Wednesday, December 17, 2008

For Hire a small town in Madhya Pradesh are two of the world's most recognizable cartoon characters :) Along with sundry other party supplies.
The Nonchalant Evidence

(Raj Orchestra & DJ- Stage decoration, security guard, mickey and donald are available for hire)

I don't know about you, but I find the lady in the sunglasses, doing some form of "chale chalo" type exercise most distracting and irrelevant.

Of course the vision of some poor guys in vague furry costumes dancing to a shrill orchestra singing 'beedi jalayee le' could also be filed under 'disturbing entertainment'. I'm still trying to fathom why the security guard would mention on that board. I mean yes, I get that his services are available-but why exactly? To control drunken brawls or to ensure that in lieu of the actuals, no one takes Mickey Singh and Donald Kumar home?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Crack in the Connection

I’ve loved most animation movies that Pixar and Disney produced for us. The ilk of Finding Nemo, Ice Age (all parts), Shrek, The Lion King, Shark Tale, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc, and Ratatouille has always meant more to me than all the Bonds and Joneses put together.
Most of these stories have simple (but not simplistic!) plots with very identifiable characters and great animation. But what makes them really sparkle is the human insight these capture perfectly and effortlessly- be it a father’s endless paranoia about his son; a parent's desperation to be admired by their kids; a kid’s ardent desire to do something different from those around him; the resistance to change; giving a second chance to someone you think is the villain or the eternal dilemma of understanding what success is all about-all these stories connect with us because besides being based on universal themes, they are rooted in thoughts and ideas of real people. That the film makers beautifully weave these into dramatic storylines, magnificent landscapes and likeable characters is an added bonus.
Or so I thought.
The past few weeks have thrown at me animation movies that were ostensibly appealing in the trailers but have turned out to be anything but. I’ve sat through Madagascar 2 and Bolt in the last month and am now even hesitant to say I’m looking forward to Ice Age 3.

When did animation movies become so formulaic and soul-less? When did the special effects guy supersede the script writer? You could almost imagine the check-box approach that these movies & their makers took:
- Goofy but heart of gold character: Check
- Some witty punchlines based on current affairs: Check
- Some cool celebrity voice dubs : Check
- Unlikely characters becoming friends: Check
- One song with populist potential: Check
- Panoramic nature shots: Check
- Journey that leads to self-discovery: Check
- Heart and Soul: With so many checks, this one can be ignored.
- Emotional Connection: What’s that?

There are many things that you can learn to do very effectivly though a manual- there are still others that you can make more efficient through a template. An animation movie is not one of those!
Pixar and Disney- Please do not mix and match modules from what’s worked in the past. Individually beautiful pieces do not a harmonious whole, make! Indulge not in a shallow make-over of old characters and a less than clever rehash of situations. A stale story delivers a still born movie. Infuse fresh breath-Keep the connection raw and alive! It's simple- Tug at the heart and you wont need to tug at the purse strings.
Ice Age 3 will be watched, yes but by a pair of very skeptical eyes.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Waded in the Sea of Blue

On 7th Dec,2008, M and I completed 10 km in 67 mins and 74 mins respectively. But since this is my blog, guess who the exclusive bragging rights went to?
The 2008 StanChart Singapore Marathon was hugely inspiring. For there were 7700 women who ran 10 km and the person writing this was a part of that statistic. In total, 47000 people participated and hopefully completed the race in different categories- 10 km was the "fun run", in case you took the part about me bragging seriously. The winner completed the race in a little more than 2 hrs. Yes, that's right- there are human beings who are capable of running 42 km in that time.
I loved the way the event was so well organized- there were very visible and very accurate signs leading to the venue. There were sufficient baggage counters and a 5 seconds waiting time. There were enough and more volunteers to help, in case you suffered from the disease of being able to ignore very visible and very accurate signs. There were plenty of mobile toilets, drinks stations and first aid counters. There was also total respect for order and punctuality.
You can tell by that glowing paragraph that I will run again next year- to wade in the sea of blue yet again. In 2009, I will train better and make an effor to conquer 21 kms. My target is 2 hrs. And my middle name just became determination.
(that sounded better in my head-oh, whatever)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

And I got an award

Compliments in the real world challenge me a bit for I really have not been trained very well in receiving them with grace and good humour. A response becomes either an investigation into the person's motives or vehement disagreement with what he/she said. Please note, this is mostly in a work context. With friends and family, I am more often than not, a petty beggar who fishes for compliments quite blatantly.

With online awards, I haven't had much experience purely because I have not received any. Ahem, save the pity and stock up on the applause- Quack Rites aka Goofy Mumma has bestowed on me, my first blogger award....which tells me my blog is cool.
I'm conveniently ignoring the fact that it is called a Butterfly award (*gulp*). I am most definitely not a social butterfly, nor is there stark evidence of me having emerged all glamorous after a sojoun in a warm cocooon- at this point, I shall suspend logic the same way as I do when I watch Heroes. Since I'm not sure what category this truly represents, I will pass this on to some blogs which are pleasant and add color to my life. Yeah. Kinda.
(This was the urge to find similarities with a butterfly, playing out. It's now retired hurt. It definitely hurt my readership prospects.)
3 Cool Blogs I enjoy reading. Read their posts and discover your own reasons for liking them.
1. Jabberwock- Such unbridled wit and humour. Also preciously good writing.
2. Bohemian Rhapsody-She's unpretentious, balanced and funny. Very refreshing read.
3. Living on a Jet Plane- His sarcasm rocks and he writes in this quasi-Wodehouse style with Indian sensibilities that makes it essential reading.
The tag does need a mention of 10 blogs and some other rules. I'm sticking to 3. I'm in that kind of a mood today.