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  • Happy Death Day 2 U ups the comedy and tones down the horror, feeling more like a lightearted sci-fi film than a slasher movie.
  • This was done well in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Executive Meddling ensured the next film would be light-hearted as well. Suffice it to say that it didn't work quite as well the second time.
  • Jackie Brown compared to other films directed by Quentin Tarantino; only a few gunshots are fired (Not including the Show Within a Show "Chicks Who Love Guns") throughout the whole film.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, following the Darker and Edgier Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It is still darker than Raiders of the Lost Ark, though, as there's more moral ambiguity and not all of Indy's companions survive this time around.
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, also produced by George Lucas, was more kid-oriented than the well-received and Darker and Edgier The Empire Strikes Back, the previous film in the original trilogy. Interestingly enough, Lucas, who didn't direct either film, wanted The Empire Strikes Back to be Lighter and Softer, was eventually convinced to keep it in its current form, and ended up hiring a director for ROTJ whom Lucas would direct through.
    • Arguably, the Ewoks and their antics are mostly responsible for the lighter tone. The scenes that don't involve them (Jabba's palace, the Emperor, etc) are still pretty dark.
    • In the prequel trilogy, The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones are noticeably lighter in tone, particularly the former (especially thanks to Jar Jar Binks). In contrast, Revenge of the Sith was substantially Darker and Edgier. (For comparison: In Episode I, Anakin is a kid; in Episode III he murders several kids.)
    • Solo is this compared to Rogue One.
  • 1981 cult horror film The Evil Dead was generally nightmarish and horrifically gruesome. The sequel toned down all of this, and was deliberately goofier and somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but it still had plenty of blood and gore. It was funnier, not lighter. Finally, Army of Darkness completely did away with all elements of being a horror movie and was more or less just a silly parody of fantasy adventure films.
  • Also, in a similar fashion to the Evil Dead trilogy, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Thor trilogy seems to have undergone the same treatment. The first Thor, was really dark and gritty, the humor was only really Comic Relief, had more drama and was more action-packed compared to it's sequels, but still had an optimistic outlook. Its sequel Thor: The Dark World, while Darker and Edgier, perfectly balanced the action with humor and has more lighter moments, but had more grittiness than the first. Meanwhile, Thor: Ragnarok, toned down the grittiness of the first two films and focused completely on the humor, played out like both an Affectionate Parody and Genre Throwback to '80s action films, and looked very colorful overall, and was a lighter version of the Ragnarok myth the film was partially based on. They're all still lighter than it's source material, though.
  • Fame.
  • The third RoboCop intentionally toned down the extreme violence, profanity, and drug use of the first two in order to appeal to children. It bombed miserably.
    • The travesty that was Robocop: The Series. Taking the third movie's approach and running with it, Robo now wasn't really allowed to kill people (instead using gadgets a la Batman to disable them), the humour was lightened to kiddie-friendly levels, and the plots took on a far more unrealistic and dopier slant.
  • The Joel Schumacher-helmed Batman films were considerably lighter in tone and content than the Tim Burton installments that came before it, in part because of the parental outcry over how dark Batman Returns was. (Never mind it was rated PG-13.) This more child-friendly approach went hand-in-hand with The Merch, and contributed to the artistic catastrophe of Batman & Robin, which led to a reboot to start afresh.
  • The Godzilla films of the 1960s-1970s were considerably more kid-friendly and light-hearted in tone compared to the very dark original 1954 film. Particular mention goes to Son of Godzilla and All Monsters Attack! Final Wars, the last Millenium-era film before the overall darker Legendary Pictures era, is a throwback to these films.
  • When Gamera the Brave rebooted the series after the dark and critically acclaimed Heisei trilogy, it went back to the child-friendly tone of the 60's films using a younger Gamera.
  • The original Dragonheart was about leading a revolution against a tyrant king. It featured countless war deaths, a boy getting run through by a stake, a man getting his eyes burnt out (offscreen) and a man getting slain with a battleaxe. The sequel, however, was about a boy raising a dragon and featured no actual violence (or real combat) whatsoever.
  • The film adaptation of The Mask starring Jim Carrey already made things too light and soft for most fans of the über-violent original series to accept. Then (11 years later) came Son of the Mask, one of the most universally loathed movies ever, and kicked things down a notch, giving us a PG rating and sparing us the image of the Mask getting freaky with his wife. Although, let's be honest... none of us really wanted to see that.
  • The Gremlins 2 is much lighter and comedic compared to the darker serious original, in the first film the gremlins were fairly serious for the most part, much more sinister, they killed many people, and they died in some of the goriest ways. In the sequel they are more silly than threatening, they party more than the first one, they only kill about two people, and the only gory death comes when one of them is stuffed into a paper shredder. And Hulk Hogan made a cameo. Considering the amount of Lampshade Hanging, Shout Outs, Take Thats, and Parodys, Lighter and Softer is the only way this movie could've gone.
    • Other gory deaths in Gremlins 2 include a gremlin being burned ALIVE and the entire batch melting when they get electrocuted at the end of the movie.
