May 23, 2009

Secret Pass passes by

I mentioned the animated movie Legend of Secret Pass when it was in development. I've been waiting to hear more about it.

Now I've learned that it came out in 2008. Since it didn't get one word of publicity, perhaps it went straight to DVD.

Here's the summary on 'Legend of Secret Pass' takes place in the mountains of the South West and involves Thunderbirds of Indian mythology and an animal refuge of mystical proportions. An unlikely troop of animals and humans are caught up in a clash of ageless magic. In this moment of crisis, the barest chance to avoid cataclysm falls into the hands of an Indian boy, Manu.A few little problems with this:

  • It still sounds like a generic Indian story with no connection to any culture of the Southwest. In particular, thunderbird myths are more common in other parts of Native America, not the Southwest.

  • I don't know where they got the name Manu, but to me it sounds like an Asian Indian character: a stereotypical servant or beggar boy. With all the Southwestern Indian cultures, couldn't they have come up with an authentic Indian name?

  • In the cast list, the only recognizably Native name is Graham Greene as the voice of Grandpa. Frankie Muniz voices the title character Manu. Nor are there any recognizable Indian names in the production staff. Most of the animators seem to be French.

  • This still could be a great movie, although great movies usually don't disappear without a trace. Or it could be what I called it before: "a romanticized look at Southwest Indian life with none of the harsh realities." Only time will tell.

    For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

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