Monday, August 30, 2010

As Retold by Sadako: Where the Wild Things Are

The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another, his mother called him, "WILD THING."

And Max said, "Stop listening to that Troggs album!"

So he was sent to bed without any supper and without his mother wondering if she needed to cut back on her dating life.

That night in Max's room, as his blood sugar level decreased, a forest grew and grew, until his ceiling hung with vines and the world became a manifestation of his troubled id.

An ocean tumbled by with a boat for Max. He sailed off through night and day till he came to where the wild things are.

And when he came to where the wild things are, they roared their terrible roars. And gnashed their terrible teeth. And rolled their terrible eyes.

And showed their terrible claws. And screened their overrated Matt Dillon/Neve Campbell/Denise Richards threesome scene over and over again.

Until Max tamed them with the magic trick of staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once.

And they were frightened at his no-blinking skills because no one with access to the prop department of A Clockwork Orange had yet come to their island. And they acknowledged that he was indeed pack leader, even though he hadn't used the phrase, "Tsst!" once. And they made him king of all wild things.

"Now," said Max, "let the wild rumpus start!" And he opened his appointment book to schedule in rumpuses for the next several weeks.

"Now, stop!" Max said and withheld food as discipline as he had been taught, and he sent the wild things off to bed without any supper.

And Max like all wild things was lonely.

So he resigned his post as king of all the wild things.

But the wild things, angry that he hadn't left two weeks' written notice and had refused to stick around for an exit interview, said, "Oh please don't go, we'll eat you up, we love you so!"

Deciding to soften the impending separation anxiety as best he could, Max said, "No."

And he sailed away, through night and day, for over a year, till he reached home, where his Swanson's Hungry Man Dinner was waiting. And it was still lukewarm.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Movies in a Minute: Disney's Peter Pan

Narrator: "This happened before. And it will happen again. But this time it happened in London to the Darling family."

Wendy: "Peter Pan is ever so wonderful--"

Mr. Darling: "I've had enough of the tales of that rapscallion! It's high time Wendy had a room of her own! Tonight's your last night in the nursery!"

Mrs. Darling: "George!"

Children: "Father!"

Virginia Woolf: "Finally."

Mrs. Darling: "Don't worry, children. This is as close to love as your father's British repression will ever allow him to show."

Wendy: "Don't lock the window, Mother! I have something that belongs to a strange boy and he might sneak into my room late at night."

Mother: "Oh. Yes, of course, dear."

Peter Pan: "Come on, Tink! Let's find my shadow."

Sadako: "Now a little fanservice for all the dads in the audience."

Wendy: "Oh, Peter. I'm so glad you came. Tonight's my last night in the nursery. I'll have to have a room of my own, with no one to snoop in my diary or go through my personal belongings."

Peter Pan: "No! You can come away with me and be a mother to the lost boys. Come on, everyone. Tink!"

Michael: "What's the pixie doing?"

Sadako: "Engaging in what Carol Gilligan would term girl on girl hierarchical conflict."

John: "How do we fly, too?"

Peter Pan: "Just think really good thoughts!"

Rhoda Byrne: "Interesting..."

Peter Pan: "Oh, and just use a little pixie dust. Come on! Neverland. First star to the left and straight on till morning."

Pirate: "Peter Pan ahoy!"

Captain Hook: "I'll get you, Pan! And your voluptuous little lady friend, too!"

Peter Pan: "Watch over Wendy and the others, Tink, while I stay here and draw Hook's fire."

Lost Boys: "What's that, Tink? Peter wants us to shoot down the Wendy bird? Okay! Huzzah for following orders!"

Peter Pan: "Nice going, blockheads. I bring you a mother and you shoot her down before she can wash any dishes or make a single bed? What good will she be to us dead or wounded?! Tink, you're banned from Neverland for a week. Tootles, take a Polaroid of her and tape it up."

Wendy: "Peter, let's see the mermaid lagoon! Mermaids are ever so sweet and lovely!"

Sadako: "Spoken like someone who's never known the frustration of coming across a mermaid with the fish part on the bottom."

