Cartoons are the new reality

Kottke has an interesting mini-review of the new Pixar movie Ratatouille in which he observes;

I’m not quite sure how this is possible, but the people in Ratatouille acted more like real people than the actors in many recent live action movies (especially the rats), like they had realistic histories and motivations that governed their actions instead of feeling scripted and fake. The world of the movie felt as though it had existed before the opening credits and would continue after the curtain fell………..This is an interesting state of affairs. In comparison, the live action movies have become the cartoons. Not all of them, but certainly many Hollywood movies have. Spidey 3, Transformers (I’m guessing), Die Hard 4 (guessing again), anything Eddie Murphy has made since the mid-80s, Wild Hogs, Blades of Glory, RV, etc. etc.

An interesting state of affairs indeed and one that I find reflecting myself in TV viewing. The stuff that I’ll happily watch over & over again like The Simpsons (or the lello people as Ileana calls them), South Park, Futurama, even Family Guy all have their own universe and characters with a consistent personality with realistic behaviour (even if the situations are often completely insane).

Compare that to the overly dramatic, pantomime-ish, issue of the week pap that is Eastenders, Corrie, Hollyoaks, or any of the other crap on TV, where characters ostensibly live in the real world, but exhibit inconsistent forced behaviour, and inhabit places and situations that just seem alien to me; c.f. demented doctor and husband hold expectant mother of husbands love child hostage in worlds most pre-emtive kidnap (Eastenders); girlfriend is almost escort / prostitute to boyfriends psycho brother, goes into business with his wife, spills beans, marriage breakdown, he gets upset, traps her in car boot then has crash while answering phone to brother searching for girlfriend, brother happens to arrive at crash site and helps discover trapped girlfriend by ringing her mobile (Corrie); young girl falls pregnant to school thug, hides pregnancy from all, has surprise baby, parents try and pretend it’s theirs, girl falls for school nice guy, previously nice reasonable dad turns psycho, corners boyfriend and aggressively threatens, boy reaches out finds brick nearly kills dad, who when recovered black mails boy into breaking up with girl, the pair then decide to run away together only to be thwarted when money is stolen by most unconvincing drug addict in history (Hollyoaks). I have no idea how I know these story lines but they make the Mecha Babara Striesand I’m watching on South Park seem utterly sensible.

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