Modern Animation Overload - The Magic vs. The Magical

July 9, 2009

Presto vs The Goonies

Pixar. Immediately, with that single proper noun, connotations of sheer cinematic glee rush into my brain. Visions of superheroes and monsters, toys and space, fish and race cars, flying houses and little, shy desk lamps. And every one of those images that that name conjures is rendered in beautiful, brilliant, fully-realized CGI animation. A marvel of modern technology, of modern filmmaking. The ability to show us anything, to explore any world, to give voices to the voiceless, emotions to the emotionless. The ability to break beyond the constraints of live-action filmmaking. But is that necessarily a good thing for kids?

Of the highest grossing animated films of all time, 30 of those top 40 films were made within the last ten years. The number of animated films made in the 2000s alone is staggering. And that number is climbing. There's obviously a desire for them; they're always sure to open to big audiences of their target demographic (kids and their parents), and with Shane Acker's 9, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Astro Boy, Planet 51, and The Princess and the Frog still yet to be seen this year, there's no end in sight. But what I'm here to question is what exactly is this doing to that target demographic. What is this doing to the kids?

When I was growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, the majority of my film entertainment came by way of VHS tapes. On those tapes were amongst some of my favorite films then and now: The Goonies, Willow, E.T., Hook, The NeverEnding Story, The Wizard of Oz, The Sandlot, Benji, Homeward Bound, Harry and the Hendersons, The Dark Crystal. Notice anything? Not a single animated film.

Sure, I watched the Disney classics -- The Jungle Book being the one to which my fondest memories are attached -- but the quantity of live-action kids' films with which I connected is far greater than animated ones. And I think you'd be hard-pressed to talk to any eight-year-old whose favorite movies aren't on the complete opposite end of that spectrum. It's just not what they're exposed to now and, frankly, it's not what they want. They're used to animals who, right before their eyes, actually speak, emote, and feel like they do -- and haven't just had some voice thrown on top of their actions. They're used to seeing everything in the closest of detail, not just in suspense-inducing glimpses. They're used to connecting with toys and robots and monsters more than they're used to connecting with actual human beings. It's just what they know.

And that's a shame.

As a kid, when a magician pulled a rabbit out of his top hat, it was baffling -- even when it happened right before your eyes. Where did the rabbit come from? Does it live in the hat? There are infinite possibilities. It's magic. For all the beautiful, heart-warming, spectacular storytelling in Pixar's films -- they've shown me the inside of the hat. They've shown me the very tip-top that opens, hinges down, providing access to the rabbit's cage below the table upon which the hat rests. Amazing mechanics, sure, but the magic is muddled. There are no longer infinite possibilities for the impressionable audience. There's only the one right in front of you. And while it still may be magical, it is certainly not magic.

Instead of walking out of the theater (or from my couch to the refrigerator) pondering what it might be like to find an extraterrestrial in my backyard or live with Bigfoot or if that dog across the street is actually a giant behemoth hellbent on stealing my baseballs -- I am convinced I know what it's like to live under the sea and I know the bureaucratic inner-workings of the monsters in my closet. Magical, yes. Magic, no.

It took a certain leap of faith, a suspension of disbelief, an imaginative trust to lose oneself in a film like The NeverEnding Story or The Goonies. But that imagination, that faith is something that the viewer added to the experience. It made them active. I could be Bastian. The next time I open a book, it could be me flying around on top of Falkor. But with so much handed to us, to this generation of kids, it's all a more passive experience. Sure, the kids connect with the story, they laugh and cry when they're supposed to, and they may even fantasize that their toys do actually come to life -- but it's all been handed to them.

The worlds are so fully realized that one doesn't even feel the need to question them, to expand upon them, to live in them further. It's the mechanics of the magical without the magic. It was the disconnect of human connection in kids' films that, while growing up, was so crucial for me to experience. And that is still very crucial. Perhaps soon we'll see a resurgence of live-action family films, ones that make us dream and wonder and take that leap of faith instead of being led through a lighted, railed walkway with our dreams projected for us on the walls. I hope so. Because I want my kids to be baffled when that rabbit comes hopping out of that hat. I want them to ask me, "How? But-- Where from?" And I want to tell them, "It's magic."

