Story Update: Aldo and Plant Friend
As I thought more about the monster remains story, one scene that has always bothered me is the scene where Aldo is sitting on the couch , and we show him transitioning from waiting patiently to being bored and eventually causing the apartment to be destroyed. something that I've been trying to learn more about and and still within myself is efficiency in storytelling, and this scene has always felt like it lacked purpose.
So last week I took it upon myself to rewrite this scene. The main stipulation that I gave myself was that the scene couldn't be any longer than the scene is as written. Not sure if I 100% met that, I think this new version is a little bit longer, but it does a lot more for pushing the story forward and engaging the audience than our previous version.
In this new scene, instead of Aldo simply sitting on the couch, getting bored, and messing with Arnold, I wanted to use this time to fill in some gaps, and add some more emotion to the story. When Aldo gets bored, instead of flopping around on the couch, he leans over to a little potted plant on the coffee table, and “wakes it up” for a game of rock-paper-scissors. This accomplishes a few things that the previous version of the scene did not:
It introduces the idea that Aldo has magical ability to control and interact with the plants in the house. This comes into play later when Aldo and the plants create the “Monster Clean” version of the apartment. Introducing the concept early, by having Aldo play a game with a little plant friend helps that make more sense.
It adds more emotion to the film. Something that Disney and Pixar movies often have are little sidekick characters. While these characters sometimes don't play massive roles in the story, the audience still grows attached to them, and they can be used to add punctuation to scenes. In this case the plant friend is cute, and the scene where we meet it is funny and memorable. It’s an easy thing for the audience to become attached to. We can then cash in on this attachment by having plant friend injured among the wreckage of the destroyed apartment. Instead of simply having Aldo feeling guilty about destroying the apartment, he’s also sad about the fact that his plant friend is hurt. In this darkest moment, the rest of the house plants come to the rescue.