Sunday, May 29, 2005

Celebrity Overload... overload... temper malfunction... circuits breaking...

Now talk to me people, for I do not understand...

What is the point of burdening a children's animation with an overload of celebrities?

I just took Bumblebee and his latest friend-who-happens-to-be-a-girl-NOT-my-girlfriend to the excellent ANU Film Group to see Shark Tale. I didn't catch it the first time, and hadn't heard much about it apart from the promotional 'carwash' filmclip.

Best Beloved says that the celebrities were there to attract the parents, but there MUST be more to it. Animation studios are perfectly capable of making good movies with total unknowns, keeping the parents interested by the good use of double entendres. Yes, I know that those sorts of movies are few and far between, but I found Shark Tale OTT, slapping me in the face with masses of Hollywood 'personalities', gossip and insider jokes. Basically, there wasn't much left for the kids, which made me think that maybe Hollywood execs have started thinking that modern children would actually know and relate to these people. Am I supposed to be reading my kid Who magazine at bedtime? Is that what American children get for bedtime reading?

Which got me thinking about Sesame Street (and, when it was on, the Muppets). I've always had a problem with the way that the latest celebrity is brought onto these shows and feted as if the kids would have a clue who these people are. I'd have no problem with Celine Dion or Meg Ryan or some other Hollywood/sport/music star going on the show quietly as one of the incidental characters, but when they are introduced as themselves and a three-year old is expected to know that they are special, I start to get cranky. We all know that they want to be there to show their own kids that they are stars and can do cool things, but do the rest of our kids have to join in??!!

I know I'm ranting, but I'm allowed. It's my blog.

I. Don't. Like. It. I read the gossip mags and I enjoy a bit of Hollywood, mainly in a mocking sort of way, but on my own time. I don't like this 'get them while they're young' bullshit. Leave the kids alone. Let them be young, for frigg's sake.


harry said...

I dunno that The Muppets was ever kids entertainment. The humour, the setups and many of the songs are for adults. The fact that kids like it too is a bonus, but it was targetted at adults. As a kid, and now as a quasi-grownup I can appreciate something fuzzy getting blown up.

Shark Tale has no finesse. Toy Story was perfect. Toy Story was an adult movie.

The reason why stars are involved in these movies is to bring the money with them. The movie will actually get funded if stars are involved. That's why the stars are there. And ever successful movie that the star is involved with the more brightly they shine.

Ampersand Duck said...

yeah. But it still sucks. And I agree about Toy Story. And I'll raise you a Shrek.

harry said...

I have to admit I can't explain why movie stars appear on Sesame St.
Except that chicks love that sort of stuff.
Maybe it's a way they can show they like kids without having to make 'Kindergarten Cop' or similar?

Nah, screw that. I think the real reason is producers and agents doing some dick swinging.