Monday, August 31, 2009

Revising the Neverland Can Be Done

In Hook & Jill, Andrea Jones takes us on an awfully big adventure. Jones has created a fantastic companion piece to Sir J.M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy.

She re-enters the Neverland, quite obviously knowing her way around. She guides us through familiar but new scenes, such as other tender moments in the Underground House and hunts in the jungles. She brings us to new places like the Fairy Glade and the entrance of the crocodile’s lair. Her grasp on the ethereal island is so imaginative, compelling and accurate, I’d venture to say Jones has been there herself. Surely she’s one of the adults who can still “hear the sound of the surf” and knows how to land.

And yet, by the same token, she steers way off course. But her new direction is far from uncharted. Although veering from the story we all know, it’s clear that Jones still navigates in Barrie’s blueprints. Carefully grounded, she plots her tale amid the set boundaries, while still managing to soar in the air often. Hook & Jill is not a continuation of Peter and Wendy, nor is it a paraquel. It’s a marvelous pretend turned real. Jones asks us to wonder what would happen if Wendy Darling gave in to her cravings for adventure. Cravings which being a mother to Peter Pan could not provide. As Wendy opens herself up to new experiences, so are we given an inspired and delightful new story in the Neverland. Every twist and surprise is balanced by an exceptional use of the original – from spot-on reactions of Peter Pan to extensions of Barrie’s logic. No detail is wasted and minute elements are deftly woven into the new material.

Jones rewrites the future, but also the past. For the timeline not only skews before Hook captures Tiger Lily, it branches off from the first story in Kensington Gardens as well. What Jones presents about the characters’ histories might be considered an imposition. But she expertly presents the reworking, both through her writing and her command of the sensitive bittersweetness of Barrie. What is technically a contradiction becomes necessary and gratifying, enhancing the themes of Barrie while strengthening the new vision of Jones. The right to navigate in two directions is well earned. Hook & Jill delivers a wonderful dream of the whole of Barrie’s world.

Andrea Jones, please lead us on into Other Oceans and beyond!

WARNING: Hook & Jill is not a novel for children, as Ms. Jones will be quick to say herself. This adventure explores the grown-up side of Barrie’s tale.

I'm HOOKed.
Jones-in for More
Pan's at Yet Another Window...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pan's Window Opens YET AGAIN

Another Peter Pan variation has come out.

The Child Thief by Brom

I've known about it coming for months now, actually.

I figure I'd be negligent if I didn't at least mention it.

I don't mean this at all as a critique of the work, but I'm not interested. Not because it's messing with the Pan story. I tend to like reinterpretation, as evidenced here and here. I just don't feel that I want to read yet another super-dark and twisted take on it. A little too "gothicky" for me, perhaps. Personally, I think it's been done to death. But who knows, Brom might have a fresh spin on it.

If you're in the mood for it, you can read more about it here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vitalist Theatre Ventures Forth Again!

Well, everyone, it’s that time again. Night Season!

Okay, well, not exactly, but yes. That’s the name of Vitalist Theatre Company’s new show. And once again I’ve been helping build the set. I’m rather sore, but it’s at least good to know the aches are from accomplishment. As always, it’s been great to see my buddy Laughter, Sparrow and the Director again. Not to mention the rest of the regular crew.

I don’t have much to report about the specifics of the show. For I really don’t know them. I’ve not heard much about it yet. But I do know some bits (and “tricks”) that will be included from helping put up the environment for it. What I do know is best kept secret so as not to spoil things for those who will be able to see the show.

It’s a pleasure to help them out… and I will of course post more about The Night Season in the future.
You can, of course, go to their website to read more until then.

Meanwhile, my new favorite power tool is the Router. Talk about a FUN tool! And the results are damn near (if not) perfect everytime. Virtually idiot proof… which is good in my case. ;)

(All the stage work has prevented me from finishing Hook & Jill by Andrea Jones, too. But I hope that my many engagements this coming weekend will allow time to see how her marvelous new direction in the Neverland saga ends! [For now...])

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Different Neverland Adventure (and its freakish reality!)

Perhaps you remember my post about other interpretations of the Peter Pan story?
(If not, it’s here.)

Well, another such creative approach to the story is thus:

Peter had been snatched away as a baby, to be used for a scientific experiment. An experiment in genes and DNA in such a way as to arrest the process of aging. I haven’t thought deeply enough into how the rest of the Pan elements would work into this re-invention. Just throwing it out there.

