Friday, December 4, 2009

OK, let's talk "The Princess and the Frog"...

"The Princess and the Frog" opens next weekend, though you wouldn't know it because as of the time of writing this I have seen three or four commercials for it recently compared to the billions of "A Creepy Mo-Cap Christmas Carol in Three-Effing-D" commercials.
Bare-bones information from The Laughing Place, a pretty good Disney fansite.
Here are my two cents, which are really more like a buck fifty:
It is ABSURDLY unfair that so much has to be riding on this one film.
If Disney sees this film flop, they will assume that hand-drawn animation is dead. And remember that Disney has an incredibly f***ed-up definition of what a "flop" is. (For Disney, "Flop" = "Didn't make as much money as 'The Lion King' and only had the kind of popularity a lot of animators would probably give their eyeteeth to see"*) This, and I am just saying this because I don't know if anyone has pointed this out yet, is an
incredibly stupid assumption. People do not love or hate a movie because of the format it was made in. Actually, you know what kind of people won't watch movies just because they're in a certain format (color vs. black and white, animation vs. live-action, CGI vs. hand-drawn)? Five-year-olds**. Are we five years old?
There's already a vocal backlash against the film, which baffles me, as no previous hand-drawn Disney feature has had to deal with this. In some ways, I feel Internet hype has ruined the movie-going experience. If you didn't subscribe to The Disney Channel in 1989, you didn't know anything about "The Little Mermaid" until you saw a commercial (and Disney Channel brats only got vague making-of specials and magazine features).
The whole situation is so ridiculous that I can't justify saying anything about "Princess" until I see it for myself. I don't know if I can convince anyone to go with me (I have this thing against seeing movies alone). The few commercials I have seen do not exactly inspire confidence - but then again, neither did the commercials for "Little Mermaid". Take a look:

Really, it's crazy that we live in a world where a
Disney Princess Movie isn't a sure thing.

* - By the way, I've seen lots and lots of ads for "Ice Age 3: Eh, Screw Our Principles, Here Are Dinosaurs! The Crisis of Heterosexual Masculinity" claiming that it is "The Number One animated movie EVER!!!???!!!". That made me skeptical. Then I checked Box Office Mojo and said, quote, AAAAAAAAHHH!!!. Then I checked Box Office Mojo AGAIN and said, quote, WTF?! What the hell is going on here?

** - Well, five-year-olds and Calculon. (Reads script) "No, no, I don't like the font."

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Bonus: A weird McDonalds/"Little Mermaid" commercial from twenty years ago:

By the way, McDonalds has apparently conquered the bottom of the ocean.
Um...

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