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Disney Rocks

Just watched Stuck In The Suburbs. Typical Disney movie. Simple plot, happy ending. Upbeat themes. Kind to children. Some moral themes that they get about right. Happy people succeeding. Good music.

To describe the same movie from a more typical adult perspective, and also the perspective of younger people who want to be/act grown-up, which is most teens: the movie had an absurd plot where some silly teen girls get a rock star's cellphone, find out his secrets, and become friends with him. The plot was obvious from way out, the villains were retarded and incompetent, and there wasn't really any point to the movie. Yay, they met a rock star, so what? Who cares about that? There was no action.

And so it is that most movies feature conflict, strife, and tension. Unhappy people and serious problems. Without these most people get bored. But they are missing something major: sure, if something bad happens to you, it's important to confront and solve it. But most of life is not like that. You don't have to first become a victim to succeed. A good life mostly consists of just what Disney movies show: people with no particular problems succeeding at something that, though generally not very "important", they enjoy. (Or at least, the problems most people have don't pervade their life, they're just subject-specific.)

What to do when you're *not* a victim is a far more interesting and common problem than how to fight. And it's a lot harder to write about, so few people even try.

Try to think of a movie where some *parents* just have a nice time. It's not so easy. Even something like City Slickers, they all had serious problems. They were basically trying to deal with mid-life crises.

Or think about how many love stories don't make it look like the couple is about to breakup forever a couple times before the end? Or think about why love stories almost always end when the couple gets together.


Elliot Temple on July 21, 2004

Comments (8)

Ever notice how low-budget ('indie') movies are the only movies that are not totally hackneyed and formula-driven? The government should intervene and break up the corporations that produce big-budget crap. If people didn't have all that glitz to distract them, they'd realize that low-budget entertainment is far superior; this goes for not only movies, but also sports, television and popular music.


Emilia at 12:04 AM on July 22, 2004 | #1028

Disney rocks? hmm... argh... must... argue. Ok well, if you're just talking about this kind of made for Disney channel movie fare etc., then I think I kinda see what you're saying. Kinda. Might have to draw the line at e.g. the "Mighty Ducks" franchise however....



I will say that "Holes" was a pretty great movie. Was that Disney?



I think the larger point about, adults only wanting to see movies if extraordinary stuff happens, and it being hard to write for everyday-nice-life stuff, is interesting.. but doesn't get us anywhere. Yes, it's exactly true, for most people it's not worth the $10/2 hours of their lives to see a movie if it's about, nice people engaging in normal niceness and stuff. That's because most people can experience that in their real lives already, they don't need a movie for that. Now, Spiderman-2 on the other hand, that's something extraordinary....



So, I mean, like, what's wrong with that? Or maybe that's not what you're saying. Maybe you're just saying that, It's intrinsically hard to write life-niceness plots, thus they can be appreciated in their own right. Well, makes sense. ok I get it now. :)


Blixa at 10:32 PM on July 22, 2004 | #1029

As I recall I liked Mighty Ducks 1, thought 2 wax OK, and can't recall if I even watched 3. But I like hockey a lot, and would have liked them less otherwise.



Holes is Disney but I haven't seen it. They run previews for their stuff a lot on their channel. hehe.



movies don't have to cost $10 and 2 hours. Ignoring getting movies free, which is probably illegal (IANAL), netflix you can get like 24 (6 per week if you watch them nearly right away and send 'em back is reasonable) movies/month for $20. If you're not that diligent, at least 12/month is pretty easy to do. Less than 2 bucks each.



And you can do other stuff while you watch a movie at home, and pause at will as needed.



That's because most people can experience that in their real lives already, they don't need a movie for that.



Well, I think most people experience this some, but could experience it much more if only they were better people. Which they would be if only they understood how to be. And our society would gain a better understanding of how to live faster, if only it would focus on the problem more. People mostly being uninterested in movies on the subject is one indicator of a societal flaw.



