Posted by Alia Haddad on August 23, 2012 at 6:52 am
By now, I’m sure many of you have seen the video of the two young boys–one in an American flag tshirt–in a car presumably leaving the theater in which they watched Peter Hedges’ latest movie, The Odd Life of Timothy Green. For those of you who have managed to not see the latest YouTube craze, please allow me to explain a little bit about this video (view below). But before embarking on this explanation, you should be forewarned–spoiler alert– so if you had any intention of seeing this film, you might not want to continue on this journey.
The video shows two inconsolable children’s honest or over-the-top (depending upon how you take it) reaction to The Odd Life of Timothy Green, the latest live-action Disney movie which follows the story of two barren parents (Jennifer Gardner and Joel Edgerton) who wake up one day to find that their wish for a child had come true as they find a little boy who has literally sprouted from their garden. Yes, that’s the movie– the preview even shows leaves on his legs. And as these two children’s reactions will tell you, poor little Timothy Green, played by CJ Adams, doesn’t make it through the end of the film and somewhere along the way bites the proverbial dust. And judging by this apparently real video, these two children (serving as a sample case study for this post) are none too pleased, so much so that they advise other people against seeing this movie as it is just “too sad.”
So, what does this special combination of The Odd Life of Timothy Green and this YouTube video tell us? Well, if we do take the video for real (and for the sake of this post, I am going to), The Odd Life of Timothy Green is really, really sad. Yes, there have been sad family movies before; one can point to Bambi or even Up for a newer take on sad children’s films. But the thing is is that in both Bambi and Up, it is not the main, young character who dies. Instead, the parent-figure are the ones that meet their untimely fate. The same holds true even for The Lion King, at which I had a similar reaction but to a much lesser extent as these two boys. The Odd Life of Timothy Green, however, leaves the parents alone and instead chooses to sacrifice the child…in a children’s movie.
The distinction, I believe, is clear: unlike many other previous family films that have dealt with death, The Odd Life of Timothy Green killed off the most probable character the main audience aligns with; and, moreover, this audience is made up of mostly children. This was an interesting, and clear tear-inducing decision, for sure. But does this signify any sort of impending change in the family film variety? Will The Odd Life of Timothy Green be responsible for ushering in a new generation of sadness? Well, if these two boys had their way, the answer would be a resounding “no!” But isn’t all, or rather most, publicity good publicity? And if that’s the case then the very odd case of The Odd Life of Timothy Green could kickstart a new trend amongst Disney films and similar genres alike. Only time shall tell, I suppose. Until then, I suggest the two boys below start their own movie-review channel on YouTube.