The Mists of Pandaria Cinematic trailer

The Mists trailer launched today. I wasn’t looking forward to it all that much and felt like “I’ll watch it whenever it comes out.” .

So this morning I logged in and went to check it out, and I loved it.

A few hours later, I’m already seeing posts and tweets from people who think that it is too cartoony or that its sexist and I think that’s crazy talk.

When I saw the video, I saw a really well animated and detailed orc and a human land on an island. I then saw them get into a fight and a pandaren intervened. The facial expressions are awesome, you can tell the team making the cinematic had fun with it. The pandaren thrashed both of them and then the excellent voice over during the panorama shot set things up nicely for the expansion. The graphics were top notch, the music rousing and the absence of a big bad boss and focus on exploring a new land and people refreshing.

In a game where a gnome tank can take on a tauren warrior and mages can turn people into sheep, I don’t know how this expansion is cartoony. In fact, the focus on internal conflict, exploration and facing demons of our own creation is more mature themes than we’ve had in the past. Will it take being mauled by a panda for these people to realize that pandas are not care bears? They’re BEARS. Their cousins have been tanking and flag carrying for you for three expansions now. You assume them to be cute and fluffy at your own peril.

And as for sexism in this trailer. I don’t know… I think some people just find what they’re looking for even if it is in no way implied or intended.

I’m male and perhaps I just don’t get it but to me it looks like Blizzard is equally accommodating to both genders. We have male and female quest givers, we have the ability to roll male and female toons. Stats for genders are also identical. I honestly wouldn’t feel any different had a female pandaren beaten the orc and human up. Thing is though, the pandaren is Chen Stormstout. As a “boss” he was going to win the fight. So if you’d had ladies from the alliance and horde take the spotlight, they too would get thrashed. And that opens its own can of worms. While many a feminist will ask for equal opportunity for women in all things, I don’t know many who’ll ask for equal opportunity for getting beaten up by a panda.

And if the trailer didn’t have females, it also didn’t have casters or any of the other races. Should every cinematic be so politically correct that the story they’re trying to tell takes second place?

That would be boring.

Awesome trailer Blizzard. It is just a shame how people can’t appreciate a good thing when its handed to them. From those of us who loved it, GREAT JOB and we wish you’d make a Warcraft movie with your in house CGI team.

8 thoughts on “The Mists of Pandaria Cinematic trailer

  1. Navimie

    I hadn’t even thought about sexism in the thing. However, look at it this way – yes the boss is Chen, but say it had been a alliance female and a horde female fighting each other, and then a panda comes and beats them up… I bet you there will be people up in arms about “violence against women” so really, this is the best way you can have it. And it’s fantastic. Look at the expressions on those macho male faces!

    Reply
    1. Thunderspank Post author

      Yes I agree that having Chen beat up women would be much worse than not having women in there at all.

      Its awesome how the macho males are dumbfounded by the panda. They’re really not that macho, they’re over the top stylized but they’re fighting and not being particularly effective either. Its great how they join up to face the unknown.

      Its done really really well.

      Reply
  2. Erinys

    I fully admit the first thing that crossed my mind when I watched it had to do with the lack of females (I was also anticipating posts on the subject from certain people and was not disappointed). It’s not that I’m particularly looking for something to annoyed by and in many regards I like the video, it’s just that I feel Blizzard missed a trick. The games industry lurches from one “sexist” incident to another and this could have been the perfect opportunity to show themselves as being above that. Personally I would have gone for a female panda kicking ass but then I’m sure there would have been lots of complaints about that too :p

    Also where is the cinematic with WoW’s best race, the Gnomes…

    Reply
    1. Thunderspank Post author

      I agree that women should get more screentime, and really they do – I am very sure we are going to see tons of Jaina in the patch trailers this expac.

      In this trailer, they had Chen Stormstout – he’s been in lore since the RTS game. He is THE pandaren. He is not a random Pandaren. He’s as big a lore figure (given its all new lore) as you can have for Pandaria at this point. So they put him in there, and he breaks up a fight between a human and an orc and teaches them a lesson while introducing Pandaria.

      Other than putting a human or orc female in there to fight him (and then subsequently get beaten which isn’t a good message to put out), I don’t know what else they could fit in a 4 min cinematic without making it a lot less impressive than it is.

      I really do not see this cinematic as sexist.

      The gnome? He was in the orc’s lunchbox. :P

      Reply
      1. Erinys

        Oh I don’t see it as sexist either, all three of the male characters are characters who exist within the lore/previous parts of the game which is fine plus when your only playing with 3 that doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for diversity.

        I do however feel that Blizzard do have a bad track record when it comes to creating female characters but that’s a totally different story.

        Also pffff.. Gnomes eat Orcs for breakfast (Ok, one Orc can feed a nest of 100 Gnomes for weeks but breakfast is breakfast regardless of how small your bite is) :p

      2. Thunderspank Post author

        Yes, some of the female characters could really use some work – Tyrande is just sad at the moment. On the other hand, Sylvannas is awesomely developed. Jaina is shaping up to be very strong too. Moira is another strong one, though not covered that much in game.

        And I would love to see more of Garona and Maiev sometime.

  3. Cymre

    The lack of females thing didn’t even occur to me until I saw the comments on Twitter. I loved the cinematic and even the humour. The details were amazing and I would love that kind of CGI quality in the movie.

    Reply
    1. Thunderspank Post author

      I would love to see Blizzard put out a CGI movie too. Compared to the great vanilla cinematic this one is just so much better in terms of cohesiveness, the storytelling, the graphics, model detail (of course!) and the confidence it is all delivered with. Loved it!

      Maybe the new human and orc models will look something like this. Here’s hoping!

      Reply

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