Apr. 14th, 2010

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My Fantasy Magazine article for this week is What YA Fantasy Means for Movies. Technically this could be summed up with a single dollar sign (or, really, three: $$$ looks greedier!), but I tried to actually write a little about patterns and trends and look slightly less cynical than I am.

A couple of things stood out to me during this, though. One of them is that really solid YA fantasy movies based on novels have been a bit thin on the ground until about ten or fifteen years ago. I mean, in the 90s, a whole year could go by without one. I can't even imagine that now! (Nor would I want to; the fantasy movies tend to have better costumes. Also other reasons, I'm sure, but let's keep it real.)

The second thing is that it is really easy for young ladies to get the short end of the stick here (and everywhere else, but that's a whooole other article). I know on the YA lit front that's not so much the case, but looking at a movie marquee, you have Ramona and Beezus and a lot of supporting parts in dude stories. I mean, when DISNEY is changing the plot of a DISNEY PRINCESS MOVIE to appeal more to boys, we have a problem, you know? It will be interesting to see how that one pans out; I'd reserve judgment and hope it's just some minor plot tweaks, but when they're afraid of calling the movie Rapunzel and change the title, it's kind of a red flag.

Of all the reasons this bothers and confuses me, it's most inexplicable because the YA movie franchise right now that is straight-up aimed at teen women is making money so fast they do not even know what to do with themselves except make character lip gloss for characters whose makeup was laugh-out-loud terrible and wait for hundreds of thousands of young women to buy it. I mean, you know they're out there, you know they have money, and you know they'll see something more than once. Why do you feel like they're not a good enough audience for you to court, Disney? Damn.

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Genevieve Valentine

September 2010

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