Disney Takes a Bath on Mars Needs Moms
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Can't say I'm not surprised. This didn't look ...
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Can't say I'm not surprised. This didn't look like a good movie when I, first, saw the previews before Tangled. But in typical fashion, let's blame it on, "it wasn't geared for boys." The only female cast member was the boy's mom...how is it NOT geared toward boys. Gimme me a break. Just admit it was a bad movie.
Plus, they continue to give Tangled, which was a good movie, backhanded comments like "overachiever." Heaven forbid a movie have a good story and good characters...people, including boys, want to see that.
I thought it looked like a weird movie. We still might watch it eventually for my 6 yr old DS though. But the animation looks just like the Polar Express movie, which even though it was a good movie, looked weird. I don't know, I probably would have went back to the drawing board and made it look more appealing, visually...
Has anyone read the book it's based on?
It's by the same guy who did Bloom County, though the target market for the book is K-3rd grade.
The premise sounds cute -- for a children's picture book. But I struggle with the idea of turning a 16 page children's book into a feature film (even for stories I love, like The Cat in the Hat and The Polar Express). You have to do a lot of story stretching.
Last edited by Carousel96; 03-16-2011 at 08:56 PM..
What were they thinking? Probably, that Polar Express did pretty nicely, using the same motion capture technology, and that Bob Zemeckis has a pretty nice track record as a filmmaker (although not recently).
The thing is, motion capture animation is definitely going to be around for a while. It did work for Avatar and in many other projects (animating Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films is a relatively early example). They can't do "Turtle Talk with Crush" without it (lip sync and facial expressions especially).
I think the issue is solely the style of the animation, rather than the technology used to make the characters move. I thought Polar Express looked creepy, and the trailers for this one looked little different. So, the artwork was not a selling point, which is pretty unusual for an animated film.
Realistic human forms have always been a problem for animation. It took years for Pixar to feel confident about including human characters. Snow White was a similar challenge in its day. Before Snow White, "human character" meant Betty Boop - still very much of a caricature. Snow White was one of the earliest attempts to present realistic-looking human forms. Maybe they'll find the right "look" for humans in motion capture animation - possibly with faces and forms that look more like hand-drawn but that are proportioned and move very realistically. Our subconscious minds are designed to readily distinguish "friend" and "family" from "other," and I have a feeling this film pushed the "other" button a bit too hard. We may not know consciously why we don't like it, but in our guts, we know.
In Disney's case, you win a bunch, you lose a few. And considering how good Disney is at exploiting their intellectual property, it may still tip into the black sometime in the next couple of decades.
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Realistic human forms have always been a problem for animation. It took years for Pixar to feel confident about including human characters.
I think that human forms do best with motion capture if they are stylized -- like the elongated, blue bodies in Avatar, or the oddly-proportioned (or "not realistic human proportions") of Pixar characters like those in The Incredibles, or Up. But they can still falter, even in such Pixar stunners like Toy Story 3 with the humans in that.
I'm not terribly surprised it didn't do well. The first thing I said when I saw the previews was, "no way." It wasn't appealing to me in any way: style, characters, story, or theme. Just who did they think would enjoy the movie? Any boy over the age of 8, would think it was too "baby" and any boy under the age of 6 might be frightened by it. (Don't take my Mom away!) Certainly, they didn't expect adults to go see it without kids. Just a bad idea all the way around.
We have this book, and my 2 boys (ages 9 and 7) like the story mostly because it inevitably makes me cry when we read it. It really is a sweet story, and I think it did help my 9yo understand that my primary purpose in life is not to make him miserable, but that I do and say the things I do because I love him so very much.
With that said, I have no interest in seeing the movie. I just can't see how that short little book will translate into a feature length film. Moreover, from the previews, it looks like little Milo has quite the exciting adventure during his stay on Mars. That is not at all what happens in the book, and, if my assumption based on the previews is correct, I think that ruins the story.
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