Monday, May 23, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Things I Hated As A Child. And Still Hate.

Filmmakers tend to underestimate the tastes of children. Often, children can easily tell that a movie is, in fact, really dumb. I recall going to see Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium with my family in theaters, and my then five-year-old brother leaning over to my mother and whispering, "This is so wame." He was not wrong. So there are many films I hated as a child, and still hate. This is either because I thought they were stupid, or because they traumatized me in some way. Or, as is often the case in such matters, both. This is not a comprehensive list, but includes some of the best of the worst.

Summer Magic

I'm not entirely sure that I actually watched this in my childhood, but I am including it because it is a children's movie, and because of this song. I need little else to explain my hatred:

I recognize that that was just how the times were, but frankly I don't care.

Pete's Dragon

My original reasons for hating this may have had something to do with the fact that the dragon leaves at the end, but probably the biggest reasons was that this was one of the dumbest movies ever created. I vaguely remember watching this in my early childhood and disliking it, but clearer in my memory is when my family had gotten it for Christmas when I was ten and not even being able to finish it. If you have your doubts, allow me to quote the following lyrics:

"He's both a fish and a mammal
And I hope he'll never change
Cause it's not easy
To find someone who cares."

Fern Gully

This is another of those movies I recognized as being dumb as a child, but I'm pretty sure I was also frustrated by the ending: After having fallen in love with him, Crysta returns Zak to his original size and he rejoins the lumberjacks, and Crysta works on controlling her magic. Even worse than that, though: Their names are Crysta and Zak.

The Brave Little Toaster

I hate this movie. There was an ad for it at the beginning of about 70% of our VHS tapes, which didn't help. My sister and I would always groan and mock these ads whenever they came on. When we eventually actually saw it, it unsurprisingly was a terrible movie. Largely because it is about a toaster.

The Black Cauldron

This movie terrified me like none other. Anyone else remember this guy?

I believe that the first time I watched this, I spent the majority of the film hiding under my aunt's coffee table. Looking back now, I still hate it. Partly because I still resent it for traumatizing me as a child, but mostly because I've actually read the book and this movie is sacrilege.

The Last Unicorn

1. Last unicorn, trying to find what has happened to the rest of her kind, is attacked by the Red Bull, depicted above.
2. Last unicorn is turned into a woman named Amalthea to save her from the Red Bull.
3. Amalthea meets a prince named Lir; they fall in love.
4. The Red Bull appears again and sees through Amalthea's disguise.
5. Amalthea is turned back into the Unicorn.
6. Lir dies trying to save the Unicorn.
7. The Unicorn drives the Red Bull into the ocean, and all the other unicorns appear.
8. The Unicorn brings Lir back to life.
9. The Unicorn is now the only unicorn to know about love and regret, having fallen in love with Lir.
10. She leaves anyway. The end.

I hate that movie.

A Journey Through Fairyland

This one took me a while to track down, because the only real memory I had was of a guy in a greenhouse crying as a fairy dissolved, and my bawling my eyes out because I was four years old and just wanted a happy ending. I managed to find it, however, by searching through Wikipedia's list of animated feature films made in the 1980's. It is in fact called A Journey Through Fairyland and I must have seen a dubbed version because the original is in Japanese. It is the story of a musician named Michel who falls asleep in his greenhouse one night only to find that one of his flowers has hatched a fairy named Florence. She gives him a magic golden baton and the following night takes him to Fairyland, and a knock-off version of Fantasia follows. Eventually Michel and Florence fall in love, but then they're attacked by these bug-like creatures. Michel sacrifices himself, which propels him back to the human world. Then Florence decides to come back to visit him, but she can't survive during the day and can't get back to Fairyland because the baton has gone missing, and she dies. Michel then goes back to his orchestra and every time he conducts it or plays his oboe, he travels back to Fairyland but never sees Florence again because she's DEAD. The end.

All of the above have been in no particular order. There are some I hate more than others, but the extent of my hatred for each can be more or less gathered from the accompanying descriptions. This one had to be set apart. The hatred I feel for this one far exceeds any of the above, and it isn't the movie version that I hate. It wasn't around when I was a child, but the book was.

Bridge to Terabithia.

I don't think I have ever hated a book in my life so much as I hated this one. I read it in second grade, after receiving it for Christmas from some sadistic relative or other. I enjoyed it up until Leslie died. And then I ran into the kitchen, wailing inconsolably. My mom had me call my uncle, who had also hated it, so I could vent. I don't care if it won the Newbery Medal, it's a terrible book. And I dislike plots that center on something was just in the main characters' imaginations almost as much as I dislike plots where everything turns out to be a dream.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Last night, at about 3 am, I had a life-altering epiphany while talking to my roommate. I wrote as much of it as I could down once I got back to my bedroom, planning on writing about it in depth here later. I was so excited, because everyone else always has the occasional serious, insightful blog post that makes people think, and I wanted a turn.

This is what I wrote:

"On a hill you see all the people and they don't know you. And like, the bible and the torah and the koran and the talmud and the book of mormon? And the other stuff. It's all your geographical location. Like, politics. And morality? I think we shouldn't kill people but other people have other morality. And we don't know each other but we're ALL CONNECTED on some universal scale...
cheddar cheese"


What does it mean? And why did it morph into a grocery list? More importantly, what was I on?

The only epiphanies I have that actually make sense are not in any way life-altering. For example, the other day I had the epiphany that when composing the soundtrack to Pirates of the Caribbean, Hans Zimmer probably drew inspiration from the second movement of Joaquin Rodrigo's Fantasia para un Gentilhombre. I guarantee no one reading this has any idea what I'm even talking about.

Will I ever have a serious, insightful blog post that makes people think?

No, probably not.

I need to get more sleep.