Personal Interpretation?

Have you ever watched a movie and thought that it was advertised all wrong? Or thought that what you heard people say about it was bogus? This also happens with books, to a lesser extent, because to be honest,  I rarely hear anyone talk about the last book they read. (The last one I finished was The Magician’s Nephew, those Narnia books never cease to be awesome.)

Movies, books, pictures, songs, as we all know, these things are what make up most of our cultures and every culture’s art. Except for movies, that’s not something every culture can afford to compete with the U.S. in.

There are a thousand different opinions about art, even about the same piece of art. So, it’s no surprise that what one person sees is not what another person sees. We’re not all looking for the same things.

But there is a point where I’d say personal interpretation goes too far.

I am getting heartily sick of reading or watching the most innocent of material, and then finding out somebody is pushing to get it acknowledged that there’s a homosexual character present in the said material.

People even did this with Frozen, to an extent that makes me sick, because what they were suggesting wasn’t okay even if one accepted homosexuality as normal. I really don’t want to repeat it, but you may have come across it yourself. If so, enough said.

And then there’s just the heterosexual remarks too. People do read way too much into some stuff.

However, even more common than both those unwholesome incidents is just misinterpreting what something really means.

What astonishes me is how often both authors and screenwriters do this with their own creations.

My siblings and I call it a lack of vision. What happens is someone creates a character that ends up catching the interest of a lot of people, and they develop the character enough to keep that interest, but then inexplicably, they just stop and leave it at that.

I know a couple of kids shows that young adults still watch because they’re actually good, and the shows make this same mistake. They build a character up and then they let you down.

I suppose to anyone not interest in the show or movie or book, it hardly matters; but interested or not, I do think such problems affect you more than you realize.

You see, history shows that it is art that inspires greatness, or imparts it, to other people. This is particularly true of the art of words. And it was the art that had something real and good to say to us, that caused us to become better people. that is still true.

Anytime an opportunity to make something like that is wasted, so is a chance to inspire kids and adults alike to be better people.

I have a case in point that should be harmless to give because the author is long gone.

There’s a book titled Miss Pettigrew lives for a day that was later made into a movie. I saw the movie first and liked it a lot. I was sure the book would be even better–it wasn’t. Mind you, I’ve only said this of maybe half a dozen books. Almost always the movie is inferior. (Just look at what they’ve done to The Chronicles of Narnia, even Disney sometimes disappoints me.)

The whole reason that the movie was better than the book was simply this: both portrayed two different outlooks, and two different lifestyles, but while the movie was honest about the pitfalls of both, the book very much leaned towards one (that I’d say was the worst of the two.) Plus, the book offered no real reflective moments in which the characters could see something new about life and themselves, whereas the movie had quite a few.

The difference was simply vision. The people who made the movie saw something in the story that they could speak to their audience about. the author of the book just wanted to impress upon them what kind of lifestyle was the more fun and free.

I am grateful to the people who really tried to say something good with their work. “Rise of the Guardians” is another example. The people behind it had something to show the kids and adults watching. It’s a great movie.

One of the reasons Moana originally was somewhat of a turn off to me was because I kept hearing that they were trying to make her the anti-Disney princess.  Presumably by giving her a different build, no lover interest, and her own adventure, they were accomplishing this.

First of all, Moana is not the first Disney girl to have no love interest and her own adventure, or a different build.

Second, if that’s what they think has captivated little girls, and even boys, for years about Disney Princesses, then they do not understand anything about making a quality character.

Children love Disney movies for a few simple reasons: One, there’s a clear hero and a clear villain. Two, they are animated nicely, (usually,) and so there is no problem with wanting to be a “part of that world.” Three, the music is often more unique and fun than you’ll find in other places, and what kids don’t like to sing and dance until they get old enough to be embarrassed about it?

But the last and most important reason that kids love Disney is because Disney tackles important subjects, and shows us things about real life, in a way kids can understand, and often adults still find profound.

The more we forget this and see Disney simply as a tool to teach kids to be as pluralistic as the rest of the culture, the less the movies will be good. Because the movies that promote that stuff are simply not good. How can they be? When to say that there is no right answer is to defeat the point of making a movie about it?

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

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