Saturday, December 17, 2005

...and the Ugly

Why, oh why, do they have to make sequels?

Ok, so sometimes you get an Empire Strikes Back out of the mix, but most of the time it's Mannequin: On the Move or Look Who's Talking Too. Ok, maybe that's a bit strong in this time of franchises (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Spiderman, X-Men, too many more to mention), but you know what I'm talking about.

Was it really necessary to make a sequel to 1964's Rankin Bass special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? And to make it a full-length hour-and-a-half CGI straight-to-video production? This has got to be one of the worst capitalizations of a childhood dream I have ever seen. Made in 2001, it's called, of course, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & the Island of Misfit Toys. I believe this to confuse people who were enamored with the original to mistakenly buy this new video. Maybe that's not true, but last year, when I was looking for the original for my daughter, I came across this DVD over and over, and nearly bought it, thinking it was one of the original specials. At the time, I remembered that Rudolph visited the Island of Misfit Toys, but couldn't quite remember all the details. And in this sequel, the Island isn't even the main setting. It figures in the story, but it's only visited once (I think; it was difficult to pay attention). On the package of the new DVD, many of the characters from the old one appear on the cover (with a few new, but with my aging memory, I wasn't quite sure).

So they get a couple of names to play the main characters (Richard Dreyfuss, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rick Moranis), but of course, they couldn't play any of the old characters, so they had to create new ones (like a Zsa Zsa Gabor-talking hippopotamus that can fly; no, really). They brought in actual voice talent for the old characters (names no one ever recognizes, like Kathleen Barr [Rudolph, Mrs. Clause], Scott McNeil [Hermey, Yukon Cornelius], Gary Chalk [Santa Clause, Bumble/Abominable Snowmonster]). The voice actors were the only impressive thing about the film. Many of the voices were good, but Rudolph and Hermey were dead on.

While my daughter sat through the whole thing, I could only half pay attention to keep my food down. Of course the first thing she wanted to do after seeing it was watch the first one again (she's 3, but she knows good entertainment).

Just to leave you with some feeling for the movie, I'll leave you with quote and one screen shot.

Quote (Narrator): Poor Bumble felt like a lost child at the mall.

The mall?!? I guess this is the the age we live in.

Screenshot: (Warning: Image may be disturbing to viewers who loved the true Rudolph).

I warned you! But had to look, didn't you?

No comments:

Post a Comment