Find more posts: Discuss, Editorial, Opinions



I agree. While I think Pixar films are generally quite entertaining, live-action movies for kids are sorely lacking. I also think that regular 2-D animation is sorely lacking, but that's a different topic entirely.

Dan Geer on Jul 9, 2009


i find it retarded to question what movies do to a person.when we should be asking what do we do to movies.

george on Jul 9, 2009


i love this site and read it multiple times every day. i have to say this is the dumbest article i have ever read here.

firsttime caller on Jul 9, 2009


This is silly. You're making a problem out of nothing. Kids will watch what they want to.

Bfrancis on Jul 9, 2009


I think I generally agree with the article, but here is my take: I think when you're a kid watching a live action movie, it seems totally possible that what happens on screen could happen to you, e.g if I got mugged in NYC the TMNT could totally come to my rescue. But in the case of animated films, there is a very real separation from reality because we never interact with 2D or 3D CG characters (if only I lived in Hollywood in the 1930s before the freeways destroyed Toon Town ;-)). And because of that separation, what we see on screen is never really possible no matter how good our imagination is. BTW, really like FSN, thanks for the awesome trailers and articles like this 🙂

Francisco R. on Jul 9, 2009


"Sure, the kids connect with the story, they laugh and cry when they're supposed to, and they may even fantasize that their toys do actually come to life — but it's all been handed to them." You could say the same thing regarding how movies have screwed up the imagination of kids, because they don't read books anymore. Instead of each and every one imagining their own version of the characters in a book, now they ALL have the same characters in their heads, because they all saw them on a film.

Luis M on Jul 9, 2009


lol pointless article

PinkSushi on Jul 9, 2009


It obviously sounds like you didn't grow up watching copious amounts of Saturday morning cartoons, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, ETC. Just because more animation is showing up in theaters doesn't mean kids have been bombarded by it for YEARS. Only recently have more and more live action shows appeared on such channels, hell even Cartoon Network is doing reality shows. This is a totally baseless article, and worthless Pixar bashing at best. And besides, how have the Potter films, Narnia films and all the other children books adaptations not filled in where movies like Neverending Story and Goonies did?

MB on Jul 9, 2009


What about City of Ember, or Inkheart, or the Pirates of the Caribbean series...I think you're forgetting these, but you're right that they don't get enough attention. I think that's because live action has the connotation of being too mature for paranoid parents so Animated features are the safer alternative. The films are still being made, but they make much less money because since the action is "real" the parents fear their children will confuse fact and fiction, which is what film is all about to begin with.

peloquin on Jul 9, 2009


I am baffled that most of you are completely opposed to this article? What's so wrong with what he's claiming? Sure, there are Saturday morning cartoons, but the differences between kid's movies of the 80's and 90's and now the 00's are clearly there. And it's all animation these days. I appreciate that Brandon is attempting to at least question that change and bring up why it was so important, for him at least, that he got to see so many classic live-action children's movies.

Alex Billington on Jul 9, 2009


People should be opposed to Brandon Lee Tenney's article (and hopefully his other ones too) because his commentaries are utterly POINTLESS and contribute NOTHING to this site other than filler. His segments are becoming the weakest updates on FS, and its just a damn shame because the content is otherwise so good.

Voice of Reason on Jul 9, 2009


Ok, I've never commented on this site before but this article was really interesting. Frankly I love Pixar and all of their movies, I also love some of the other movies you mentioned like The Goonies, Willow and Hook. I think all of these movies deserve their own spotlight and I understand your concern for animation taking over. After thinking about this for a while I did come to a conclusion. Yes I enjoyed all of those live action movies as a child but I loved them more once I grew out of cartoons and started watching live action movies. I say there's a stage in every movie watchers life in between Wall-E and The Godfather. This is the time where a lot of those hidden gems like The Dark Crystal and The Never Ending Story. It's true there are a lot of animated movies coming out now a days but remember they are directed at children and there are more phases in life than being a small child and a full fledged adult.

