Avatar TV Spot 3 = Fantasy Adventure For Kids?

Published 5 years ago by

avatar new image1 Avatar TV Spot 3 = Fantasy Adventure For Kids?

Back August I was one of those thousands of people who packed into movie theaters for “Avatar Day”, an event which provided the opportunity to see 15 minutes of footage from James Cameron’s upcoming sci-fi epic in all its IMAX 3D glory.

At the time the Avatar teaser trailer had just dropped to lukewarm reception; readers were waiting for a more in-depth analysis of the film, both on a visual and plot level. After seeing the preview footage, I asserted that Avatar is going to be a great fantasy adventure, but didn’t really feel like the sci-fi epic it had been touted as… Talk about opening a can a worms!

Within hours of posting that story I was being strung up by readers calling me everything from an “idiot” to a “big idiot” for (supposedly) not knowing the difference between the sci-fi and fantasy genres – “Might as well start calling apples oranges,” some readers said.

Well guys, take a look at the new child-friendly TV spot for Avatar and then tell me what kind of film YOU see being marketed here:

Apples are officially starting to look like oranges! They even have “trailer voice” guy in there doing his thing! And is that Disney theme music playing in the background? icon smile Avatar TV Spot 3 = Fantasy Adventure For Kids?

Seriously though, after watching that saccirine-sweet TV spot, does Avatar seem more like Aliens or FernGully to you? Because I gotta say: I definitely got some Gully vibes watching that thing!

Now, this is NOT an attempt to say that this TV spot serves as indisputable evidence that Avatar is a kiddie fantasy film. I REPEAT: this is NOT an attempt to say that this TV spot serves as indisputable evidence that Avatar is a kiddie fantasy film – quite the contrary. Right now, for instance, our own Vic Holtreman is wondering if 20th Century Fox is in the wrong for trying to sell kids on a movie that’s actually too intense for them (although not yet officially rated, the movie looks to be walking a tight PG-13 line).

What I DEFINITELY AM SAYING, is that my earlier assertion – that Avatar has many of the tell-tale hallmarks of a fantasy adventure epic – may not have been as ‘idiotic’ as many readers deemed it.

Oh how sweet this gig is, sometimes…

avatar new image3 Avatar TV Spot 3 = Fantasy Adventure For Kids?

I’m completely ready to re-open this can of worms and have another fifty rounds of debate on this subject, so lets get to it. Does this latest TV Spot truly paint Avatar in a new portrait, and if so, do you think it’s an accurate portrait of the film, or is Fox just trying to ‘rob the cradle,’ hoping for bigger returns on their risky venture?

Avatar will have to prove itself in theaters (regular and IMAX) on December 18, 2009.

Source: YouTube via Slashfilm

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  1. Maybe its just me,
    But when I see creatures with blue skin and tails I think Fantasy and not Science Fiction.
    So, I am not surprised it is being marketed this way.
    and Good Job Kofi for calling it months ago!

  2. for some reason i still am not too excited about this, and now i hear they’ve spent 500 mil. on this…

    i actually enjoyed waterworld..

  3. I dont know what that underlining Science Fiction is about, I didnt mean for it to come out that way.

  4. Roger,
    I Liked Waterworld too.

  5. I’m not even sure Cameron can make a “kid friendly” film… this is all the network trying to sell it to parents so they bring their kids and make more money… The first official trailer makes the movie look totally different.

  6. I can recall several movies that would have five trailers that were all the same and then one that would make you rethink if the movie was like the other five. More angles, more people go and see, more money to try to repay the investment. At this point I’m leaning towards epic sci-fi adventure with stuff blowing up.

    As far as all of the complaining about what and how this Alien race looks: What’s an Alien race supposed to look like? I’m just curious, because apparently most people do not think this is how an Alien is supposed to look.

  7. We haven’t seen the film yet, so we can’t say really whether any of the trailer’s we’ve seen are indicative of the final movie.

    But it is amazing what decent editing will do. Anyone else remember the whole issue with the marketing for “Bridge to Terebithia”, that film about two kids surviving school life that was advertised as a Narnia-esqu fantasy type film.

