Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Something in My Eye...
The advance word on Pixars latest film “Up” is that they have done it again with a wonderfully entertaining and poignant story.
Did you catch the word ‘poignant’? Yes it’s something many animated films forgot to work into the mix. A good story in general has to connect with situations and characters we the audience care about and can relate to.
How many animated films can you remember that have sacrificed pathos and sensitivity for false bravados and ultra cool characters that laugh in the face of danger?
In an attempt to be current many animated films gave us shallow heroes with little compassion or insight who blather innate verbal banter in an attempt at wit. They crack jokes at inappropriate moments such as confronting death and dodge hazards as if they were on an amusement park attraction.
These films failed because they didn't connect emotionally with the audience. If the lead characters were unaffected by their situations why should we care?
The best animated films let us feel with the main characters. We understand them and have had similar experiences. We see a part of ourselves in them and worry when they are in trouble and cry with them when they are sad.
The best animated films always seem to have that ‘lump in the throat’ moment where you hope no one notices if you shed a tear.
I’m banking on “Up” giving us an emotional connection with these characters that will linger with us long after we leave the theater.