Monday, March 24, 2014

Success With Moral Uplift?

Somebody please tell me what's going over my head here.

Animated 'message' movies strike box-office gold

After the runaway success of Frozen last year, Hollywood film-makers have high hopes for their spring lineup of cartoons on a mission to educate

Cartoons with a conscience and a mission to educate have become the route to success in Hollywood this spring, after a winter devoted to greed and crime in films such as The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle.

Last week Mr Peabody & Sherman – a DreamWorks animation about a dog that adopts a child and travels through history encountering Marie Antoinette, Leonardo da Vinci and the Trojan horse – beat all-comers to top the US box office. Early next month 20th Century Fox's Rio 2, in which a lovable blue parrot and his friends battle extinction, is being rolled out in conjunction with a campaign by the US Forest Service to encourage children to spend more time outdoors and reconnect with nature.

Studio-sponsored, public-service announcements are planned in the hope of instilling a love for nature in children and creating a legacy of environmental stewardship. ...

Okay, so I guess it's all the soaring goody goody stitched in to each and every animated feature that makes the difference between success and failure here in the 21st century. Is that how it goes?

What about, you know, other kinds of themes?

... Catholic film blogger Steven Greydanus saw a deeper "gay" message [in Frozen], which was in part supported by fellow blogger Gina Luttrell who championed the film's progressive themes. By posting a blow-by-blow account of what Greydanus describes as Frozen's "gay-culture themes" ...

Does anybody seriously believe that animated features are successful because of their moral uplift? Or because they push devil worship? Or bestiality? I mean really?

So how do we explain Gone With the Wind? Or Titanic? Or Star Wars" ("May the Force be with you.") What great moral themes do we find in those flicks? Granted, there's some heavy-duty ecological and "noble native" overlays threading through Avatar, but anybody buy into the idea that those things are the reason the picture was successful? The flying dragons and cool landscapes and nifty action scenes had little or nothing to do with it?

I've got a different explanation. When a movie turns into a blockbuster, it ain't the "messages" that put it over. It's the characters. It's the gags. It's the way the story, dialogue, art direction, sound effects and music intertwine to create a theatrical experience that grabs you by the shirt collar and makes you yell "Boy, howdy! Thaat's entertainment!"

But hey, I could be wrong. Maybe it is the bestiality and homo erotic overtones.


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