Thursday, August 18, 2011

So this is what they mean by a Disney ending

After a hugely successful run in the UK, the National's War Horse came to New York in the spring of 2011. And suffered a bit of, um, Americanisation as a result.


In a nutshell the plot, set in World War I, comprises these main events:
  • Kid gets horse, and is unimaginably happy
  • Kid's dad sells horse to the army. Horse goes to France.
  • Kid lies about age, enlists in the army to find horse.
  • Many bad things happen to kid and horse, separately.
  • Kid is blinded by tear gas 
  • Kid is reunited with horse (which involves a fair bit of sniffing and whinnying so they can be sure they recognise each other)

And that - the moving reunion - is your happy ending. It did it for me. I was in floods of tears and felt thoroughly satisfied by the narrative arc.

Over here in the land of the free it was, apparently, not happy enough. I hear from my theatre guru friend that they've added an extra bit of happiness to the ending:
  • Kid finds out his blindness is only temporary
Really! I guess it is a bit depressing to end a night at the theatre with some unresolved physical ailment still affecting your lead character. Much better to clear it up so your audience can sleep easily.

I'll be in trouble with TLOML for anti-Americanism if I go on. But I think you get my point...

No comments:

Post a Comment