Tag Archives: Disney

How to Sell me a Third Helping when I’m Already Full

Below you will find an example of how a single teaser, done well, can revitalize a very dead franchise.  Check out the teaser for Cars 3 and join me after the jump for a breakdown of how this trailer works.

Right off the bat, the trailer takes a HUGE gamble.  The first 15 seconds of the teaser consist of quick shots intercut with ominous silence of cars going around the track.  Simply put, the images are not that engaging – invoking a scenario we have already seen in Cars 1.  During their first viewing, unless one is eagle-eyed, the viewer might miss the radically different visual tone of this trailer as compared to the cartoony aesthetic of the previous two films (cf- Cars, Cars 2). Before anything has a chance to happen, the teaser gives people an opportunity to eject.

Where the teaser shines is in its aural rhythm.  The pace accelerates and draws you in, commanding your attention despite potential preconceived notions about the franchise.  As the trailer hits that 0:18-second mark, an audible cue hints that things are about to kick off as the engine noise modulates into another key.  Our first real visual character is introduced: the new black racecar.  Its design is nothing like the staple Nascar vehicle the franchise has employed, so instinctually we begin asking questions and developing curiosity – exactly what the teaser wants.

Immediately following this destabilizing of our initial disinterest, the trailer connects us to the franchise, announcing “McQueen is fading! Fading fast!” while we see glances of the racecar’s frame.  By avoiding the car’s face – the most identifying image of the Cars franchise – the teaser maintains its darker tone (avoiding the cartoony expressions of the characters) and audience attention by constantly withholding the one thing we are now anxious to see.

With the swerve out of frame and the foreboding first note of the crash, we are left with 5 full seconds of blackness and 7 seconds of silence before we come to the climactic final shot of carnage.  And what Carnage!  We never even see Lightning hit the ground – just the viscera of metallic parts and sparks suspended in mid-air.  Such a departure from the goofy visuals and humor of the first two entries, this teaser demands the viewer take note of a radical stylistic departure that perhaps foretells a story worth waiting for.

Ultimately that is what makes this teaser great:  that it takes on a hostile audience and shifts their “hell no” to a “who knows, maybe”.  Simply by creating enough intrigue for the audience to at least wait and see, the trailer succeeds in its most primary function.  Regardless of whether the film turns out to be good or not, its viewership potential has certainly skyrocketed from the outset with this great start to its marketing campaign.

Tell me what you think of this teaser!  I, for one, love the first movie but was seriously turned off by the sequel.  For good or ill, I’m totally on board for Cars 3.  Thanks for reading and come back for more examination of the Art of the Trailer.

Brief postscript – note the current trend with teasers not bothering to show the actual title of the film they are teasing. Notable recent examples:  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2.


How to Sell Something we already Want

Yes, it is indeed that time.  It’s finally time to delve into the incredible marketing being done for the upcoming cultural phenomenon – Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  I’m sorry I missed the first trailer, but I think what needs to be said about that can really be explored in how it set up this second trailer.  Check out the most recent teaser below (links to the first one in text) and join me after the jump for analysis.

First, if you want to understand the emotions people have when watching these trailers – the nostalgia it taps into – just check out Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar watching it.  It’s a good illustration.

The First Teaser

Before we delve into the second trailer, let me briefly look at how the first trailer set this one up.  The joint marketing team of LucasFilms and Disney is serving up a deliciously paced scheme of buzz-building.  The first trailer, released last November, blasted onto the scene and took the world by storm.  One could hardly find a news organization on the internet that wasn’t talking about it.  But what did it do to earn such a great response?  Of course, Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon; the precedent was set by the releases of the Prequels that people would flock to anything published by the LucasFilm team.  However, the question is whether the first trailer did anything in and of itself to draw attention to the new movie or if it was purely the milieu of hype.

To that end, the first Force Awakens trailer acted as a testing ground for what I call Newness.  Like I spoke about in my Batman v Superman trailer review, smart marketing teams are realizing the potential of a feedback system where they show off changes to a pre-existing property with their trailers, and then let audience criticisms give filmmakers feedback, while also developing hype (think Bane’s voice from the Dark Knight Rises teaser).  Thus, while they can rely on a level of assumed cultural appreciation simply because of the brand, this trailer provides a test for the new directions JJ Abrams is taking the franchise, and therefore elevates itself beyond a passable first glimpse.

