Living in a Satirical World
Just when I thought I was done blogging about “Hoodwinked” for a while…
I discovered a fascinating article in the current TIME MAGAZINE, titled, “Is Shrek Bad For Kids?”
“Yes” is the answer, by the way… at least without proper adult guidance. The writer discusses the dangers of a culture where fairytale parodies are being substituted for the originals. “Hoodwinked” is mentioned twice, since we are in the white-hot center of this trend (a trend I groaned about even as I finished the film).
But if you’re too lazy or busy, here is a compelling excerpt:
“There’s something a little sad about kids growing up in a culture where their fairy tales come pre-satirized, the skepticism, critique and revision having been done for them by the mama birds of Hollywood. Isn’t irony supposed to derive from having something to rebel against? Isn’t there a value in learning, for yourself, that life doesn’t play out as simply as it does in fairy tales? Is there room for an original, nonparodic fairy story that’s earnest without being cloying, that’s enlightened without saying wonder is for suckers?”
Mr. Poniewozik is right on the money. But it’s deflating to have “Hoodwinked” lumped in with the Shrek crowd so easily. For those of you who still might not understand why I am not directing any “Hoodwinked” sequels or similar fare, this is a big reason why.
I felt compelled to write to the magazine… Just in case they never print it, I thought I’d at least post it here:
“As the writer-director of “Hoodwinked,” it may surprise you that I couldn’t agree more with James Poniewozik’s article. Even as I was making the film, I asked myself the same question: Are we parodying something that kids should have the chance to experience first, “un-parodied?” We went to great lengths to distance our film from Shrek’s humor (and no, I don’t think Shrek considers kids). I would hope that “Hoodwinked” and its sequels will be seen as trying to do something genuine with its characters, rather than look for the next joke at the expense of innocence. We ALL need the real folklore of fairytales, whether we admit it or not.” — Cory Edwards, Los Angeles
I’d like to think that Red and her friends are teaching your kids some uncynical, real lessons. And I think time will show that “fractured fairytales” is a genre, not a bandwagon. But do me the favor of opening up the old storybooks and telling your kids about those stories first. It’s okay, the DVD will be waiting for them when they’re ready!