From the ever-spanning amalgamation of media from one format to another, cinema has remained a trust-worthy desecrator to whichever art form the film in question was in it's previous incarnation. One has only to look upon modern miscreants such as Katja von Garnier's
sinful copulation (complete with shades of guilt upon unfortunate completion of viewing) of the otherwise reasonably decent "Blood and Chocolate
" novel, to see that the sometimes inappropriate phrase of 'moving' pictures has proven that it can just as well grind what is otherwise a successful romp in fantasy and fiction to a fiddle-hanging stop.
And it should come to the surprise of no one that a film adaptation of the delightful series of Artermis Fowl novels, no doubt frought with 'CGI' imagery from those dastardly analytical engines that plague even the mudsills' officiary platforms, is on the heels of creation from Hollywood's honey-fuggled loons who fancy themselves a huckleberry above persimmon.
For those of you unfamiliar and I'm sure this most certainly includes any, and every producer and financeer of the upcoming film adapatation, Artemis Fowl is the brainchild of literary fingersmith Eoin Colfer; a high-falutin chandeliersnipe who could give a baker's dozen of Philadelphia lawyers a run for their money. A criminal (eventual) do-gooder making his way through cunning, plotting, manipulation, and all-around brilliance; who invariably allies himself with messmates throughout the series as colorful as a box of crayons through the eyes of a Woodstock hippie. Short on piss but long on vinegar, the series is a joyous journey of things pleasantly strange, morally ambiguous, and humorously dark-tinted. Often compared to another recent literary fixture in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, it is the opinion of yours truly that Colfer's creation stands itself apart from other popular young adult archetypes in that the base it draws on easily leads to more creative writing. As fiction has enjoyed the morally clear journey of the coming-of-age hero, the less tired alternative of the anti-hero has always been a more interesting read. But regardless of all its innovations in young adult reading, it is no question that the big bugs of cinema creation can manage to assimlate it downward into the lemmingly abundant field of movie mediocrity.
While it is easy for a media property to fall into the loo when put into film format, the overwhelming accuracy of cinema cash-in misses always has her anomylous fluctuations. And of all the considerations that will be considered for the creation of the AF film and attempting to make it one of the aforementioned anomylies, the most obvious is format. As a fan I personally would like to see the film in completely animated format, and no, I most certainly do not mean the automated animation of the aforementioned analytical engines, but real honest to goodness moving illustrations. Amidst a polluted sea of CGI mish-mash, I personally long for the cartooning of yonderyear, and frankly tire of having to scratch that illustrator-itch by watching bug-eyed bum tosser films from Japan, or watching the 1999 masterwork, The Iron Giant for the umpteenth time. The next obvious (and somewhat more easily corruptable format) is live action, and the preferred style for Mr. Colfer. To say this is a slippery slope to sled is an understatement, but I suppose there is just as good of a chance for the film to succeed as live-action than in any other form. Then there are the less obvious formats, and formats one could consider an art even more lost than hand drawn illustrative animation, in that I mean stop motion animation. Revitalised by the enjoyable works of Tim Burton among others, SMA is a whimsical visualisation of the realm of fantasy and fiction; perhaps too whimsical for the often dark overtones of the Underworld in Colfer's AF tales. I suppose if one would go that far, then one may even postulate so far into considering a sock puppet interpretation, of course if that, and any subsequently bizzare cogitation were put into reality, they would best be relagated to the Youtubes.
Apart from format however, the key to the success of an AF film would be, in a philosophical sense, ones own definition for success. As any company pushing a film into creation would have it, success would most definately be defined as market profit and value. Can Artemis Fowl be merchandised into incoherence? Well considering Disney has placed its petulant name on the property, that answer is probably, and unfortunately, yes. What I unaffectionaly refer to as the "Innovators of Incoherence", Disney is notorious for taking tales that, until acquirement seemed to ooze a joy distinct in Victorian, and post-Victorian children's literature. Notable mention of reference would be the re-visioning of A.A. Milne's tales of Winnie-the-Pooh (I particularly loved the simple, yet heartfelt illustrations of E.H. Shepard's depictions of dear little Edward Bear far more than the red-shirted velvetine bear of Disney's) and diminutive re-imaginaging of the often (and welcomed) over-saturated intellectualism and social satire that would be poignant of even today, in many of the tales by the Brothers Grimm. I suppose Disney, like many in the adult world, far underestimate the mental capacity of children from the past century to today.
As it is true, the gallnippers at Disney would measure success through ones and zeros, it can also be measured through creativity, ingenuity, and just good story-telling. While it may not be fair to hold the tales of Fowl and his cohorts to the likings of the literary masters of the past, with pisspoor films based off of pisspoor novels, Colfer's story of a cynical, somewhat heartless protagonist will surely be a syringe in the vein of the recently diseased field of young adult book to film industry, be it good OR bad. At least it should be different.
And furthermore, as I attempt to make my futile argument for two-dimensional illustrations with much vexation, an olde fashioned animated film is not far from Disney's bag of tricks. If I remember correctly, Treasure Planet was their last genuine hootenanny into the realm of 2D, and while they incorporated analytical engine techniques into it, it managed to work very well; if not well at the box office. Perhaps, assuming an animated route is the path they choose to take for it, if Disney manages to keep Pixar's talented, yet one-trick pony out of the stable for this run, a 2D Artemis Fowl is just what we'll see.
Whatever the case, whatever the format, whatever the director, whatever the gross value, so long as Disney can remember that Artemis lives far from Narnia, has no sentient automocar, and no desire to match martial wits with a panda, we might enjoy what we get.
Of course the film could end up being a smashing piece of creative fullfillment, making this article and all the views in it moot. And me look quite the fool. Considering I am a fan and assuming you are for reading this article, that would be a rather good thing, don't you agree?