http://www.sina.com.cn 2007年09月24日 00:41
Jasmine and Bing are discussing the modern reworking of classic fairytales.
By Geoff Lemon
Jasmine: Hey Bing, want to come to the movies with me?
Bing: Sure Jasmine. What’s on?
Jasmine: Shrek 3!
Bing: What 3?
Jasmine: Shrek 3! Oh surely you’ve seen a Shrek movie?
Bing: No, never. What are they all about?
Jasmine: I know you’ve been working overseas but I’m amazed you have not heard of Shrek.
Bing: Well, I’ve been pretty busy and I rarely watch movies these days.
Jasmine: OK. I should tell you that Shrek is an animated movie and it’s a kind of comedy fairytale.
Bing: A fairytale? Aren’t you a little bit old to be watching fairytales?
Jasmine: Oh no, you see these movies are extremely funny. The kids think they’re just great cartoons, but they’re much more than that. The screenwriters take great pains to make sure the characters are nothing like “Disney-style” cartoons. So adults love Shrek movies too.
Bing: I know that Disney made a lot of money from movies like “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs.”
Jasmine: Sure. But those stories pretty much copied the old-style fairytales. Or, if the traditional tale was horrific, then Disney would change them all into “happily-ever-after” stories. And Disney characters were all very perfect.
Bing: That sounds like the formula I’m used to.
Jasmine: Well you’re in for a surprise with Shrek. There are lots of jokes and the artwork is excellent — the characters all move in a very realistic way — even though they’re still cartoon characters. What is also amusing is that they use famous people to do the voice acting for each character.
Bing: Oh, that’s interesting. I suppose that’s a way to keep up with tradition.
Jasmine: What tradition?
Bing:Well, you may have heard of a stage tradition called “pantomime?”
Jasmine: Yes. You don’t see it much these days, but I remember it when I was a child.
Bing: Pantomime pre-dates cartoons of course and stories such as “Puss in Boots” and “Little Red Riding Hood” would all be acted out by people dressed up in funny costumes. And because it was an honored stage tradition there would be a pantomime season every year and pop-stars and famous people would play the parts on the stage.
Jasmine: Ah, I see your point. Now they just lend their voice to an animation.
Bing: Yes…once upon a time seeing a pantomime was such a big event. But now you can watch a cartoon any time you like. It seems to me that people — especially kids were required to use their imagination more when it was a stage production.
Jasmine: Ha ha. Once upon a time — the classic opening line of every fairytale. See you can’t get away from them. I think they still hold a place in your heart.
Bing: Oops, looks like you caught me. OK then, let’s have a look at Shrek, and see what modern motion picture makers can do.