Does Animation + Young-adult target audience have to = flop?
Recently, Shrek and Monstar Inc. have further proven that animated movies, targeted at children, but packed with adult jokes, draw in families. Meanwhile; movies like Titan A.E., which are targeted at young adults, are box-office duds. Live action cartoon/comic adaptations are hits. Movies like The Mummy Returns, basically cartoons with real actors in them, are very successful as well.
So, will we, as a society, ever get over the "animation is for kids" and "live-action adaptation legitimizes all," syndrome?
It seems that whenever someone takes a step forward with something like ROTJ, there's someone there ready to bash them in the kneecaps.
Sure, the "Toy Story"s of the world, which appeal to kids, parents and animation fans alike, are welcome, but are they advancing animation in the eyes of society? Ok, that's not a fair criticism, but hear me out. They still market to kids alone and fill their cast with celebrities adults like. Such safe work need not be of high quality. Look at Doctor Dolittle and it's sequel.
There is also a trend in Hollywood to make everthing PG, or PG-13, to insure a lot teens can get in. Which means R rated fare gets nipped and tucked. Instead of Face Off action, we get MI2 posturing. And things that no one, young or old, should see sqeak by the censors so the kids can watch too.
What will it take to make people see animation and live-action as equally legitimate methods of telling a story?
Movies like Final Fantasy won't do it. I don't want to watch animation trying to be live-action. Animation has it's own strengths.
Cartoony movies like Rush Hour and The Mummy can be very campy and silly, because they use the real actors as a crutch. The people and the locations keep the story shrouded in realty, though the characters are flat and the plot is silly tripe. By this rationale, an animated movie's plot and characters need to be stronger than strong to keep them alive in the audience's mind.
What if a movie like American Beauty, Pulp Ficton or Fight Club; were animated instead of live action. Well, they'd never get made. But, what if they did get made?
Would an animated movie with a brilliant plot and wonderful characters in an adult story find an audience?
After-all, The Matrix brought wire-fu and CGI ehanced fights into the mainstream. Pulp Fiction spawned countless imitators as well. Aladdin, with Robin Williams as the Genie, basically started the whole "kid and parent friendly animation" trend that continues to thrive.
Is the movie that will make all the western world love animation far off? What will it take, people?!
Last edited by NewMaxFranklin; 11-22-2001 at 09:27 PM.
I agree there should be more movies like NIMH (the first one not that crappy D2V sequal), Plauge Dogs and the Watership Down movie.
Considering Europe does not have this as bad America I think we may have to rely on them making a animated movie that distorys the sterotype that animation is just for kids.
Honest opinion? We'll need a major adjustment in our attitudes toward animation... CN, Kids' WB! and Toon Disney are fine, but still geared toward kids. We need a TV channel that caters towards a more mature audience (13+). An MTV Animation channel could do it, but considering the whole studio just got shuttered, I doubt it'll happen, especially since Viacom has VH1 Classic Rock to worry about...
But, seriously, a channel dedicated to shows like Cowboy Bebop or Daria or even Ren & Stimpy (which I never thought belonged on Nick anyway...), would go a long way toward legitimizing animation among Teens and Young-Adults.
C'mon Viacom... call somebody! I'm waaaaiting!
Oh, and do ya like my new Christmasy Dark Knight?