Then there was "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within", a foreign film by a director, Hironobu Sakaguchi, who doesn't even speak english. And yet FF was absolutely original for a summer film; emphasis on story and character, post apocalyptic civilization coping with a mystery that has wiped out the majority of humanity, ghosts from another planet, a villian who is not a typical evil cliche -he's just trying to save the human race, a hero who may be infected by the spirits inside her and may subsequently be subverting a squad of marines, and the underlying theme of faith. All those elements add up to an underappreciated cult classic that Hollywood purposefully swept under the carpet.
Why was this film targeted with 0 marketing from the studio that distrubuted it, Sony Pictures? Cause the movie was totally financed by Square and Sony had no stake in it's success whatsoever. However, Sony was already in talks to create the cg for the all motion capture "Polar Express", a $100 million plus payday from Warner Bros to Sony for just making the graphics, disregarding the final outcome of the box office. That's a fat guaranteed paycheck. Check out this link regarding Tom Hanks public campaign to sink FF- (...)
(or just google "tom hanks digital actors") Hanks is quoted as saying that "I am very troubled by it" refering to the digital actors from FF! and this quote was in the trades around July 9th, the week before FF was released. He was worried that digital actors would replace actors, which is definately the case in "Polar Express" where Hanks plays most of the characters in the film!
So if you were Sony Pictures, would you market the hell out of FF and piss off America's most beloved actor or bury FF and then secure the deal to make "Polar Express"? Then, of course, Zemeckis and Hanks are now claiming that "Polar Express" is the first animated movie of its kind, which is not the case because Square did it first with FF.
So, check out the original.
"Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" was a visionary film that scared the crap out of Hollywood and caused some major talent to emulate it. Don't buy the hype, "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" was not a Hollywood studio pic that was meant for summer blockbuster fare, it was a foreign film. And that said, how many foreign films have been so visionary as to create a new genre in animation?
In September of 2001, a terrible, historical event occurred. Read more