For you see, I came across an article. It’s about “regions” of DNA in cells called Telomeres. New York-based T.A. Sciences are working on a pill (but of course!) that will prevent the eventual degeneration of Telomeres, which, in turn, will prevent aging and possibly death! Immerse yourself in better stated facts about this amazing (and potentially frightening) development (or lack thereof.)
Anti-ageing Pill Activates Telomerase

Okay, so, is the Neverland really a secret government lab and Peter Pan their greatest success?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Until They Foouund the Sea of 3-D?

Well, it seems as if the toy to the left there (and any other bit of merchandising) isn't the only time we'll get to see the Yellow Submarine in three dimensions. Robert Zemeckis plans to bring it back... in digital 3-D.

Yes, also with motion capture performances.

Yes, it's slated to include all the original songs. (Not sure about George Martin's instrumentals, though. I like these very much. Quite a few of them are in my regular rotation for writing. )

Yes, it's a remake. I'll tell you - I don't know if I should laugh, cry or be damn excited.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm HOOKed.

Forgive me, but I must post again about Hook & Jill by Andrea Jones.

I am so enjoying it. For the first time, I feel like I am reading other adventures in the Neverland. And that’s quite a great feeling to have. Since I love Barrie’s island and its inhabitants so much, it’s a joy to have them in new situations and conversations. The only other time I felt this way about a Peter Pan work is Fox’s Peter Pan & the Pirates. Although this is different — this is in writing!

It may sound odd, but what made me the happiest in the book is a very simple word: the. Yes, “the.”
It’s the (ha!) placement of this little word. You see, she noticed it. None of the others who wrote of Pan did. What the heck am I talking about? In the novel Peter and Wendy, Barrie always wrote “the Neverland.” You won’t find “Neverland” without “the” before it. And Jones follows this rule. I did as well, of course, although I allow characters to say “Neverland” without “the” in front of it. It just seemed quite awkward for an entity to say “the Neverland” all the time. It made sense to me that after the expanse betwixt-and-between Peter and Wendy and Peter Pan’s NeverWorld that it would drop out of regular speech, in the way that language evolves. Perhaps I am at fault for this slight alteration, but I did purposefully make sure the Narrator kept “the” in its proper place. So, I found myself quite pleased that Andrea would care enough to notice the quirk.

I also have to say I feel slightly bad concerning something I had told her on the evening we met. While discussing the incongruity of other Pan works, I used the example of how many times Peter Pan went back to his mother’s window/house. (He went twice.) In Hook & Jill, she also writes of it being only once. However - it is also not, in this case, considerable for a contradiction of Barrie. Why? Well, it goes back to the Narrator. In the work I cited to her, the Narrator is the one who insists Pan only went once. But Andrea has Peter say so. What’s the difference? A great deal of difference. You see, Peter Pan is notorious for his bad memory. He’s also unable to discern make-believe from true for much (if not all) of what unfolds around him. But the Narrator? The Narrator knows all… or at least can be trusted to tell the truth, unlike Peter. Thus, having Pan say “once” is, in fact, still in accordance with Barrie.

In a way, but certainly not exactly or fully, it reminds me of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. This play is sort of the reverse of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It focuses on the bit characters of R & G, as well as the theatrical troupe that performs in Hamlet. When R & G enter into a Shakespeare scene, it is instead the other characters who come into R & G’s space in Stoppard's play. In this way, we can see the effect (and affect) the events of Hamlet have on “ordinary people” as well as allow for great philosophical insights. Hook & Jill is not a direct “backstage” of the Peter Pan story by any stretch. But at the same time, it does show us other events in and around the familiar ones. It refers to Barrie’s events as having happened (such as the quick rundown of the nursery I described in the last post.) Another example: We’re given many more nights in the Underground House. It’s wonderful.

I’m liking Hook & Jill so much that I think I just might be sad when this adventure veers from the original path. Not disappointed, but sad. Then again, I don’t wish to be or plan to be. It’s just that having more of the adventures of the Neverland with the Darlings, Tinker Bell, Hook & the pirates and all of Barrie’s Lost Boys still there is too damn charming and thrilling. But with any luck, Andrea’s fertile imagination will be just as engaging.

Brava, Andrea!

