Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gnomes and Gno-Gnos

I saw the new Gnomeo and Juliet movie with my kids this past weekend.  I must admit, I was not looking forward to it.  I have been permanently traumatized by G-Force and quake in anticipation of having to endure a relatively unknown kid movie.

My strange phobias aside, the movie was not all that bad (maybe more due to my low expections than the quality of the movie itself).  One thing I couldn't help but notice, however -- and this is where it relates to kid lit, I promise -- was the lack of children, or rather, child gnomes, in the film.  The characters closest to children in the movie were five rabbit statuaries that were yes-bunnies to the female matriarch.  The rest of the characters were adult...ish.  And the plot of the movie was right in line with the inspiration indicated in the title: two star-crossed lovers from opposite sides of the tracks, I mean, fence.  There was more than your average amount of kissing in this movie, and my son tolerated it only due to the fact that they were concrete gnomes and not actual zit-pocked teenagers.

We have been told over and over again in children's literature that the story must be told from a child's perspective.  But somebody didn't pass along this information to the movie industry.  TangledMegamind.  All adults (correct me if I've forgotten someone...entirely possible!).  Name almost any Disney princess movie, and you get the same thing.  Children are relegated to the roles of fish, or teacups, or monkeys.  Sure, some characters are child-like in their behaviors and choices, but I think the purely kid-centered film is rarer.  Despicable Me comes to mind, as well as Up.  (Note both of these movies have very strong adult main characters, although they matured during the course of the film by the children's actions).

I'm not making a judgment either way, I'm just wondering what to make of it.  I did write one story with a child-like adult as the mc, but I was told by several sources to change it to a child to make it more marketable.  And I did, but I don't like it. 

What's a child-like adult woman author to do???  Give me your thoughts, please.

1 comment:

  1. First, who was giving you the advice? (You don't have to answer that out loud.) I'm just saying you have to be careful whose advice you follow. That being said, it's your story and it's your voice, ultimately you have to love it or you won't be able to sell it to anyone.

    Good luck, Kristen!