2004: A ROTTEN Year for Kids' Films?
Posted 11 October 2004 - 11:41 AM
Posted 11 October 2004 - 11:57 AM
Posted 11 October 2004 - 05:22 PM
So if my family's experience is any indicator, yeah, it's been a pretty lame year for kids' films.
(By the way, have you seen 'Peter Pan' yet? I know it's a late 2003 film - but my 5 and 7 year olds loved it, when we finally got it on DVD.)
Posted 11 October 2004 - 05:40 PM
|QUOTE (Andrew @ Oct 11 2004, 10:21 PM)|
|(By the way, have you seen 'Peter Pan' yet? I know it's a late 2003 film - but my 5 and 7 year olds loved it, when we finally got it on DVD.)|
It made my top ten of all 2003 films, I can't begin to talk about its awesomeness. But, yeah, it *is* 2003...
I will of course take this oppotunity to mention Thunderbirds. Which was hated by everyone on the planet except (1) Me (2) Mark Kermode and (3) The four/five year olds sitting behind me in the cinema. Which means, therefore, it was actually great.
Edited by Shantih, 11 October 2004 - 05:41 PM.
Posted 11 October 2004 - 09:32 PM
Posted 12 October 2004 - 03:34 AM
|If she can take The Wizard of Oz, do you think she could take Peter Pan?|
Absolutley. A good example of darkness used well.
Posted 13 October 2004 - 04:16 AM
I'm kinda ambivelent about it at the moment. The teasers for this had me quite excited, loving trains and Christmas movies as I do. But since they've shown a little more of it it's looking more like an eye candy fest than an actual story. (Am I the only person in the world interested in seeing a young boy exploring the world by train around Christmas time without the whole 'city of flying elves' and whatnot alongside it?)
But I will go into it with a certain level of excitement. It *will* be around Christmas, after all...
Edited by Shantih, 13 October 2004 - 04:17 AM.
Posted 13 October 2004 - 08:35 AM
The year before, there was The Rookie, Stuart Little 2, Lilo & Stitch, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, Powerpuff Girls, Return to Never Land, Tuck Everlasting, Treasure Planet, and others.
In 2001, Spy Kids, Monsters, Inc., Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, maybe Cats and Dogs.
You have to go back to 2000 for a year in which family entertainment has been as poor as this. Chicken Run, maybe Rugrats in Paris.
Posted 13 October 2004 - 08:47 AM
|QUOTE (SDG @ Oct 13 2004, 01:34 PM)|
|You have to go back to 2000 for a year in which family entertainment has been as poor as this. Chicken Run, maybe Rugrats in Paris.|
But, then, 2000 also had the well regarded Miracle Maker, the glorious Emporer's New Groove and the 'so-so but still good fun' Road to El-Dorado. Whichever way you look, this has been a poor year.
Posted 13 October 2004 - 09:14 AM
Posted 13 October 2004 - 10:48 AM
I'm guessing nobody here cared for Disney's Home on the Range? It has not yet come up in the conversation, at any rate.
As for The Polar Express, the trailers don't do much for me, and I am unfamiliar with the original book, but I suppose it could be okay. In the meantime, I am wondering what to make of this e-mail that we recently got at the Christian paper for which I write:
- - -
To Whom it May Concern,
We are promoting a new family movie Polar Express with Tom Hanks (November 10, 2004). The Polar Express takes you on a journey we have all experienced regarding faith and the act of believing. The Bible says that it is good to believe without seeing ^Ö for that is faith. The movie offers other parallels to the Christian faith and demonstrates examples of selfless acts of kindness towards others.
We would like to work with you to provide a link to the trailer to help spread the news of a new family film that offers good core values. We have a few exclusive promotional items we can give you as our way of saying thanks. Movies like this have become a rarity and generally reserved around the Holiday Seasons. Please help us spread the word.
The link to the trailer is http://www.polarexpress.tv If you are interested we can provide you with entertainment news information that can be used on your website. Feel free to contact me for the banner ads with link or other information.
- - -
Has anybody else received this or anything like this? Does anyone know the film well enough to say if there really is a "Christian" hook that the publicists could take advantage of?
Posted 13 October 2004 - 10:57 AM
SDG, I also wonder how many of the films on your list you would consider appropriate for a 4-year-old, since it seems to me that Alan began this thread wondering about the lack of films that would be suitable for his own daughter. I was about to say that I have just finished the second Lemony Snicket book and have relatively optimistic hopes for the upcoming film adaptation, but I don't know that I would take a 4-year-old to see that.
(And my thoughts on this are complicated further by the fact that my fiancée doesn't want our kids to watch TV -- or movies, I assume -- until they are at least 5. Something about children's developmental stages. I've told her I'm fine with that, but as soon as the oldest child is old enough to watch them, it'll be pretty darn difficult to prevent the others from watching, too. As a firstborn myself, I know that it is the firstborn's responsibility to corrupt the younger ones. But anyhoo...)
