I never really put the idea of “John Waters” and “Children’s Movies” together, so I was surprised when I saw Hairspray trailers twice in the last week, both of them at movies with younger audiences in mind: first at Bridge to Terabithia (which, coincidentally, was marvellous), and then at Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix).
I knew that Hairspray was coming soon, and I knew that John Travolta played the lead’s mother, and I knew that it looked mighty happy, but I had no idea that it would be marketed to children. I suppose this makes sense, because of the whole “Teen Dream” notion of the story. It even has Zac Efron of High School Musical fame in it (on that note, I don’t care how gay you are, High School Musical is in no way qualified to be anyone’s favourite musical).
Something about this trailer does it for me, despite even the typical voice over. I don’t know, I just love a good musical and I like that they’re allowed to be made again:
Just so long as Travolta doesn’t do some of the other things that Divine was known for (oh, Pink Flamingos, I look forward to dying without having seen you), this should be sweet.
Slighty separately, not quite for children, and also starring Michelle Pfeiffer, is Stardust:
I’m not as well read in the works of Neil Gaiman as I probably should be, but this looks both awesome and yet another “fantasy world from beyond the real world” story. What’s this, though? Flying ships?
Why, that’s enough to segue into The Golden Compass, the first in the apparently super blasphemous His Dark Materials series!
Dirigibles! Eff yeah! What I like most about this trailer is the same thing I liked most about Chronicles of Narnia: the total failure to anthropomorphise any of the animals. Fantasy worlds that make the fantastic out of the normal without going all silly are great.
So fantasy is “in” in a big way. My friend Casper said that all of this fantasy is well and good, but he wants to see more SF. It’s a hard sell, because fantasy is more naturalistic and it lends itself very well to the screen. Nobody likes the vacuum of space, but everyone loves flying ships and waterfalls! If I knew how to read, I know that I would be cracking out His Dark Materials and getting them done in time for Christmas. Now that I’ve started going to the movies again after what seems like a drought, I’m getting enthusiastic again. The rest of the year might be good indeed!
Oh, speaking of childrens’ movies: screw Bratz. If you go see that, even ironically, all hope is lost for you. OMG!