Somewhat on the spur of the moment, due to a one day postponement in a trip to TN, we decided to take the kids to the movies and the only kids movie that was playing was the Tale of Despereaux. I had not heard of it, but after watching the trailer , we decided to give it a shot. What a pleasant surprise! I had recently decided that almost every major studio other than Pixar, and even Pixar to some extent, tries to engage adults with humor and innuendo that is not appropriate for all ages, even in G-rated movies. Despereaux does not do that at all, and what is even more interesting is that there is no hint of pop culture anywhere in the film.
Interestingly the article linked here came across one of my blog subscriptions after we got home, and it is worth a read. If you are short on time, here is one important quote:
It’s not rooted in any time. It’s not rooted in pop culture or in the moment, and I think that’s what makes it lasting. I think there are people reading this now as a 9- or a 10-year-old who are going to read it to their kids, just as I my give things that I read as a child, just like my wife gives Charlotte’s Web to our child.
There are things about a fairy tale that are just so epic, and so human, that they really sort of transcend that. There’s nothing wrong with those pop culture movies—I mean, I go to them—but this was a chance to make something that’s hopefully very rich and classic, with a lot of wonderful themes that are going to last. That’s what Kate did, and that’s what we tried to do.
There was one line in the movie along the lines of “as long as you have hope, you are free…” I have been trying to reconcile that with “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,” but have not been able to do so yet. It seems that the definition of freedom is a recurring theme on this blog… Check out this search link.