Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Movie makers- A little out of touch with the pulse of children.
This week Spike TV is celebrating the “Force of July” by showing the Star Wars movies, old and new. Well as I was flipping channels I happen to pass by The Phantom Menace and its star character “Jar Jar binks”. I was immediately reminded of all the hoopla surrounding that character when the movie came out in 1999. What I remember the most is that George Lucas said the character, which had caused such controversy because of its buffoonery/coonish behavior, was made that was to relate to the kids in the audience. Such controversy that Jar Jar, a vitally important character in the first movie, was almost nonexistent in the following.
If you have read any movie reviews in the last two weeks this may sound very familiar as Michael Bay introduced two autobots in his summer blockbuster “Transformers Revenge of the Fallen” , who have re-ignited that very same storm of controversy about coonish/ buffoonery to close to comfort negative stereotypical behavior. And just like George Lucas, Michael Bay seemed to think that the jive talking semi illiterate characters would appeal to the kids.
I guess my question is, what kids are these gentlemen attempting to reach? I mean really think about it. Kids today with their own personal computers at age 7 and cellphones, there PS3’s and Wii’s. Kids who can bypass the parental safeguards on various machines and who live to download. Basically kids who are more technologically diversied than any other generation ever would find this form of slapstick and buffoonery funny. When you look at it like this the response that it was done for the children does not hold water.
So for any future movie makers out there, this is not the 70’s and these are not Saturday morning kiddie shows, in fact when was the last time they showed kiddie cartoons on a Saturday morning? Falling into characters with negative and racist stereotypes not the way to entertain the Children of the new millennium.