Joe Ho on Jul 9, 2009


It's not so much the fact that those movies were important to him, but more the implication that kids are worse off nowadays as a result of the movie fodder they've been given. Movies are all about escapism, especially for children. To argue that kids have strange new worlds handed to them by cinema these days is to completely ignore Labyrinth, The Neverending Story... hell, even The Wizard of Oz. It doesn't diminish cinema to have animated features if the human story is there, and I think it's really stretching the boundaries of nostalgia to say that things are much different now than they ever were. Sure, there might be more animated films coming out, but a good movie is a good movie whether it's animated or not -- and to suggest that the magic is lost with the presence of CGI is ludicrous.

Seward on Jul 9, 2009


Seriously, you guys constantly complain (and yes constantly I see it every day) about how the shit thats gets posted on here is pointless, that the authors of the post were obviously promoting what was on it or how its a biased review or some other load of downright looking for something to bitch about bullshit. Then something like this fresh good article just on the topic of movies in general comes about and yet its still pointless. Isnt this a movie site?...I mean put the topic aside and realize this is a site about movies...if anything there should be more of these articles and less of what gets posted on here daily. Also its his opinion thats the point of articles like these to express views on something and others can reflect on. I mean I guess its your reflection thats its "pointless" but if its so pointless than why are you posting?. If its his opinion than no its not pointless....its opinion, but than some shit like NYT will post an article about downright bullshit but thats just revered philosophical fact. But this is all another total different topic so ill just end my 'pointless' self righteous rant.

Cody on Jul 9, 2009


"And it's all animation these days. " I have to disagree. While it is MOSTLY animation, there are still live-action features to be had. Enchanted (okay it has some animation), Danny Boyle's Millions, Duma, Star Trek is pretty suitable for kids, Harry Potter, Sky High, Zathura, and Eight Below among others.

Travis on Jul 9, 2009


Oh, and totally leaving out The Princess Bride in movies you grew up watching in the '80s is, well, inconceivable.

Travis on Jul 9, 2009


Luis has said it best, but I gotta say, surprisingly I'm with Alex on this one. I cannot name one live action kid film that I've enjoyed as of late. While the variety of films is there, ET was for kids, as wella s The Goonies, Dark Crystal, and the others listed. Pirates had no intention for kids. It was Disney breaking the mold again to reach out to a larger audience. I wrote an article exactly like this when Pixar only had a few movies, but people were agreeable with me. I, like Alex, am a bit shocked here. I grew up with the same cartoons on CN, Nick, and local stations. I loved them! I was a huge fan of Doug, Rugrats, GI Joe, and more but I also enjoyed Are You Afraid of the Dark, Goosebumps, Pete and Pete, Harriet, and the like. Where are those now? What happen to connecting to people and creating shows with some thought and imagination that could happen in an everyday situation, if you were in their world. It was not so out of the ordinary but it was fun and made you think, "Wow! That would be so hilarious if that happened at my school." These days, it does...well, at least everything in the new shows. I could take a camera into any middle or high school and film for several months and come out with Zach and Cody, Milley, and the unoriginal school life stories out there. I have very much reluctantly seen these shows and they no where compare to what once was. Perhaps with a measly 10 years, more innocence has been lost, but we also didn't worry about the child actors wearing bikinis and calling them sluts because...well, they're in bikinis. I speak of the Miley girl, now that Miley has been shunned. Watching these shows, I wouldn't let my kids watch this. Spongebob was where I personally drew the line that kid shows were changing. Animation has taken over which is not bad, but while typing this I thought about originality and of course all we have is animation. Hollywood has run out of ideas and we are resorting to what? Old cartoons and toys that can only be replicated in animations to be aimed for kids. What hasn't helped, and something to think about, is the rating system. Coyote Ugly was on HBO and while flipping I noticed it had a rating of R. "Why?" I asked and clicked to see more. It was rated R for language? Something I'm confused about is that people say the rating system as soften but I've noticed that for older movies, what was once tame is rated harsher but what is rather harsh these days is tame. How did ROTF get a PG13 rating with that language but Coyote Ugly is R!?! It's our system...our creativity...and it's us. lIke Luis said, kids need to read more and movie goers need to realize kids are reading so they'll want both, to read the book and see the film later. As much as I despise the Harry Potter books, it did start kids reading again. Problem...who's keeping them reading?

