Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Gratuitous nudity and violence in movies is a bad thing -- it doesn't advance the plot, it isn't integral to the story, it is nudity and violence for its own sake.
But gratuitous diversity? I LOOOOVE it! We just saw the movie Up, and there are two main characters -- a crotchety old man and Russell, an Asian boy. AND ABSOLUTELY NO MENTION is made of the fact that he is Asian. He could be any race and the movie would not change one iota. He isn't in the movie to be the Asian representative in a group of kids a la United Colors of Benetton. He is not stereotypically Asian -- NO GLASSES! NO BUCK TEETH! He's a Boy Scout, not a computer geek. He's chubby, not a stringbean with high-water pants! (OK, I'm going to wear out my exclamation point key here!!!!!). He's voiced by an Asian American kid, Jordan Nagai, but he doesn't "sound" Asian! No pidgen English, no Charlie-Chan accent. He just happens to be a kid. Who happens to be Asian. In a Disney movie.
Wow. This is main-streaming at it's best.