Last evening I was watching what I thought was a fascinating new network show. I mistakenly thought I was enjoying the premiere episode of a new television series. However, it turns out the show is already on its second season. How the heck did I not know this? It would appear television content is coming at us faster and faster. I’m forced to admit I’m not able to keep up with the barrage of content available these days and I almost feel overwhelmed by what one might call, a glut of entertainment.
However, this would apply to most content these days. There’s so much of it and it’s filling multiple platforms. From theatrical distribution to Internet streaming we’re overloaded with content. The latest example would be Hollywood’s current obsession with superhero movies. Add the Star Wars saga to the mix and you’ve got non stop entertainment with no end in sight. I’m sure young people love this stuff and cannot get enough. Yet, all this makes me realize I’m getting old. After all, I’m a movie geek who grew up on this stuff. I loved cowboys, cheesy science fiction movies and Saturday afternoon serials that entertained us as kids. For those of my generation, this was our obsession. The advent of network television some years later would captivate the next generation. They would consume Scooby Doo, Space Ghost and Superfriends as they were being sold sugared cereals and overpriced toys each Saturday morning. However, there was a time when things moved a little bit slower.
When I was a kid we enjoyed the eager anticipation of a new Disney movie. Each Walt Disney feature film was separated by years not weeks. Production of animated feature films required time to produce and market. Even Walt’s existing library was kept under wraps until a new generation of kids provided a fresh audience. Naturally, this meant a new Walt Disney feature animated film required a waiting period that would take years. Naturally, as a kid I enjoyed the delicious anticipation of the next Disney animated movie. More often than not, all we had to go on back then was a title. Inside information on Disney’s latest feature was non-existent with the notable exception of a movie magazine blurb or a media story in the Los Angeles Times. I still remember waking up to the news that the LA Sunday section had an article on Walt Disney’s upcoming feature film, “Peter Pan.” Included in the media piece were photographs taken inside the Walt Disney Studio of animator, Ward Kimball, director, Ham Lusk and layout artist, Thor Putnam. There was a shot of director, Wilfred Jackson conferring with background artists, John Hench and Claude Coats. For a kid like me, this information was pure gold, and it provided a rarely seen view of the Disney Studio. Naturally, I waited on pins and needles for the release of “Peter Pan.”
It would appear no one has time to wait on a new movie today. Almost before you know it, a new Hollywood blockbuster is ready to hit the silver screen and demand our attention. We’ve barely had time to flush the last movie from our brain before we’re hit with a new trip into space or engage in a fresh battle with the forces of evil. It’s way too much space adventure, superhero conflict and cartoony sequels. Yes, I admit I’m showing my age and sounding like an old timer unable to keep pace with the rapidly changing world of content avalanche. It’s just I miss the good old days of looking forward to an upcoming motion picture. Part of the joy was the eager anticipation and the thrill of knowing something awesome was on the way. I miss marking my calendar and counting the days. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of movies but I miss the wait that made a new animated feature film so very special. I truly believe in the old adage that less is more. I don’t know about you…but these days I could do with a little less.