This one was really difficult for me. I don’t think I did very well, but at least I think I got my point across.
Let me just say that I’m not the world’s biggest film critic. I like movies that other people think are vanilla or cotton-candyish, and I’m not really into movies that make me think too hard. So commenting on whether Hollywood has run out of original ideas or not is not something I have put a lot of thought into.
One thing I do watch a lot of is kid’s movies. Especially since the method of watching these movies in our house consists of putting in the movie and watching it, then watching it again, then watching it again, and again, and…well. You get the idea. It has occurred to me that the genre of kid’s movies has all kind of blended together into one computer-generated animation blur. I was trying to think about the last true drawn-animation movie that came out, and if I’m not mistaken it was Brother Bear which was what, four years ago?
So everything coming out now is computer generated. Or now, in the tradition of Wallace and Gromit, some sort of computer-generated claymation or whatever. Basically, these kid movie people are building movies that are geared towards kids but have little bits in there that are designed for adults to laugh at. TBrad did a funny blog on that topic, as well.
The latest movie we got was The Wild. This is basically a recycling of the Lion King (THAT never happens), Finding Nemo, and Madagascar. Madagascar was a pretty original storyline, and The Wild was funny, but almost the same thing. It’s like they take a protagonist, usually a kid animal of some sort, give him a dilemma, and throw in some good sidekicks and jokes, and then resolve the story in a nice little happy ending. There is usually a moral, like don’t lie, stick by your friends, love your family, etc etc ad nauseam.
Now, I’m not complaining. These kid movies are a great way to keep the Kid occupied for long periods of time. He isn’t at the point yet where he is critiquing films or anything, so it works well. I guess it’s just been a while since I saw a really unique kid’s movie come out. Even Narnia, which had great special effects, was based on a book. A good book, don’t get me wrong, but the idea had already been conceived. And what about the ones where they make a good one and then have to do sequels and third and fourth versions? Ice Age? Land Before Time, for crying out loud!
Shark Tale, Finding Nemo, and Madagascar were unique, I think. But now they’re just fodder for recycling into new movies that will be released over the next year. Then they might come up with another good one, which will be nice, but eventually computer generated animation will be replaced with something else, and then they’ll redo all those computer gen movies into this new thing. By then I won’t care except for the fact that my grandkids will be watching versions of Over The Hedge/Ice Age/Lion King that seem like totally new movies…to them.