Mutants at The Mall
THIS MALL HAS THINGS TO DIE FOR… AND THEY MIGHT HAVE TO.
90 min mixed media feature film for family viewing.
A mutant squirrel joins an inventive dragonfly in her Mall to become normal and win his girl, only to battle a ferocious laundry iron she creates instead.
The story overview:
A DNA SmartBomb reduces all humans to piles of ash. So, other creatures take over. Some mutate, like SCRIBBLE, a tailless squirrel who joins the mutant community at the Old Zoo as a toddler with his pet, MONTY the monkey-moth. His vanity makes him a target when he hides his butt in a homemade wheelchair and performs circus tricks for his oblivious crush, AQUA VELVET. Loyal Monty calls an inventive dragonfly, DRAKANICA, who offers to ‘fix’ Scribble at her mall, but he refuses. Then his wheelchair disappears while he’s in the loo. So he relents and joins Drakanica. And the Mall is heaven on earth. Even his missing owl buddy is there, now named COGS with a new brain. In ecstasy, Scribble dances along a shelf, only to fall, twisting his ankle, which confines him to his couch. He grows fatter and sadder.
So Drakanica invents a pedalocopter to mobilise him, without success. She fixes a laundry iron which leaps into life as Sheena Orion and assumes control immediately. She needs a jester – Scribble will do, with an attitude adjustment. Sheena ropes in absent-minded Cogs to assist, and begins a lobotomy. Monty calls Drakanica who rescues Scribble but drops him onto the escalator, snatching him from its teeth just in time. Scribble regains form with a Pedalocopter supplied by Drakanica. Using a fake award ceremony, they imprison Sheena… until she makes Monty high with dry-cleaning fluid and he frees her. Then she banishes them, threatening death by steam-cooking. They return to the Old Zoo where Scribble reunites with Aqua and returns with a mutant army to retake the Mall. Sheena panics and has an electrical meltdown. Drakanica rebuilds her. The Mall becomes a farm, its farmers safe from predators, as Sheena, now worshipped as the Queen of Song, supports them with music.
As the household pet monkey-moth, Monty gradually becomes Scribble’s stalwart guardian and wingmoth.
A discreet visit from Monty alerts Drakanica to the potential that lurks in Scribble’s issues.
Unobtrusive and well-connected, the trusty monkey-moth had already enabled the enigmatic genius in her faraway mall to reboot a little owl’s brain. (See COGS)
The brilliant Drakanica outdoes even herself, creating SHEENA ORION… Unencumbered by a soul, Sheena mows down all opposition. It helps that she’s oblivious to anyone’s feelings, unless it is to use them manipulate her victims in order to rule at all cost.
Sheena Orion with her Barbie fist in a golden gauntlet, rules The Mall by force. Aqua Velvet rules by consensus at the Old Zoo, and brings new life to whatever she touches – even the Mall, eventually. Bringing Aqua there was Scribble’s best idea, ever — except for becoming a hero, leading a mutant army, and co-ruling Xanadu Farm (The Mall’s new name) with Aqua.
The Mall, as Scribble first experiences it, is a glittering shrine to materialism, a sharp contrast to the Old Zoo where creativity runs free, little ones play and birds sing.
There is the raucous music the mutants play on dented instruments, some of which are still buried in the grass since that night of the DNA SMartBomb… While the crowd was still settling in, they thought the Blast was a thunderous rumbling from the drums as the musicians tuned up. It wasn’t.
Now their ashes are long gone, but their heirlooms remain, and the mutants use what they have found to create comfort in new ways.
Whereas The Mall, a sterile palace lacking nothing but life, is a monument to human skill and wealth. The stores burst with variety in vast splendour, with just the occasional movement from the mice digging into the supermarket food.
Cogs likes the mice. Drakanica is usually in her state-of-the-art workshop, the stuff of any scientist or surgeon’s dream. Self-cleaning rooftop solar pods keep everything humming and shining 24 hours a day. The ‘Off’ switch is inaccessible. Scribble drapes the plastic trees with diamonds like dewy spider-webs and pays tribute to the store mannequin ‘monuments’ with plastic wreaths at their feet.
MAKING THE FILM
These two worlds and their inhabitants could be rendered in 3D animation rendered to look 2D, i.e. with outlines. Because it is 3D-based, it could later evolve into VR and allowing virtual shopping in the supermarket and other stores, even the farmers’ market. Orders could go off by drone. After CoVid 19, this possibility is closer.
‘Mutants at The Mall’ is rich in Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Humour, Wildlife and Animals, Action/Adventure and Music – it’s almost Frankenstein for kids, appealing to the family audiences who like Hotel Transylvania, The Adams Family, A Series of Unfortunate Events and Fern Gully.
As a vehicle for inclusivity, this story emphasises that normal is a broad river, but we can use what we have, to get what we want. Bullies can produce future bullies or heroes defending underdogs, and collaboration will always succeed over competition. For me, having lived my whole life being ‘different’, trying to fit in is an old story.
Time for something new, now.
Life follows Art:
Earth as we know her, could quickly or gradually rid herself of humans as a dog shakes off troublesome fleas. In this story, humans have finally done away with themselves with their DNA SmartWeapons leaving other life-forms intact, as well as buildings and technology. Most of these carry on because of sustainable energy resources, especially solar power. (Yes, it’s quite far into the future…)
Self-cleaning solar panels are now available and I believe The Mall could carry on as it does in this story, more or less indefinitely, if it wasn’t for the lack of human technicians to maintain infrastructure.
Regarding The Mall:
- Did you know that Dead Malls are now a thing?
- Not to mention making indoor farms, as mentioned in this article. That really is life following art. I first began this story in 2010.
- To my amazement, many comments at the bottom of an article about abandoned entertainment locations, express satisfaction at Nature taking over once more.
And Cogs’ new brain isn’t that far-fetched anymore either:
- |Interestingly, as with Cogs, the installation of new brains is also happening. Check out this interesting interview with neuroscientist Moran Cerf – he speaks of how they are actually starting to use chips in neuroscience to fix the problem of faltering brains in Alzheimers patients and people generally losing cognitive ability due to old age. The info is at 46:36, if you want to scoot on ahead. This interview was posted to YouTube in 2017.
- More recent is the announcement from Elon Musk (2020 07 13) that his company Neuralink plans to implant AI into people’s brains in the very near future. It is being hailed as a new evolutionary step for humans.
Basic premise of the story:
Self-acceptance is the major theme; everyone has their limits, faults and strengths, everyone’s different.
We need each other. Our relationships with others are more important than things and surface appearances. The little group is surrounded by things, more than they’ll ever need, but with their various weaknesses and strengths, they are dependent on each other.
Handicaps and injuries are a fact of life. Often, the most dangerous handicaps are invisible.
How will it be when nature can once again take over? A hard look at the legacy of the humans.|