Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 21: Heron, "The Angry Birds Movie," Cartoon Universe

The heron was in calm shallows; the deepest water it walked in went two inches up its orange legs.  It would go and get something from the cattails on the side, and, when it had eaten it--tossing up its beak and contracting its throat in great gulps--it would plod back to a dry sandbar in the center of the creek which seemed to serve as its observation tower.  It wagged its stubby tail up and down; its tail was so short it did not extend beyond its folded wings.

Dillard does this a lot at Tinker Creek--watching things.  She watches muskrats and ice melting.  The moon rising above stands of trees.  She takes things home, like snake skins, and puzzles over shape and form.  In short, she does everything that a writer/poet does when she doesn't have to worry about money or teaching or taking care of kids.  So, on a warm summer day, Dillard interrupts the dinner of a heron, watches it wade through the water and slime.

The reason I chose to focus on a passage about a bird is that I went to see The Angry Birds Movie last night with my son, wife, and sister.  The best thing I can say about the movie is that the buttered popcorn was pretty good.  There's nothing like movie theater popcorn.  As for the film itself . . . well, to be quite honest, I dozed off during a portion of it. 

Now, let me say here that I am not a person who hates animated feature films.  I love animated films.  When I teach Intro to Film, I always include Toy Story or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on the syllabus.  Walt Disney is one of my heroes (overlooking the rumored antisemitism and cooperation with Joseph McCarthy and HUAC in the 1950s).  In fact, one of the few movies I will pay to see this summer will be Pixar's Finding Dory.  (Not being a superhero fanboy, I couldn't care less whether Batman kicked Superman's ass or Captain America and Iron Man work out their relationship issues.)

On our first date, I took my wife-to-be to see The Jungle Book, which had just been re-released.  I sat with her in the back row of the theater full of rugrats.  I sang along to all the songs.  Loudly.  (We did make out a little bit, too, much to the chagrin of some soccer moms.)  Surprisingly, she still married me.

One of my earliest memories of going to the movies is Mary Poppins, especially where Mary takes everybody into the chalk painting.  As a kid, I dreamed of being able to do that--jumping into an animated world.  Of course, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? sort of showed how dangerous being a real person in a cartoon universe can be.  But I still thought it would be cool.  Actually, I wouldn't mind spending a little time with Woody and Buzz or Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.

Now, as for being in a world where little bird balls battle green pigs--I don't think I'd sign up for passage on that boat.  Nothing really magical about that for me.

However, Marty wouldn't mind being a Lego saint.

Confessions of Saint Marty

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