Thursday, November 20, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Desperate times calls for selective memory

This has been on my calendar for a while.

Something about Tuesday

Emma, as you no doubt are aware, is the hugest Pixar fan ever.She’s been counting down to the Wall-E DVD release for quite a while. Probably since we saw it at the movie theatre. So she has been looking forward to the day she could go to the store and get Mom or Dad to buy it for her as soon as humanly possible.

And, just between you and me and the entire internet, I pre-ordered it from Amazon. Not the single-disk version, not even a 2 disc set, but the THREE DISC SPECIAL EDITION.

Yeah, I plan on videotaping her reaction when she opens it for her birthday. Shhh, don’t tell her.

Did I just say birthday? Why yes, I am a cruel mother making her wait that long. Except the hard part has been keeping it a surprise. At first, I used avoidance.

“Mom! Wall-E comes put on DVD next week!”

“That’s nice honey, what do you want for lunch?”

But as the date drew closer, we had to step up our tactics.

“I’m SO EXCITED!!! WALL-E COMES OUT TOMORROW! Can we get it?”

“We’ll have to wait and see. Did you brush your teeth yet?”

And finally I had to pull out The Big Guns. We coincidentally had to go get groceries on Tuesday, and as we were discussing our driving plans, Emma comes out with this:

“Since we’re getting groceries, and since today Wall-E comes out on DVD, could we buy it? I’m sure the grocery store will have a stand right by the checkout.”

“….. go ask your father… Ron? Can you explain this to her?

So. Ron spent a good five minutes explaining very carefully that no, we will not be buying Wall-E today at the store. Someone may have purchased it for her as a present already, what with her birthday being a month away and Christmas a week later. So in case she did not receive it on either of those occasions, Daddy then promised to take her shopping for it. *After* Christmas. She had to wait.

I thought she took the news rather well. She was calm, did not appear upset, and said, “Okay, Daddy,” quite plainly.

At the grocery store, we got most of the way through without a mention. But then we had to go by the electronic section and there was the display. It was huge. It *talked*. As we were standing there looking, the voice box in the cardboard wall-E fell out. I had to replace it.

Now we’ve been there a good five minutes and of course they are right at Emma’s eye level. Our conversation was the sort of “yes, that is cool,” and I tried to veer it towards the, “Oh, these are just Blue Ray..” or “Eh, it’s only a one disc movie.. pfft..” to try and downplay it, even while being entranced by the whole thing myself.

But as I was replacing wall-E’s voice box, Emma was holding a movie case.

“I’m gonna put this in the cart now.”

Uh…

“It’s okay, right Mommy?”

Uh…

“Hey, remember what Daddy said?”

More thoughtful looks and some lip-chewing. And then I had to pull out my whole bag of mommy tricks, saying I know how much she loves the movie – remember that part when the ship was tipped and the lady said “Hey Frank? Wanna have kids?” and the kids rolled across the floor to them? – but, you know, her birthday is just around the corner, as well as Christmas, and I’m sure she’ll get some presents she really likes and it’s hard, I know, but she just has to wait.

I held my breath.

“Okay mommy. I can wait.”

Phew. Dodged a bullet there.

I only hope Ron hid the package somewhere *I* can’t find it, before I cave.

Sunday, June 29, 2008 in the world is crazy, Them kids o' mine

Wall-E

I took Emma to the movie theater this afternoon, as a treat because it’s expensive and something we just rarely do. Especially considering we’ll be getting the DVD even if we hadn’t seen the movie. In our house, a Pixar movie means an automatic purchase. Emma, and indeed the rest of the family, is a huge fan.

So, we went to see Wall-E.

And here’s where I’d love to tell you what a moving, wonderful story it is, but … I have no words. The words I just typed don’t even begin to describe it. A magnificent film that should receive every award in existence would not even begin to cover it.

Within the first minute, my eyes filled with tears. Ten minutes in I was just trying not to sob. I’m sure any feeling adult in the room was the same. And in the ending scenes it was the same. A roller coaster, swept along in the imaginative storyline, the world – indeed what could very well be *our* world – Pixar has not only done it again, they have blown their previous works out of the water. The competition should be quaking in their boots as anything else is just a cartoon.

The technical details of the animation of a garbage-ridden planet will leave you breathless in its horrific degradation. And this isn’t a film where the pure beauty of a class of professionals pushing themselves to the limit and breaking boundaries is such a joy and awe-inspiring moment. No, it’s the combination that you rarely see; one of fine craftsmanship in both the view and the storyline.

I can barely even express the storyline – the depth of feelings intertwined with what is shown on the screen, the sparse dialog that leaves you welling tears and laughing in the next moment.

And while the irony of it was not lost on me – leaving the theater and seeing the garbage on the floor, overflowing the two meager bins, being assaulted by Wall-E merchandise cropping up in stores now at limited quantities and low prices – there’s still the spirit of Pixar embedded in the file, thumbing its noise and wagging a finger even as it receives funding from its own corporate overlords.

Somehow, we don’t mind, for the creative talents they employ and the stories they have to tell need to be told, need to be unleased in almost any way possible. As long as we don’t fully succumb to the lure of consumerism.

Which, I think, was their ultimate point.