WITH the threatened return of Crackerjack to the television schedules next year, can a line please be drawn under this habit of revisiting kids’ stuff from half a century ago? With a remake of Dumbo in the cinemas at the end of the month, following on from Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book, the Disney film canon has also been comprehensively plundered. Surely our creative people can apply their minds to some new stuff for the young people of the new millennium – that is if the remakes are really for youngsters at all.

Much more concerning than the recycling of the stories and formats we loved for a new generation (“Let them chew Crackerjack pencils, it never did me any harm”), is this adult taste for nursery food. Because this trend can only be happening because there is a market for it with those who control the purse strings, and hand out the pocket money. In fact the biggest successes in the cinema of recent years amongst actual young people – Frozen and The Greatest Showman spring to mind – have often been original works; the small elephant with the aerodynamic ears will probably do well again because he gets the big sell from parents.

This comfort consumption of the pre-digested suggests an unwillingness to face up to the truth of now, perhaps because truth itself has become such a seemingly malleable commodity, alongside a growing mistrust of artists currently living or recently dead whose behaviour has been shown to be reprehensible. The collective human experience is in a bit of a mess in many ways, so reaching for the cuddly toy is arguably understandable, but it is not going to help very much.

Most recently it has been revelations about the private lives of musicians Ryan Adams, R Kelly and Michael Jackson that have fuelled the debate about whether it is possible to differentiate the art from the artist, but the fact is that little creative work exists beyond an acceptance of that separation.

Opera: Katya Kabanova, Theatre Royal, Glasgow, four stars

Before the end of the month we will see the launch of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, an event created just two years after the Second World War that immediately sought to heal rifts by inviting artists who could be deemed to have collaborated with the Nazis. The work of Wagner was adored by the Third Reich, but many Jewish musicians believed it important to reclaim it with performances in the new state of Israel. Earlier this week in The Herald, the granddaughter of writer John Buchan argued that his use of language we would now condemn as racist or anti-Semitic was a consequence of the time in which he lived rather than a damning condemnation of his work. During the past week I have enjoyed performances of the music of Leos Janacek and Claude Debussy, both men whose treatment of the women in their lives was scandalous at the time. To acknowledge that is not, of course, to make any excuses whatsoever for the behaviour of musicians more recently in the news.

It is, however, to recognise a complex adult world out there, which the best art for grown-up people explores. Grappling with what is going on between the characters in Janacek’s Katya Kabanova is a noble adult pursuit, and you can do that in Glasgow tonight and at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre from Thursday. Also opening at Glasgow Citizens Theatre next week is Stef Smith’s Nora, a new adaptation of A Doll’s House, a classic text from approaching 150 years ago that has been fruitfully revisited by some of the UK’s finest female theatre-makers during this decade. Don’t be misled by Ibsen’s title, the play addresses adult questions about truth and lies and deception and gender and sex. Properly served, it is nutritious fine dining for the mature adult palate.