For the first 45 seconds, the teaser opens with New elements.  By this I mean it takes things that are familiar visually but tweaks them in way’s we’ve not seen before (a black stormtrooper, new speeder, etc).  Even after the first 45 when we get our first shot of something intimately familiar (the X-Wing), it’s in a setting in which we’ve never really seen it before. Except for the sounds and general environments, everything is fresh and very JJ Abrams-y – SPECIFICALLY so that you will know this won’t be the same kind of thing as you’ve gotten before.

Say what you will about the weird Ball Droid, the Black Stormtrooper, or the Lightsaber cross-guard – they are there precisely because you will be talking about them the next day.  This is the juicy stuff the trailer-makers know will get the buzz-mill going, with controversies and quandaries abounding.  By leading off their marketing campaign with these elements, they set the tone both that: 1) this is not going to be your father’s Star Wars (and that’s okay) and 2) that this is going to be new and exciting for all of us.  By intentionally separating their work from the previous entries in the franchise, they prime audiences for the new experience they are about to enjoy.

And to cap off their masterful work, at the minute mark they give us a glorious nostalgia trip to assure us that things are going to be good again.  The flight of the Millennium Falcon coupled with John Williams’ score and some masterful (VFX) camerawork makes for that lasting memorable moment we walk away dreaming about.  It is a wonderful “cherry on top” to a great work that grounds our expectations in the joys we’ve all experience with the original franchise, and promises a return to those glorious days.

One final note before I get to the second trailer:  notice that, during the title card, there is a three second buffer from the time “Star Wars” appears to when it opens up to reveal the new subtitle “The Force Awakens”.  Compare this to the almost instantaneous reveal of the subtitle in the second trailer.  Just an interesting bit of cutting to debut the new moniker.


The Second Teaser

A long five months passed with only small tidbits of news before finally (note the demand) we received the second teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  First, I’m so glad they’ve stuck with teasers – it makes the experience all the more tantalizing.  Second, and in a fun coincidence, the second trailer dropped on my birthday!  Thanks for the gift, JJ.  I love it!

What the second trailer did is pick up where the first trailer left off.  The first teaser hit us with a baseball bat of Newness, but left us with a nice taste of nostalgia to keep the franchise connection alive.  Now with this second trailer, the marketers envelop us in a tightly wound blanket of nostalgia that subtly reminds us of the Newness.

We open on the nostalgic LucasFilm logo (not in first trailer), and fade up on a shot both alien and remarkably familiar. Many others have commented on the similarities of this shot to the one in A New Hope when Luke races his speeder across the desert to discover the remains of his home.  Couple that with the hero’s theme swelling in the background and you’ve got an opener guaranteed to grab us by the heartstrings and raise goose-flesh.  However, this great nostalgia trip comes with new elements (the downed Star Destroyer and X-wing), quietly hinting that, again, this will be New.

That’s the first 30 seconds of the teaser.  After that bomb of good-feelings, we get an interesting sequence.  Watching it the first time, it takes a moment to recognize the speaker and even then one asks “is it really him?”.  The editor of the trailer does a great job choosing shots that connect either with what Luke is saying or with what we know of him (a smart choice to trust the audience’s imagination and memory to make the connections).  Vader’s broken mask, the robotic right hand (yes this does match from Empire Strikes Back), handling a lightsaber – all these build strong visual connections to powerfully emotional moments from the original series.  The monologue takes the viewer on a journey through the entire franchise in 30 seconds, and provides a teasing last line – “you have that power too”.  Here again we find an intentional design to trigger our emotional memories through carefully planned shots and music, all the while introducing us to new and unfamiliar elements.

Going beyond the first minute, notice that as the music reaches it’s highest point, we get a soaring shot and a mighty “WooHoo!” (do you see what they are doing here?).  This is to help shift the tone and get us from happy-crying back to pure excitement.

