|Cowkids Cowboying up!|
Something has been going inside my head when it relates to hating on something in animation recently...
Lately, people are still complaining about The Emoji Movie even though more information about it pops out. Most of the hate comes from blind nostalgia for the still-in-development Popeye film. They blame The Emoji Movie for "cancelling" Popeye, when in reality, it's still in development, but likely for someone else to take over after Genndy left Sony Pictures Animation. The haters likely took out their frustrations on The Emoji Movie out of love for Genndy and Popeye, while not reading the hacked Sony E-Mails expressing concern about Popeye being made with Genndy at the helm. While it is conformed that the test animation was a hit with young and old alike, there were problems on how can it get made when Genndy himself feels that Sony wasn't passionate about animation being taken seriously. And to quote the e-mail:
"I had a conversation with Genndy yesterday where he made it clear that he is concerned that if the studio doesn’t move forward with Popeye that our commitment to animation and to him is not strong. He feels that his original ideas will never get made because of marketing concerns etc. His view is that Popeye is well known and loved around the world and his version will be modern in attitude, dialogue, comedy and action but the physical world should be timeless. The kids in the focus group were strong and worrying about a general audience who rarely attend animated features is misguided. They will come if the movie is funny and sticks to its DNA. When we show the test animation (on-line or in the focus groups) we get a very positive response."
While it's true that Popeye is still loved around the world (especially when there's a Canadian health supplement store ala GNC that uses the character), the big question remains: is Popeye still relevant to today's kids, who are more into stuff like Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, The Loud House, and so on? An article on Slashfilm said that the film will still get made, but also asks the question would kids today want to see a Popeye movie that still has the old school charm, and I quote the same Slashfilm article:
"With or without Tartakovsky, this project will get made. It’s difficult to say if the character is still relevant anymore, at least for kids, so the trepidation on Sony’s part is understandable. But would throwing a bunch of pop culture references into a Popeye movie really make a difference? There’s ways to introduce the character to a modern audience without modernizing the character. The old school quality of the brawny hero is what’s appealing about Popeye in the first place. Obviously we’ll never see the character again with his signature pipe, especially in an animated movie, but if you’re going to make a Popeye movie, why not make it an actual Popeye movie? Based on this footage, that was Tartakovsky’s intention."
That proves the challenge of introducing the character to a new audience, and reintroducing the character to those who grew up on the cartoons, the comics, the food stuffs Popeye hawked during the 70's, 80's, and 90's (and into today with The Allen's Popeye canned spinach products), and even the TV shows made by Hanna-Barbera (while some despise the infamous "Popeye and Son" series), and the 1980 movie, without the overuse of pop culture references, modernizing the setting (the first time they did that was in the aforementioned Popeye and Son trainwreck) , and overall butchering the characters.
As both the Slashfilm article and Mr. Beck confirmed, the Popeye movie is still in development, but it's up to the powers that be either go with Genndy's script, or hire someone else to retool it and make sure that it can retain the old school charm and setting that the test animation shown. Either way, those two solutions can finally shut up the rabid haters that complain about The Emoji Movie for once. But, whoever will take over for Genndy has big shoes to fill at this point in time.
There, I said it. I had to get it out of my chest.
www.indiewire.com/2015/04/hack… -IndieWire article written by Jerry Beck.
www.slashfilm.com/why-hotel-tr… -SlashFilm article about Genndy's departure from Popeye and the problems with a Popeye movie.