November 2002

TOY STORY (1995, 81 min.) /TOY STORY II (1999, 92 min.)

At first, I thought, “Sure these movies are great, but why look at them more than once?”  Seeing TOY STORY and TOY STORY II with my toddler friends has convinced me that repetition actually increases appreciation of the images.  These are shows that can appeal to “children of all ages,” a quality that pleases me very much, inasmuch as I do recall certain Disney-like cartoon features of old that seemed to underestimate the intelligence of children and adults.

 

 

A kind heart is a fountain of gladness making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.  –WASHINTON IRVING

BUZZ LIGHTYEAR (1999, 70 min.)

Some may be aghast, as I once was, at the thought of this video being appropriate for kids, given all the explosive, space-age war-making therein. The more I see it, however, in the context of these times, when forces of blatant, unrelenting evil do, in fact, confront the civilized world, it seems quite a realistic, mythological vision. In WW II, we had Captain America to fight the Nazis for us in comic books. Tots of today have Buzz Lightyear to face off against Evil Emperor Zurg, and, no doubt about it, this all-American super-hero knows how to kick butt!

 

 

 

ANIMATION

Being a regular part-time caregiver for Nicholas (3 ½) and Theodore (1½), I see a lot of cartoon/animation shows.  I like the less wordy ones, TELLETUBBIES, FANTASIA, etc.  One evening, their Dad, Mark, was in the workroom with us when (quite coincidentally) we experienced a multi-media epiphany – Barney was on TV (mute) and, as Nicholas clicked the mouse, that great music from READER RABBIT PHONICS waltzed from the computer speakers.  To me, it was serendipity!  Other favorites are GOODNIGHT MOON (readings and songs by Aaron Neville, Susan Sarandon and others) and MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL.  –BJ

 

THE YELLOW SUBMARINE (1968, 90 min.)

It’s a little too strange, perhaps, for very young children, but I do find that my young friend Nicholas really enjoys certain parts of this animated movie. I have always considered this film a great, all-encompassing myth, somewhat like the Garden of Eden, a perennial story about the fall and rise of music, universal reunion, etc.  The Beatles, of course, never fail to lighten up heavy interpretations with their humor and songs.  Even as artistic animation characters, they are forever fantastic!

 

 

WALLACE AND GROMMIT: A GRAND DAY OUT (1992, 24 min.)

I am always glad to see these little claymation guys interacting in their Penn and Teller kind of partnership.  Wallace is the vocal, proactive one, and Grommit (a dog), quiescently expressive and effective.  My favorite segment is their vacation journey to the moon.  The look and feel of it is somewhat like an old, pulpy, boldly colored comic book.  It also brings to mind (and would be great to see in conjunction with) French stage designer/filmmaker Georges Millies’ early, cartoonish film, A TRIP TO THE MOON.

 

“From where I am I gaze, untroubled, like the clear heat produced by light.”  ISAIAH 18:4

 

 

“Toto jumped…and tipped over the screen that stood in a corner.  As it fell with a crash they looked that way, and the next moment all of them were filled with wonder.  For they saw, standing in just the spot the screen had hidden, a little old man, with a bald head and a wrinkled face, who seemed as much surprised as they were.” THE WIZARD OF OZ by Frank Baum

 

 

 

WONDER AND MEANING

Before going to Wilton, Connecticut, I had worked as associate editor of a church education magazine (COLLOQUY) in Philadelphia, a position that fortuitously required my going to Boston about once a month to coordinate our copy with the design department.  On one such “official” visit, I was escorted by a co-worker, Carol Brink, to a massive Vietnam protest/celebration at “The Boston Tea Party,” reportedly a former synagogue, newly transformed into a sixties rock emporium.  We went there especially because our hero, Corita Kent, then known as Sister Corita, was on the program.  Harvey Cox, Judy Collins, and Daniel Berrigan participated, as well.  I was so blown away by the all-surrounding, spiritually cohesive impact of Corita’s multi-media segment of the program that I immediately knew what I wanted to do – find a way to similarly express wonder and meaning through the creation of multi-media presentations! –Bill Joyner

 

P. O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, Florida 34230

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