    And what about all those fan trailers out there. I’ve seen trailers for the chilling horror film “Mary Poppins”, the light hearted comedy “Saving Private Ryan” and the romantic comedy “Fight Club” (the Fight Club one being my favourite).

    Fact is, if a movie studio (like, say 20th Century Fox…) wants to broaden the market for this film, it wouldn’t be too difficult to take the more light hearted parts of this movie, throw on some “Disney adventure” music in the background and get that voice over guy with the low but ever so soothing voice to tell you all about the place where “wonder lives and adventure rules”.

    Frankly, it’s sort of perfect marketing when you think about it. The first two trailers were meant to get in the 18-30 crowd, this one gets the rest of them (families with children). All this means is I’m going to have to go a showing late at night (or grab a matinee during the week) to avoid annoying young children.

  8. This proves to me a point I came to last week after viewing the action tv spot for Avatar last week: Avatar is going to be a very tough sale. Fox truly has no idea as to how to advertise this movie and the inconsistent tone with their trailers and tv spots prove that even more. I mean seriously, if you had never seen the big movie trailer for it and had just watched that action commercial for it, you would have no idea what it was about. It seems like the studio is just really wanting to rely on James Cameron’s name and film legacy (definitely hinted at with the way they brought up his past movies in the big trailer) and also show some cool visuals along with actors we either know really well (hey it’s Sigourney Weaver!) are comfortable with (it’s the dude from Gone in 60 Seconds! the girl from Fast and the Furious!) or are still getting to know (he was in Terminator Salvation, right?). But as far as advertising the story goes, in the TV spots that seems impossible for them to accomplish.

  9. Wow. That trailer definitely seemed like a Disney movie. I’m still not extremely excited for this movie. I’ll probably see it, but I’m not going to rush to theaters for it the day it’s released. I don’t think it looks THAT good, and if it beats The Dark Knight’s records I’m gonna be ticked! Also, is Cameron expecting Oscars for this?? Maybe for effects, but IMHO the effects aren’t that amazing either. It’s nothing new.

  10. FINALLY!
    A Nightcrawler film!
    Sorry, I just couldnt resist!

  11. Well, I still think you’re using the word “fantasy” in completely the wrong sense.

    This trailer STILL shows “advanced technology”, alien worlds, giant robot war-thingies, and basically… all SCIENCE FICTION elements.

    Now, I don’t know, maybe we watched a completely different trailer, but I saw no magicians, no mysticism, no fantastical creatures drawn from mythology, no elements that defy what appears to be a very straight forward science-fiction set of “rules for how the universe functions”.

    Despite the really sucky music for this trailer, and the rather family-friendly tack, this still comes across as 100% science fiction.

    Peter Pan is fantasy.
    This doesn’t look anything like Peter Pan.

    And it’s rather stupid to say that just because the action happens in a forest that it looks like Ferngully.

    I mean, did you b**** and moan that Predator was a fantasy film, that it looked like Ferngully? huh? did you? well why NOT!? It was entirely set in a lovely tropical forest. Now why isn’t THAT fantasy?

    Admit it, you’re using the term “fantasy” entirely wrong, and are too stubborn to admit your error.

  12. I cant wait for these commenters to see the movie : )

    Oh what a glorious day it shall be.

  13. See I dont see understand why when people see exotic looking creatures that are blue or whatever, they automatically think fantasy. What do you think when you see the worlds most dangerous creatures being exotic and colourful?

    Anyway, it seems that people are more upset that this isn’t the film that they imagined it was going to be, though they should have since James Cameron told us what it was going to be like (Edgar Rice Burroughs).

  14. Geez, what a narrow definition of science fiction you must have. So then any depiction of aliens is Fantasy then? Thus Star trek, Star Wars, District 9 are all Fantasy?

    Lets see, they travel to alpha centuri (an actual solar system) in a pretty realistic spaceship on a voyage that takes 5 years (no faster than light travel). There is mech armour, gunships and a lot of other technology……hmmm, seems sci-fi to me.

