#203- Pinocchio

Quick recap: A wooden puppet comes alive and surprisingly doesn’t murder everyone in his sight.


Fun (?) fact: In the original novel, Pinocchio murders Jiminy Cricket with a mallet. He pops up later on with little explanation given.

I'm feeling very uncomfortable right now

I’m feeling very uncomfortable right now

My thoughts: I decided to share Pinocchio with my 6 year old one evening, because there’s no better way to bond than to threaten a child with horrifying consequences if he doesn’t behave. Afterwards, I asked what he thought about it.

Me: How many points would you give this movie, out of 5?

B: 5, because of the cat.

Me: What was your favorite part of Pinocchio?

B: The cat.

Me: What was the funniest part of the movie?

B: When Geppetto thought Pinocchio was dead! Oh, and the cat.

The interview was abruptly shut down after that and off to therapy my son went.

So, besides learning how creepy my kid can be, I actually enjoyed the movie somewhat. The moral about being good was a little heavy handed, but that’s what was to be expected back then. Kids these days don’t know how good they’ve got it, with their soft themes of friendship and working together. Back then, all kids had was, ‘your nose will grow long if you lie, you’ll turn into a jackass and everyone you know and love will be swallowed by a giant whale.’

One thing I had forgotten about Pinocchio was all of the music Disney used to do with their films. I kind of enjoyed it, although my kid seemed a little bored through some of the numbers. He might’ve just wanted the cat back, though.

Overall, the only thing that really bothered me was the relationship between Geppetto and Pinocchio. I know that he wanted a son, but he had really only known the puppet for a few hours before he started getting into trouble. Maybe I’m just a bad person, but I most likely wouldn’t risk my life for a wooden puppet that had caused me grief for most of its short life.

I much prefer Egg Yolkeo

I much prefer Egg Yolkeo

Final review: 4/5, and I agree that the cat made the movie

Up next: Sunrise

#194- The Sound of Music

Quick recap: A singing nun takes on the role of governess for 7 children and teaches their widower father about love.

The hills are ablaze with the euphonious symphonies of descant

The hills are ablaze with the euphonious symphonies of descant

Fun (?) fact: Julie Andrews fell several times while on the mountain


My thoughts: Oh, Sound of Music. I fell in love with this movie as a kid after my music teacher showed it to us in its entirety. I have since seen many more ( sometimes better) musicals as an adult, but this one still holds a special place in my heart. Since I am familiar with this movie, watching it again for the list was more about whether it holds up as much as it did when I was little rather than if it is actually a ‘good’ movie.

When I told my husband that I was going to be watching The Sound of Music, he scoffed at how schmaltzy it is. This is coming from someone whose favorite Christmas movie is It’s a Wonderful Life, but that’s for another post.Anyway, while watching it, I could definitely see some schmaltziness, but it just didn’t bother me like I feared it would now that I am a jaded, cynical adult. Like, for instance, how quickly the children latch on to Maria when they are known to have driven several governesses away, including one that only lasted a couple of hours. She’s just someone that you can’t help but want to do good by, though. And Julie Andrews was made for this role. The kids can be eye rollingly cute at times but it is her that completely makes this movie into something wonderful.

Above all things, I love The Sound of Music for, what else, the music. I love every single song and was pleasantly surprised by how many of the lyrics I remembered ( the cats were not impressed with my singing, by the way, especially one who bit me throughout the movie). Edelweiss is still my favorite because of its simplicity and yet all the complicated things it stood for. For a kid just getting acquainted to the ‘adult’ world, this movie was a perfect bridge between childhood and adolescence. It was the first time I really understood the Nazi regime and how terrible everything was, and yet there was a happy ending so that I could still have hope. It may be schmaltzy, but it’s my kind of schmaltzy.


Final review: 5/5.

Up next: All that Jazz

#126- The Thief of Bagdad

Quick recap: A thief-who lives in Bagdad- has a lot of fun stealing stuff until he falls in love with the princess. Basically it’s like Aladdin but without the monkey and the altruistic reasons. And without Genie (RIP Robin Williams).

Instead of getting a Middle Eastern guy to play the Thief of Bagdad, they got Douglas Fairbanks-the whitest name ever.

