5

“It’s funny how people see me and treat me, since I’m really just a simple, boring person.”

-The Station Agent (2003) Dir. Tom McCarthy

*Me when I was writing that script for a class, ages ago*

*Teacher* “The lead girl is too whiny, too weak. Flawed. Annoying. Screechy. She cries too much.”

*Me* “The character I wrote was very human. If I have to give a female character Kung Fu skills for her to be cool and acceptable, then someone somewhere has failed, no?”

When you actually realize the key problem with Joss Whedon’s writing. 

“The way Aloha, Scooby-Doo!’s script handles the first clash with the monsters is... interesting.”

Carl the Animator: “Why? Something wrong with it?”

Ted the Animator: “It just throws the monsters out randomly, right at the beginning! There’s no buildup, no tension… I mean, just compare it to the original Scooby-Doo episodes.”

Carl the Animator: “Oh c’mon, they were hardly screenwriting masterpieces themselves.”

Ted the Animator: “Well, yeah, sure… I’m not saying the structures were genius works of fine art or anything, but they worked. They were simple and cheesy, but understood how to build atmosphere and make things creepy.”

Carl the Animator: “True that… the astronaut skull/ghost/skost episode always unnerved me, even as I drew it.”

Ted the Animator: “…wait, did you just say ‘true that’?”

Carl the Animator: “No.”

Ted the Animator: “…anyway. Where were we?”

Carl the Animator: “Monsters. Scripts. Excitement!”

Ted the Animator: “Right. Those old shows needed to be tame enough to not give kids nightmares, but yet they still knew how to create a nice tension to the story. Proper pacing, an ominous tone, and a creepy buildup are what make y-

Carl the Animator:OOH! Like the second Wallace and Gromit with the robot pants! It super freaked me out as a kid.”

Ted the Animator: “They’re trousers, thank you very much, but that’s actually a great example.”

Carl the Animator: “You know it.”

Ted the Animator: “The antagonist is a freakin’ penguin, but there’s always this captivating sense of forebode as the story builds, and as the audience uncovers the mystery. It never plays its hand too early.”

Carl the Animator: “Well said, Ted–… oh, that rhymed.”

Ted the Animator: “Thanks.”

Carl the Animator: “So… compared to all that, how does Aloha, Scooby-Doo! do the big monster reveal?”

Ted the Animator: “A bunch of characters that we barely know surf a bit, complain… and then the monsters all run at them 3 minutes 17 seconds into the movie.

Carl the Animator: “…oh.”

Ted the Animator: “Yeah.”

Carl the Animator: “Well, then. Great, I was in the middle of animating that scene and hopin’ it was gonna be cool, but I guess not.”

Ted the Animator: “Sorry to burst your proverbial bubble.”

Carl the Animator: “Sheesh. After that, I’m not even gonna bother drawing in the mouth when it jumps at the camera.”

Ted the Animator: “That’s… that’s an odd stand to take, but y’know what? I support you for taking it.”

Carl the Animator: “Thank you, Ted… if we don’t fight for artistic quality in cheap direct-to-DVD kids movies, who will?