He tries so hard... on Jul 9, 2009


While there are less live action kids film that are actually good, we got a couple of movies coming soon that might reignite that "leap of faith". One that comes to mind is "Where The Wild Things Are". So these types of movies haven't come to an end its just that financially for studios they are more risky because people can confine in the inanimate instead of actual human beings (which isn't as "bad" as you state it is). Sometimes the inanimate and fictional can have more of an impact than a real life human being.

The Clergy Ark on Jul 9, 2009


It's frankly not surprising that this has happened since the birth of Pixar. I sure hope that Where the Wild Things Are is a success though, despite being live-action. It really has the potential to be a classic.

Andrew on Jul 9, 2009


I think the reason why those movies of old were "magic" to you, Brandon, was because you were little when you watched them. It's nostalgia. I'm sure kids feel the same about all these animated movies of this decade. It's just that since we're grown up, the magic seems to have disappeared, but it's not the movies, it's us. You could make the same claim about Christmas. Christmas will never have the same magic it once had, even when it was as much watered-down by consumerism in the 80s as it is now. If you go back and watch those live-action movies of the 80s and 90s, without any bias, you'll realize how much cheese they actually are. Trust me, I've done it... and I didn't like it. That's why I prefer to leave them as part of my childhood and nothing else. That type of movie wouldn't work in this day because, honestly, yes the audiences are a little more jaded. But regardless, the magic doesn't live in the movies, it lives in the kid.

Alfredo on Jul 9, 2009


God, I loved Neverending Story. I remember watching it for the first time, developing a HUGE crush on Atreyu, and bawling my eyes out in hysteria when his horse died in the swamp. (I was one of those little girls that were obsessed with horses, mind you) Even tho I was semi-traumatized by the death of the horse and the (at age 8) unfathomable creepiness of that black wolf-like monster, I probably watched that movie at least twice every week for a year. Then the tape just gave up. It was such a magical movie. And the ending was of such beauty, I cried again, with happiness this time. As much as I love animated movies, none of them made me feel like the Neverending Story. I would love to see more live-action movies like this. And I don't mean TMNT. >.<

SuicidalOptimist on Jul 9, 2009


Travis, you got me. The Princess Bride totally slipped my mind -- and for that I offer you a thousand apologies. Dumb of me. I'm putting myself on double-secret probation. Also, you're right -- it is MOSTLY animation. Overall, Travis: 2, Brandon: 0. Alfredo, I understand the effect of nostalgia. I really do. But I recently re-watched The NeverEnding Story and fell completely in love all over again. The death of Artax cut deep, even still. Sure, there's a lot of cheese -- so much so I feel like I need to be having a wine tasting along with the film -- but there are great themes and ideas and moments in all of the movies I mentioned. Honest and true moments to which I connected then and still connect to now -- and, in my opinion, moments that kids today would also connect to. Cody, <3 Voice of Reason, you elevate me. I admire your gluttony for punishment. Your spearheaded-critique. Your maxed-out Real-O-Meter. You're in the red. At 11, nay 12. And I love that about you. Never stop. Oh, and George -- you just blew my fucking mind. Well played, sir.

Brandon Lee Tenney on Jul 9, 2009


I really think WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE will bring that warm E.T feeling that every child should experience. 3d animation movies are stunning, but their is a sense of real human visual connection with your imagination that is missing, and I think kids these days need that since they're all growing up on the internet.

