Saturday, June 23, 2007

DVD Heebie Jeebies

I've reached a new milestone in parenting.

Arthur is no longer content to sit in his stroller while I cart him around the Library. He wants to run amok, pulling random books off of the shelves.

After one such little bout, once I (and the stroller filled with baby bags, baby food, baby books, my bag, and a baby blanket) caught up to him, he had come to a halt in the DVD collection of the Kid's Wing. In no time he had found "Thomas and Friends" section. I checked out two Thomas the Trains; one Disney Music (old style) Compilation; and one 1968 era Disney adventure called "The Island at the Top of the World," which I remember reading as a kid, but never saw in movie form.  

Well, we're in trouble.  
I remember enough about the book to know that Arthur wouldn't like the Island movie (the girl sacrifices herself to killer whales to save all the guys).  But I thought he'd like the music one.  Wrong.  Wrong. Wrong.   He sat through Pacos Bill and Roy Rodgers, but as soon as the really psychodelic, surreal pieces came on he had a fit.  I knew there was trouble when a Boogie-woogie bumble bee started to change color as it flew through shadowy plant shapes.  When some piano keys turned into a snake, he started getting antsy; when the black keys started running through each other he lost it. 

In an attempt to find the Disney DVD's program notes, I accidentally picked up the wrong DVD cover with a train on it.  I've never seen Arthur so frantic to change DVDs before.  

It's not that Thomas the Train shows feature trains that speak, but whoes mouths never move (although their eyes do).... it's not that there's hierarchical classism embedded in the stories (the bigger the engine, the more important it is -- and coal freight cars seem to be on the bottom of the rungs).... it's not like the trains are all slaves to the aristocratic human, Sir Topumhat (I'm sure they're paid well)... but I think it's that the engines are all sort of mean to each other in a schoolyard kind of way that bothers me. All the other stuff is creepy in an 80's Duracell Battery commercial kind of way.

But Arthur doesn't care; he just wants to say, "Hi, train!" whenever one rolls by on the screen.

And to think I was looking forward to not having to watch Tweety and Sylvester for a change; Goddess help us when I have to return Thomas to the Library.
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