I have this story or movie idea that I cooked up over Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend that I may someday make and develop further at, say, Walt Disney Animation Studios (though because of some of its more supposedly mature aspects, it may also be released through Disney’s adult-oriented Touchstone Pictures label if it does have mature aspects)…
And it’s basically my sentimental (at times, maybe) yet epic view of a Forrest Gump-like character loosely based on my own life experiences so far (and who is also as semi-autobiographical as he is fictional) and his magical, extraordinary, touching and hilarious Forrest Gump-like journey through life (from birth to death; from childhood and adolescence through adulthood to old age).
It’ll be simply called just that: TIMMY.
TIMMY the movie might be one of those kinds of animated movies that in terms of visual style and content may just as easily be normally done in live action, but if TIMMY the movie were to be done through ostensibly computer generated animation (in the style of Tangled, Frozen, Wreck It Ralph andBig Hero 6), but also switch back and forth between CGI and traditional hand drawn animation done in a animation and design style that may scream ‘Samurai Jack meets Disney Renaissance' in terms of 2d animation and design (in the early flashbacks to say the least, before switching to CGI animation as Timmy himself grows up to become a young man, and the world changes around him), while also incorporating live action bits and clips in an animated world, then it'll be unlike any other recent animated feature that had gone before.
And I’ll explain why TIMMY will BOLDLY GO WHERE NO ANIMATED MOVIE IN RECENT YEARS HAS GONE BEFORE:
NOTE: I may approach this from a filmmaker’s perspective. If one ever sets out to make a film, whether it be original or based off of pre-existing work, that film MUST work as a movie. Also I may have put a whole of a single day’s thought into this so my concept is still rough. I also admit that I am in no way a true animation or live action filmmaker yet.
Firstly, You got to have a single protagonist. And sure, you can’t have a movie without an emotional through line to carry the audience. Shortly into the movie you would lose your paying audience’s interest. And if there is no person, no emotional struggle for us to latch on to, to identify with for the duration of the piece, it isn’t going to work. And there’s just no beating around that bush. You got to have a hero.
How about a Forrest Gump-like character loosely based on my own life experiences so far (and who is also as semi-autobiographical as he is fictional)?
Secondly, though TIMMY might be one of those kinds of animated movies that, in terms of visual style and content, may just as easily be normally done in live action, but if TIMMY the movie were to be done through ostensibly computer generated animation (in the style of Tangled, Frozen, Wreck It Ralph and Big Hero 6), but also switch back and forth between CGI and traditional hand drawn animation done in an animation and design style that may scream ‘Samurai Jack meets Disney Renaissance' in terms of 2d animation and design (in the early flashbacks to say the least, before switching to CGI animation as Timmy himself grows up to become a young man, and the world changes around him), then the movie has to owe as much to its animation crew as to its inspiration and/or producer (that'll be me, if I were to improve on my art skills!). It doesn't really need to be a mere exercise in ego for yours truly, y'know!
Thirdly, TIMMY will be more ambitious an epic in that it covers the world, has a cast of thousands, and spans whole decades. Not to mention, epic in its length and breadth.
Throughout TIMMY, we’ll be shown wars, assassinations, scandals, and/or the like…we’ll be shown Timmy’s birth and childhood and adolescent years, his college days, his career, etc….and beyond this life story, we’ll be presented with a sprawling tapestry of recent and future American and World History.
TIMMY will be what Robert Zemeckis called ‘essentially a picaresque novel for the [big] screen’.
The term ‘picaresque’ refers to a type of novel common in the 18th century.Usually these were lengthy prose works of many hundred pages, following the rambling adventures of some heroic (or unheroic) character. These works were always episodic; they didn’t build towards a grand conclusion, they simply tacked one self-contained scene after another. The novels ended not because the story was over; had the author wished, the story could have sprawled onwards forever.
TIMMY will be a highly episodic, non-linear movie project. Its scenes won’t drive forwards, they merely follow one another. When Timmy’s birth ends, the childhood and high school scenes should follow with the logic of simple chronology, but not the logic of traditional film structure, y’know! When the childhood and high school scenes end, Timmy goes to college, and when his college scene ends, we go to some place like the rather fictional San Fransokyo (from the world of Big Hero 6) where he meets the Big Hero 6 themselves (notably GoGo Tomago).
