Saturday, March 01, 2008

101 Disappointments

As you may know, Disney has a policy to release its favorite movies every 8 years or so in order to give every generation of kids a chance to enjoy their movies/ get indoctrinated into Disney entertainment and therefore become lifelong customers.

This used to mean theatrical releases, but these days it means release to DVD (and then the cynically produced straight-to-DVD sequels. Disney does not DO theatrical sequels. Or they didn't until Jungle Book II.)

One of my childhood favorites is being released again to DVD. And in order to market the movie, they're running a TV commercial, which is not a surprise.

What is a surprise is that Disney has chosen to put out a commercial where they've added a joke to the movie which doesn't actually occur in the movie. For some reason, they've added a fart.

Today's kids would be shocked to learn that in 1961, farts were not usually the central focus of childrens' entertainment. In fact, farts just really didn't find their way into movies until the notorious Bean Eating Incident of Blazing Saddles (1974). But I think it sort of speaks volumes that Disney felt that their classic, which has survived generation after generation over almost 50 years as a beloved classic, and which runs about 80 minutes, needs to now add a scene where a horse breaks wind in order to appeal to today's kids.

Not to mention... I think, but I am not sure, that they've added a bit of a digital visual trick to briefly expand the horse's hind quarters during said fart.

Look, I'm one for lowbrow humor as much as the next guy, but... does Disney really need to add farts, which won't occur in the movie, to their movies in order to move DVD's? Is the audience really that in demand of yet another animal breaking wind?

I mean, I know the answer is "yes". That was a rhetorical question.

But you'd kind of like to think that Disney's ability to amuse and delight people for generations was due to their ability to put together some quality entertainment, and not, you know, because they went for the gimme of a horse fart to get a laugh.

Moreover, I'd like to hope that the audience is kinda pre-sold on 101 Dalmatians, even without the promise of a good bit of gas. But, hey, I don't work in marketing.


Michael Corley said...

My daughter wants to see this, thanks to aforementioned commerical. I probably would have watched it anway, but now I'm going to be thinking the whole time "where's the fart???"

The League said...

Yes, but you kept asking the same question during "Schindler's List".

jep said...

I think my parents may still have the VHS from when my sister was a kid, so it's a good 15 years old. I'll try to remember to snag it so that we can check for digital horse hind quarter trickery.