Imaginary friends are often some of the first friends that we make as a child and they are important in developing a child’s imagination and they are perfectly normal to have. This is seen in a report from 2019.
Imaginary friends are a common—and normal—manifestation for many kids across many stages of development. In fact, by age 7, 65 percent of children will have had an imaginary friend, according to a 2004 study. Stephanie Carlson, a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development and one of the study’s co-authors, says that the prime time for having imaginary friends is from the ages of 3 to 11.
Film and television as visual mediums can bring these imaginary friends to life and give them a physical presence. Think of something such as Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.
However, this film takes it one step further and mixes the imaginary friend a being that brings children joy with one of the first things children learn to fear, the boogeyman
The most common thread between all the different interpretations is that it was mostly created to scare and discipline children. Creating compliance in children is something parents long for, but it is sometimes difficult to do with compliments and candy
These ideas are present throughout the film and the boogeyman is a creature that can have any shape or design, which allows creators to go wild. This can allow for some terrifying looks and takes, look no further than The Real Ghostbusters.
I may have gotten older but jeez, that design is still creepy. This movie, therefore, is a battle of the thing that brings children joy versus the thing that scares them.
This movie beyond these elements also has an interesting history as it used to air all the time around the Halloween season but Disney Channel received many complaints about this film from parents for it being too scary and pulled it from its Halloween rotation and was hard to come by until it was included on Disney+ at its launch last year.
I find that a bit crazy as it’s a children’s horror movie and Disney is no stranger to scary moments. With that outta the way, let’s dive into this film.
You’re at the age of not believing
And worst of all, you doubt yourself
You’re a castaway where no one hears you
Fran, just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to get old.
Disney was concerned about having a black boy kiss a white girl.
The hero cannot be using something outside of herself. The heroism has got to come from within.” And that’s why Frances ultimately defeats the Boogeyman by admitting she’s not scared anymore.