This is in response to my previous post about children seeing movies rated "M" for "Mature." And it's actually something I've thought about, but never really managed to ask myself the right way. So kudos to the asker for prompting this.
In short, no.
In long, no, but there's more.
One of the best things about some pop culture icons is how well they blend into pretty much any genre or medium. For example, let's look at Batman. You could have a masterfully done cartoon show such as Batman: The Animated Series, and then later follow it up with something cornier but still action-packed like The Brave & The Bold. You can have a goofy television series and movie starring Adam West, and then produce something like Nolan's recent trilogy. Video games can range from the Arkham series to him running around as a LEGO person. His comic books can be all-ages material to something gritty written by Frank Miller.
And they're all equally valid.
Does a character like Superman, Spider-Man, or Wolverine work as well? I'd say it's harder for the first two than the third one, but that's not to say it can't happen.
So let's take a childhood property that hasn't been rebooted yet. There has to be something I can dig up...
Jem? Nope, they just cast that. Teddy Ruxpin? I'm...pretty sure Ted was slightly riffing off that. The Mr. T cartoon? ...okay, I'm just going to pretend I never brought that up.
Come on, there has to be something out there waiting for a chance to relive its glory days.
How this hasn't had movie or new cartoon series a'la Thundercats I'll never know.
Anyway, you could easily take something like Herculoids and make it whatever you want. It could be a cartoon for kids where the characters learn about sharing amidst action, like My Little Pony. It could be a cartoon series marketed to boys. It could be a short-lived SyFy series, or even a movie. It could be a CG-production movie a'la Avatar.
I'm just now realizing that one of those creatures looks like it has an artichoke for a neck.
Where was I? Oh yeah.
Now, any of those would be valid. I think the secret is in how they're marketed.
For instance, I was a huge Robin Williams fan for a while. He was in Ferngully. He was in Hook. He was in Aladdin. However, that doesn't mean that my parents let me immediately seek out everything else he did. Twelve years old might be a bit young to understand everything happening in Dead Poet's Society, Awakenings, or Good Morning, Vietnam!
I'm sort of circling the main point, but I'm coming back around to it.
You can make whatever kind of media you want from a pop culture subject, but again, it's the marketing that counts. When you have Heath Ledger doing quite possibly the most disturbing Joker ever put on film, maybe you need to rethink stuff like this:
Yes, I know your kid loves Batman and probably wants toys, but buying them something from a movie they can't see is pretty cruel. I mean, what about something like the Alien franchise? You wouldn't take kids to see that, so why would th- oh god, something's about to be linked, isn't it?