Mellen (absentmammoth) wrote,
Mellen
absentmammoth

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Everybody's a critic...especially me.

I saw Titan A.E. for the first time last night on DVD. I have to say, despite myself, it was alright. By no means was it great, or up to the expectations I had for it two years ago when I saw the first trailer, but it wasn't all that bad either. Overall, the worst thing about it is the cliches that always glare out in most large-scale, American animation projects. If I ever make an animated film here in America, I'm gonna do things a little bit differently:
1. The main characters will not be a pair of 20-something, attractive young humans, typically of W.A.S.P. ancestory. Maybe they'll be aliens. Maybe he'll have funny ears and a scrawny stature, and she'll have a really big nose and a small chest. Maybe they'll be Canadian--okay, maybe not--but you get the idea.
2. If I MUST include attractive young people as my leads, they will NOT fall in love. She'll run off with the college professor who's 20 years her senior or something. I'm sick to death of that closing scene where attractive young man kisses attractive young girl as the sun sets behind them, or some such nonsense.
3. The supporting characters will not selflessly do anything for the main character. They have lives too...hey, and maybe for once, the supporting characters will be intellegent enough to do things without being told to do so by the main characters, or hold the key to the future of the universe instead of groping in the dark whist our "hero" finds it.
4. The traditional animation and any CGI effects I use will BLEND. Just like only Disney has been able to do in "Mulan" thus far (and gained my eternal admiration for it), you will not be able to point out where one stops and the other begins without being told by someone who has seen the movie at least 5 times. No corners will be cut using computers, no objects will stick out like sore thumbs from their backgrounds, and no drastic changes in style will occur.

The problem is, American animation film-makers and audiences have a mold. Each of their films must fit into that mold in order to be successful. The closest things I've seen by an American company of breaking that tradition are Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" and "Mulan". "Beauty and the Beast" is the only animated film EVER to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture, and while it follows the traditional fairy-tale romance storyline, it has such wonderful characterization, style, and the plot plays out so well that you can't help but overlook that, and allow the girl and (actually, rather unattractive) guy to get together in the end. The, there is "Mulan". Seriously, it was a very, very worthy film, and if you haven't seen it, I suggest you do. Mulan isn't a stereo-typical beauty queen, and her motives are ones of honor and love for her father. She doesn't have the stereo-typical romance either. Hell, the girl goes to WAR! Chinese armies are WIPED OUT! She doesn't have time to bother with the guys...besides, even if she did, she's supposed to be one of them! In both of these films, the computer effects are so well done and blend so well that you hardly notice they're there, if you even notice at all. As much as people bitch about Disney, they've got about a 50 year head-start on the whole feature film animation business, and it really shows.

It's nice to know I can bitch about this stuff here, and you can just ignore it if you don't care. I see what Roger Ebert gets out of this, now. If anyone is interested in seeing either of those films, though, drop me a line.
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