Pan's at Yet Another Window...
Jones-in for More

WARNING: Hook & Jill is not a novel for children, as Ms. Jones will be quick to say herself. This adventure explores the grown-up side of Barrie’s tale.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jones-in for More

Last night I attended a local author book reading and signing at The Book Cellar here in Chicago. I went especially because author Andrea Jones would be there with her new book, Hook & Jill. I mentioned coming across this novel in a previous post.

Ms. Jones read a portion some ways into her novel. I found it delightful for two reasons. First, her flair for reading. She inflected in a way befitting the scene and characters. (I hope I can do as well reading aloud from my own work!) Secondly, it proved quite nice to hear a part that dealt with characters from the story of Pan that I did not have in my novel. (Tinker Bell and Captain Hook) I mean that in the sense of hearing more about these two, as I could not provide it or work with them in my own tale. Ms. Jones did them more than justice.

Afterward, I approached her and introduced myself (and my work.) Fortunately, she’d been just as eager to discuss Barrie. We talked of various versions, found we shared a common interest in remaining true to his work, the process of writing and shared tidbits we’d learned along the way. Let me tell you, just being able to share thoughts with someone who is as obsessive in admiration of Barrie’s genius proved quite thrilling.

I have begun Hook & Jill… and I very much like it so far. What Ms. Jones has done is intriguing and commendable. I explained this last post, but I have further information. This work is not an extension of Peter Pan in either direction. It’s not meant to continue the story. Rather, it is the same story… sort of. You see, she (and I say for the sake of description only) glossed over the events of the Darling's nursery when Peter Pan came back for his shadow. For she did not need to or intend to retell what Barrie already achieved. Instead she is playing a "What If?" game later on in the events in the Neverland, inspired by the P.J. Hogan film. Unlike Spielberg’s “What If?” which, in my opinion, undermines the very fabric of the story (to say nothing of its major contradictions.) I won’t spoil the “What If?” of Ms. Jones, but suffice to say it seems Peter Pan will not be very happy with Wendy in an ironic twist.

I did ask Ms. Jones about the idea of the Neverland being “darker” this time around. Apparently, that’s just a “marketing” issue. For she, too, sees and appreciates the dual-sided nature of the island. Sure, it’s charming, happy and beautiful…but not always! Glad to know she’s just as immersed in Barrie. As for the other question I raised... I'll let you to discover the answer yourself.

I also liked the fact that her “love” is Captain Hook. In this way, we are like the dual nature inherent in the story and characters. (For I, as can probably be inferred, gravitate toward Pan.)

I’m looking forward to not only finish reading her book, but to chat and visit with her more.

All the best to you, Andrea Jones!

(Sorry about the very bad pun for the title... it's just one of those "had to"s)

Pan's at Yet Another Window...
I'm HOOKed.

WARNING: Hook & Jill is not a novel for children, as Ms. Jones will be quick to say herself. This adventure explores the grown-up side of Barrie’s tale.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Not Much of a Choice??

Does anyone remember the Choose Your Own Adventure Series? These books spoke in the second person, to you, the reader, so that you were supposed to be experiencing the events of the story. Every so often you'd be asked to make a choice. Such as: Do you want to explore the cave? Or do you want to remain with your uncle? Each choice gave a page to turn to and the story went on... which you, in theory, controlled.

Someone who had the proverbial "too much time on their hands" (which I think is just another way for a person to complain of not having enough) created a Choose Your Own Adventure flow chart. Using a real book. It's not entirely pointless fun... statistics on the possible outcomes are given. It's a pretty grim result. The full page is here. You'll be able to find out which book had been used, see the findings and download a PDF of the chart.

Also, the project I spoke of recently, did, of course, run into snafu after snafu. But I'm happy to say that major hurdles have been jumped and it's nearing completion. I'm sure another snafu will crop up, so don't hold your breath.

Monday, August 17, 2009

another FACEt of the BOOK

Just a quick note to let you know that if you're on Facebook
and a fan of Peter Pan's NeverWorld, you can find its official page here.

Fantasy Islands

Although it receives quite a bit of attention, we all know that the Neverland is not the only island in fiction.

Over at there's quite a comprehensive list of them. It seems they thought of everything. Novels, comics, video games, songs... Bravo.

