Adults Creating Childrens Movies

The Neverending Story was on a movie station and I ended up DVR’ing it and watched it this afternoon. The last time I watched this movie was back when I was around 10. Obviously my interpretation of watching it today differed drastically from my earlier remembrance of this movie. I always thought that this was a movie geared to children but after seeing it today, I think I was misguided. Back when I was 10, I suppose I just watched this movie to watch the movie. I never really understood anything that was happening other then I was being entertained by moving figures and some bright lights. This is a pretty involved movie that has concepts that no 10 year old could ever understand. My 10 year old memory had a talking, flying dragon, a boy reading in the attic, and Atreyu the incredible warrior who turned out to be a 13 year old kid. After watching it today, the nothing was a creative concept for destroying people who had lost the desire to think and Bastian, the main character, was the mastermind behind Fantasia and all that encompassed it.

Which got me thinking that this movie was created by adults and was probably made for adults, kids just happened to like the creatures involved. The movie had a budget of 27 million and was the biggest budgeted movie of its time in 1984. It’s misleading because Bastian is 11, Atreyu is 13, and the empress looks like a 10 year old girl so you think it’s made for kids because all the main characters are kids. Everyone else in the movie is either a heavily make up’d creature, a giant prop, or some other poorly designed paper mache pos. This isn’t a movie that a 10 year old is walking out of and saying that he’s going to start reading more because he related to Bastian’s experience and wants to live in Fantasia’s fantasy world.

Now maybe I was just a retarded 10 year old but I was watching this movie today and was still trying to figure out what was going on. The world of Fantasia is disappearing, because Bastian is reading about it disappearing, and for some reason he’s the only person who can not only stop the destruction, but also the only one who can create Fantasia to begin with. And the answer to stopping all the madness is naming the Empress?!?!?! Now if that’s only a little far out, he had to learn that he was actually a part of the story by following Atreyu’s journey by reading about it? Seriously, how is a kid supposed to figure that out? That’s why I still can’t figure out if they tried to make the movie for kids or adults.

That last sentence then got me thinking about how adults are always the ones who are creating movies for kids which makes me think that this is such an easy market to enter. Adults don’t really know how kids think and are just guessing half the time at what kids like. Fortunately kids minds are relatively simple and they like virtually everything which makes this market easy to penetrate. Any person who writes Children’s books for a living has basically conceded that they can’t write anything intellectual and have to dumb down anything they do to try to amuse 5 year old’s. The people at Disney who have to create these movies for kids must hate their lives. They constantly have to dumb everything down to work into the mind of a child. Funny jokes about hookers, priests, and all race jokes are all useless to these people. Being an adult and writing scripts for children is hell on Earth.

Basically, a movie is either geared to children or for adults. This Neverending story was neither which is why this movie only grossed 20 million and is never really highly regarded as good. This movie is actually bad. I actually missed the first 30 minutes but I can describe what I saw. For 5 straight minutes I watched Atreyu walk through a swamp. Then he was getting sneezed on by a giant turtle. Then they wasted more time watching him fly on Falcor which proved entertaining for 5 seconds, not 3 minutes. Atreyu then hastily runs through the Sphinxes gaze which was pretty silly considering he could have been vaporized. Something happens with a mirror and he finds himself flying again to another part of the world. He mistakenly kills a giant wolf in what has to be the worst battle scene of all time. He then talks to empress, who then calls out to Bastian, who then saves the world. It ended with the stupidest idea ever of bringing Falcor into the city to chase 3 kids. I can only imagine all the press a flying dragon would bring and what disruption it would have brought to the real world. Time to go though, Neverending Story 2 is on.