With the growing realization that friendship and love were great themes for movies and shows, there came the idea of splitting up to capitalize, especially for the content that was targeted at younger viewers. It can be said with certainty that the former is excellent for feel-good tropes, and it gives one the perspective that people are not only the sum of their parts. However, we have seen umpteen times that the main cast is split up in the sequels in many movies or shows. Some good examples of this are How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 4, etc. All of the films in this category saw their beloved families and team separate, which has often led to fans’ outcry.
However, the splitting up sequel trope does have some merits. It is a much more realistic illustration since people do drift away from each other with time. But it is a mistake to think that movies and shows have to follow real-life experiences so accurately. Another argument against it is that it must add something to the story and not be forced upon the audience. People don’t enjoy seeing their favorite characters drift apart. So, if it has to happen, there must be some convincing reason behind it.
An excellent example of this is Toy Story 4, in which there is a convincing reason for the trope. Although many fans might not like it, at least there was a basis for the split instead of mindless pursuit of what everyone else was doing. But there are various examples of movies doing the exact opposite. We saw two sisters split up in Frozen II; then, there was the split-up of friends for their relationships in The Hidden World. Such films lacked a convincing reason for the group’s separation and therefore were heavily criticized by the fans.
What makes the problem stand out, even more, is the treatment of the supporting cast. It is often observed that they are often reduced to background noise in a sequel, which splits the cast even further and weakens the plot. These supporting characters often have little interaction with the main characters that further bring their inclusion into question. When the sequel is made, and they are sidelined, it ends up hurting the result. It is better not to give them a place instead of dragging them along when there is no need according to the plot.
The cliche of splitting up characters has become quite old and repetitive, and it’s high time that the movie industry understands this. It hurts the character development, which is one of the essential elements of a successful film. Hopefully, there is a new realization and an evolution that finally raises the modern films above this terrible sequel trope.