Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday Grab Bag Indebted to Disney

I'm not entirely sure if we would have made it all the way to Connecticut last Friday, given the unanticipated and unavoidable delays and mini-disasters, if not for the steady stream of Disney entertainment keeping the little guy and little girl pacified. Oh, sure, they mixed it up a little with some DVD compilations of Olivia and Busytown Mysteries, but Frozen and Cars 2 remain the heavy hitters (along with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which somehow still delights them.) I know it's very hip to adopt a scornful attitude towards the Big D for making huge profits off selling to little kids exactly what they're predisposed to want, but all I can say is: thank you, Disney, for giving my kids exactly what they want. You are very welcome to my money in exchange for it.


Of course while we were at my dad's the discussion inevitably came up about all of us going to Walt Disney World at some point in ... I guess the relatively near future? We kind of reset the clock on that plan when the little bino was born last year, but he's within a year, two years tops, of being able to actually get something out of the experience, so we really need to start planning. (And saving, lest we become deeply indebted to Disney in a much more literal fiduciary sense.)


Anyway, speaking of Frozen, one night this week we were getting the kids ready for bed and showing them some videos on the iPad, including songs from Frozen. The little girl had selected "Love is an Open Door" and both she and her older brother were into it, but at the point where the duet reaches a passage of Anna and Hans alternating individual words, the little guy began to quibble with it. He observed that for the phrase "you and I were just meant to be", Anna sings "you" and Hans sings "and I" which means they're both talking about Hans, which doesn't make any sense. I just kind of chuckled and said that was technically true but, you know, music sometimes doesn't adhere to the strictest grammatical rule-following, so you just have to kind of ignore those lapses. (Insert "let it go" joke here.) Then I left to go start running the little guy's bath.

Then a minute later I cam running back into the bedroom and said, "Oh! But! Maybe they did that on purpose! It really does cut right to the heart of how oblivious Anna is and how self-serving Hans is! Right? Right?"

I may be overthinking things, as is my wont. (I may also be as obsessed as my kids with Frozen, if not moreso.) But man, I think Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez write some killer showtunes.


Another kind of cartoon that gets a lot of play at bedtime in my house is Donald Duck shorts. I tell myself that it's constructive parenting because Donald Duck is such a classic lesson in how all-consuming, irrational anger is ultimately self-defeating and self-destructive, but I also know that the lesson is going right over my kids' heads, as they just think Donald is hilarious. Those cartoons from the 40's and 50's have also filled their heads with various anachronisms, but far and away my favorite is the sadly fallen-out-of-favor expletive, "Phooey!" The little girl in particular has really latched onto that one, as apparently it just fully resonates with her as an expression of frustration. If there is anything on God's green earth cuter than a three year old stomping off and shouting, "Oh, phooey!" I have no idea what it is.


Finally, did everyone see the new early trailer for Big Hero 6 this week? (Here it is.) We are living in a world where Walt Disney Pictures is making an animated feature film out of one of the weirder Marvel Comics concepts of the late '90's. Truly this is a geeky golden age. I feel like I keep saying variations on this, but I can't help it, because they keep pushing further and further into obscurities I thought would be lost to the quarter-bins of history forever.

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