Monday, January 22, 2007


I watched Dumbo this weekend with my 5-year-old granddaughter and my 2.5 year-old grandson (one of two). I can’t remember when I last watched Dumbo. But it was at least as interesting to watch my grandchildren watch Dumbo as it was to watch the distantly remembered movie from my own childhood.. The granddaughter loved it. Watched every minute. That was Clara. The grandson was a bit more on the edge. That was Sam.

Admittedly the sound was just a wee bit muddled. This was on my iPOD (I bought it from Apple site), played through the TV. (Another story, just far have we come since I last watched Dumbo. I’m not sure I even took my own children to Dumbo. Maybe the last time I saw this movie, I was a child. That is like the plot of a science fiction movie, at least one I would have watched when I was a child.)

Sam fidgeted. I had to do a running commentary of excited interest to keep him at the show (also pausing for the cookies). He did manage the movie all the way to the end, if just barely. What struck me about the movie was just how little story there was. How much was eddy, song, dance, laid-back singing and story telling. The birds in the tree, the pink elephants. No driving toward a powerful ending. No whamb, bang. It seemed so sweet and meandering. Even I was having a little problem with the pace. Get to bed, get the kids in bed, get the treats done. Get to my own book. . . . . . . .

I had thought something of the same thing the weekend before when we played part of Bambi. The first part of that movie, at least, has no plot beyond growing up, making friends. Compare this to 24 (not a children’s show I would admit). But that story takes the drive toward plot to the edge of the ridiculous and beyond. How many plots, sub-plots, dead ends, can you pack into, of all things, 24 hours. Compare the opening gambit of 24 last week (nuclear holocaust as a teaser, left behind in the end as the central plot??).

This has left me pondering patience. Meandering. Taking time. Not a skill the kids have (but should they yet?). Not a skill I may have any more. How sad. I’m the one who should know how to find a moment, savor, take my time.


Lisa B. said...

One of the prettiest songs ever in Dumbo--baby of mine.

I, too, have to remind myself to be patient these days. Just slow the hell down.

SusanS said...

Nor sure what to do with a reader, my friend. I think of this as my private playground.