Saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs today. Damn good movie. Really. Fun. Exciting. Funny as heck, with multilayered writing and a terrific energy. I really, really enjoyed it. I think Cloudy just might be my favorite disaster movie.
Every time an animated movie like this comes out, I reflect on my own goals as a writer. Because, when you get right down to it, this is the stuff that I love. This is the stuff that I aspire to write. I’ve admitted it before (and I’m sure I’ll admit it again in the future), but this is what I want to create with my own work.
While other writers might aspire to achieve the fame of Hemmingway, the skill of Steinbeck, the paycheck of Rowling, I want to write the next Kung Fu Panda. In novel form, of course.
Perhaps the weirdest thing about my own pretentions is that I aspire to have fun. But I don’t think fun is automatically mindless or that dull is automatically mature. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is an incredibly fun movie, full of life and joy, and it manages to be both absurd and touching at the same time. Yes, I said it. I cared about these characters and their personal struggles. And, yes, these characters do indeed have a surprising amount of depth and personality. Even the monkey.
So damn it, I am going to just accept this. I am going to embrace it. If this is the writer I am, then I see no shame in that. Fun, thoughtful, absurd, fantastic adventure is my genre. It’s who I am.
Your average comic book fan might go on and on about Watchmen or Killing Joke. I’ll stick with Walt Simonson’s Mighty Thor and Red 5’s Atomic Robo. Film scholars will discuss the subtleties of Chinatown and Schindler’s List, but I can pass half-an-hour easy explaining just how awesome The Incredibles and Monsters, Inc. are (although that should be obvious to anyone with a lick of sense). And I’ll take the Godzilla saga over the Godfather saga anyday.
I’d feel awkward about it, but I’m making a pretty good living doing this. So if these are my influences then they’ve done me good. A humble novelelogist couldn’t ask for anything more.
Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,