Posted 13 October 2004 - 01:00 PM
|I wouldn't consider The Rookie a "kids" film. It may be G-rated (despite a few very mild profanities), but it's still really a story ABOUT grown-ups FOR grown-ups.|
I wouldn't call it a "kids'" film either, and yeah, that is the subject heading, but I don't think it's a "grownup" film either. I think it's a family film in the best sense of the word, a film that can be enjoyed by parents and kids alike, at least if they have any affinity for sports movies.
|I'm guessing nobody here cared for Disney's Home on the Range?|
Way underwhelmed myself. Loved the Pines of Rome flying whales, was impressed by the anime-inflected Firebird Suite finale but disappointed that the climactic Christian and Catholic note of the original finale was replaced by eco-pagan imagery and that the only hint of Judeo-Christian heritage was in the not very impressive Donald Duck Pomp and Circumstance Noah's Ark sequence (a weak follow-up both to the Ave Maria and Sorcerer's Apprentice sequences from the original). The rest was fitfully interesting but not really impressive. Totally lacking in the original's groundbreaking power.
|SDG, I also wonder how many of the films on your list you would consider appropriate for a 4-year-old|
Good point. Here is the subset of my original list that I either have shown to my three-year-old son or that I would show him with no particular reservations: Finding Nemo, Winged Migration, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, The Rookie, Stuart Little 2, Lilo & Stitch, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, Return to Never Land, Treasure Planet, Spy Kids, Monsters, Inc., Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Cats and Dogs.
Add to those Shantih's adds of The Miracle Maker and The Emperor's New Groove (but not Road to El Dorado; too sexy).
|I told her I'm fine with that, but as soon as the oldest child is old enough to watch them, it'll be pretty darn difficult to prevent the others from watching, too.|
Ain't it the truth! Our three-year-old watches all the Star Wars movies with the big kids, including Attack of the Clones, and has also seen The Scarlet and the Black, Watership Down, and other films you might not usually show a three-year-old.
However, this December when the kids and I sit down for a multi-day marathon screening of the complete extended Lord of the Rings, Jamie will have to sit it out. (How that's going to work I have no idea.) I'm already pushing it including six-year-old David, although he'll probably deal with it at least as well as Sarah, who will be ten. I can't keep it from them any longer -- they know the story (we're almost finished reading The Two Towers) and are familiar with the actors and imagery from the films partly from their cousins and partly from other sources. And they don't even go to school!
Posted 14 October 2004 - 01:04 AM
: I saw it on the IMAX screen at the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas, probably in October
: or November of 1999?
Doubtful, since the IMDB says it premiered December 17.
: I've not read any research indicating that moderate TV/movies for kids 2-5 is
Hmmm, I may have to check back with D on this -- it occurs to me that she might have made an exception for documentaries. I believe her basic point might have been that children under a certain age have difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy in films. I wouldn't know, as I have virtually no memories of my own from before the age of four.
SDG wrote (re: Fantasia 2000):
: Way underwhelmed myself.
I also, though for a different set of reasons. One of my biggest complaints was that Every Single Segment had to Tell A Story -- I missed the abstraction, the sense of Dance, that several segments in the original film had. (Even the so-called "abstract" piece in the second film, the Beethoven bit, was a story of some sort; sure, it had flying triangles instead of, I dunno, butterflies or something, but it certainly wasn't "abstract" in the way the first film's Bach sequence was.)
: Loved the Pines of Rome flying whales . . .
I thought that was one of the lesser pieces!
: . . . was impressed by the anime-inflected Firebird Suite finale but disappointed
: that the climactic Christian and Catholic note of the original finale was replaced by
: eco-pagan imagery . . .
I was disappointed that the segment had missed the point of the original piece of music, which surely was that it was the FIREBIRD that died and rose again (being a phoenix and all), whereas the cartoon turned the firebird into a villain and, as you say, handed the death and resurrection theme over to a symbol of eco-paganism. That said, the Ave Maria sequence in the original film began to tilt in an eco-pagan direction, too; if you check the DVDs, you can find all sorts of original artwork showing how the sequence was originally going to be explicitly Catholic, with stained-glass windows of Madonna and Child etc., but then Disney decided to make it more "universal" by showing the pilgrims walking through "nature", etc. And then, if you watch the sequence with Walt Disney's commentary track turned on at that point, you'll hear him talk about how there is something divine about mankind and the imagination, or some such; so the music praises the Virgin Mary, the visuals praise Nature, and the commentary track praises Man. An interesting combination.
: . . . and that the only hint of Judeo-Christian heritage was in the not very
: impressive Donald Duck Pomp and Circumstance Noah's Ark sequence . . .
I loved it as a Donald Duck cartoon, but not as much else. Have you ever seen the 1930s Silly Symphony Father Noah's Ark? It's quite the contrast. It has at least one gag that made it into the Donald Duck cartoon -- the huge family of rabbits leaving the Ark -- but it's much more biblically literate (Noah's sons have names! heck, he has sons! and they all have wives!) and the music has a kind of Negro spiritual aspect to it that preserves the religious flavour of the story.
: Totally lacking in the original's groundbreaking power.