Instead of getting a Middle Eastern guy to play the Thief of Bagdad, they got Douglas Fairbanks-the whitest name ever.

Fun (?) fact: The special effects for this movie are amazing, considering it was made in 1924. During one scene, as Fairbanks is jumping in and out of the large pots, he actually installed trampolines in each one to make it easier to hop.

I suspect this was also done with special effects. Can't be sure, though.

I suspect this was also done with special effects. Can’t be sure, though.

My thoughts: A bonus fun fact: I started this blog chronologically, but after sitting through 9 silent films I couldn’t take it anymore and gave up. It wasn’t even that they were bad, but that they were so EPIC.  It was hard to continually sit through something so heavy and long (that’s what she said) and know that the next movie would give me no reprieve. But then I saw A Clockwork Orange at the Alamo Drafthouse several months later and it renewed my passion. All that to say I made the right choice to watch randomly so that when the time came for another silent movie, I’d be ready.

The Thief of Bagdad comes from the 1001 Arabian Nights collection of stories  so it’s basically your quintessential adventure movie. Fairbanks, who plays Ahmed the Thief, was the go to actor for all things adventure, starring in movies such as Robin Hood, The Three Musketeers and The Black Pirate. He spends the entire movie flexing his muscles and practically winking at the camera, to show the audience how awesome he is. It was difficult to root for him at times because he was a thief just for the sport of it instead of helping others.Not that I was expecting much, but Aladdin is the only story I know from Arabian Nights and that guy stole bread to give to children. Kind of a lot to live up to, though.  Fairbanks was enjoyable to look at, although the thin lips bothered me. Was that a fashionable thing to have or did all people in the 20s just have naturally thin lips? This bothers me more than it should.

Not a complaint, but it seems like he should've been able to steal a shirt at some point.

Not a complaint, but it seems like he should’ve been able to steal a shirt at some point.

If there is any reason to watch The Thief of Bagdad, it’s the setting. Director Raul Walsh had the set built on 6 1/2 acres of land and spared no expense. Every detail is beautiful and ornate. The fact that it was made in 1924 makes it all the more inspiring to think of the work that went into making this movie.

Final review: 4/5. When you take into account that the story came from an ancient book, the racism is not as bad as I expected.

Up next: Singin’ in the Rain

#98- Babe

Quick recap: A pig who thinks he is a sheepdog? NO! Wait…..Yes. Very much so.

There's no rule that says a giraffe can't play football

There’s no rule that says a giraffe can’t play football


Fun (?) fact:  48 different pigs were used during the filing of Babe. No word on what happened to a pig once it grew up.


My thoughts: Perspective, man. It’s all about perspective. I loved this movie as a kid and even then thought it much wittier than some of the other kid stuff being thrown at me. It wasn’t just a cute animal movie I was watching- it had heart. I don’t remember being too upset by the implications that Babe was about to be eaten, but the lesson that everyone and everything has a purpose has stuck with me. It’s probably been a good 15 years or so since I last watched the movie and it still amazes me how my viewpoint can change so drastically.

The toupee was a weird touch

The toupee was a weird touch

The animal I most empathized with and felt for this time around was Fly, the female sheepdog.  Granted, the movie is called Babe so it’s not my fault for not really noticing her before, but almost every scene she is in is a heartbreaking one: from watching her puppies being sold to the domestic violence with her Dog Husband (This is a kids’ movie?!) to the most heartbreaking scene of all: watching Babe being led to the slaughter. It was almost too much to watch at that point, knowing that that pig was all she had left and he was about to murdered by the farmer. Animals are way more complicated than I ever imagined.

I also really enjoyed the actors this time and was able to appreciate their depth. Farmer Hoggett’s character interested me especially. James Cromwell, who played Hoggett, originally took the part because he only had a few lines of dialogue and felt like it would be an easy movie,but then ended up on screen more than any other character (except Babe). He did a perfect job restraining his emotions, yet being able to convey exactly how he felt at all times.

That'll do pig, that'll do.

That’ll do pig, that’ll do.

Final review: 5/5. It’s a great family film, but maybe for older kids because the subject matter is much heavier than I remembered.

Up next: The Bigamist and then……….#100! What’ll it be??