Movie Discussion

From: Kevin L. Knoles <>
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 21:29:40 -0600 (CST)

> Anyhow, you _know_ Disney will do everything possible to counter-
> release an animated film to try to suppress the opening of someone
> else's product.

    But I'm not so certain that's all that relevant if the film is action
adventure, as would be the case with SK's: TRM

> >Yeah, there's that promotion, and the fuzzy logic of having trailers for
> >the Kats videos *ON* the Kats videos, but I suppose "fool" adequately
> >covers this as well (not to mention Razor's white nose).

    Actually that's not all that uncommon, ads for other videos in the series
on the videos. Ewoks and Droids, Bucky O'Hare, ExoSquad, Gargoyles, just to
name a few from my collection. I think it's a rather smart move, actually.

> >"kid" label irrespective of content. What I think producers like Tedco and
> >the rest are slow to grasp is that there are actually *two* major markets
> >mature-themed anime flick in wide release that doesn't scream "Japanese
> >Culture" with every frame should just *rake* it in. That feature could

    I'm not so certain the film has to seem non-Japanese, Akira is very
Japanese and it could be a smash if they gave it the respect it deserves (A
1500 theater mainstream release with standard action adventure film promotion.)

> How well did "Heavy Metal" do in its original release?

    According to Maltin, it had good returns at first, and then quickly
dwindled. (I can check old Variety issues on microfilm if anyone's intensely
interested. I sorta have been meaning to do it for ahwile.) He then made some
type of speculation about such films not being a very profitable option. I'll
argue the point in a sec.

> The problem with the "two major markets" is that the one that stays
> away from "Pretty Princess" epics in droves is an order of magnitude
> or two smaller than the traditional market. Films that are still

    As demonstrated by the release of...of...of What?? There just haven't
been any big budget animated action adventure films in (mainstream,
wide release) American theaters.

> accessible to children while offering adults more will _always_
> succeed, but a film appealing only to adults is just too risky.

    And SK's: TRM would bridge the gap, open their eyes. Timmy drags Mom and
Dad along to see it, and they are all *Blown*Away* by it.

> Animation costs too much and take too long to make to take that
> risk, and thanks to Disney and certain others the limited animation
> that allows anime to be produced at lower costs would not be
> acceptable.

    I say again, Akira was made for about ten million. It was made in 2 1/2
years and looks like a 40 million dollar production. That's not any kind of
risk for a studio, especially with them pumping 175 million into Waterworld and
100 million into that pirate movie that's so forgettable I can't recall the
name of. It comes down to movie producers and their biases and ignorance, not
financial risk.

> And I wonder about the "general public's" acceptance of a Kats film.

    Look at how many people might enjoy Akira if they saw it. Do something on
the same scale or greater with Kats and suddenly they reject it? You don't
know until you know.

> "Cats Can't/Don't Dance" will have this exact same problem; its
> success or lack thereof may be a good indicator as to how a Kats
> film might do.

    This all comes down to what Maltin was saying, that a certain type of film
won't may not work based on the success or lack thereof of one film. Do G
rated animated musicals not work since The Pebble and the Penguin bombed? Of
course not. Will an animated action adventure film bomb because Heavy Metal
wasn't a blockbuster? Nope, (and here's where I argue the point.) that was in
the early 80's, things have changed and HM wasn't that good of a movie to be
honest (Contrast critics' opinions of it with Akira, for instance.) The Last
Action Hero bombed. Does that mean that big budget action adventure films
starring Arnold Schwarzenegger are doomed to failure? As I envision SK's: TRM,
it would be one of the most stunning productions ever created. Kids would
flock to the theaters after a major adrenaline rush from the previews, Dad (and
hopefully Mom) would be amazed, teenagers would think it's one of the most
incredible things they've ever seen, critics would be stunned, and it'd make
about 70 million at least. It'd be beautiful <sniff>

    So I got a little carried away there in the end. (Like I've kind of said
before...) With the way animation is changing, growing, expanding, and evolving
in America, within several years you can expect to see some mainstream
animated action adventure films with Elfquest and Heavy Metal ][ being the
first ones. These films may have some difficulty breaking in at first (A la
B:MotP), and a bridge between the two extremes as provided by SK's: TRM could
lessen the blow that the dicotomy creates.

    OK, I'm going to start writing that thing tonight.

> Ed

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Received on Thu Apr 04 1996 - 23:04:44 PST

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