    • This was probably due to the backlash that occurred due to the violence in the original. Much hand-wringing by parents actually resulted in the creation of the PG-13 rating.
  • Failed Lighter and Softer: Park Chan-Wook, director of Oldboy, said he wanted his most recent film I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK to appeal to younger audiences as well. It may not have worked out too well. The tone is arguably lighter than that of his Vengeance trilogy, but the movie still starts with a girl "charging herself" by slitting her wrist and jamming a mains lead into the wound, taping it up carefully before flicking the switch.
  • In the first Critters the creatures were fairly serious killing machines but had a low body count, they grew when they ate, and some of them died in very violent ways; in the sequel they killed many more people and the creature have some violent deaths but they are pretty goofy and less intelligent than in the original. The other two films are pretty silly and the bodycounts are pretty low.
  • The Film of the Book of And Then There Were None fits this trope. While the book doesn't go more than a few pages without using a (mild, all things considered) swear word, has oftentimes graphic depictions of most of the deaths, and kills 'em all, the movie tones down the language to be Hays Code-compliant, never shows more than the feet or hands of any dead person (if they're shown at all), and gives Vera and Lombard a happy ending.
  • Men in Black 2.
  • The 5th Childs Play, Seed of Chucky.
  • The Warriors: The book the movie is based on is considerably Darker and Edgier. Just for starters, the Warriors brutally gang rape and abandon a random girl. In the movie, Mercy, who is based on the girl in the novel, ends up pseudo-girlfriend to Swan.
    • Well a Warriors remake is currently in the works, so those elements might be seen in the remake-especially considering that Tony Scott is slated to direct it.
  • Oliver!, the 1968 musical adaptation of Oliver Twist. Granted, most musicals are Lighter and Softer by nature, but still, the original book is far more grim.
    • Yeah, but by all accounts it's not saying much. Nancy is still killed-fairly graphically for a kids' movie.
  • While they were still R-rated, each A Nightmare on Elm Street was more surreal and comedic than the one before it, peaking with Freddys Dead the Final Nightmare, which has Freddy doing a Wicked Witch of the West impression ("I'll get you my pretty, and your little soul too!") during the first few minutes.
  • The first Mad Max was banned in New Zealand for the scene where Goose is burned alive, although it was later finally released with an R18 rating. The second and third were rated M.
  • All of the sequels to The Howling save for Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (which was closest to the novel), and Howling: The Rebirth.
  • Compare the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie with the second and third. The fourth is more in line with the first, while the fifth is somewhere in between, and the sixth again fits firmly into this trope.
  • American horror films usually gets accused of this in spite of the "Splatter Pack" directors. Although most of them are foreign directors.
  • The 1982 film Conan the Barbarian is an R-rated fantasy epic that contained considerable amounts of violence and nudity. It also has a large following of fans who consider it one of the greatest fantasy films ever made. For the 1984 sequel Conan the Destroyer the studio decided they wanted a more family-friendly Conan. The result was a PG-rated, more lighthearted Conan adventure that was poorly received by fans of the original film.
  • Battle for the Planet of the Apes, in contrast to the previous and very dark Conquest (and more so if you watch the version with the original, uncensored ending).
  • John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China, compared to his other works.
  • The first Spider-Man film was a downbeat take on Spidey, with his Uncle Ben getting shot dead and playing out like a straightforward, gritty, angst-filled revenge action drama film with almost no lighthearted moments. The sequel, though not without it's grittiness, plays out somewhat like a Breather Episode for the whole trilogy by toning down the violence and blood from the first film, having more lighter and humorous moments, a Big Bad with more Large Ham moments, and having a bit more optimistic outlook compared to the first and third films, which dealt with Uncle Ben's death as one of it's main themes. This film, however, deals with that theme only once or twice and the film's Big Bad Doc Ock, is the only antagonist of the trilogy not to be affiliated with Uncle Ben's death, and therefore this film is like an action dramedy of sorts.
    • Speaking of Spidey, Spider-Man: Homecoming is not only lighter than the prior films, but also the lightest film in the MCU so far. Even the other two comedies released the same year had apocalyptic stakes, tear-jerking deaths of longtime supporting characters, horrifying monsters, and some of the cruelest and most powerful villains in the MCU. Homecoming's main villain is an Anti-Villain, while still quite cruel, who has much lower aspirations.
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy--the Galaxy is presented as more wondrous and grand than the dull, bureaucratic "Earth-society-but-bigger" version we tend to get, and the film ends with the new Earth being put in the place of the old one rather than being dismantled when construction shuts down as in the other versions.
  • The Expendables 2, thanks to a combination of Chuck Norris' ego, Lionsgate's greed, and Sylvester Stallone's compromising too fast, will be rated PG-13. This is especially bad in contrast to the original, which was a throwback to the bloody, violent action films of the 80s and 90s. This has quickly resulted in furor across the Internet, with many criticizing the move to appeal to an audience that just doesn't care about this kind of film.
  • The first Terminator film was a gritty action horror film with sci-fi undertones. It's sequel, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, cranked up the sci-fi elements a bit more and toned down the horror elements of the first film, thus becoming campier in the process.
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