The next 30 seconds (notice how neatly subdivided this trailer is, but how it doesn’t feel like it) gives us a fast-paced, action-packed montage of intensity that is mostly familiar things in New situations.  The Stormtroopers, TIE-Fighters, and Sith all make immediate affiliation with our knowledge of the Star Wars lore, but each is presented with some element we’ve never seen before (major firefight on the desert, space-fight inside a star destroyer, Chrome-armored TIE-Fighter Pilot).  It continues to build on our nostalgia while constantly presenting something New to us.  Capping off this section is yet another Millennium Falcon fight but this one specifically mimics the Death Star sequence from Return of the Jedi, flying through cramped corridors trying to shake a tail.  It is a powerful visual and encapsulates the tone the marketers want you to feel about this upcoming flick.

Finally, the moment you’ve all heard about, the biggest nostalgia bomb they could have possibly dropped  – the return of Han and Chewie.  This is exactly the kind of reveal we’ve come to expect and love from a good trailer (thanks mostly to Marvel).  It works well because they’ve built up the connections to the older films throughout so that this arrives not out of the blue, but as a logical endpoint of what the trailer-makers are doing here.  Personally, I hope this line is only used for the trailer – I cannot really imagine it working well in the film now that the surprise has been ruined (though I admit we do not know where “home” is yet).  Either way, it works beautifully and leaves us all on a high as we go into the title card.



The marketing teams at LucasFilm and Disney are doing a magnificent job building buzz and excitement around the upcoming seventh installment of the Star Wars saga.  Accomplishing the goal of building on nostalgia while easing us into the idea that this movie will be new and different is no easy task (cf – Jurassic World, Terminator: Genisys, Batman v Superman), but somehow this team is making all the right moves.

Who knows when the next trailer will be released?  Until it does, fans and film buffs will be pouring through these two trailers, looking for any minute detail they can use to get an idea of what the new film will be like.  Most are optimistic that this will not be another Prequel situation, but that is yet to be seen.  However, if marketing can be any indicator (and I think it can), then it would seem we are headed for something wonderfully fun and exciting this holiday season.  Thanks for reading and tune in again soon for another posting on the Art of the Trailer.

Avengers 2: Age of the Asinine

The trailer for Avengers 2 ” LEAKED “ yesterday and I…have words…..Art of the Trailer.

I hate this trailer.  I hate THIS trailer.  It has nothing to do with the subject matter; it has nothing to do with the timing, pace, or narrative teasing of the trailer.  I like those things.  I hate this trailer because it is one thing above all else:  Pretentious.

This trailer takes a property – a comic book adaptation about heroes banding together to defeat a villain – and sells it as if it was American Snipera serious narrative reflecting real horrors faced by people everyday.  I’m deeply worried that the superhero genre is caught up in the limelight of pop culture, assuming it means something profound and timeless that will alter the lives of people everywhere.  Its not.  Its a fun adventure story that entertains us for a time and reminds us of some of our ideals.  Its a genre of popcorn flicks at their finest – mindless fun.  But ever since the Dark Knight Trilogy, both fans and Producers alike have been speaking of these stories as if they are something more akin to the work of Godard, Kurosawa, Shakespeare, or John Irving.

Not five hours after the release, we are already seeing posts like this:  “Here’s The Disney Easter Egg You Probably Missed” and “‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Gets “Dark Sequel” Teaser Trailer“.  The gimmick of taking a song, slowing it down, setting it in minor key, and making it creepy is nothing revelatory: cf – MaleficentGears of War50 Shades of Grey, Great Gatsby, Assassin’s Creed.  What makes it worse is the fact that the titular villain quotes the song in the trailer!  How much more on the nose can you get!?!?!  For a teaser trailer, it doesn’t make me work to try to understand what I am going to see.  Its going to be a movie about a robot tired of taking orders a-la iRobotTerminator, The Matrix2001: A Space Odyssey, etc.  The slow mix doesn’t make it cool; it makes it blunt, reminding us that this is Disney trying to be edgy.  I fully expect them to announce the Monstro movie, with a bent like Moby Dick, any day now.