Mark on Jul 9, 2009


I have to disagree with your example about "Magic", Alex. I'm a parent of an 8 year old girl and a 4 year old boy. For the most part, my daugther knows that she is watching an animated film and she is able to figure out that things aren't real there. Nonetheless, she still gets the chills, the suspense, and the emotions from these movies. At the same time, I've seen her watch a live magician pulling tricks similar to the rabbit in the hat, and she ends up very amazed. The key here is that a magician is a REAL person. She can go an touch the magician, the hat, the table, which is something you can't do with an animated film. I believe this is the clue, the big difference, and why I don't think animated films take away anything from kid's real life experiences. Specially when comparing animations vs. live situations.

GTO on Jul 9, 2009


I apologize for referring to Alex in my post above. It should have said Brandon.

GTO on Jul 9, 2009


The problem isnt the animated movies. The animated movies are great... mostly because geniuses from Pixar and Disney create them. The REAL problem is the live action movies being complete crap. Sure there are a few gems like the HP movies, and Pirates(Disney again. Anyone noticing a trend here?). However, the truth is that most live action kid or family genre movies are complete trash. What comes to mind is those terrible Vin Diesel and Martin Lawrence train wrecks. Truth is... if QUALITY live action films were made more kids would watch them and more money would be put into making better ones. However, right now the only thing quality coming out for kids to watch is animated films. The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cirus, Vin Diesel, Martin Lawrence and tons others like them have RUINED live action family/kids movies. PS. Everyone get the fuck on Brandon's nuts. Just because you disagree hardly means his articles are "pointless" IF they were then this article or others wouldnt be getting so much attention or traffic. The entire point of these articles is to spawn healthy debates... which is exactly what they are doing. So get a clue.

NickPapa on Jul 9, 2009


I understand the author's POV. As a former-educator myself (I used to teach pre-school kids a couple of years back), the advent of animated films, stopped them from doing one thing - adventure & "where" not "what" their imagination can take them. Kids nowadays are smart enough to know that PIXAR films & others are computer generated ones & cartoons (full length films & Saturday morning shows) are not real, that what they do in the show is impossible. The problem though is that kids nowadays are stuck with that - its computer generated & its not possible to happen in real life, the making up your own adventure is gone. The sense of adventure, the overworked imagination & undying curiosity to move about are gone. The play is so limited, that I could see their creativity vanish(trust me the number of pikachu drawings then is really amusing). Flat lined, linear thinking is how children of today are growing up. Though this is not the problem of animated movies/shows, its more of the live action ones. PotC, BP, movies as mentioned are just some of the decent ones now. People keep on clamoring to dark edgy toned movies, look what happened to Speed Racer? So we cannot really fault families watching animated ones, because any full live series are all being turned into gory fest nowadays (unfortunately this is one of the sites that looooves R ratings). So yeah its disheartening that kids nowadays cannot enjoy what people in their mid-20s & beyond experience in their youth. Though as an educator, I would also like to point out kids are also focused beings - if they like something they are going to follow it up as much as their time(& the adults around them) allows them to, sometimes even more

somwerbtwnblungrn on Jul 9, 2009


HP not BP sorry

somwerbtwnblungrn on Jul 9, 2009


adults who put down kid's movie because the adults' don't like them should be fuckin shot. Anima or live. My dad used to do that shit and it drove me fuckin nuts. After Secret of Nimh I ran outside and started sword fighting imaginary rats. If it rained, even better. When I saw any Ninja movie I ran outside to sword fight any bad guy ninjas. I know I have an imagination and it saved my life as a kid and guess what? My imagination is still going strong. When my son gets a few more years older, we'll watch these films and have fake sword fights were the death toll will be limitless. Them we'll watch Frankenstein and Grindhouse or whatever together and know one day he may just end up making films of his own. That would be magical. I just went off here didn't I? I probably completely missed the point, but who cares. P.S. whoever said you lose that Christmas feeling when you get older. True, but having a kid brings it right back, so I get lucky twice in one lifetime.