Peter Pan: "All right, guys. We're going to the mermaid lagoon. While I'm gone, go out and capture a few Native Neverlanders. John, you're in charge."

John: "Now, since the Injun is crude and savage, we'll have to--


Sadako: "Maybe you put her behind your copy of How to be an Ethnic Stereotype Without Really Trying?"

Wendy: "Oh, real live mermaids!"

Mermaids: "Come for a swim, dearie!"

Wendy: "If you dare to come near me--"

Mermaids: "We're sorry. We were only engaging in some girlish competition for the attention of the nearest male like almost every other female on the island."

Peter Pan: "Look! It's Hook--and Tiger Lily. We'll have to save her."

Wendy: "Well, with her darling little dark pig tails and that quaint little feather, she's almost as sweet as a mermaid or a pixie."

Peter Pan: "Release the princess at once, Smee!"

Chief: "Chief heap glad that Pan rescue Tiger Lily. Make Pan honorary brave. Teachum paleface all about Injun culture. Use-um subjectless verbs, too."

All: "What makes the red man red? Why does he say ugh? Why does he ask you how?"


Sadako: "Let me get this straight. The red man asks how so he can learn all the things he didn't know. He says ugh because that's what the first Indian brave said when he met his mother-in-law. And he's red because the very first Indian brave blushed when he kissed a maiden. Disney, you know that no amount of painting with the colors of the wind or mystical talking trees is going to get rid of this skeleton, right?"

Squaw: "Squaw getum firewood!"

Wendy: "I say! Squaw no getum firewood. Squaw go home where the only Injuns she'll see are in her annotated Hiawatha."

Smee: "You know, Cap'n, ever since Pan banished Tink things have been different."

Hook: "Pan banished Tink?! Why didn't you keep me abreast of the island gossip! A jealous female can be tricked into anything! Come, Smee. Get the best of Helen Gurley Brown and a copy of The Rules. We've got to conquer the insecurities of the female psyche."

Tink: "..."

Hook: "Pull up a chair. Have a cosmo. It must be hard with your man shacking up with the nearest human girl and all that. We're thinking of shanghaiing Wendy, though--oh, you want to help? Where does Pan live? Aha!"

Wendy: "John, Michael, we're going home in the morning. You can't stay here and live like savages. You have to grow up and one day take up the white man's burden."

Peter Pan: "Fine. Go on. But I'm warning you. Once you grow up, you can never grow up. NEVER. You'll have to seek out your Indian stereotypes in James Fenimore Cooper novels and you'll have to wait till Disney pioneers a Pirates of the Caribbean ride for more sea adventures."

Hook: "Gotcha!"

Wendy: "Boys! You mustn't become pirates. Going around slitting people's throats and taking their belongings is only honorable if one is attired in a red coat and occasionally sings Rule Britania."

Peter Pan: "Ooh, a present from Wendy."

Tinker Bell: "..."

Peter Pan: "A bomb? No, that's ignorant--ahh! Tink, you saved my life. Come on, it's off to save the others."

Hook: "Well, boys? What will it be? The pen? Or the plank?"

Peter Pan: "Bye, Hook! Let's not kill him off directly just in case an enterprising movie director needs him as a villain years from now in a movie where I grow up and return to Neverland. You never know."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Movies in a Minute: Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Narrator: "Once upon a time, there was a prince in a far away land. I think it was called France. The prince had everything his heart desired, including expository narration for his life, but he was selfish and cruel. One day, an old beggar woman came asking for shelter from the cold. The prince, sneering at her appearance, sent her away. She warned him not to judge by appearances, and then, to prove her point, she turned into a beautiful sorceress.

Narrator: "She turned the prince into a beast and put a spell on all the innocent people who had the misfortune to work for a selfish master. Then she gave him a rose that would bloom till his twenty first year. If the prince could love another and earn her love in return, the spell would be reversed. If not, he and all the others who lived there would be doomed forever."

Belle: "Every day is just the same, in this poor provincial town...There goes the baker with his tray like always, the same old bread and rolls to sell..."