Most notably, what annoys me most about Disney/Marvel trying to sell me Avengers 2 as a psychologically complex flick is that the genre itself is predicated on NOT having consequences!  In any comic book story in the major Marvel or DC universes, if a character ever arrives at the point of deep social, psychological, or spiritual change, if not by the end of the comic then at the start of the next, the creators invoke a massive reset button – sending the character back to the beginning.  Kill a main character?  Drop them in the Lazarus Pit and bring them right back!  Disband a group of heros?  Start a spinoff let the main story go on as if that dissolution never happened.  Invoke a dimensional/Time Travel/Multiverse plot device and nothing matters!

What makes a narrative have stakes is when its characters experience consequences that last forever.  The superhero genre has all but expunged this from their stories, sticking characters in their proper places whenever they stray too far.  Thus, while we can have fascinating new glimpses into a character study of these storied heroes with things like The Dark Knight or Superman: Red Sun, but we go into a superhero movie consciously knowing two things:  1) the bad guy will lose/the good guys will triumph, and 2) that no matter what they go through, our heroes will be the same old good guys we know and love.

This trailer sells something overly serious for its genre which by definition makes it pretentious:

pre·ten·tious  adj. \pri-ˈten(t)-shəs\:
having or showing the unpleasant quality of people who want to be regarded as more impressive, successful, or important than they really are

This film will not alter peoples lives in eternally important ways.  No one will find God because of Age of Ultron.  Not because God is unable to use such mortal devices, but because no one comes to this kind of film looking for the answers to life.  They come because the chairs are comfortable, the overpriced snacks still taste wonderful, the company could not be better, and the movie will be a cozy romp that will thrill and exhilarate without demanding anything of them.  People who want to be challenged go to see Only Lovers Left Alive or The Act of Killing,  not a blockbuster action adventure movie from Disney/Marvel.

The advice here for the marketing team is simple: focus on the characters we like, exposit the villain we’ve never seen before in a manner which doesn’t put him on the same level as Auto from Wall-E, and tell us we are going to enjoy ourselves at your movie.  Don’t try to tell me my soul will be forever changed by this, or that I will suddenly understand how the world works.  Just sell me your schlock and then step out of the way as  billions around the globe and I queue up for advance tickets.  Thank you.

…Seriously? Pinocchio?

From the Inside IN!

It’s finally here!!!  Our first real look at the next Pixar project – the literal emotionally driven Inside Out.  Today we got the first teaser for the 2015 project and it is wonderfully crafted.  Check out the teaser below and then after the jump we’ll talk about what works so well about this.

Disney have tapped a vein in the American subconscious, both pulling from our collective experiences and pumping heartwarming narratives based on these universal life moments back in.  This trailer harkens back to my favorite trailer – the first Teaser for WallE – taking the viewer on a journey through the long history of touching pictures put out by the 3D animation giant.  However, the true brilliance here is how well this nostalgia trip is integrated into a marketing narrative, introducing us to this next project and creating cognitive connections to the joys experienced in their previous work with the promise of similar emotional payoffs here.  By doing so, Disney•Pixar show off what they do best – reminding us of the childhood wonders they have provided and promising to bring it all back even as we grow older.

Aside from the marvelous plotting of the teaser, I love the use of Color!  From the outset, they begin planting the aesthetic seeds of the film’s design.  I love the nothing-like-subtle coloring of the texts, and the payoff they have in the characters at the end.

Mainly, though, what I love about this trailer is that it spends its time building on what we know and love, and then lovingly teases what we can expect in Inside Out.  Only half of the trailer is devoted to the characters, though we do get a lovely brief introduction to their personalities which perfectly piques our interest.  The plot is not mentioned, nor is the setting beyond the zoom in on the girl’s head.  It gives us just a taste and lets our imaginations run wild.

I, for one, know exactly where I will be June 19th of 2015 – happily seated in a theater nearby preparing to enjoy this latest product from Pixar.  Their work remains strong, and this trailer does nothing but get me excited for the film.  Disney is a master of its craft and I cannot wait to see them do what they do best, even if it costs a year without a Pixar flick.

Rather Timid Actually….