wm on Jul 9, 2009


It's not a shame at all. To say that children are incapable of distinguishing animation from reality is just silly and an insult to the intelligence of children. They might not understand what they're seeing, but they know. And so what? The spirit of those films you talk about is alive in kicking in Pixar and that's an excellent thing. The medium has just changed. What this article REALLY should've been about is Hollywood's crippled imagination, its failure to take chances, and the staggering amount of remakes-reboots-adaptations currently dominating production slates and killing all the films we loved. THAT is the reason those films you talked about don't exist anymore.

Fuelbot on Jul 9, 2009


I do miss those great live action films. I hope Where the Wild Things Are will be great...I think there has to be a balance of live action and animated... Nothing can replace the wonderful old Disney animated films like The Lion King. And yeah, I agree where are all those awesome shows that used to be on Nickelodeon on Friday nights?! Those were the days...

Elycia on Jul 9, 2009


WM - First of all, I think you need professional help. Secondly, not one person here has "put down kid's movie because the adults' don't like them." Everyone here has said that animated films such as Pixar flicks are brilliant. So maybe you should reread the article. Third, I was just kidding about the professional help part... or was I?

NickPapa on Jul 9, 2009


I think this has less to do with kids films being animated than you now being an adult. Kids still question animation. When they see Monsters Inc. they don't think, "Well, I know what's in the closet", they think "What else is in the closet?" Trouble is you grew up.

Mark on Jul 9, 2009


Live action, even by today's standards, is still limited with what we can do. With animation ANYTHING is truly possible.

Fuelbot on Jul 9, 2009


Naw, I haven't grown up, you could ask anyone that knows me, but I see anything in some of this stuff now. I think it's getting all blown up just to be released and here this and that then this and that. It's all fads now. Working in retail, I see new toys go up all the time and others move out. I know kids always wanted the hot new item, but I was content with one series for awhile. I've seen what sells for awhile then stops and another or what's aimed at kids and never sells. Star Trek, which is funny cause someone said it was aimed or ok for kids, had horrible sales. What can you do with Star Trek toys? What can you do with Star Wars? Although they get cool lightsabers. Heck, they even animated that crap, which Adult Swim's wasn't bad, but this new one, ugh. Like I said, I think they're just running low on ideas and now they're getting too preachy so that little bit is thrown in now for parents to deal with.

He tries so hard... on Jul 9, 2009


Thank you #10 & #14. We all have a right to an opinion, don't we? Listen and learn and... believe in magic.

Barbara on Jul 9, 2009


I can understand what the article is saying. There's absolutely nothing wrong with animated films and many of Pixar's films beat out a lot of live action movies. But, there really hasn't been any live-action kids movies in recent memeory that have been memorable or even very good. Even then, the ones that end up okay have so much CGI it might as well be labelled "animated" anyway. It's a shame that more movie studios don't put as much effort into their live-action children's films as Pixar does with their animated films.

SlashBeast on Jul 9, 2009


Interesting read, i will point out that since the year 2000 not all of these animated films should be targeted for kids for example in Shrek 2 a song sung by the fairy godmother contained the lyrics "spoon on the moon."

d1rEct on Jul 9, 2009


32- will consider professional help. thanks. at least you read my insanity, Oh by the way, what your top 10 favorite Star Wars sounds?

wm on Jul 9, 2009


Thank you Brandon, I mean finally someone can realize how truly awesome I am..../sarcasm

Cody on Jul 9, 2009


There are children's movies of the modern 2000's..... There was one not so long ago called TRANSFORMERS.

