Posts Tagged ‘cartoons’

Kimosabe, Uncle Walt Says Stop

August 25, 2011

I found a news item about Disney Studios stopping production of the latest Lone Ranger movie. The reason for halting production was the budget. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer was able to reduce the budget from $250 to $232 million, but Disney wanted the budget down to $200 million. There was also the theory that since Cowboys and Aliens did poorly at the box office, Disney was going to put the Lone Ranger on the shelf for now. The film was in pre-production, meaning that while no film was shot, money had been spent on the project and Johnny Depp, who was to play Tonto, will be paid the full amount that was listed in his contract. No word on Armie Hammer’s salary (he was to play the Lone Ranger) or what Director Gore Verbinski thinks about all of this.

What do I think of all of this? Woo-hoo! There is some intelligent life in Hollywood. How many Lone Ranger radio shows, movies, shorts, television shows and cartoons were made? Is it really necessary to make yet another one? Enough has been done with the story, so I don’t think even actors like Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp can really add anything new to it.

This trend of remakes, reboots and redos has gotten very, very old, very, very fast. The Lone Ranger belongs to another time when, simplistic stories of the “Old West” were the norm. That’s not to say that a film based on the “Old West” can’t be made. Just be original about it. If you are thinking that I wanted Cowboys and Aliens to do better at the box office, you are right. After all, what was to stop aliens from visiting Earth in the 1800’s? So, it is not so far fetched that the cowboys would come in contact with them.

I end this not by pleading with the Hollywood powers that be to be more original. Instead, I ask the moviegoing public not to be so quick to see a remake, reboot or redo movie. Seek out something original for a change. As for all the Lone Ranger fans out there, if you folks are so hungry for some “Hi-ho, Silver!” stuff, then put some Lone Ranger films in your Netflix queue or go to your local library and borrow a few Lone Ranger DVD’s. You’ll be able to enjoy those films with the original actors and there won’t be another remake, reboot or redo movie cluttering the film landscape.



Can’t The Powers That Be Leave Well Enough Alone

December 2, 2010

Growing up, I watched a lot of television. Usually it was cartoons in the afternoon and sitcoms at night. The cartoons were a lot fun to watch, since they had zany characters, situations that looking back weren’t plausible but I was young and was willing to go along for the ride. After all, a rabbit that would approach a hunter and say “What’s up Doc?”, a woodpecker with wings that were more like arms and a very abnormal, bordering on pathological, laugh and a bear that wears a tie and a pork-pie hat whose companion/conscience is a bear cub that wears a bow tie would only work in the theater of the absurd world of cartoons.

Speaking of bears, in December 2010 a live action/computer animated movie called Yogi Bear will be released. Based on the cartoons characters created by the animation team of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. The movie deals with a corrupt politician (is there any other kind when it comes to a movie) who wants to buy Jellystone Park and turn it into a logging plant. So, it is up to Yogi, Boo-Boo, (Yogi’s companion/conscience) Ranger Smith (the park ranger Yogi clashed with while in search of pic-a-nic baskets) and a wildlife photographer (the love interest thrown in for the sake of the movie) to band together in order to stop the mayor’s plan.

Really, whose bright (and I’m being sarcastic) idea is this? Still, just because the technology exists for a film like this to be made, doesn’t mean it should be made. What made Yogi Bear fun was sly subversiveness about it. The cartoons were made in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s when the life in the U.S. was very much about being Organizational Man (or the wife of the Organizational Man) and Yogi was thumbing his nose at that with every pic-a-nic basket he stole.

Also, let’s not forget that sometimes it is best to leave artifacts of the past in the past. Yogi and other Hanna Barbara television cartoons were products of their time and need to be remembered that way. If a Yogi Bear movie can be made, what’s next? Films where dead actors/actresses are digitally recreated and placed in a movie?  Yogi, Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith were two-dimensional characters and were enjoyed as such. It would be nice if they were left that way.