Here it is!  At least four weeks late but worth every second I spent not writing it. 🙂  A lot of people are very psyched up for the coming attraction from that great Pot of Gold that is Pixar, particularly as it is the first film of theirs to feature a female director. But honestly after watching this trailer, I have to say I am worried about what direction they are taking it.  At least from this small sampling, I can see a few problems that make me anxious about the film overall, but you be the judge. Without further delay, enjoy this trailer for Pixar’s upcoming feature:  Brave.

First and foremost, let me clarify that I thought this was a decent trailer.  I just feel that the source material makes for some tough stuff to work with.  Anyway, let’s get into the analysis.

I absolutley lost it in the very first few seconds. I recognized the voice of the father figure, giving a terrifying and ominous tale of his adventures, and all I could think of was this (link). 🙂  That’s right!  Ol’ Captain Billy Bones himself, right out of Muppet Treasure Island!  And, while I’m on the subject, let me take this opportunity to shamelessly plug my recent review of The Muppets over on the Soontobeangel blog.

Basically I would say that the first 40 seconds were absolutely fantastic.  It was a gripping and engaging teaser for what looked to be a dark and serious story, which is a genre that has been almost entirely absent in the world of animation (save a few artistic French films and, to a degree, Miyazaki’s work).  That is a film I would pay serious money to go see – animated Braveheart with a warrior-chick protagonist.  All they had to do was add in a really macabre laugh right after the jump to black and then slowly bring up the title and we all would have been sold (expect for mothers of kids 10 and under).  Personal preference, I know, but let me get to that shortly.

The rest of the trailer consists of showing us most of Act One and the turn to Act two, along with nearly every good joke in between.  There are some really funny things in there but yet again we end up seeing quite a lot of the movie before we actually go see it.  What I will credit the trailer’s makers with is the choice to reveal a lot of the beginning and leave most of the tail end of the film off.  Though we see too much in the trailer, we see too much exposition and not too much of the entire story, so kudos to them for that.

At 1:21 we get an express statement of the central question: “Are you willing to pay the price (for your ‘freedom’ from your culturally-held role in society)?”  And that is exactly what is potentially very wrong about the film.  The trailer gives us a glimpse at the fact that this film is going to be trying to blend several serious issues with the typical Disney slapstick, which I really don’t think works.  That mix of silliness and seriousness seems very odd to me.  We alternately get a vision of a strong, independent young woman and a series of rather pathetically crass jokes very typical of Disney.  It bothers me that they have such potential to negotiate gender roles (and in a foreign culture no less!) and instead they choose to fall back into the comedic and stereotypical images of people they are so infamous for. Instead of a woman able to advance as an individual we get a Kilt joke and silly bears.

By the way, that was my least favorite part of the trailer.  Yes, of course the three little bear cubs are incredibly cute and you just want to take them home and treat them like a stuffed animal, but that whole sequence just stands to show exactly what I mean about the film neglecting seriousness potential in favor of cheap jokes.  And what’s worse – the woman doesn’t even react when she runs into the wall!  She just has this dumb “I am a bit character and you just saw the entirety of my purpose in this film” look about her and I cringe a little inside because it could have been so much more!  Again I will say that it works well in the trailer, but I suspect that it will fall very flat in the actual movie.

Okay.  I want to make it perfectly clear that I like this trailer – it is funny and cute and makes me want to see the film. What worries me is that I see a real struggle of genres and motifs in the trailer that make me anxious about how the film will play out.  Not to be rude, but didn’t we already have a silly viking/old world, coming-of-age-story film (How to Train Your Dragon)?  The mix of seriousness and silliness is a bit much, so I don’t really know what to expect. “If you had the chance to change your fate, would you?” – that kind of question being asked along with negotiation of women’s rights and empowerment, yet we get silly Scottish people. Honestly I feel like this is what happens when Skyrim meets Tangled — and I am really not sure that it works.

Final Rating:  3.5//5

Yup!  Thus ends my Celtic Review Extravaganza!  Not so extravagant, I know but as you can see we had a beautiful juxtaposition of good and bad storytelling, or at least of the good and questionable.  Anyway, I really hope the film comes out well as I would hate to see Pixar fall from that pinnacle of the Animated world, though with films like The Secret of Kells (link to review), I might just be willing to let that happen.  I definitely plan to go see it when it debuts in theaters but I must say I will be going in with a lot of apprehension.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Next week I will be taking a hack at the trailer for Illumination Entertainment’s latest picture:  The Lorax.  I have to admit that as a kid the story freaked me out quite a bit, so I think it will be really interesting to revisit it now that I have grown up a bit.  So, join me next Friday for another Art of the Trailer!

