In researching for my Star Wars book, I find interesting comments all the time. Here’s an observation from producer Gary Kurtz. Interviewer John Brosnan asked how difficult it had been to make a movie that would appeal to both children and adults.
“Well, it never used to be difficult at all. In fact, almost every film produced by Hollywood once was intended just for an audience–children might have liked them or adults did–but there wasn’t any real division of the market. But then we reached the point where there are films made only for children which adults can’t stand and films made only for adults that children aren’t allowed to watch. Obviously there are some stories that need telling that are really only for adults–I think that’s alright–but one of the reasons that Star Wars was so successful was because it was one of the only films to come out in a long while that both children and adults could to go see and enjoy on different levels at the same time.”
A great observation. For me, the best stories are those that appeal to both adults and children.
Publishers and studios like to “target the audience” for specific age groups, ethnicity or gender, to better market the product.
But I agree with Kurtz. Why not write stories that appeal to everyone?
Source: John Brosnan, Starburst #25, v. 3, n. 1, (September) 1980, THE STAR WARS INTERVIEWS: PART THREE–“Gary Kurtz,” pp. 16-20 (16-17).