Saturday, September 2, 2006

Curious Kong

[Movie Review] We took the 2 year old to her first movie today, Curious George. Apart from having to play the usual game of seat movements so that children can see (click here for a description of this problem), all went well. Like our other two, she was genetically programmed to sit through a movie and eat popcorn without taking her eyes from the screen.

On the way to the movie, I tried to sell it to the older two. I claimed, without evidence, that George would grow very large and terrorise the city by climbing on buildings. I was told that that was King Kong and then was ignored for the rest of the way. Imagine my delight when half way through the movie, George grew to building size and terrorised the city; including going a top the Empire State Building. Yes, it was an illusion but the citizens of New York didn't know it. I felt vindicated. Hollywood is no more imaginative than I am.

That said, this movie was quite good. A good story, little bits for the parents (without trying in some formulaic way) and a great soundtrack. The basic story is that a museum gets in financial trouble and might be made into a more profitable parking lot (better land use in the city and all that). Dedicated employee with a strange (but explained) yellow fashion sense goes to Africa to save the museum with more interesting exhibits but comes back with a stow-away monkey instead. They eventually become friends and lots of "saving the day" ensues. There is even a bit of romance throughout.

While the moral of the story might seem to be that it is better to have museums than parking lots that isn't actually the case on closer examination. Instead, it was a story about knowing your customer and not expecting them to like something for its own sake but to be sold on its interest. It is a story of the wonders of good marketing and what it can do for not-for-profits. An unusual message to be sure but ultimately is what gave this movie some modern-day charm.

Sadly, the movie is almost out of the cinemas but here is a link to buy the DVD if you want or some of the original books. They have a good epic quality about them.