Thursday, October 21, 2010

To Sequel or not to Sequel?

After our discussion on the film Return to Oz, which is the sequel to The Wizard of Oz, I started thinking about sequels in general: Why are they made? Is it a positive or negative effect on the series as a whole? Is the original better than the sequel? My definite statement on sequels is they commonly destroy the essense of the original film and disturb the memory associated with that particular story.

Obviously, most people would agree that Return to Oz was an awful addition to an amazing film. My personal opinion on this adaptation would have to be that it was unecessary and made me angry to have to call that place oz and that girl Dorothy. My experience with the original MGM version was amazing. I watched the film back to back everyday for about a month when I was four years old and it was a big part of my childhood. I had the slippers, the dress, the warn out VHS cover, and the songs that were anthems in my younger days. My parents would use these tunes and apply them to certain routines of life that made me laugh and obey, for example taking a bath and washing my hair. When I was four I hated getting my hair washed since the soap would sometimes drip in my eyes, so my dad made up a song for it and I couldn't wait to sing along with him. I really admired Dorothy and wished to be in Oz like her with my own little Toto.

After viewing Return to Oz, it had a sort of Schaunkmier effect (not as drastic) in which everything bright and wonderful about the original turned dull, dismal, and dark in this film. It was more sinister and had tacky additions that seemed out of place and tested my ability to relate. Overall this sequel tarnished some memory of Dorothy's journey to Oz.

In the spirit of this month (October), I will use the Disney movie Halloween Town as another example. This movie was one I looked forward to every October in Disney's "31 Days of Halloween" tv program. That and Hocus Pocus!

Halloween Town was not a well made movie in terms of graphics, but the plot was simple and magical. It was about a girl, Marnie, who learns from her grandmother that she is a witch and needs to go to Halloween Town (where her grandma lives) to complete her training. Marnie follows her grandmother on to a bus that transports her to Halloween Town. This would be her portal to the other world in terms

of our class discussions. There was also a conflict in the movie that had to be solved and Marnie was the one to save Halloween Town along with her little brother and sister. So, this movie not only transported you into a different realm, but also had a point to the story.

This movie has two sequels. The first sequel has the same cast/actors but features them as older. They are presented with a similar problem and solve it once again. Though I felt it was a bit more quirky and did not have the magical feeling the first one gave me when Marnie first arrived in Halloween Town and saw all the foreign arrangments of this world. The third addition to this movie was the worst one! They didn't even use the same characters or actors and it was called Halloween Town High so the setting was a highschool rather than the magical town that was given to me as a child. I found this dissapointing and stupid. I get upset when I watch that movie.

I feel that sequels are usually unecessary and lacking in the initial feeling that sparks ones id (Freud) and makes a child dream of places and wish to be there! Sequels just don't have the same effect as the original film, in a negative way.

1 comment:

  1. Schaunkmier effect?


    Sequels just don't have the same effect as the original film, in a negative way.

    I can understand this feeling, but I feel I have to point out that there's a difference between saying that a sequel "just doesn't have the same effect" and saying that a sequel has a negative effect!

    In other words, granted that sequels may be, and very often are, inferior and unwelcome echoes of the original, but why should this interfere with our enjoyment of the original?

    Is this most likely to be the case with stories that we adopt as our own early in life, stories that have a formative effect on us and that we are reluctant to question or compromise?

    Another way of asking this question is, Okay, so Return to Oz is a bad film, but why does that matter? Does it affect the way I respond to the earlier Wizard of Oz?