Opening 30 Sep 2010
This film directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud is an animation that reflects the evil greed of the banking world. We see Gru, who at first appears to be a strange villain doing cruel things to those around him. His skinny legs, long nose and technical contraptions soon become endearing to us once we meet his little yellow minions that are suppose to be his helping hands. Gru’s childhood dream was to travel to the moon, which becomes twisted since he decides to steal the moon. He naturally needs a loan from the bank in order to fulfill his dream. Unfortunately, his adversary, who has just stolen the Great Pyramid, turns out to be the banker’s son. Gru plans to incorporate lots of little funny creatures, a mad scientist, and three desperately seeking a family.
Although the film has incorporated many stereotypical things, it does show children that superheroes can be strange, awkward and even a little evil, but what is important is they have a good heart. The most important lesson here seems to be “never trust the bank,” which is only interested in making money and controlling the future.
After a year of hard financial times in the film industry, Universal Pictures looks hard at what made Ice Age an international hit. UP sent its newest recruit, Chris Meledandri (the blockbuster producer from 20th Century Fox), from Hollywood to speak to Hamburg journalists. It was interesting to see this film through the eyes of the producer who explained what they did to make this film a financial success. He showed the marketing angle; we all had our picture taken with the little yellow minions and received a cookie with our image on it. He identified the sponsors, which naturally means to expect parallel products soon. The future of children’s films seems to be that film is not a film anymore but a financially packaged product. He said that UP decided on an international team, and this film is the result of that work. Meledandri also gave journalists a presentation on what will be launched in approximately two years. We will be seeing The Lorax from Dr. Seuss, which looks very much like the animation from the book. It always surprised me why many of his stories have not been made into films until recently. The Lorax is basically about a figure whose responsibility is to watch over nature, which is slowly disappearing.
The other is a 3D action animation called Hop. The story is based on the Easter Bunny’s delivery of candy to children around the world. The animation work is done by Peter de Seve (Ice Age, Nemo and Robots). We will meet EB, the son of the Easter Bunny who would rather become a rock star than follow the family line of business. Meledandri indicated this is a universal story, which I can’t say is true, but Universal Pictures did their best to sell us on the idea with free cookies. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)