Sadako: "I guess the luxury time necessary for existentialist crises and reflection hasn't yet come to the French proletariat."

Villagers: "BOOK LEARNER!"


Maurice: "Bye, Belle! I'm off to the inventors' convention! Maybe this year Monsieur Pasteur will invest in my wood chopping machine."

Belle: "Au revoir, Papa!"

Maurice: "Help! I'm incompetent at spatial skills and there are wolves after me!"

Cogsworth: "Well, since turning out a guest last time worked out so well, that's what I propose we do again!"


Maurice: "Make them pay a small fine?"

Beast: "Are you staring at me? DON'T LOOK AT ME!"

Belle: "Papa! Please, sir, let me take his place."

Beast: "Fine. Go away, old man. Belle, you can have a nice room with a canopy bed. Just stay out of the West Wing."

Belle: "What's in the West Wing?"

Jed Bartlet: "Quiet, it's a matter of national security!"

Lumiere: "Ask her to dinner!"

Beast: "You will join me for dinner. I hope you like capers."

Belle: "No! You can't just ask me out on fifteen minutes' notice and expect me to say yes! I'll look like a loser with no social life!"

Beast: "FINE! If you don't want to go out with me, you can STARVE. Magic Mirror? Show me the girl."

Sadako: "Uh, guy, the proper protocol for this is obsessively checking her Twitter and Facebook status to see if she really is washing her hair..."

Belle: "I'm hungry."

Lumiere: "Be our guest, be our guest!...Life is so unnerving for a servant who's not serving, he's not whole without a soul to wait upon!"

Karl Marx: "Poor indoctrinated candlestick."

Belle: "Ooh. What does this button do?"

Beast: "GET OUT OF THE WEST WING! I had this broken furniture arranged perfectly before you came in! AND DON'T TOUCH MY ROSE."

Flower: "Finally. A prince who knows how to treat a girl."

Belle: "Thank you for chasing me out into the wilderness and then remembering to rescue me when wolves showed up."

Beast: "No problem. We should do it again."

Patti Stanger: "Oh, honey, do not live with a guy before marriage. And why'd you so rudely dump Gaston? And you didn't even give LeFou a second glance. Always date a pair and a spare!"

Beast: "I have a present for you. It's my library. I've got everything on Kindle anyway."

Belle: "I think there's something there that wasn't there before!"

Gaston: "How do I get Belle interested in me? I tried making fun of her dad and showing up at her house uninvited to marry her."

Mystery: "Try Normally I think girls who wear the same dress every day are kind of gross but on you it's really quirky. And wear a flamingo pink boa and a top hat that says GASTON in flashing LED lights."

Gaston: "I know! I'll pay the asylum owner to put her dad away unless she marries me!"

Mrs. Potts: "Barely even friends, then somebody bends unexpectedly..."

Michael Eisner: *sniff* "It's beautiful. He'll make a cuddly plush toy for the 5-8 demographic, an action figure for the 8-11 male set, and a sexy bad boy for the female buyer of any age."

Mrs. Potts: "Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast..."

Beast: "Thanks, Mrs. P. Thanks for reminding me of my number one insecurity in song form."

Mrs. Potts: "No problem, dearie."

Beast: "Are you happy here, Belle?"

Belle: "It's my father! He's alone and sick!"

Beast: "Well. Then you must go to him, and I'll just have to hope that the Stockholm Syndrome's developed strongly enough in you so that you decide to come back."

Belle: "Oh, thank you!"

Beast: "Take this magical mirror. You can look at whatever you want. I usually keep it set on tropical beach."

Gaston: "We're going to put your father in the asylum. He's raving about a beast in a castle. Unless you marry me..."

Belle: "No! I can prove he's not insane--just lovably eccentric."

All: "Let's kill the beast!"

Belle: "Oops."

Gaston: "Noooo!"

Belle: "Beast! I love you! Oh, Beast! Please don't leave me."

Beast: "We're back! Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts! And the rest who sacrificed so much for me but don't have funny backstories or punny names!"

Lumiere: "Honh honh honh! Back to making Pepe LePew look politically correct!"