Here at the Dissolve, we’re torn. As writers, we so love our precious words, arranging and re-arranging letters into different pleasing combinations that can mollify our brains’ pun-centers. But as lifelong devotees to the art of cinema, we also enjoy moving pictures. It’s hard sometimes, making that choice between words and pictures. But now we no longer have to! The Pitchfork/Dissolve brain trust has been hard at work for a while now to bring our valued readers a treat that’ll forever eliminate the stressful choice between using words and images to express ideas.
Last December, we ran an excellent essay from familiar face Chris Klimek on the regrettable history of the PG-13 rating. He explained how the huge gulf in content between PG and R films necessitated the creation of a middle ground. The PG-13 rating was created expressly to attend to that problem, but that created a handful of problems all its own. Beyond the highly arbitrary methods by which a film earns the PG-13 rating vs. R or PG, the popularity of PG-13 films has led to the dilution of content in order to keep it open to a wider audience.
Chris explains it better than I have here, but the good news is that you don’t have to use your eyeballs to read my awkward summary any longer! Animator Mack Williams cooked up the video below, which reshapes Chris’ essay into a snappy, informative, and visually slick cartoon, presented by Dell Precision Workstation. A lot of people worked very hard on it (which you can see in the behind-the-scenes featurette, also embedded below), and so we hope you enjoy it! At the very least, Mack got to draw a Dr. Strangelove homage but with Gizmo from Gremlins. That, in and of itself, is success.