Sunday, June 03, 2007


Occasionally I complain about the books that Ian enjoys. We have a copy of Walt Disney's Jungle Book (because Rudyard Kipling's remains would spontaneously combust if anyone thought this was the real Jungle Book) which I have hidden under the bed, because Ian would see it on the pile and request it, and I could not stand to read it even once, let alone 3 or 4 times in a row. It lacks the literary qualities of a Go Dog Go.

But THIS! exceptional item makes my head spin.

Via the brilliant Whoppee.


chris said...

Disney makes good movies but writes astonishingly bad books. I can only imagine the point must be to make you long for the film version. (God forbid you read the little ones the original "The Little Mermaid," for example, in which she DIES at the end.) I've finally decided what makes Disney based-on-the-movie books so hateful to me: they're too journalistic, reporting the events in the story as if the idiot writing the book were taking down notes while watching the movie.

At least you have a boy, so you (likely) won't fall prey to the Disney Princess Cult. (We've long since drunk the Kool-Aid, to my everlasting dismay.) I do take comfort in remembering all of the complete trash I read as a kid--I had little or no guidance in what to read, but things like Tarzan and stuff by Steinbeck at least got accidentally included along with Choose Your Own Adventure Alien Werewolf Cave Treasure or whaterverthehell it was.

betsy said...

That's exactly what it is! Like a book report on the movie! "Then they went here, then they went there, then there were monkeys who kidnapped him, but the bear saved him." Save me.

Because I know every song in the world, I do (when pressed on the Jungle Book issue) perk things up by singing small sections of the soundtrack.

I'm quite disgusted with the movie, which I loved as a kid - I am appalled that obviously pre-pubescent Mowgli is hypnotized by some sort of cartoon desire for obviously prespubescent yet weirdly smoldering Nameless Girl at the well, and that drives the story to its conclusion. (That may have been Kipling's conclusion as well, but it just feels so so so yukky to me. It's the male half of 'some day my prince will come', I guess - some day you'll see a 9-year-old so hot she'll make you forget all about life with the panthers.)

That 'orphan in the woods' imagery was super-important in my fantasy life when I was a kid, though. (No princesses for me - that Cinderella was a real wet blanket, and Snow White! Please! But then, the marketing juggernaut had not yet developed.) We lived in the country, and I could spend hours a day alone, sitting in trees reading, staging little home-camps on the banks of the creek that ran by our house. Stories like My Side of the Mountain or Island of the Blue Dolphins...but especially As You Like it, with twins and a shipwreck and gender there a narrative!

Stacie said...

Bwa ha ha ha... Latawnya? Smoking horses? Entirely not-at-all subtle dialogue such as "my friend secretly took drugs and overdosed and died', said Father Horse."

I think my eyes are bleeding.

The writing is bad enough but somewhere, out there is an illustrator who is actually drew horses drinking from liquor bottles and tokin' up. Which leads me to believe the illustrator was either drinking straight from a liquor bottle or smoking weed. Or possibly both.

"Father's hunting in the forest, mother's cooking in the home. I must go and fetch the water till the day that I am grown... till I'm grown... till I'm grown..." Um... you mean that weirdly smoldering nameless girl? It's a curse... I dislike a lot about Disney movies through the years but the music from just about all the movies will always be stuck in my head. I can sing you some obscure "Summer Magic" soundtrack tunes when we come out in August (oh, what a treat.)