So...the recent Pan movie had a Smells Like Teen Spirit scene?

Having just watched the scene on YouTube

In what bizarre production meeting was this considered a good idea? Was there NO adult present who could say, “Shut the fuck up. That idiotic.”

If it’s not the most inappropriate piece of music - Hugh Jackman even sings it in character! - in a movie I’ll be damned if I know what beats it.

Was it weird when the crowd sang We Will Rock You in A Knight’s Tale?

And there’d have to be at least one adult present because, sorry in advance, but Nirvana’s 20+ years old and to a lot of kids is firmly in the “parents’ music” category.

Yeah. I haven’t seen the movie and I’m in no hurry to see it either but I just saw this posted on IO9 or somewhere similar and I thought it’s interesting, Jackman’s hammy enough and the kids singing make it kind of a neat scene.

I would imagine the production meeting had a lot of other issues beyond whether a 90s grunge song in a Peter Pan is appropriate or not. I assume they lost it somewhere right after the opening pitch of “Peter Pan is a boy and is besties with young Captain Hook.”

Knight’s Tale did something like this with people singing “We Will Rock You” while watching a jousting tournament, but that movie was fun.

It’s not the first time that song was used in a seemingly incongruous scene, but it worked much better in Moulin Rouge.

They also apparently used “Blitzkrieg Bop” in Pan. I never saw the film, so I don’t know if it would work, but I don’t think there’s any reason to be too horrified.

I thought about Moulin Rouge as well but that was a very different movie, I think, than Pan and made a vague attempt at making the singing somewhat natural by setting the majority of the movie within a nightclub. Still very anachronistic, but I agree, something about it just works.

I believe they ultimately thought the singing was a bad idea because, unlike the advertising campaigns for Moulin Rouge and A Knight’s Tale, the ads for Pan hid the fact that the film would contain such anachronisms.

Oh God you’re right.

Click if you dare:

It’s my recollection that many people did think it was weird. There were also many people who had a “WTF?” reaction to the use of anachronistic music in Moulin Rouge!. In both cases I think it’s easy to see what the filmmakers were trying to do even if some people didn’t like it, though.

A Knight’s Tale is basically a modern sports movie with a medieval setting, and had a soundtrack full of the types of songs that might be used in any other sports movie. Moulin Rouge! is a musical that uses popular songs from a variety of genres and decades. Only a line or two from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is in the movie, and these are used in a very literal way. During the big medley number where the main character first visits the Moulin Rouge, men entering the nightclub ready to be entertained sing “Here we are now, entertain us!”

I haven’t seen Pan and AFAIK neither has anyone I know. Can anyone here explain the context for the performance of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in the movie?

The anachronistic music worked in Knight’s Tale and Moulin Rouge because they served as stand-ins for music that doesn’t necessarily communicate the same emotions and themes to us, as it would have to people in that setting. Young people in Paris at the end of the 19th century liked music that was provactive, experimental, sexy, maybe a little dangerous, just like young people today. But the problem is, the young people of the 19th century grew up to be our great-grandparents, and the stuff that was young and vibrant to them, is old and played out to us. So, substituting the music that they actually played, with contemporary music that carries the same feeling, makes sense. Same thing in Knight’s Tale, where a rousing sing-a-long of “Greensleeves” might have had the same cultural denotation as, “We Will Rock You,” but doesn’t not carry that aesthetic denotation for modern audience.

In both cases, the use of anachronistic music is meant to draw a connection for the audience between their world, and this effectively alien world that they’re being thrust into. Playing “We Will Rock You” during a jousting event communicates, “This is a sporting event, just like going to a football game.” I’m not sure what purpose is served by using “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in a Peter Pan movie. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at a nightclub evokes a similarity between Moulin Rouge and contemporary (well, late '90s) nightclubs. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at a carefully stage managed pirate rally evokes a similarity to… I’m not sure what? A night club? My Junior High prom? Is Neverland really even a place you want to make familiar? It’s supposed to be a weird fantasy. I’d think you’d want to emphasize the alienness, not the familiarity.

Music fandom doesn’t work like that anymore.

…,.Man, that was terrible.

It seems like one of the writer’s wrote a line that probably sounded like “Here we are now, entertain us” and then someone else in the room said “Oh man, wouldn’t it be great if they just started singing Nirvana?!!”

There was also a lot of cocaine involved.