Originally Posted by foreverwingnut
I never knew just how viciously people defend their hatred of Short Round until I added a few background comments...Serials started in the very late 20s, but were peeked in popularity in the 40s through the 50s. TV in the late 50s effectively put an end to the serials. It was the serials of the 50s that Lucas watched and in which he was inspired to write both SW and Indy. Indy has the look of a 30s serial because, obviously, that's the decade in which the trilogy occurs. Serials were cliffhangers in which the heroes were thrown into action-packed peril week-after-week to entice the audience (mostly young boys) to return to the theater. Which of these serials had a young sidekick? Batman and Robin had two serials in the 1940s. Captain Marvel, whose young alter-ego was Billy Batson, had a serial. As Montana Smith pointed out, there was Junior in Dick Tracy. Tarzan had Boy. I don't understand Stoo's specific indifference to 10-year-olds. A kid is a kid.
You must be misunderstanding the point of my post, Wingnut, since I don't have a vicious hatred toward Short Round. (Where did you get that idea?
) Even though the character annoyed me immensely back in '84, Shortie has grown on me over time and now I like the little punk!
My point is that pre-pubescent, child sidekicks were not at all common in the matinée serials
. Sure, kids were their target audience but the cliffhangers had very few children in them. Out of the several hundreds & hundreds of serials, you haven't provided any good examples that can truly compare to Short Round. Billy Batson is neither a little boy nor a sidekick. He is the hero! Robin is not a child. Even ignoring Robin's older 'teen' age, he is just *1* example and nowhere near enough to justify that kid sidekicks were a "popular" trend in the serials.
If you can give many, many, many more examples beyond the Robin fixation, then I will bow to you like a proper gentleman.
Furthermore, you seem to be mistaken about the history of the genre. Serials started in the 1910s (not the late '20s) with over 100 produced between 1910-1919. Their 'peak in popularity' was during the '30s & '40s (not the '40s & '50s) and they slowly dwindled to death in the late '40s & early '50s (not the late '50s). The last 2 came out in 1956. Yes, Lucas & Spielberg were kids in the 1950s and they undoubtedly saw some of the inferior
'50s cliffhangers but, by their own account
, Indy (& Star Wars) were inspired by those of the '30 & 40s (which they both could have seen as re-runs in the cinema or on TV).
Originally Posted by foreverwingnut
As Montana Smith pointed out, there was Junior in Dick Tracy. Tarzan had Boy. I don't understand Stoo's specific indifference to 10-year-olds. A kid is a kid.
Well, I also gave a nod to Junior in Dick Tracy but he isn't really a Short-Round-type sidekick because he doesn't usually go out & about with the hero. Junior stays in Tracy's office and operates the radio. Dick's real sidekick is another character. Plus, it was I who brought up Boy in the MGM Tarzan films...but those aren't serials.
In no way do I have an "indifference to 10-year-olds". I'm just opposing your misconceived statements surrounding the serial genre.
P.S. Wingnut, apologies if my words are coming across as antagonistic. You've just struck a chord on a topic that I'm very passionate about - the ol' cliffhangers.
If you wish to talk more about that subject, then please don't hesitate to join in the discussion here: Cliffhangers - Republic Pictures & Other Saturday Matinee Serials