Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Since James Cameron's "Avatar" (still in theaters) continues to rake in the bucks, break records, and rack up awards, I thought it was time to poke some fun at this box office Goliath courtesy of some online mash ups.
Either you like "Avatar" or you don't, and if you like it you may take offense at the fun folks have been having editing mash up trailers combining "Avatar," "Ferngully," 'Aliens," and "Starship Troopers." Above is a fan mash up that uses the real "Avatar" trailer audio but with footage from the 1992 animated film "FernGully." Below is the reverse: the original "FernGully" trailer audio with footage of "Avatar." The similarities are remarkable. Cameron also borrows generously from Hayao Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke" and also Miyazaki's "Castle in the Sky" and "Nausicaa."
But there have also been charges of actual plagiarism. One source he is accused of "borrowing" from is a series of Russian novels call "Noon Universe" by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Poul Anderson's "Call Me Joe" is also cited by some as being a source of inspiration with its paraplegic main character engaging in adventures through an artificially created life form. One of the film's producer's even had to fend off plagiarism claims in regards to a recent animated film called "Delgo."
Disney and Twentieth Century Fox
If you liked the film you are likely to respond to these charges with the "there's nothing new under the sun, it's all been done before." And to a degree that's valid. Shakespeare stole most of his story ideas and plots from other sources but you got to admit that ole Bill did improve on what he stole. If you don't like "Avatar," then you are likely to highlight these accusations as proof that the story is old and familiar and not the least original.
But no matter how you feel, you have to admit that these mash ups are quite enjoyable. Now let's see who wins the Oscar -- Cameron or his ex, Kathryn Bigelow... the saga continues.