Saturday, November 13, 2004

Two Family Movies

Something of a family theme in films of late? On the positive side, we have The Incredibles, yet another Pixar movie that has captured its cultural moment and still manages to appeal to all sides of the cultural divide. Frederica Mathewes-Green has a typically insightful comment: “Most kids’ entertainment is about kids. Pixar movies are about adults. They show children what adults are supposed to do—to be brave and self-sacrificing, to defend children even at risk to themselves, to give even in the face of ingratitude. This is wise because, after all, children aren’t going to remain children.” (National Review).

Then there’s Seed of Chucky, which you wouldn’t think bears comparison, but it’s really not a stretch. The latest member of the horror-doll franchise celebrates family by reveling in its inversion, as creator Don Mancini comments in an interview in the November 8, 2004 Washington Post: “‘So metaphorically, it’s about family discord and domestic abuse,’ explains Mancini, who is saying this with a straight face as he eats his fruit. ‘If you were to do this story with real people it would be disturbing and very sad . . . The fact that they are dolls gives you this distance. It’s really about how a child is screwed up by screwed-up parents, but because they are dolls, it is hysterical. Or at least I hope so.’

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