    And, the economics of the whole thing are clearly explained (the valuable minerals, biofuels, vaccines that make the huge expenditure worth it), and its clearly an allegory for colonialism/emperialism (take your pick of any historical example)…hmmm, seems like sci-fi to me.

    Granted, there are famtasy elements, but they all appear to be based in some amount of scientific speculation. Just because the aliens have a feline appearance, does not mkae them fantasy creatures as a sentinent alien race could actually be possible.

    Or are you saying that the marketing being used (and any studio would be super dumb to not market a huge and expensive sci-fi film to kids) is what now deems it a fantasy film? Look at each one of the trailers, they are all very different, depending on which market its aimed at for heavens sake….

  15. I’ve heard a rumor that they’re making another trailer that’s targeted at the old and elderly.

    The action and dialog are going to be slowed down so they can accept that its a movie.

    Anyone here this?

  16. As much as I’m excited for this film, I have to say that TV spot was lame. I’d understand if 20th Century was trying to sell this to the kids, but honestly it isn’t the best idea…

    Oh and about the Sci-fi or Fantasy discussion, I’d say it’s like a mix of both. We have these world and creatures that look all fantasy-like, but we’ve also got the tehcnology, and ships and weapons, I don’t know….

  17. @ 790. Another trailer? Wow, how long would it be, like 5 min? (lol). If that rumor you say is true, I’ll avoid seeing it (the trailer). I think I’ve seen enough of this film. You know, I want to leave something to see when the film is released.

  18. @Iron Knight, I think remember something about it only airing on PBS and possibly during “The Price is Right” game show during the daytime.

    I’ve also heard FOX is mailing subtitled VHS copies of the promo to sellect rest homes and Leasure World locations. ;-)

  19. This film still looks like its going to be EPIC.

  20. That trailer makes me cringe, but it’s only designed to work on kids and their parents.

    You could just as easily watch this trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49SpplYVXWU and say it’s Michael Bay meets Aliens. No story, no heart, just stuff gettin’ blowed up real good. Note that for this trailer Fox removes any reference to Titanic. This is the trailer airing during football, NASCAR and wrestling.

    I’m sure there will also be a love story trailer making it look like Titanic in Space.

    As southafricanguy outlines, there is actual science in this movie. Cameron’s original treatment didn’t just say, “and there are floating mountains” or “Jake downloads into his avatar” — he explains the science. But science is very boring to most people. Fantasy always sells better, so of course that’s what the trailers are going to highlight.

  21. @790

    Come on man, you know people have a hard time discerning sarcasm on the internet. Don’t string people along. :D

  22. Joshi, I’m just making fun of all the hype surrounding this film. Its really becoming a huge turn off, I’m at the point where I don’t care about the movie other then to make fun of it.

  23. I got that, but now you’re just making fun od the people who believed you. :p

    Personally, I’m going to see the movie regardless, but the hype is annoying, yes.

  24. @Joshi

    Hello, where are the links to those fake trailers???

  25. @Ken

    Heh, well, annoyingly, my favourite one (the Fight Club one) is the one that I can no longer find.

    The Scary Mary one is famous, link.

    And the Saving Private Ryan one, link.

  26. LOL, those were pretty funny. Mary Poppins did seem kind of creepy, lol. And the funny thing about the Private Ryan one is that it used a lot of the stuff real comedy trailers used. Someone’s been studying up the art of advertising, lol.

  27. I’ve been sayint it all along this film is not going to be the second coming of James Cameron!

    Anyone got any idea what the certificate will be? That will likely be the best indication of the target audience, I was expecting space marines battling blue cat people in an epic Aliens stylie but I think we all know this really is going to be a kiddy Fern Gully dodgy cgi CRAPFEST.

  28. OMG SamBeckett has commented negatively in an Avatar thread!! *gasp* The shock! The surprise! What will happen next?!?!?!? lol

    At least we’ll always know where to find you. ;-)

    It’s like an obsession, but a negative obsession, very odd indeed!

  29. I thought at least this was the appropriate place for my negativity. I’m trying to reign in the hatred, but for Avatar I will continue to make an exception.