Though the wording for "The Neverland" is somewhat ambiguous.

an island that apparently exists outside of time, as its inhabitants never age or die

Characters most certainly can die. Of course, it's refering to the immortality aspect that Peter Pan and other inhabitants display. As for whether the isle exists "outside of time," I'd like to explore that further. In fact, I've been thinking about that very subject - the nature of "Time" regarding the Neverland (again) lately prior to their description.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Crimson Herring in the Bull's Eye

I’d been IM-ing with Sunshine and she came up with quite the concept.

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned the “futuristic Robin Hood” movie that’s going into production. I asked her thoughts on it, even though I figured she’d probably not be so keen on the idea. She replied she didn’t really care, no, as Robin Hood had never been one of her favorites. But since she loves movies, she might give it a try depending on how it looks. Then came the swerve.

Okay, at first it’s not a swerve, but a common complaint. She wondered why Maid Marion (Maid Moron in her words) always had to be such a wuss. I replied that at least in recent manifestations there has been attempt to give her more than a damsel in distress role. I added that it might not have always been successful, but at least they tried. One Marion, however, does in fact "kick ass" - in the BBC series. She’s got all the attributes of a fair woman, plus. She’s well learned, can hold her own in wit and intensity with the "domineering" men and also is quite active. Not just in helping Robin and company to sneak in (or what have you) but also in fighting alongside him. (“Spoiler” info to come… if you don’t want part of it spoiled for you, move on to the next paragraph.) I explained to Sunshine how in the BBC series, long before Robin returned to Nottingham, she had become a personage called The Night Watchman. The Watchman would perform a role of protection and aid, in much the same way as Hood. You might even say she gave Robin the idea. She continues this risky business even when caught and exposed. At any rate, the writers (and actress Lucy Griffiths) gave us a Marion worth her salt.

Okay, here’s the curve ball Sunshine threw: Why can’t Robin Hood be a woman? There’s not even a name change involved. I don’t know about you, but I really love this idea. And since the legend of Hood is completely malleable as I explain in this post, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. The more I thought on it, the more I liked it. And now I want to see it.

As we continued on with the discussion, we wondered… would the Sheriff, Sir Guy of Gisbourne (and others) think they are dealing with a man? Hmmm. At first it seemed too pat/expected. I mean, wouldn’t it be cooler if they knew they were being bested by a woman? Especially in that day and age. Then again, that can also be construed as too pat/expected. Furthermore, wouldn’t it be advantageous of a female Robin Hood to have the authorities believe she’s a man? Can’t ask for a redder herring disguise. It’s a difficult one to rejoinder. Of course, the discussion led Sunshine to another legend-shifting idea. What if Robin Hood and Maid Marion were the same person? Whoa, yes. Perhaps that is a crimson herring?

Certainly a lot to think about. I know I’d like to see a version where Hood is a leading lady. (Just don't give her a skimpy outfit!)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stuff that COULD Be Jolly from Holly(wood)

I’m afraid it’s time for another Hollywood post.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to start complaining.
There’s just been a stockpile and I want to unload it.

I’ve talked quite a bit already about the forthcoming Where the Wild Things Are adaptation. Another trailer has come out. You might recall that Sendak told Jonze to make what the book meant to him, not what's directly on the pages. It seems as if Jonze is doing just that… for this film looks rather slow moving and oddly gentle. I don’t mean those derogatorily. I always thought the book had a relaxed pace and comfort as well. I’m still happily intrigued. You can see for yourself.

Terry Gilliam’s much-anticipated and semi-ill fated The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus has found a distributor. So we can look forward to another wacky and wonderful romp through Gilliam’s delightfully twisted mind. If you’re not already aware, the late Heath Ledger had been filming when he passed. Gilliam handled the blow by realizing that he can re-cast the role. Sounds awful… but it’s actually rather cool. Since the story already deals with a high degree of magic, it had been written in that the character “changes” each time he goes through a magic mirror. (Or something to this effect.) Bravo for carrying on and for the fun notion, Mr. Gilliam! Can’t wait for this one:

I’m not sure that we need one, but I’m not against it either - Little Red Riding Hood. Darker. Yes, it’s been done before as a Gothic horror type, with The Company of Wolves. But I’m game for another spin on a werewolf legend with a little girl in red. (The origins of the fairy tale sometimes include a lycanthrope character.) David Leslie Johnson is penning this new take. And Leonardo DiCaprio is producing. The results should be interesting.

