Produced by Gary Drevitch
FD AND SMALL FELLOW AT THE MOVIES: "MARCH OF THE PENGUINS"
We took Fellow to a movie theater for the very first time Saturday to see "March of the Penguins," and it was a smashing success - other than his falling asleep about two-thirds of the way in. Still, he retained enough of the storyline (alert: spoilers ahead) to recount it to his mom when he got home.
And we enjoyed it ourself. Critics have mostly praised the film, but some have said the narration anthropomorphicizes the penguins to an unjustifiable extent. However, when you see a mother penguin lose her baby to the cold, and then try to steal another mother's baby before being deterred by a larger group of her neighbors, that's enough "like people" to justify the emotional voiceover, at least for this viewer.
Most fascinating to us was seeing how Fellow showed he understood death and how and why it happens as he recalled details of the movie. In the documentary, when the narrator (Morgan Freeman) says a penguin baby exposed to the elements could die, and then it happens, it's a clear connection and a preschooler can grasp it. It can later be discomfiting talking to the preschooler as he tries to directly apply the life-and-death lessons of the wild to the human world, but it's an important step toward understanding.
Still, the best part of the "March of the Penguins" experience was when Fellow woke up the next morning, padded over to sit with us on the couch, and said, "Daddy, thank you for taking me to see 'March of the Penguins' .... I forgot to tell you that yesterday."
Fellow also wants everyone to know that he saw the movie in "Room Number Five" at the theater.
MORE PENGUIN MEDIA
PS: The "March of the Penguins" Web site features a fine "Kids Aracde" section including downloadable coloring sheets and a 10-page activity guide. It's nice material, although Fellow already advised us, logically, that he would not color in his black-and-white penguin outlines, because they were already "penguin colored."
Also, at the book store this weekend, we took a look at a book-and-CD combo called "Without You," by Sarah Weeks, which has no connection to the film project but shares the subject. The book, which has lovely illustrations, portrays the relationship between a father emperor penguin and his utterly dependent egg/chick during the weeks leading up to and immediately following the baby's birth, when the mother has left them alone to go to the ocean and feed. The text is uninspiring, and so we wouldn't recommend the book for kids who haven't seen "March of the Penguins," but for those who have, the structure accurately echoes the plot of the documentary and it could serve as a good refresher for the story.
MAMAS, DON'T LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP TO BE LITIGIOUS SKATE PUNKS
A Brooklyn woman who fell off her skateboard in Manhattan last year and ended up being literally branded by the letters on a searing hot manhole cover has decided to sue Con Edison for "negligence, carelessness, recklessness and culpable conduct," for the outrageous act of putting a manhole cover on the street.
Is it us, or does one not sign an implicit contract with society when one decides to hurtle down the street on a skateboard, the gist of said contract being, "Listen, folks, I'm going to be traveling in a fundamentally unsafe and unsound manner for a while. Just want you to know that anything that happens to me from here on in, that's just my bad."
DAVID, WHY DON'T YOU STICK TO JUSTIFYING ECONOMIC DISPARITY IN AMERICA, AND LEAVE THE HACKNEYED OBSERVATIONS ABOUT SMALL CHILDREN TO THE PROFESSIONALS?
The heat's easing up on Karl Rove, a reliable rightist has been appointed to the high court -- all is well in America, giving the New York Times' new-blood conservative David Brooks the opportunity to write on an overlooked topic of national import -- children who disrupt his first-class flights:
Anybody who thinks it takes a village to raise a child has never sat near a crying baby in first class. In these circumstances, if it were up to the village, somebody would be stapling the brat's mouth shut and somebody else would be locking mom in the overhead storage compartment ....
The children are now completely out of control and are behaving as if they were raised by feral wolves ....
The final hour of the flight is aptly captured by Picasso's painting "Guernica."
David, stop it, you're killing me! Stapling a toddler's mouth shut? Locking up moms? Kids raised by wolves? Giant Spanish bulls running up and down the aisles of a plane? Oh, Monsieur Brooks, the great Moliere himself would surely doff his cap to you. You, sir, are a wit for the ages. Surely, no parent who reads your delectably subtle bit of satire would ever dare impose their unruly tot on your first-class compartment again! Mission accomplished!
July 18, 2005 | Permalink |
TrackBack URL for this entry:
The comments to this entry are closed.