Wednesday, May 19, 2010

King Kong - Animal or Human in a suit

Watched The Nostalgia Critic's comparison of the old King Kong vs the new King Kong.

Something interesting was at 11:20 he compared the 2 Kongs. Weta's Kong had a lot of emotion and thought readable in his face, the animator's based on Serkis' perfomance really made you feel like their Kong was a thinking feeling creature. The critic actually considered this as a point against it. The original Kong had a very blank expression, you couldn't read what he was thinking or feeling, just like an animal in the real world. All of the animals in the original had that natural feeling, as if they were predators hunting prey, not humans in suits, which makes them unpredictable and more interesting.

It had me thinking of Miyazaki. He said he told his staff to make it hard to tell where Totorro was looking, so that he might be thinking very deep thoughts, or nothing at all. And he gave the Ohmu many eyes so you wouldn't be able to see where they were looking. Or when he talks about a natural disaster like a flood, it can be bad for humans, but it's not inherently a bad thing, afterwords the forest feels rejuvinated.

So much that comes out of Hollywood is so human centric (which of course makes sense, since we are humans.) If you see an animal in a film out of Disney it's probably going to come perch on your finger and sing with you. But if you see an animal in a Ghibli film you must respect it, it may run away, it may ignore you, it may attack you.

Personally I find the unknown more interesting then the same ol same ol. Many Hollywood films I skip in and watch the last 1/2 hour only because the stories are so formulaic that it's easy enough to get all the backstory just from what stock roles the characters are obviously filling. So it's interesting to me to think about ways to take out the human centric aspects of story so that if I tell a story I can make it more unpredictable, and therefore actually alive.

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