“Dear Mr Robert Zemeckis Sir” – A Letter From a Ten-Year-Old

A slightly edited version of this article is up on Roger Ebert’s Foreign Correspondents blog over here!


Dear Mr Robert Zemeckis Sir,

My name is Forrest. Not Forrest Gump, but Forrest Phoenix. I am ten years old.

I have two brothers and their names are Marty and John and Marty is twenty years old and John is six and three quarters.

I am your number one fan! I love your movies like ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Back to the Future II’ and ‘Back to the Future III’ and ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and ‘Forrest Gump’. They’re my favorites!

Even though I don’t fully understand the ‘Back to the Future’ movies and even though my parents don’t let me see some scenes from ‘Forrest Gump’, I really like those movies.

In ‘Back to the Future’, I enjoy all the time travel scenes and the skateboarding scenes and I find some scenes really really funny, especially when Doc is there! I like all the future scenes in part two, but I don’t think we will have flying cars in 2015. Oh, also in part two, there is a Pizza Hut logo on the packet, but the logo you used was the older logo but now on the boxes there is a newer logo, so that’s not right. Even though, I love the movies!

And I also enjoy ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, especially when Roger Rabbit and the Valiant detective talk and when the Valiant detective goes to the Toontown! That part is funniest! And I find how you mixed cartoons with real life amazing! (I think ‘Space Jam’ copied you, Mr Zemeckis Sir. You should sew the film.)

And I cry twice every time I see Forrest Gump, one time when Bubba dies and the other time when Forrest is talking to Jenny’s grave stone. I think that the movie has many good messages for people, like no one is stupid. When my classmates call me stupid, I proudly say ‘stupid is as stupid does’, even if I’m not clear on what it means. And I laugh in that movie a lot too, some scenes are hillarious!

But I have a question I would like to ask to you, and my mother thinks it would be a good idea to write it down and send it to you so that is what I’m doing. The question I have is why are you making your newer films using computers when you could make them using real live cameras instead?
Like I said before in my letter, I love your old movies but I don’t love your new movies so much. My mother is now telling me to say ‘no offense’ and ‘sorry’ and say the words ‘humble opinion’.

‘The Polar Express’ had fun adventure parts, but the animation was little creepy at some times. I found the girl heroine scary looking. And I got even scareder of the skiing man on the top of the train. My father is telling me to write that he was imotionaly disconnected from the movie, unlike with your other movies which you made. My mother says my father is wrong and that you were simply experymenting and that is a good thing to do. My father said he never felt for the characters. I don’t understand my parents.

And I found ‘Beowulf’ even more scarier. Marty is next to me now. He is saying that Anjelina Jolie is secksy. My mother just sent him out of the kitchen. I didn’t understand the story of ‘Beowulf’. My father says it’s good that I didn’t. I don’t know what he means. I like some parts of the movie a lot though, like the dragon scene. My mother is asking my father why you had to make the movie using motion catcher when you could have used real live cameras. My father is immittatting my mother and saying you are simply experymenting. My mother is quiet. Some times I don’t understand what grown ups are talking about, Mr Zemeckis sir.

I didn’t get to see ‘A Christmas Carol’ fully, but I know how it ends because we studied Charlie Dicken’s story in English class, and his story is the same as your movie’s. I didn’t see the full movie because John, my little brother, got scared and started crying when the ghost’s mouth bone came off when he was talking to Scoorge Scrooge.

My parents went for the movie again after, and my father says he found it uneven and unconvhincing. He says the parts with the ghost of the future should not have had those crazy 3-D ride scenes as they take away from the imotion. I don’t understand why my father is so worried about imotions. My mother is saying Scrooge’s transformation was too sudden. I don’t know what to say as I thought it was too sudden in Charlie’s story also.

Mr Zemeckis sir, I wonder why you keep making movies with motion catcher. I feel real live video is better and less scary. My father feels you are lazy to record using real live cameras. My mother always says to me if I’m lazy, I’ll become fat like Aunt Jesse, so I’m careful not to be lazy and you had better be careful too because Aunt Jesse is very fat and you’re my favorite director in the whole world and I don’t want you to become as fat as her because then you can’t make movies anymore. My mother doesn’t think you’re lazy. She thinks your experymental. My father is laughing.