SS on Jul 10, 2009


In the Goonies the kids swear, they talk about drugs and get shot at by people who have murdered a man and put him in a freezer. I think where Pixar fails is that it becomes way too clean, like if you try to draw something too many times and it becomes almost perfect, when the sketchy version was better and had more life. The Goonies had humour that children could get, like the 'Truffle Shuffle', everyone knew a fat kid they could get to do it. Also 'Gimme a nice big lickery kiss', 'Hope you get your balls caught in a sandtrap', etc, etc. I still remember those lines today, not so much from the other's you mentioned, Williow was good and the The Dark Crystal, I liked The Never Ending Story at the time, but on a rewatch it's pretty bad. Nowadays people are happy to munch on mediocre and in animation studios are scared to take risks, I would possibly look to Japan or Europe for entertainment in that category, shiny is boring. Maybe everyone else isn't living in an imagined 1950's America any more. I recommend this film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWOCf1wNlk0 It's better than ANYTHING Pixar has ever made.

Crapola on Jul 10, 2009


This article is pointless and just poorly written! I don't even know why I read it. There's nothing to be gained or even remotely thought-provoking about any of what you said.

Daniel on Jul 10, 2009


It's easy to look at the past through rose-colored windows as they say, but I do agree with many things mentioned in this article, and I actually enjoyed the article, not sure why so many people found it pointless. I disagree that Pixar isn't magical, or that their movies don't require kids to imagine things. I think it's amazing that they can take us on grand adventures underwater and the like, and on top of that, most of their movies have a lot of heart, which is really what's lacking in most shows/movies nowadays. I loved the Goonies, but I also loved the Incredibles, and Up. I'll enjoy anything with heart, a wild imagination, and an adventurous spirit.

Riki on Jul 10, 2009


@ SS. What are you talking about? Since when a PG-13 movie is considered a children's movie? I accept that for a G or PG, but PG-13? Common!

GTO on Jul 10, 2009


This post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke Looks like the opposite is true, in the case of movie magic. 😀

Nick Pettit on Jul 10, 2009


I think magic and magical is highly subjective. I know I'm in the minority here, but I hated, really hated, the Goonies when I was a kid. it seemed dull and lifeless to me, and I never felt like the kids were in any real danger because the villains were so ridiculous. However the Rescuers Down Under had me running round the backyard pretending I was flying on the back of a giant eagle for months. And I still feel that way seeing Pixar's filnms today. The sequence in Ratatouille with Remy running up from the sewers through the walls... It was such a kinetic sequence and a great moment of exploration... it wasn't just magical, it was magic. The world in that film was bigger than what the movie showed... But that's my opinion again. I think this article makes some pretty bold statements, but they are subjective. True for the author, but not for everyone. Though I definitely have to agree live action kids films are very poor lately. People state Harry Potter as being such a great film series, but really the books were so good that even a weak adaptation still makes a good film. They certainly aren't as good as they could've been. Whatever happened to the anarchic kids films like Gremlins and Small Soldiers?

Mark on Jul 12, 2009


Liked the article a lot, but I think you missed one very important point. When I grew up, the movies I watched could be scary. Try to find a single childrens movie today that offers that. Neverending story, when his horse sinks down I cried my heart out. I was freightened by the big guy in Goonies at first. I felt as lost as the lead in Labyrinth when she walks around. You don't have that today, everything is neat and perfect and never a moment to reflect on a single emotion. It's just one endless stream of images that are neither exciting nor sad. Had Neverending story been made today the horse would have got stuck for about 1½ second. The big guy in Goonies would wear a clone nose and funny glasses. The labyrinth... Well, that wouldn't have been made.

Anton on Jul 13, 2009


Mr. Brandon, please email me soon so we can further this conversation...I might have something that might interest you, as I too have the same feeling of kids today do not have the same type of quality movies and shows as we did growing up. Best, PG

Michael P-G on Jul 15, 2009


"And while it still may be magical, it is certainly not magic." Are you kidding me? I'm hoping this is all just a bad joke?

Matthew on Aug 13, 2009

New comments are no longer allowed on this post.



Subscribe to our feed -or- daily newsletter:
Follow Alex's main account on twitter:
For the latest posts only - follow this one:

Add our updates to your Feedly - click here

Get the latest posts sent in Telegram Telegram