I just had to comment on this wonderful bit of news I just heard the other day. I know I can’t be the only one, so who else is tired of all the commercials that now run before movies in the theaters?It used to be, and I can remember in my own lifetime, you’d go to a movie in the theater, see some previews (which are always fun), and then see the movie. The movie theater used to be the one safe place we had from all the commercial advertising we had to encounter everyplace else. At some point, and I cannot exactly remember when it started, commercial advertisements started sneaking in before the previews. At first, it would just be one or two brief little ads running before the previews. Nowadays though, it has gotten completely out of hand.
The other day before seeing a movie, I counted fourteen commercials running before the movie, not even about movie related stuff, just like regular commercials like you would see on TV. I don’t know about the theaters where you live, but I bet you’re experiencing the same thing. I mean, come on, fourteen commercials!
Before my time, back in the heyday of classic Hollywood, cartoons would run before movies. From the 1930’s to the early 1960’s, Cartoon Short Subjects were a big deal, letting people relax and get ready for the feature film. We’ve certainly lost something with those being gone, and we’ve certainly lost a lot when we have fourteen commercials running before movies nowadays. But I heard some wonderful news this past week … the cartoons are coming back, at least on a limited basis.
Warner Bros., one of the best cartoon short subject staples, has twelve brand new cartoons currently in development, and some may be ready for theaters by Christmas time. These shorts are being developed with the distinct purpose of showing in movie theaters. Warner Bros. is hoping to show the more kid-oriented cartoons before the upcoming Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They are also making shorts more directly aimed at adults, but of course still being child-friendly. Producer Larry Doyle, a veteran of The Simpsons, is heading up the multimillion-dollar project trying to get the cartoons back in movie theaters.
Word is that Warner Bros. is attempting to recapture the spirit of animation legend Chuck Jones and others with these brand new cartoons, and making them even edgier. One of the new animated shorts is called “Attack of the Drones”, a ruthless parody of the Star Wars blockbusters. That famous incarnation of Daffy Duck’s, Duck Dodgers, is also being revived for one of the new cartoons. In the new cartoon, Duck Dodgers clones himself using a photocopier. I’m laughing already at that one.