Existential Crisis

This is the poorly-worded question on my mind ever since reading that Jennifer Garner wants to produce and star in a movie that sees Agatha Christie’s famously elderly detective Miss Marple aged down by half. For most characters, that’s an interesting prospect (think Young Indiana Jones), but Miss Marple is a character defined mainly by her age. She’s old, feeble-looking, and people take for granted that the can solve a murder before sundown. Changing her age changes her most striking surface-level characteristic. So is it even Miss Marple anymore? Or is it just some young private investigator with a knack for success who’s wearing Miss Marple’s name tag?

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You’d think my walk home from Rango, a movie that consistently kept me laughing like a madman for two hours, would be one of elation and knee-slapping fun memories. Not so. As my laughter subsided, I realized — man, I just saw an animated movie that centered on a sociopathic lizard who takes a contemplative, hallucinatory look inward to discover his true calling in the world. Whoa – suddenly that fart joke had a lot more resonance. There are universal questions everyone asks themselves at some point in their lives. Ideas, complications, internal debates that spring out of existence and challenge us as individuals. Some turn to spirituality. Others take back packing trips through difficult-to-pronounce regions of the world. But after watching Rango and looking back through a lengthy history of Hollywood’s animated films, I wondered: why not turn to cartoons?

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