Star Wars is out tonite. Across the world people are lining up to see midnight viewings of the last of George Lucas' episodes. I recall them fondly as a kid. Well, the first two, anyhow. By the time Jedi came out I was a teenager and I was starting to see the series as the kind of goofy space opera with cheesy dialog that it is. Still, the first 3 had a bit of style to them. But the recent flicks... ehh... whatever. I saw them, but never more than once or twice. Never bought the DVD's. Just kinda there. This one? Same verdict. I'll go see it, just cuz. But I'm not really jazzed to go see it. I'll wait a week to let all the Star Wars geeks get it out of their system. (Star Wars geeks, save your venom for somebody who cares. :o)
Now Madagascar... there's a film I'm actually pretty jazzed about seeing. Some of the animation in it looks really fun. After watching the clips recently released online I'm of the mind that I'm gonna like this one. Previous Dreamworks animated offerings haven't been my cup-o-tea. I've got plenty of friends who work for DW, so I hold no animosity toward the studio. It's just their flavor of animated film usually doesn't scratch my itch. They're obviously good projects that make them a ton of money and people like 'em. They don't "suck" like some people like to say. But I dunno.. they just never grabbed me. But here I think Madagascar's showing something that may have been missing from previous DW offerings: a consistent stylistic vision. This looks to be their most cohesively designed film yet. Compared to Sharktale it feels like it's coming from a different studio. I like design- it means something to me. I like to see characters living in an environment that feels like the two belong together. But I really like it when they design scenes to work well as images. Staging, lighting, drawing the viewer's eye to where it needs to go, not overwhelming it with clutter or colors that look like digital fake vomit all splattered on the screen. The clips of Madagascar I've seen feel really well constructed, scene upon scene of solid design, solid staging, clean visual animated filmmaking. It tells me the directors) have a vision for their world, the characters- it gives me hope for the story.
So count me as So-So on Sith. Sure I'll spend my money on it and take my older kids, we'll eat popcorn and enjoy it and then forget about it. But color me optimistically enthused to head out and see Madagascar the first day it's out. Something tells me this one's got something I'm gonna really like.