I really really like you Mr Zemeckis sir. I wrote about you in my English project about who is my role model and one day I wish I can make movies like you. Only, I won’t make them using motion catcher. I want to use real live cameras like the Sony Handycam my parents have in their third drawer.
My mother is asking to me say ‘humble opinion’ again.
My father wants to add something here.

Dear Robert, I truly admire your movies. I think you’re a fantastic, cinema-changing director, really I do. It’s just after ‘The Polar Express that things have changed. I just didn’t feel that same… joyous zest in your films. I was emotionally distant from the characters. I don’t want to say anything that sounds condescending as I don’t know much about films, but I can say this: I named my first son after Marty from ‘Back to the Future’ because my wife and I loved those films. I named my second son, the little tyke who was writing this letter, Forrest, after ‘Forrest Gump’, your best movie in my opinion. We named our third son John after my father.

Thank you for your time Mr Zemeckis sir. I know you’re a busy man.
My mother read on the internet that the next Roger Rabbit movie is being made using motion catcher too!

Please, Mr Zemeckis, make real life movies again, with the same fun and joy! The seventh thing on my to-do list is: ‘See a great Robert Zemeckis film in theatres.’ If you don’t come up with one, I’ll need to find a DeLorean time machine to go back in time and see your older films in the theatre, and even though if I can find a DeLorean time machine, I don’t think I can steal Plutonium from anyone.

Sincerely yours,

Forrest B. Phoenix

Age: 10


I’d like to say that Forrest Phoenix is completely fictional, as are his parents and siblings; but his words stand for my thoughts and his art for itself.


10 responses to ““Dear Mr Robert Zemeckis Sir” – A Letter From a Ten-Year-Old

  • LJ

    In the style of my favorite comedic actor, Jim Carrey, this is B-E-A-Utiful.

    Beautifully written in a 10 years old perspective. Where others would have difficulty being in the mindset of a 10 year old consistently, you seem to have done it effortlessly. The drawings only encourage the reader’s mind into believing that a ten year old has written this.

    It is very hard to truly find mistakes in your writing, although since I am not a good writer I might be over looking a crucial point.

    But as I said, I am NOT a good writer so I find your writing as astoundingly amazing as few of the world’s leading authors.

    Keep it up! And again, this is a beautiful piece of work.

  • LJ

    Also, My fav. part in this whole thing which really convinced me that I am reading a 10 year old’s writing:

    “My mother always says to me if I’m lazy, I’ll become fat like Aunt Jesse, so I’m careful not to be lazy and you had better be careful too because Aunt Jesse is very fat and you’re my favorite director in the whole world and I don’t want you to become as fat as her because then you can’t make movies anymore.”


  • Ankur Vincent Peter

    Although, I wouldn’t expect 10 year olds to use words like “hilarious”, but what the hell, I don’t know what kind of a 10 year old YOU were so yeah. Great job! 🙂
    If i’m not mistaken, the drawings are yours too eh??

    And and and, “this article will soon appear on Roger Ebert’s foreign correspondents page” ?!?! ReallY?!?! :p

  • cinematicjackass

    @ Ankur: He never says ‘Hilarious’. He said ‘Hillarious’! I learned of that word when I was quite young– I read it on the DVD case of Mind Your Language, I think.

    Oh, and yep, it’s a future FFC article 🙂

  • cinematicjackass

    Hey, for the FCC version of the article, Roger Ebert has a suggestion:

    Would it be a nice touch to give Forrest an Indian surname, or no? After sons named Forrest and Marty, wouldn’t it be amusing if the third son
    had an Indian name, as if Forrest’s parents had given up on using Zemeckis as a name source?

    What do you guys think? 🙂

  • LJ

    Sounds good. Sounds fun too.

  • LJ

    PS. I dunno if it was there before but I like it that you added the artistic scrapyard to the left 😀

  • Ankur Vincent Peter

    hmmmm!!! Pretty late to respond i am. Yes that’d be cool

  • Joshua Belyeu

    Too bad this wasn’t a real letter; I’d have loved to read Mr. Zemeckis’ response.

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