Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Guys Read book club: summer '10, session 3, Mice Templar vol. 1

Unsurprisingly, it's been so long since I actually did this book club session that I've forgotten most of what happened. The price I pay for my procrastination, I suppose.

Most of what I've already said about boys and books is applicable here, too: they like the ones with violence, they get off-topic easily, they think explosions are cool, etc. There is one thing I noticed with this session, though, which is that boys are competitive. Shocking, I know.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thoughts on Tangled, and kids' movies in general

I saw the 50th feature-length fully-animated film from Disney Studios, Tangled, yesterday, and nobody was more surprised than I when I found myself enjoying it quite a bit. I've seen a lot of films made for children in my life, and maybe it's the prematurely crotchety old person in me, but it seems as though they've been getting steadily worse over the years. Tangled was by no means a perfect movie, but it had something that I've found to be missing from virtually every other children's film made in the last fifteen or so years: sincerity.

This is something of a nebulous concept; I've been wracking my brains to determine how best to describe what I'm looking for in kids' films for some time now, and "sincerity" is only the best that I can do. What I mean by it is, first, that the filmmakers are actually crafting a story, not just putting together a sequence of "hilarious" moments and songs. Their first priority should not making characters suitable for action figures and putting on lunchboxes, but making characters that live and breathe. But really, this applies to any film, not just kids' films.