The new international trailer for The Adventures of Tintin trailer has released, and it sparked some controversy in the Hollywood.com office. Michael Arbeiter immediately took issue with the excessive violence and glorification of gunfire in the trailer for a movie that is clearly directed at children, while Matt Patches defends animation as a medium that shouldn't have to cater to kids.
Watch the trailer, and then read the debate below. Where do you stand in the issue?
Matt: Michael, you have an issue with this Adventures of Tintin trailer. Please explain.
Michael: Every second of this trailer has someone getting punched or shot at
Matt: It's an action/adventure movie. By Steven Spielberg. The director of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Michael: But it's an animated movie, which means its primary audience is kids. Of course people are being punched and shot at.
Matt: I think that's where you're off base, but also where you're completely in tune with most of the world. Why does animated film automatically mean a movie is for children?
Michael: When people make an animated movie, they know that they're making it for kids. They wouldn't be making an animated movie otherwise, because they know adults wouldn't see it. So obviously they are aiming for a young audience.
Matt: But the people who started using motion capture animation did it for other reasons. Robert Zemeckis wasn't out to make a kids movie when he directed Beowulf. Spielberg wants the freedom of motion capture. He wants to make something that's similar to the comic books Tintin is based on.
Michael: Doesn't matter what they want. They are well aware that this is a kids' movie. It's not like they made Pulp Fiction and then some kids caught it on TV. They're making a movie they know is for children. So I take issue with kids movies that are violent like this one, and that play up the awesomeness of guns.
Matt: So do you think it's impossible to make an animated film that completely stands alone in terms of audience demographic? You think the violence in this is gratuitous because, at the end of the day, it's for kids and there's no way Spielberg could have made this for adults. Why should a director be shoehorned from the technology he wants to use to make his movie?
Michael: Because otherwise he's an asshole.
Matt: Spielberg wants to make a thrilling adventure for the people who love Indiana Jones, but with the freedom of animation.
Michael: Yeah, well, he knows that this is an animated movie, and he knows what that means. You wouldn't show a five year old Natural Born Killers.
Matt: Wow! I think you are a lot like most the country with this argument.
Michael: Extreme example, but the sentiment remains.
Matt: Yes but this isn't that over the top, obviously. You're making the same case that forced Spielberg to change the guns in ET to walkie-talkies.
Michael: Says the guy who was on Lucas' side for the new Blu-ray. That's a different example anyway. In this movie, the HEROES are shown punching and shooting bazookas
Matt: To wrap up, you think Spielberg is in the wrong for making this an all out, balls to the wall action fest, because animation for kids and that's who will see this movie. They should stick to Shrek movies.
Michael: Spielberg made this movie to appeal to children. He knows it's animated, he knows animation means kids, so he designed the movie with all that in mind so it would be a kids' movie...probably with some adult appeal, which is fine. But the adult appeal shouldn't be gratuitous violence. It could be themes that adults could appreciate, like friendship, whatever values. I don't think people "shouldn't" be allowed to do anything. Rights, man. Rights. But I do think directors who make movies for kids that are filled with gunfire and violence are doing a disservice to children.
Matt: Let's hope my future kids never stumble upon Heavy Metal.