The next “new spin” is an idea that I had, too. No, I’m not disappointed that someone else nabbed it. Quite glad. For I’d like to see how it turns out and I had no real gumption to do it. I envisioned a cartoon series, but a feature film might work just as well. A futuristic Robin Hood, anyone? Oh come now, it COULD be good. Jason Hall taking a stab at the script.

And lastly, the sort-of complaint, but not exactly. Way back in this post, I simply said that I’m shaking my head severely at what’s to come. This project (among many others) had been included in that disdain. I may still hold disdain for it, I’m not sure. ViewMaster: The Movie. Yes, the childhood toy. Roll the eyes back… here’s what happened. Apparently Brad Caleb Kane (Fringe) had an idea to pitch for a movie. On his own. Nothing to do with any company backed toys, just an idea that caught someone’s eye. The connection to ViewMaster had been made after the fact. Knowing that a movie of it had been discussed, Kane’s story supposedly fits in perfectly. I guess we’ll have to see what comes into focus, eh?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"They Have It!"

I’m a fan of the SyFy original series Eureka.

I just wanted to give a little “shout out” to the writers.

I’m quite impressed with this season. They’ve not only devised delightful episodes, but have nicely underlayed a larger story arc throughout them. The arc has been deftly peppered into the background. This past Friday’s show “If You Build It…” brought it to a boil, so to speak, with quite the promise of fun and intrigue. In fact, it proves an excellent example of what I mean to praise. Throw-away lines are not merely "tosses in" at all, but rather touch on character traits/development. Silly (good sense) side stories rack up to integrate into the plot. Mystery abounded… only to have a reveal worthy of (and possibly an actual nod to) The Twilight Zone.

Here’s hoping I’m just as pleased with the rest of the season!
Thanks to the writers/creators: Andrew Cosby & Jaime Paglia

According to iMDB, those two are responsible for the bulk of this season.
Other writers have contributed as well, and gratitude is extended to them, too.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sack FULL of Remakes...

It seems as if every time a movie comes up while talking with Banky and Clara, I unfortunately tell them, “It’s being remade.” It usually elicits eye rolls from them, too.

I just heard a rumor that El Orfanato (The Orphanage) is being redone in English. *eye roll*
In a sea of mediocre to lousy scary movies, The Orphanage is one of the few truly creepy and clever ones. Why risk tainting it by a so-so or terrible remake? (Oh sure, there’s a chance it will be good. But there’s no need for it to even be good when the original is superior to start.)

Another reason it seems to make no sense is: Hasn’t everyone who’s going to see this movie already (in theory) seen it? I mean, it pretty much infiltrated the Hollywood market. Quite publicized, quite popular. Thus, who (in theory) is going to bother to go see a remake? I suppose those who are put off by subtitles. Which, to me, is a shame that people are.

And for anyone who doesn’t already know, The Orphanage is derived from Peter Pan. Writer Sergio G. Sánchez had been so unnerved by the idea/image of a mother waiting desperately at the window for her child(ren) to return. He crafted this cool horror movie around the sad and spooky concept. Notice how many times a window is shown in the flick. That, and the little boy in it is reading Peter Pan. There are a few other more than obvious references as well.

I know I am still haunted by the sack-headed kid.

And no matter how much we complain, the unnecessary remakes will just keep coming…

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Just Thought I'd Share...

Every time I hear these lyrics, I love them all over again:

My heart beat beats me senselessly
Why’s everything gotta be so intense with me?
I’m tryin’ to handle all this unpredictability
In all probability…

And later in the song, I also like:

Oh I waited for fact to come of fiction
And you fit my description

(Lyrics from “Long Shot” by Kelly Clarkson)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wendy's Story?

Here’s another all-new musical variation on Peter Pan called Wendy.
It’s done by Jigsaw Theatre Company in Australia.
Not much info is available as of now, for the production is "coming soon." But you can read a little more about it here.
I really like this image of theirs.

The focus here is that Wendy is more of a modern young lady.
Pan with a feminist twist.

Amy Alexis Richards knows this variation quite well. ;)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pan's at Yet Another Window...

This book, Hook & Jill by Andrea Jones, came to my attention yesterday.
Interesting, no?