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Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

This is the most convoluted universe I have ever seen in a movie or game series.
This is Kingdom Hearts:

This is the trailer for the most recent….part of the Kingdom Hearts series, Birth by Sleep, and boy is it….yeah. In brief, the story of KH involves the hero’s journey of Sora, going from kid on an island…with no parents…to an interplanetary champion of love, hope, and the ever clear Light! (whatever that means).  Basically the ambiguity of Square Enix’s “good vs evil” collided with the stock Disney “Believe and Trust your Heart” – which leaves us with a very basic (VERY BASIC) battle of light and darkness.

And that really doesn’t make a lot of sense.  You are fighting your rival at the end of the first game and all seems lost…but then you “believe and the power of your heart saves you!!!” ….whatever that means.   Now, I am an optimist and I do believe in magic that underlies the world (at least in the magical qualities) so I really like that “light v dark” stuff. However, this series goes to a ridiculous point – PARTICULARLY after the second game. But I wont get into that. Let’s get to the trailer….

Basically I would say that this is the Zack Snyder of Trailers — it looks amazing and really focuses on that.  It is a gorgeous trailer!  Some moments (o:29, 0:35, 1:07) look nigh on live-action, which is incredible for animation made in 2006-7.  The set-up is beautifully haunting and draws us into wondering “what is going on”.  Then, of course, the fight is masterfully crafted, showcasing the years of experience Square Enix brings to the series.  Combat plays fantastically, quick and intense, and best of all – it builds up the story rather than replace it.

That is what is best about this trailer:  it has a narrative story that almost follows a three act structure.  First to be clear, this is actually two teasers in one video.  The first is the secret ending of KH2 and the second is the original teaser for the game (split is at 1:26).  The narrative part is actually across both

Starting with the introduction of the three heros in the Secret Ending, we start to see the world in which this all occurs.  The second teaser begins with the villain’s entrance and at about minute 2 we shift into Act II.  The shift is subtle but we move from the exposition of characters to the actual fight itself. Then final Act begins at about 3:30, about the time that the Bald guy enters the fight.  The shift here is from mindless violence and fighting to a more personal side of thing.  We start to see who we are dealing with people (who might or might be recognizable) and it becomes all the more real.

What doesn’t work about the trailer is the music.  It is nice and it hits the beats, but it doesn’t enhance the trailer. It just exists to fill the gap of sound and for no other purpose, which is a shame because it could have been spectacular.  Oh, well…

Overall, I am drawn to answering the BAZILLION questions I have about the series and where it is going, so I have to give this trailer a solid:

Rating = 5/5

If you want to look more into the series and the super convoluted storyline, check out the Kingdom Hearts page on Square Enix’s website.  It at least puts them in order 🙂 and God knows we all want them to just MAKE KH3 and get on with it already!

Thanks for hanging in there with me this week!  Crazyness happens when you are two weeks into your Junior year of college.  I promise to be more punctual with stuff in the future weeks.  And speaking of, tune in next Friday for Melancholia – already promising to be a fantastic film!

HP 7pt2 and Sequel-itis (w/ emoticons)

To begin, please check out the trailer at this link – Harry Potter 7 pt.2 – then come back for commentary. And if you haven’t already, check out my full review of Part 1 at the Soontobeangel blog.

0:09 –> ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!!!!!!!!  (*-*)
0:12 –>  OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH!!!!!!!!  (^-^)
0:15 –> OHMYMOTHERBLEEPINGGOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!  <(^o^)>

I must say that I had purposefully cut myself off from Harry Potter film news recently because the my experience with the first film was partially spoiled by my full knowledge of it prior to the release.  I had been following Mugglenet and Mugglecast, which gave me every detail of Part 1 – from where the split was to news about the minor changes in the story.  Ultimately my experience was less because it was just fulfilling what I already knew – like playing a video game you have already seen a playthrough of.  But I digress…

The first time I saw this trailer was before Super 8, just three weeks away from the end of a series which has defined a generation. I have been with Jo and all the Potterites since the release of book 4 and have loved watching how it has shaped literature for my and later generations.  Anyway, when the trailer came up I was filled with a sense of awe and wonder that was diluted slightly by the knowledge that this is the end of a big part of my life. But again I digress and will now return to analysis of the trailer.

