Fox has put out a new trailer for their upcoming “Ice Age” sequel parodying Oscar front runner, “The Artist.” And while it’s adorable and well done, following the trials and tribulations of the misguided series’ squirrel Scrat, the trailer—and Scrat—have us scratching our heads.
There’s no new footage from the upcoming sequel (it’s more of an extended version of the previous film’s trailer), rather it’s promoting the upcoming release of their new trailer on March 5 in a silent black and white. Basically, it’s a trailer for a trailer.
This is fine. It’s obvious the company is capitalising off the popularity of “The Artist” to promote their new film.
However, what doesn’t make as much sense is why the series, now on their fourth film, “The Continental Drift,” would use “The Artist” to promote their movie towards children in a black and white and silent trailer.
Think about it. The original “Ice Age” came out a decade ago. Children averaging from 7-10 seeing this film would now be in their late teens—if not older—so there’s the appeal of referencing a film aimed towards older demographics such as “The Dark Knight;” however, most teenagers are not raving about “The Artist.” That film was directed towards an even older generation.
However, maybe this doesn’t matter. After all, “The Muppets” did a bunch of parody trailers based off of films aimed towards adults—”The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and “Paranormal Activity“—that kids wouldn’t understand.
The difference is that it made sense.
“The Muppets” had to reach audiences both young and old since they’re a staple that’s been in pop culture since Jim Henson created Kermit in 1955.
Not only did the film have to reach out to and gain new audiences; however, it had to appease to older audiences as well. One way to do that was by showing that the characters you grew up with also matured while still magically staying viably the same. and possessing all the same attributes you love about them.
The “Ice Age” characters come and go like seasons. They aren’t a brand like “The Muppets.” When the first sequel was announced four years after the original that was OK. However, when a third addition was proposed another three years later the series began to feel much like the tired “Shrek” franchise. Enough already.
So, after a decade has passed since the original “Ice Age” film came out, who does Fox have to market towards other than young children and Oscar nuts? Surely older teenagers don’t still care about the zany adventures of a ragtag gang of prehistoric mammals.
Fans of “The Artist” you say? Well, maybe, but doubtful. Unless viewers have young children they have no real business being engaged with a film that has produced two too many sequels. Furthermore, its doubtful character names Manny, Sid, Diego (all lead animals in “Ice Age” would render the same instantaneous recognition as Fozzie, Kermit and Miss Piggy.
This leaves the Academy, film critics and junkies and…kids.
And, though they may laugh at Scrat, children won’t appreciate what they’re favourite characters are mocking. They’re more likely to get bored and fidgety with a soundless, though artfully crafted piece since their only recognition of silent “Charlie Chaplin” films may lay in parody scenes from cartoons such as this.
See the trailer for the trailer below:
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