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June 09, 2002


We watched Pollyanna on DVD this morning. Well, we didn't. I was sent to the penalty box early on for snarkiness in the presence of girlish nostalgia. The Sainted Wife and Mother wanted to share something of the halcyon days of her youth with Not Gnat (ngnat). Some families pass down heirlooms, we pass down viewing habits. Ngnat will get Pollyanna, Little House, Oklahoma, Westside Story and The Way We Were from the SWAM. I'll give her Monty Python, Spinal Tap and the Simpsons. She'll reject all of them out of hand, likely enough, but it won't stop us from trying. It appears at this point that she'll be foisting Samurai Jack and the Powerpuff Girls on her own offspring.

Pollyanna opens with a truly dreadful Mickey Mouse cartoon, "The Nifty Nineties". Mickey sports a pimp boater, Minnie's got a bustle that makes her look like the four-assed monkey from South Park, and the highlight of the short is M&M watching a movie about an alcoholic father who lets his son freeze to death. Now there's entertainment for children of all ages! It ends with the two anthropomorphized rats rear-ending a cow. Whoever drew the cow must have been an udder fetishist, because at one point the thing fills the entire television. It must been truly awesome on the big screen.

Now I realize that this was not created for an audience as presumably media-savvy as we, but were the denizens of the 1940's just easily pleased? The short plays both the "Why did the chicken cross the road" AND the "That's no lady, that's my wife" jokes as straight laugh getters. I bet those were old when Babylon was a world power. Also, I could accept that Mickey Mouse was popular back in the days of the depression, but is he still? The bloody mouse is ubiquitous, I'll grant him that, but popularity does not neccesarily follow. Just ask Carrot Top. Like Elvis in the 70's, Mickey's been coasting on his reputation. He's made only one cartoon short in the past 50 years. I don't think glad-handing petrified toddlers at the American Mecca like Joe Louis greeting the lumpen at Caesar's Palace can explain it. The only thing I can think of is that the flacks at Disney kept repeating "Mickey Mouse is a beloved icon of Americana" until we believed it. They don't have to anymore, we've accepted the fiction so thoroughly that we pass the meme onto our kids ourselves. God help me, the first thing I said when that vermin in clothing popped up on the screen was "Ngnat, your first Mickey Mouse cartoon!" Well, there won't be a second, at least not without the full MST3K treatment from me.

You won't hear it from Disney, but it looks like the copyright on Mickey was supposed to expire at the end of this year. I'm tempted to learn Flash just to be the first person to animate Mickey gnawing on a corpse, devouring his own children, and pissing in the foodstuffs.

Nifty Nineties ends with a gigantic cow ass filling up the screen. Oddly enough, Pollyanna starts with a gigantic ass filling up the screen, as a naked boy plummets to his death in the raging river below. Well, he is naked, and there is a river, but he's jumping off a rope swing to cavort with other naked lads in the stream below. It's obviously meant to evoke a more innocent time, but the only thing it evoked in me was the comment "Boy, I bet the priests are buying this sucker by the boxful." I was dismissed at this point, upsetting, since I always thought Hayley Mills was pretty hot, and I wanted to see what other inadvertent Disney Porn might pop up. I'm pretty sure I heard the whacka-chicka music wafting out of the living room at least a couple of times.

Posted by Bigwig at June 9, 2002 09:01 PM | TrackBack
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