This trailer is tailor-made for fans like me – people who have followed the series from the beginning. I love that they open with Snape, as he does become a major part of this final installment. Also, the way that the creator of this trailer uses music is magical (pun intended). The times I mentioned above fit in exactly with how I felt as I was watching it the first time. It again plays right into the longtime fans and reminds us that this is going to be big! The sequence of images in the first 20 seconds just gets us in the mood and reminds us of the darker tone of the final part.

Next we get into the meat and taters of it.  I like that the first image after the WB logo matches the final image of Part 1 at Shell Cottage. It is a nice bridge. Also the use of the monologue from the final battle (Voldy’s challenge to Harry) really fits well, setting the tone again and the natural Ramp of it works magnificently for the style of a trailer. By the 37th second, it moves into the “epic portion” showcasing the Gringott’s break-in and the music picks up to goosebump raising levels.

The text on screen again plays well with the epicness of the music and the target audience of fans: “On July 15 only one can live”. Another important point is that if you look carefully, they artistically designed it so that Voldemort and crew are shown in dark blues and greens whereas HP and friends are in a lighter orangy brown.  This visually separates the two and makes the conflict more apparent.

Battle scenes and fighting sets up that final battle – which shows a nice linear flow of the trailer following the story’s plot. Probably my favorite part of the whole trailer comes at 0:57 – when Ron says “We can end this”. Amazing. I felt it. Any Potter fan felt it. WE can end this. WE.

A few final notes on the trailer:

  1. When the music hits its peak…and we see Tonks reaching for Lupin’s hand…. (;_;) Crying.
  2. To all you who have been there through the whole thing, from start to finish, “Let’s finish this the way we started it. TOGETHER!”
  3. THE EPIC CONCLUSION (w/ accompanying EPIC music)
  4. I dont think it shows too much because we know what is coming. It just pumps us up for it.
  5. Complete the Journey 😀

So with that #4, I lead into a short bit about Sequels. This film in particular is not, repeat NOT, targeted at people who haven’t at least seen the films, if not read the books as well. Because this is not just a sequel but one of the first Part 2’s in the history of film (I mean an intentionally split film). Thus, the advertisers know that people who haven’t been following the series will NOT be going to the premiere.  They aren’t going to fight the diehard’s dressed in wizarding garb to see it first. Thus they target us – the weirdo’s…I mean Wizards and Witches!

In the same way, trailers for sequels to movies and video games have to balance between pandering to the longtime fans and trying to entice those who haven’t yet joined the party. Harry Potter 7 part 2 knows exactly who they are targeting and makes a spectacular trailer.  I am pumped and ready for it, despite me anxiety over the end of my childhood series.  Good job guys. Good job.

FINAL SCORE:   ★★★★★

There you go. And now for a surprise bonus trailer!! Here is Disney•Pixar’s BRAVE. Absolutely love it. Has an excellent pace and I love that it feels like it contains its own story. The introduction of the Scottish element was handled well and I loved that they let the monologue lead to the title rather than divulge it. Only drawback here is that the animation doesn’t stand out as much as previous Pixar film did, from Dreamworks particularly. So I think they are going to have to sell this one on story rather than on looks. Just a thought. Really excited about it!`

Thanks for sticking with me and please check out my full review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 at the Soontobeangel blog.  Please let me know what you would like to see me review in the comments below. Next week I will be turning to another sequel, suggested by my brother:

Sherlock Holmes – Game of Shadows

Thanks again to him for actually suggesting a trailer. (HINT*HINT)  Please let me know what trailer you would like me to analyze and I will do it. So with that thanks again and go enjoy the final film in the greatest film franchise of all time. 🙂

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