NOTE: Students are to pick TWO of the final four posts - 1. Anthropomorphic Animals, 2. The Adult's Inner Child. 3. Junot Diaz (and a guy named Neil), and 4. David Almond or Dodie Smith. Comments should be posted no later than Weds. May 3. If you were habitually late with blog posts (i.e. need a little extra credit), I strongly suggest doing all four.
Students MUST post reactions ( minimum 350 words) to the combined
reading and viewing linked or noted below. Students are to post ONE comment addressing BOTH the viewing
and the readings. Students are encouraged (but not required) to
additionally respond to other student reactions.
“How do you make children’s films appeal to adults?” Finlo Rohrer, BBC News Magazine:
"You might be forgiven for thinking children's films are for children
and adults have their own films. But 2009 - with the likes of Up and
Where the Wild Things Are - has seen the triumph of the trend towards
making children's films that speak to grown-ups too." Click heading to read article.
“Directors of the Decade: Miyazaki & Pixar,” Matt Zoller, Salon:
"Miyazaki, who turns 69 next week, is still underappreciated in the
United States. His last four features, “Princess Mononoke,” the
Oscar-winning “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Ponyo” were
released stateside by Pixar’s parent company, Disney, in dubbed
versions, earning critical praise but not a fraction of Pixar’s usual
box office haul. Worldwide, however, Miyazaki’s last three features as
director made about $700 million. That’s a Hollywood-studio-level number
that’s noteworthy on its face, but it’s even more striking for those
who appreciate Miyazaki’s willingness to depict situations, emotional
conflicts and moral struggles that neither Pixar nor any of its
U.S.-based competitors would dare touch. If Pixar is the Babysitter —
the smart, likable professional you can trust — Miyazaki is the
Grandfather: a wise and beloved elder who understands kids as deeply as
(in some ways more deeply than) their parents do, and knows that while
the ability to delight and comfort children is a rare talent, it’s not
the only one worth cultivating."Click heading to read article.
"Fantastic Mr. Fox: Wes Anderson and the Capers of Middle Age," Cara Parks, The Huffington Post: "Both [Where the Wild Things Are and The Fantastic Mr. Fox] have
sparked debate over what is and is not a children's movie, but both
films seem designed less to appeal to a particular age demographic and
more to a particular sensibility. The childhood of both films is filled
with whimsy and wonder, the reckless adventuring no longer freely
associated with what might be more aptly known as pre-adulthood. But it
also recognizes the longing of children to grow up, the willingness to
shed a certain amount of entitlement and freedom for the firm bonds of
social attachment. Inside each of us may be a wild thing, or a wild
animal, but there is also a future wife, father, or caretaker, learning
to take the burdens of a complicated life. Mr. Fox's fantastic appeal
lies not with an adult's inner child, but a child's inner adult." Click heading to read article.
reading ALL THREE of the above posts, watch a film that fits in with
the general thrust of the articles. (That is, a film that straddles
generational demographics, not simply "winking" at grownups, but
actually speaking to them, moving them.) If you plan to respond to a film you've already seen, please re-watch it in light of the above articles.