Sunday, March 29, 2009

Monsters vs. Aliens vs. Apathy

There are a only a handful of animated films that I have intentionally avoided for one reason or another. In some cases, the animation style was just too off-putting. In others, it was the apparent quality of the film as a whole that turned me off.

In the case of Monsters vs. Aliens, however, I simply didn't care. Not about the plot, and not about the characters. While I got a few minor chuckles when I watched the early trailers, nothing in them raised my interest to the point where I felt myself saying, "I have to see this!" In fact, the film was so far off my radar that I frequently found myself saying, "Oh yeah...I forgot that was coming out," when friends would ask about it.

And that's another thing: almost nobody in my animation circle was talking about it. It wasn't a hot topic like many past films had been, so those moments were friends would ask about the film were few and far between. Hence the forgetting.

Anyone else feel the same way? Chime in! Anyone see it? If so, what are your thoughts?


Kent Alfred said...

Yeah that's pretty much how I feel. Rachel and I want to go see it still though, and almost did tonight. Our plans changed a little though so we didn't make it. I agree though I haven't seen anything in the trailers that makes us overly excited.

Anonymous said...

"Ooze gonna save you?" was enough to put me off it. The horrible character design didn't help the cause either.
And frankly I got tired of hearing JK going on and on about how 3d is the future. When the marketing machine harps on the technological aspects of a movie its a sure sign that the story absolutely sucks.

Adam Gard said...

So I wasn't super excited to see this, but figured as a student studying the art form it's good to soak it up where I can. Overall it didn't wow OR move me in any way. The animation was superb and some of the designs were impressive for sure. But, the character design wasn't quite appealing and all of the characters didn't seem to really inhabit the same world (unlike in Kung Fu Panda, which was DW's best film to date...and a great film all around in my opinion). Plus, he 3D aspect doesn't really add much to the film (where as I thought it added nicely to "Bolt" to get the sense of depth and grandeur both in the "tv" show world of the film as well as NYC).

In the end I couldn't really relate or empathize with any of the characters. In KFP, I could have watched Po do anything and I find it entertaining. In MVA, I just found Susan a little boring. The villain in MVA also wasn't scarry enough, not like Tai Lung! Somewhere the emotional heart was left out of the story despite all the talented people that worked on the film.

Anonymous said...

I like to support animation films.. and see everything that comes out.

How does the old saying go? You can learn more from watching what NOT to do than watching what to do?

I dunno .. maybe I messed that up.. but I like to support other animators and go see the Animated Flicks.


@b said...

thats interesting Justin !

So far i heard quite mixed reviews about MVA. Some liked it to an extent, some ripped it apart, but who ever into animation, liked it... at least whomever i spoke to.

I guess with KFP they had raised their bar very very high and MVA not being upto the mark may have resulted in obvious comparisons !

Also i read somewhere that the story/screenplay was done by 5 people which added to the confusion and no clear vision.

But overall MVA has been average i guess.

Jim Turner said...

A couple of my friends work a PDI/DW so I thought I'd be supportive and go check it out the film (though neither of them worked on MvA). Anyway, I felt the film as a whole was kind of sad. Though there were a few times that Seth Rogen's character "Bob" made me chuckle, for the most part it felt like repeated pathetic attempts at 3rd grade humor. There were many times where a joke was set up only to followed by a payoff that left the whole theater heart-breakingly silent. One such example was the alien communication scene where the president breaks into his 1980s synth solo. But besides poor humor I think you are right. The biggest problem with the film is that we just don't care. I never truly felt like I could identify with any of these creatures, which left me totally apathetic. The problem was there was very little back-story, a lack of depth, both emotional and existential, and most of all very few (if any) truly "human" heartfelt moments.