If you go into a movie theater right now, other than that big Finding Nemo in 3D poster, every advertisement for a kid's movie coming out in the near future appears to have dark themes; namely, undead.
Here's the big three:
1. ParaNorman (August 17th): A flat-topped boy who sees (and speaks to) dead people races with his friends and family to save his town from a zombie curse. (Laika Entertainment)
2. Hotel Transylvania (September 21st): Dracula stopped terrorizing the human world to open a resort for the undead and protect his daughter from the outside world, until a human stumbles on the hotel and falls in love with her. (Sony Pictures Animation)
3. Frankenweenie (October 5th): Young Victor Frankenstein loses his beloved dog in a car accident, and decides to bring him back to life no matter what the consequences. (Walt Disney, Tim Burton Animation Company)
Obviously, directors like Tim Burton have broken this ground before with films like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride, but movies like this (or Monster House and Coraline) were the exception; there were always movies with lighter subject material coming out at the same time. But from August until October (when the undead reign will be broken up by Disney's Wreck-It Ralph), it looks like parents who don't want their kids to be exposed to travelers from the Netherworld will have to subject them to Ice Age 4 every date night.
So here's the question; are all these dark kid's movies awesome, or are they going to drive the genre into the ground and make it unvisitable for future film directors?