This video is a mash-up of the films Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and The Dark Knight. It was uploaded onto YouTube on August 10, 2008 and as of April 28, 2011 has gained 1,498,101 views.
The video takes the soundtrack from a theatrical trailer for The Dark Knight and cuts footage from Toy Story and Toy Story 2 to match the onscreen action and dialogue. Woody becomes the Joker, Buzz Lightyear becomes Batman, and Rex the Dinosaur becomes Alfred Pennyworth. The footage is cut together to create the impression that the Toy Story franchise is a dramatic franchise in the same vein as The Dark Knight, appropriately cutting action shots from the films to create a more adventurous tone than the two original films. None of the footage is altered (except for time cutting and splicing) and the soundtrack is similarly unaltered- the artistry comes out of the combination of these very different film franchises.
This is reflective of a very postmodern collapse of different facets of culture: While both film franchises are very successful, Toy Story is directed at family audiences while The Dark Knight skews toward adolescent male audiences. While this was made shortly after the release of The Dark Knight, the inclusion of Toy Story reflects the modern generations nostalgic attachment to that 90s film series. While Toy Story 3 would bring the franchise back to relevance in 2010, this mash-up demonstrates continued interest in the series even in the late 2000s.
As with most mash-ups, there is the question as to how original this editing actually is. However, the art of film editing has always been something of a mash-up art form: Editors cut together footage created by the director of photography. As such, there seems to be a more direct appreciation of video mash-ups, because its a more practiced and recognized art form (and the great success in viewership testifies to that). The widespread availability of digital editing has democratized that process and made it possible for people to cut footage from popular films like this.
Furthermore, the great disparity of the two franchises (an animated comedy series and a dramatic crime-thriller) is reflective of this generations desire to combine interests. With digital archiving, facets of our childhood are immediately accessible, whether via DVD or the internet. At the same time, we have our contemporary interests, such as films like The Dark Knight. With both so readily at hand, there is no need to separate them. If anything, this video seems to be an attempt to combine those interests and address the desire to experience everything at once, as is common in our age of information overload. The result is a piece of artistry widely regarded as cleverly amusing.
“YouTube- Watchmen & WALL-E Mashup Trailer – 720p HD.” YouTube.com. 8 Aug. 2008. Web. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Ka8DnUVEQ>.
This mash-up video goes even further with editing, altering the images of the film WALL-E to fit the trailer for the film Watchmen. Again, there is a combination of an animated comedy with a dramatic comic book adaptation. This mash-up features more dramatic editing, slowing down and speeding up footage, creating unique title credits, and even using supplemental features from the DVD release to cut something that matches the trailer soundtrack. It is debatable, however, whether or not the greater editing contributes to its lesser popularity on YouTube, as if it skewed too far away from the attachment to WALL-E.