Have we really come to the point where a film that’s suitable for all ages, genders, viewpoints and tastes, a simple, charming and spellbinding fable about how the earth might have gotten its start, is “too smart for the audience”?
While it wins “audience favorite” and “best visual effects” at dozens of film festivals, some experts say that The Looking Planet is “too smart for the audience.”
Here is the teaser:
One of the reasons I enjoyed this short film so much — in addition to its visual excellence, engaging story and characters (even though they have only eyes and mouth, no nose), and charming way of explaining how the earth is such a paradise for life, thanks to our special relationship with our moon — was that it was about life.
It features a family: an irascible father, an attentive mother, a wayward, daydreaming son named Lufo, and numerous other brothers/sisters. The Looking Planet’s story covers a pretty big engineering project: the whole galaxy. Lufo’s family was working on one tiny part: our solar system.
In my humble opinion, The Looking Planet took a huge subject and made it into playful, joyful learning. I would definitely qualify it for a “common core” lesson on cosmology. Heaven knows that students need to learn about the universe and they might as well have their spirits uplifted and imaginations engaged while doing so.
Having just watched the PBS documentary about Walt Disney, I was reminded that somebody else took that approach as well.
I tell everyone, “we can only do something about books, we know nothing about film or television.”
I am far from “normal.” Nobody should do market research off me. But I’m so, so tired of films where everyone is blown up, shot to bits, women are portrayed poorly, or what passes for a story is simply a reboot of an old TV show, old movie, or old comic book.
I think people might have gotten tired of horses and buggies too.
I really think this is where we are. When people stopped saying “Man wasn’t made to go faster than 20 miles an hour!” and “Man can’t fly!”
There are only seven different stories?
Why, men can’t watch movies about women unless they are sex objects. A white person can’t enjoy a movie with brown actors (as if they make a whole lot of those …). It not only has to be one of these seven stories, it’s best if the people who are dumb enough to pay $8 for a bucket of stale popcorn recognize the “brand name” from a toy or a movie their parents enjoyed.
Lufo is a speckled light gray color. He doesn’t even have a nose. His body bears resemblance to the characters in the “leaky pipe people” ad. He wears little brass wings that look like 19th century protractor parts.
This one of the seven stories! It really isn’t one of them, any more than you could shoehorn 2001: A Space Odyssey into that mold. They don’t call it “mold” for no reason.
So, since we know that posts that list reasons are far more read than others, here’s your five reasons movie audiences are smart — and ticket sales are stagnant — and the schemes like computerized script analysis and endless remakes of films made only half a decade ago are driving customers away, not bringing them in:
- They are human beings who want to be entertained and uplifted
- They have hearts and minds
- Even though anybody can make a movie these days, not everyone desires to do so — they expect something better than they could do on their own — not worse
- Just because Pew-Die-Pie is the #1 YouTube celebrity doesn’t mean people want to pay $12 to see a movie about him
- Just like cheese, ideas can go beyond “aged” to stale … moldy and inedible.