People being generally more interested in movies with victims and strife, than movies without, is another. Stupid victim mentality.


Elliot at 11:59 PM on July 22, 2004 | #1030

PS I saw Spiderman 2 in a theatre. the fights were cool, worth seeing. (the rest of the movie, aside from Kirsten Dunst, all sucked though, esp the morality)


Elliot at 12:02 AM on July 23, 2004 | #1031

-Yes, I do see your point, as usual.



-Actually the 2 hours is probably a bigger deal to me than however much $ it costs. Yes I rent far more movies (scared of Netflix cuz they'll get stolen from my mailbox? aren't they big obvious red packages? "hey cool free DVDs") than I see in theaters (so it's cheaper than 10) and being able to pause helps with convenience. You still end up spending the same total time however, which I could be using to do other stuff, so any way you slice it, it makes sense that there's a minimum barrier a movie must surpass before I consider it "worth it".



-Disclaimer: haven't seen Spiderman 2 yet, just heard a lot of praise for it from various people I respect and assumed it was deserved, maybe not *shrug* Substitute School of Rock, that movie was awesome



-I'd be interested in other movies you think have this good film about niceness with no strife quality. It's really hard to think of movies where "nothing" happens (in that sense), I tried after you posed the questions about parents just have a nice time, lovers don't almost break up, etc. Couldn't do it. Only thing that came to mind was a movie like "Slacker" where indeed literally nothing happens, but I don't really think that's what you had in mind....


Blixa at 12:50 PM on July 23, 2004 | #1032

When I'm watching movies that aren't that good, I just leave them on next to me and do something else, glancing at it some, depending how interesting it is. Equivalent to skimming books. (I fastforward somtimes, but usually this is a pain). Only movies I like and subbed anime take the full amount of time.



netflix i haven't had any stolen, though 2 lost in the mail. They pay for that though. you can put them into a big mailbox thing, whatever they're called, if you're worried. at least for me there's one very close that I walk by often anyway.



some movies are:



lizzie mcguire movie: she goes on a trip, meets a music star guy, some light tension b/c she somewhat ignores her other friend for him, and then also the star turns out to be a jerk, but mostly she just has fun, then after the star is exposed, gets to be on stage herself without him. relationship with longterm friend remains fine throughout, IIRC.



confessions of a teenage drama queen: forget details, only saw once in theatres. summary says she got lead in school play then meets rock star. the rock star has problems, but she helps him improve, and his problems aren't a focus.



lost in translation: two ppl on trips to japan are having a bad time, then meet, and have a much better time together. there's a stupid part where the guy sleeps with someone else he met in a bar (they were both married already too, and large age difference), but i think it was pretty good. i liked it more than most ppl would though, b/c it was set in Japan.



kare kano: an anime where the couple gets together in like episode 2, and apparently stays together very well throughout. haven't watched it all yet.



mean girls: lindsay goes to new school, joins mean girl clique to spy on them, becomes more like them, then notices and stops. gets guy, wins math competition, is homecoming queen. the mean bitchy girls are main characters at first, then just sorta fade out with less screen time as lindsay cares about them less.



i'm not exactly very good at remembering movies i didn't see recently. i'm pretty sure disney has lots more. like i vaguely remember a movie about goofy's son going to a concert. and there's one called Cadet Kelly about getting sent to military school and becoming good at the competition thing where u spins guns around. suckiness of military school gets some focus at the start, then fades out and main char getting good at the gun dancing thing is the plot. there may have been some tension with her father, forget exactly.



amusingly, my favorite movie remains the accurately titled Cruel Intentions, for the character sketch of Sebastian.


Elliot at 1:25 PM on July 23, 2004 | #1033

Another very good movie with very little strife is Clueless.


Elliot at 8:37 PM on July 24, 2004 | #1034

Elliot: You might enjoy Amelie.


Nic at 1:00 PM on July 25, 2004 | #1035

What do you think?

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