Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)

The Character Lab

Ostensibly, this film is an emotional account of a place where strong characters are created. But what I find interesting is the story behind the characters in the film.

Disney has the most advanced character lab in the world, a place which scientifically explores how we personify emotions. I’ve had a glimpse of this, and the result is disturbing.

Disney threw everything they had at this project, and it shows. It shameless exploits every accessible emotion including race and adultery but always in a soft way.

The one thing that interests me in all this engineered manipulation is the use of redheads. Disney has invented a new science of redhead archetypes, and along the way reinforced or created new roles in film for reds. Here, we have reds in the roles of (a heavy) Alicia Witt and Joanna Gleason. In the role of the creative teacher partner, (Sara) Alexandra Boyd is red. In the school crowd are about ten per cent reds, an enormous inflation over reality.

Gleanne Headly, on the other hand is often red. But here she is blond, and is the son, Cole.

Posted in 2003

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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