Cartoon Shorts and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
The movie was ok. Nothing special, but watchable. The Rock was charismatic as always, Michael Caine was in it for the pay check but likeable, and I’m always fond of Luiz Guzman’s particular brand of sidekicks.
The highlight of course is that at one point The Rock plays a ukulele. As Mr Johnson himself points out – it takes a big man to play a tiny guitar.
But what was really interesting was something that I’d also noticed when we went to see The Muppets last week. It seems that short films before the main feature are making a comeback.
Pixar of course have been doing it for years. All their movies have had short animations preceding them. The Muppets of course is also a Disney film (and even has a Toy Story Pixar short), and so it can be argued that they were just continuing the company policy. But Journey 2: The Mysterious Island wasn’t Disney – it as distributed by Warner Brothers, but it too had a short – a Daffy Duck cartoon.
Actually now I think of it Yogi Bear back in 2010 had a Road Runner cartoon before it too.
I’m a big fan of this trend. I’m just about old enough to remember the tail end of short films before the main feature back in the 80s, and have always felt a little sad that they died out. I think that they can act as a sort of warm up act for the film. But more interestingly I think they have the potential to be a sort of experimental test bed where studios can put ideas and characters in front of audiences and see if they stick.
The beauty of this is that if the short film fails then people aren’t going to really care. They only had to sit through five to ten minutes of it and the main feature will be the main focus of their cinema experience anyhow. But if the short film hits the mark it will become another marketing tool for the main movie, and perhaps even encourage the studios to move the concept up to the big leagues.
And I don’t think short films should just be confined to family movies either – all genre’s could benefit. You could have had a Hawkeye short before the Thor movie for example. That would have been far more awesome than some stupid post end credit stinger.
What do you think? Are short films before the main feature something that should be encouraged? Let us know in the comments.