TikTok where fans recreated its choreographies – most importantly, the iconic whistle. 


dc: @Puss In Boots LOVED THIS MOVIE #fyp #pussinboots #pussinbootsmovie #dance #pussinbootsthelastwish #fypage #cartoon #cartoondance

♬ La Vida Es Una (From Puss in Boots: The Last Wish) – KAROL G

Fans similarly took to TikTok following the release of  ‘The Super Mario Bros Movie’. They dug out their Nintendo Wiis and restarted playing their favourite Mario Bros video games, including the latest ‘Mario Kart 8’ on the Nintendo Switch – which saw a boost in sales, with 50 million copies sold after the film’s release. The film made many references to the games, be it characters or music, and in turn, older content creators started live-streaming the games on their TikTok channels.

[Image Creds: Variety]

Comic book fans have also got their “nostalgia moment”, with ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse’ having likely one of the largest cameos the big screen has ever seen. The 2023 movie had 150 versions of Spider-Man make an appearance, previously hinted at in the trailer, and nostalgia played its role perfectly. Fans took to social media, analysing the movie frame by frame to decipher the comic book in which the 150 characters were from. In 2024, Miles Morales – the film’s Spider-Man protagonist – will return to the big screen for Part Two. 

It’s a long wait, but this is nothing compared to the 5 years fans had to wait to see their favourite characters come to life in the TV series ‘Arcane’. Fans took this opportunity to show their best cosplays all over TikTok – from Jinx to Vi, everyone was included. Fans have been reusing famous quotes from the show, whilst portraying their favourite characters in cosplays all over the platform.

With ‘The Super Mario Bros Movie’ being the highest grossing film in 2023 so far, right in front of ‘Barbie‘, fans are looking forward to the next big releases, like Mufasa: ‘The Lion King’, ‘Inside Out 2’, or ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’. Animations are taking over the big and small screens, and both Millennials and Gen Z are loving it!

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