And then, when the inevitable Battle of the Eight Armies arrive in San Fransokyo, as the Russian, Chinese, North Korean and Islamic State terrorist forces advanced on San Fransokyo and its people from opposite sides, Timmy took a special transformation pill invented by say, Hiro Hamada, shape shifts into a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and inspires The Big Hero 6 and the people of San Fransokyo not to run for shelter but to stand together with the American, Japanese, British and French armies against the invading Chinese, North Korean, Russian and ISIS terrorist hordes, eventually causing the enemy to break off their attack and Timmy eventually saves Gogo’s life, and after the battle is finally over, Go-Go thanked Timmy for saving her life because life is precious even if one talk more with action than with words.
And then we follow Timmy’s many other exploits, and then Timmy even goes for a run, and then Timmy makes lots and lots of money, and then he met some woman and Timmy became a father, and then Timmy reaches old age and when he dies peacefully in front of a reporter, his last thought was for his childhood origins (such as when Timmy plays a drum to the tune of a spiritual song called Kumbaya (or Come By Here in Angolese)
(Now Kumbaya is to Timmy more than just a spiritual song, but also rather the name of a small drum that Timmy plays during his childhood, just as Citizen Kane’s Charles Foster Kane has a sled to play when he was a child: Rosebud, which is also Kane’s dying word though only the audience heard it.)
This structure will be truly ‘picaresque’. In traditional Hollywood terms it is unusual and extremely risky.
And BTW, Timmy’s name in the movie will be Timothy McKenneth, which is alternative spelling for McKenzie.
Flashbacks may fill in Timmy McKenneth’s life story as in Forrest Gump.
And like in Forrest Gump, Timmy will sit in a park bench in Baltimore, Maryland’s largest city, and those who come to Timmy’s park bench listens as Timmy spins out the epic, extraordinary, touching and hilarious tale of Timmy’s life from birth and childhood and adolescence through adulthood and midlife to old age. Timmy McKenneth is an innocent at large; a simple minded, good hearted, and straight talking fellow describing himself through his life’s odyssey, but also describing the many sorts of people and events that Timmy accidentally encounters in-between.
And because TIMMY the movie will have characters that will age overtime, the actors providing the voices will have to be replaced, often more than once.
And so in the early flashbacks, Timmy will be voiced by younger voice actors, and in the later flashbacks from when Timmy becomes a young man, Timmy will be voiced by older voice actors.
And besides an original music score, Timmy will also have a nostalgic mix-tape compilation of songs from different eras and different artists and different genres of music to place the viewer in time and place, to tie the movie together besides the story and the animation and everything else, and to give it a continuity that will make the rather episodic story relate-able.
Even if you were a Forrest Gump-like simple minded, good hearted, and straight talking fellow from Maryland, I wanted the placement of the score and/or the songs (which will be a diverse, nostalgic mixtape of diverse songs from different eras, different artists and different diverse genres, ranging from radio favorites to timeless love/pop songs to obscure songs and obscure pop tunes) throughout TIMMY the movie will help viewers connect to their life’s memories.
Also, TIMMY the movie may also open with an unusual prologue sequence: God creating Timmy in God’s image. So the big challenge is how does one introduce or depict God creating Man in God’s image to a modern audience without losing them and making them care.
There’s always simplicity, and simplicity is always the key.
And I think there is a lot to learn from Stanley Kubrick or Walt Disney (at the time of the making of the now-75-year-old Fantasia 1940) or Genndy Tartakovsky in this approach.
God creating Man in His Image would have to be distilled to its simplest most translatable form, and that is why I will have to make the opening prologue that will pre-face TIMMY the movie dialogue-free.
I’m talking about pure cinematic storytelling like some kind of cross between 2001: A Space Odyssey, Fantasia, and Genndy Tartakovsky’s Emmy Award-winning 2003 ‘Birth of Evil’ episodes of his Samurai Jack cartoon show.
(if you haven’t seen Samurai Jack The Birth of Evil Parts I and II, do check it out, for Genndy Tartakovsky is a masterful storyteller.)
Anyway, God creating Man in His Image can be pretty easily summed up in a visual, but more importantly symphonic, kind of way, and I will personally keep a Man like the real or fictional yours truly from any physical form until Timmy himself came to the world in 1991 Baltimore, just for the sake of feeding the audience baby bites of God creating Man in His Image (just as God is said to create the heavens and the earth for a maximum of six days, no less).
