At least Disney has the sense to release its animated sequels direct to video, because no one wants to fork over ten bucks for one viewing of a craven attempt to cash in on our children’s affection for these characters. Dreamworks, of course, doesn’t have the luxury of a vast tradition of animated features. They have one tent-pole animated franchise, the Shrek movies, so they obviously feel forced to milk the property for everything they can until another they produce another hit.
It’s difficult now to even imagine a time, a little more than a decade ago, when Philadelphia was a daring, breakthrough film. In structure and style, this movie is a wholly conventional courtroom drama. In 1993, its frank treatment of homosexuality and AIDS was culturally groundbreaking. That’s probably the true genius stroke of this film, taking an edgy, uncomfortable subject and couching it in a familiar setting.
I have to confess that I didn’t see Philadelphia until this year, largely because at the time the movie was released, my oldest brother had less than a year to live and the subject struck a little too close to home for me. Finally seeing it, a decade removed from the real life events, I could appreciate the movie for what it was without dwelling on the subject matter.