All in Views

Thoughts on the Dumbo Remake Trailer

Consider Dumbo my problematic favorite. It’s, sadly, not hard to think of times that the Walt Disney Company produced incredibly racist content in its feature and short films. There’s Sunflower, the black centaur and handmaid to the white and blonde centaur in Fantasia, drawn with exaggerated Jim Crow caricature features and literally erased from the Disney Vaults for all future re-releases of the film. Then you have Peter Pan and the infamous song “What Makes the Red Man Red?,” indulging in horrible stereotypes about American Indians and First Nations people in similarly racist caricature. Songs of the South had Uncle Remus as the happy slave singing and dancing for the enjoyment of free white children (the film is largely unavailable in America, and Disney has defended the film as not racist because it is set in the 1870s when Uncle Remus was most likely a sharecropper and not a slave; yes, an eye-roll is appropriate here). Disney also tripled down on the Siamese cat as racist Asian caricature conceit in Lady and the Tramp, The Aristocats, and Disney’s Rescue Rangers (not a film, but modern enough that Disney should have known better). This isn’t even getting into the racist WWII propaganda films that every animation studio produced to aid the war effort. It’s a slippery slope from “Der Fuhrer’s Face” to “Commando Duck.”

Dead by Daylight Mid-Chapter Patch 2.3.0 #31DaysofHorror

Behaviour Interactive, the developers behind asymmetrical 4v1 survival horror game Dead by Daylight, are consistently making good on a series of promises they made half a year ago. Once they made an agreement to buy back full rights to their own game, they promised to roll out regular updates to improve and change the game throughout the year. Essentially, we’re supposed to get four new chapters—DLC updates featuring a new killer, a new survivor, and a new map—and four mid-chapter patches over the next year. So far, we’ve seen the introduction of the Clown, Kate Denson, the Spirit, Adam Francis, a cosmetics shop, and a total revamp of in-game currency.

Format Shift: The Reinvention of Shane Dawson

It’s weird how quickly a cliche can develop. I feel like every piece of criticism responding to Shane Dawson’s new multi-part documentary format on YouTube starts with a bunch of disclaimers. The author (meaning writer, vlogger, podcaster, etc.) comments on how they hated or didn’t really know Shane Dawson. They say it’s surprising that he’s doing something so serious with his channel. They’re happy for his success, but they question what’s really motivating him.

In all honesty, I can see how this is true for a lot of authors. Online content, especially videos, is a young person’s game. I’m young by normal standards, but ancient by Internet standards: 32, turning 33 tomorrow. I’m old enough to remember when YouTube was a new platform; I’m also old enough to remember cassette overtaking vinyl and mall tours being a huge deal.

Halloween 2018 and Chronology of Slasher Films

Since I first started writing this piece inspired by the new Halloween sequel called Halloween coming out on 19 October, quite a lot has happened. The second trailer, released on 5 September, has almost cleared 4 million views on YouTube. The film itself premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews. TIFF tends to be friendlier to genre films than most major mainstream festivals, so I'd say the jury's still out on if the film will live up to the hype. I'm hopeful. People I know and trust say it's the best sequel in the series and the best Halloween film since 1978 (the original).

Why did it take me so long to pull together a piece on the new Halloween when so many were satisfied with waxing poetic about the trailer? Chronology. In a move that will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed me for more than a day, I began to obsess over minutia in the trailer and needed to gather my receipts to feel satisfied approaching that subject. I do not like to speak out of turn and enjoy research work far too much to just accept my intuition and recollection as a valid source.