March 22, 2007

T U R T L E Power.

Everybody, listen to me. I need you all to go and do something very important this weekend!

I need you to go and watch the new CGI Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

Not only is there no doubt in my mind that this movie is going to be excellent, and I don’t particularly feel like I need to explain why, but there are other important reasons why this movie needs to be a hit.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the Ninja Turtles. Without them, I wouldn’t be an artist. I would love nothing more that for this movie to be a huge success and bring these characters even further into the consciousness of the general public. But this isn’t really about Ninja Turtles. I think it goes much further than that. In short, I believe that if this movie is successful, then it will help to usher in a brand new generation of animated feature films.

TMNT is an action movie that just so happens to be animated. Why shouldn’t we have more movies like that? Why are people so insistent on all animated movies being about cute animals who are voiced by “real” actors that know nothing about cartoons? Why do we have to endure wave after wave of derivative CGI movies that are filled with lame pseudo-risque jokes, written in a vain attempt at being clever? Why can’t we have quality animation about a wider range of topics with darker themes and more action? The way I see it, TMNT is the first step in widening the margins of what an animated film can be. But that will only become a trend if it’s successful and makes money, so that’s where we come in!

The other reason why I believe TMNT is going to be an important film is because I’m an anime fan. Imagi Studios, the animators of this film, are also working on 2 more CG animated movies that are going to be very important to anime fans all over the world. The first one is based on the classic 70’s series Gatchaman, which is looking like it’s going to be a totally kick-ass action movie. The other is AstroBoy. Need I say more? AstroBoy is the single most important character in the history of Japanese animation, so for there to finally be a movie about that amazing story is just awesome. It needs to happen! These movies can help to proliferate awareness of these legendary characters and show everyone the true power and range of animated story telling. A movie like TMNT, which is not going to be a cute Disney-esque movie, can lay down the foundation for this to happen, and prove to people that animation can be so much more than it is right now. And, best of all, if movies like these are successful, who knows what else might be in development? I’m looking forward to finding out.

So, go and watch TMNT this weekend. Take your whole family. Not only will you be sitting down to what looks to be a great film, you’ll also be doing something for the greater good of the animated medium. You’ll be standing up for what you believe in and making a difference. You’ll be proving to all of those people who wear suits and make decisions that cartoons are not just stupid kids stuff and that this is the sort of flick that you’ll pay to watch.

And that’s Turtle Power.



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