If you’re wondering, I’m not concerned about contradictions with this particular novel. For you see, it’s not a direct addition/continuation to Barrie’s story. Rather it seems to be a re-telling, or a re-imagining.

What does make me cock my head, though, is that emphasis is being placed on the Neverland as dark, sinister and highly dangerous... as if this were something special this time around. Okay, yes… but how is that different from what Barrie portrays? Perhaps Ms. Jones means darker still?

And I have to admit I’m quite curious about “Jill.” The only thing that comes to mind is the Hogan movie version when Wendy declares herself as “Red Handed Jill” which is a variation from John’s name for himself, “Red Handed Jack.”

I’ll just have to get the book and find out, eh?

Learn more about this new book here.

Jones-in for More
I'm HOOKed.

WARNING: Hook & Jill is not a novel for children, as Ms. Jones will be quick to say herself. This adventure explores the grown-up side of Barrie’s tale.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Et tu, Hairë?

Some say that leaving one's mark on the world is highly desirable.
Well, does it get any more mark-ed than having people name themselves after you?
Not just name themselves after you, but shift the meaning of the nomenclature such as to represent a title of respect?
Not just a title of respect, but a full-blown superior and authoritative position?
What am I talking about? Caesar.

The name Caesar conjures up quite a bit along with it. But...truthfully, it's just a name. A familial cognomen. And yet, this name has been adopted by other guys in other countries hundreds of years later. For if you didn't already know, the words Kaiser and Czar are derived from Caesar. Imagine that. Somebody says, "Hey, I want to be the 'Caesar' of my country." The word for leader could have been used. Or law-giver. Or "top man." Or Big Cheese. Just about anything... but no, they wanted the name of a guy(s) in the past. Talk about flattery and admiration.

What makes it even more special is the origin of the word/name Caesar. According to Wikipedia, it's a kind of family nickname, passed down to the next generation. And it means: Hairy.

The Hairy of Russia?

Maybe it's just me, but I find it interesting, disturbing and pleasant all at once.
That's quite a mark.
(Not to mention pizza and gambling.)

*The pic used is Caesar from the French comics Asterix written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. I rather enjoy Asterix. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

If Knowledge Is Power, Then Cartoons Are Mighty (Mouse)

Yesterday, I watched CA$H CAB. I do quite frequently, actually. I let the TiVo gather them up and when I need to “veg” with some intellectual pepper, they’re always there to watch. (If you don’t know the show, you’re missing out. Everyone I have ever suggested it to loves it or had already loved it…and I learned about it from Ellen. NUTSHELL: People earn cash money for answering trivia questions while on route to their destination in a taxi.)

Okay, well, one of the questions had been to the effect of: What childhood malady is associated with cheeks puffed out like a chipmunk? I knew the answer (yea me!) but the people in the cab did not. I don’t mean that as a jab at them. It’s not like one often hears of the Mumps. (And does it even occur with frequency anymore? I’m not sure.) But again, it’s not something that comes up every day. Also, their ages seemed comparable to mine, no more than five years younger. So I wondered… why did I know it?

After moments of searching, I realized that I saw it on a cartoon as a kid. I don’t remember which one, but that brings me to my point.

Cartoons, classic cartoons at the very least, are quite educational. By classic I mean such as Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry. Amid the craziness and shenanigans, there’s real information contained within them.

That’s how I knew about the Mumps, as I said. But there’s much more. Of course, there’s the ever popular exposure to classical music and operas. Spot-on caricatures of “old” celebrities abound. Weird historical trivia… such as the Zoot Suit that Tom “needed.” The expression “The Long Arm of the Law.” Poetry, like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Hiawatha.” Info on the World Wars. The Robin Hood legend (in both Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry). Wile E. Coyote’s personality and plight is based on Native American stories of coyotes. That’s just what came to mind right now… if I (or you) thought longer, I’m sure other bits would come to mind.

So don’t dismiss cartoons as useless visual gibberish… there’s plenty packed into them.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Some Advice...

I'm quite surprised that more people have not covered the song "Very Good Advice" from Walt Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland. It seems like the kind of ditty that someone like Bette Midler, Bjork or Barbra Streisand would be all over. (They could, of course, eliminate the crying part. [Not that it isn't appropriate in the film.]) I'd also like to hear Kelly Clarkson do a version of it. (But then, I'd like to hear her sing just about anything.)

That, and it's one of Bart's favorites.