I may not remember my pre-birth years, but imagine starting in space, plus some kind of illuminating, brilliant, formless representation of our Almighty God and his Angels as God creates Man in His Image. The Angels themselves could be represented like celestial stars soaring across “space” playing their creation music for The Lord Our Almighty God.
And without saying a word we know who God is creating in His Image as the angels played their tune for God.
The creation music carried out by the Angels escalates to the point where God casts His complete Image of Man from His Presence to a human mother’s womb on Earth (or somewhere in 1990s Maryland), where, still without dialogue (or minimal at most), God told His Image of Man that Man as an unborn child is doomed to be in a mother’s womb until the day a child will come to the world.
And that’s when Timmy begin to wake up from a dream while sitting in a Baltimore park bench.
Weird and Unusual, isn’t it?
Anyway, the Story of Timmy McKenneth will be itself divided into twelve sections ranging from long to short, rather like the movements of a classical symphony, and loosely based upon what Dr. Thomas Armstrong (in his book The Human Odyssey) described as the Twelve Stages of Life, which is as follows:
- Prebirth: Potential – The child who has not yet been born could become anything – a Michaelangelo, a Shakespeare, a Martin Luther King – and thus holds for all of humanity the principle of what we all may yet become in our lives.
- Birth: Hope – When a child is born, it instills in its parents and other caregivers a sense of optimism; a sense that this new life may bring something new and special into the world. Hence, the newborn represents the sense of hope that we all nourish inside of ourselves to make the world a better place.
- Infancy (Ages 0-3): Vitality – The infant is a vibrant and seemingly unlimited source of energy. Babies thus represent the inner dynamo of humanity, ever fueling the fires of the human life cycle with new channels of psychic power.
- Early Childhood (Ages 3-6): Playfulness – When young children play, they recreate the world anew. They take what is and combine it with the what is possible to fashion events that have never been seen before in the history of the world. As such, they embody the principle of innovation and transformation that underlies every single creative act that has occurred in the course of civilization.
- Middle Childhood (Ages 6-8): Imagination – In middle childhoood, the sense of an inner subjective self develops for the first time, and this self is alive with images taken in from the outer world, and brought up from the depths of the unconscious. This imagination serves as a source of creative inspiration in later life for artists, writers, scientists, and anyone else who finds their days and nights enriched for having nurtured a deep inner life.
- Late Childhood (Ages 9-11): Ingenuity – Older children have acquired a wide range of social and technical skills that enable them to come up with marvelous strategies and inventive solutions for dealing with the increasing pressures that society places on them. This principle of ingenuity lives on in that part of ourselves that ever seeks new ways to solve practical problems and cope with everyday responsibilities.
- Adolescence (Ages 12-20): Passion - The biological event of puberty unleashes a powerful set of changes in the adolescent body that reflect themselves in a teenager’s sexual, emotional, cultural, and/or spiritual passion. Adolescence passion thus represents a significant touchstone for anyone who is seeking to reconnect with their deepest inner zeal for life.
- Early Adulthood (Ages 20-35): Enterprise – It takes enterprise for young adults to accomplish their many responsibilities, including finding a home and mate, establishing a family or circle of friends, and/or getting a good job. This principle of enterprise thus serves us at any stage of life when we need to go out into the world and make our mark.
- Midlife (Ages 35-50): Contemplation – After many years in young adulthood of following society’s scripts for creating a life, people in midlife often take a break from worldly responsibilities to reflect upon the deeper meaning of their lives, the better to forge ahead with new understanding. This element of contemplation represents an important resource that we can all draw upon to deepen and enrich our lives at any age.
- Mature Adulthood (Ages 50-80): Benevolence – Those in mature adulthood have raised families, established themselves in their work life, and become contributors to the betterment of society through volunteerism, mentorships, and other forms of philanthropy. All of humanity benefits from their benevolence. Moreover, we all can learn from their example to give more of ourselves to others.
- Late Adulthood (Age 80+): Wisdom – Those with long lives have acquired a rich repository of experiences that they can use to help guide others. Elders thus represent the source of wisdom that exists in each of us, helping us to avoid the mistakes of the past while reaping the benefits of life’s lessons.
- Death & Dying: Life – Those in our lives who are dying, or who have died, teach us about the value of living. They remind us not to take our lives for granted, but to live each moment of life to its fullest, and to remember that our own small lives form of a part of a greater whole.
So there you have it.
My apologies my post is too long, and you don’t have to read ALL OF IT if you want to, but what do you think?