I just returned from the theater where Aiden & I saw the new installment in the Star Wars Saga, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Near the biginning, there's a moment when a clone asks Obi Wan what Anakin is doing & he says, "Anakin is following the plan." I'm not sure if he meant the battle plan or Lucas's marketing plan, but @ that point in the film, I was hoping the audience would be let in on the plan soon. Before I discuss my thoughts though, I'll give you a few quotes from the professionals.
"At what point might animators be arrested for doing work so ugly it causes aesthetic blindness in millions of younglings?"
- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"It's rare for one man to act as a Death Star to his own successful creations."
- anonymous writer for Scotland on Sunday
"I felt like I was watching an episode of Thunderbirds."
- Vincent Janoski, Wired
"There’s a stereotypically “gay”-seeming villain in the new CGI Star Wars movie The Clone Wars that is so offensive and over-the-top that you’re left wondering, 'Is George Lucas insane?'" - Brent Hartinger, After EltonI was familiar w/ these claims before we went to the pool the other day & ran into Pete who had just seen it w/ his kids. He claimed to have actually liked the film & said he thought I'd dig it so we went this afternoon while Elizabeth took Solstice out for a b-day manicure. The 1 main thing I remember Pete mentioning was that there are some funny scenes: Ziro the Hutt realizing his plan has been foiled & shouting "Run" as he slowly slithers away. That's pretty good, but not as good as the fact that Ziro is some sort of Truman Capote caricature. He runs a night club on Coruscant while wearing feathers & eye make-up & talking in a lispy southern accent. Although the people @ After Elton were bothered by this, I'm down w/ a gay bad guy. Why not? There have been multiple gay good guys (Luke, C-3P0, Jar Jar) it seems like sooner or later a bad guy should be gay. Not to mention the fact that he's certainly more entertaining than 99% of your gay characters in film & TV.
W/ this in mind, I'm going to have to come down in the minority here & agree w/ Pete. As we see in the above quotes, there are those who feel the animation sucks, but it is just different from everything else out there. Lucas is claiming he wanted it to look like Thunderbirds, in which case, mission accomplished. It's always possible that he said that after the fact to pre-empt any negative comments, but either way, it's pretty cool. It also kind of looks like Rudolph: R2's Shiny New Year. As far as the story line is concerned, it was obviously not as good as the main films, but it should make a cool TV show. It reminded me of the Star Wars comic books, & having read more than my fair share, I can say that that's alright. One of the plot points that has bothered people has to do w/ the reason for the kidnapping of Jabba's kid, Ratta whom Jabba refers to as "My little Pumpkin Muffin." A nick name that causes both the protocol droid & Obi Wan to do a double take. Anyway, it's meant to cause a problem similar to that @ the beginning of The Phantom Menace, but those w/o the knowledge of Star Wars minutiae don't understand. It has to do w/ gaining access to Hutt controlled Hyperspace Lanes....Overall, it's better than the Ewok movies, the Droids cartoon, the Ewok cartoon & the Holiday Special (although a Jefferson Starship musical number would have been nice). If you've made it through all of those, then you should definitely see this 1. As it turns out, we do get to know the plan & it actually kind of works: it's fun & you'll love the show this fall. (It's for kids & geeks only though... Jenn didn't like it & I'm not @ all surprised.) Not to mention that fact that the CGI Padme & Asaj Ventris are way hotter than the cartoon versions. Oh, & Anakin gets a cute little Padawan.