There’s been a flood of nostalgic kids books (and one film) turned into films on the cusp of being released. And predictably, they’ve been releasing trailers to get the buzz going. Here’s my brief selection of what to watch out for…
Where the Wild Things Are – October 16th (US) / December 3rd (NZ)
Where the Wild Things Are has already been seen in the US and is getting rave reviews. Despite a wobbly start with rumours of casting issues, Spike Jonze’s effort seems to have developed into a stunning masterpiece about childhood, if not actually for children (although I’m sure braver parents would happily take their kids to see this). I can’t wait to see this!
The latest feature from Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki, this could be amazing like some of his previous works (Spirited Away, Howl’s moving Castle, Princess Mononoke). Inspired by his won son and Anderson’s The Little Mermaid. I’m hoping the trailer doesn’t do it justice (cos let’s face it, the trailer is a bit weird). It has attracted a talented pool of dub-voice actors (Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson, Tina Fey, and more) so I’m taking that as a sign of promise.
Fantastic Mr Fox – ‘Thanksgiving’ 2009 (US) / January 7th 2010 (NZ)
Wes Anderson meets Roald Dahl. This could be great. It’s deliberately ‘old-fashioned’ (i.e. not the beautiful smooth magic of Coraline, but more jerky) stop-motion. And the characterisations are deliberately 60’s/70’s in style. George Clooney and Meryl Streep voice Mr and Mrs Fox. This is another film which isn’t intentionally pandering to the school holiday audience, but will appeal (possibly) to those who knew and loved Roald Dahl’s books as a kid – which should make for a pretty diverse audience. To be honest, I’m not a fan of the style, but the trailer wins me over despite this. It’s got that old school kind of charm and humour which were the very essence of Roald Dahl’s books. And I did love his books.
Toy Story 3 – June 18th 2010 (US)
Who has not seen and loved the first two Toy Story movies?!? Please, leave the room right now if you haven’t seen them. Go to your nearest store and buy them. Call in sick to work, stay home and watch them. At least three times! Or go watch them when they’re released in 3D somewhere near you. I’m not talking to you again until you’ve seen them!
These two films come very close to being the ‘prefect’ film (a discussion Mike and I sometimes have). It’s very hard to fault them. They’re not amazing works of science-fiction, tear-jerking dramas, or heart-breaking true-stories. But they’re good. Very good. And damn hard to fault. Hopefully the third instalment will carry on this fine tradition.