Working on a blurb for the complete The Future Next Door series. Having a little trouble. So far I’ve got:
Alan, Caitlin, Mark and Dakota are roommates and best friends and they have adventures and stuff. Look out, guys, there’s crazy danger! (Also sex and gay stuff.)
I worry it’s too vague.
I drew Spider-Man like the new Spider-Woman.
where are you getting song of the south? i watch a bad copy on youtube and was so bored by the live action, it really upset and disappointed me; such fond memories. ah well. i look forward to your report. and will try to find make mine music, thanks!
I got a digital copy from a friend. He didn’t say where he got it, and I didn’t ask… I haven’t watched it yet, but it seems to be the length of the full movie. I’m assuming it’s from a foreign DVD release since it’s never been released in its entirety in the US. I’ve never seen it before, so I don’t know what to expect (besides racism).
I had never heard of Make Mine Music(1946) before beginning this project. It’s another package film made on the cheap while the Disney studio was struggling in the aftermath of World War II. It’s sort of a low-rent Fantasia - a collection of unrelated vignettes set to jazz music. And wouldn’t you know it, there just happen to be ten such vignettes. How convenient!
- The Martins and the Coys is technically the first short of the film, but it’s the one I watched last. After I finished the movie, I looked it up online and discovered that the copy I had viewed was missing this segment. Turns out, it was edited out of all of the home video releases in America because of concerns about excessive violence. Well! How can I hear that and not dig up a copy? I was only able to find a terrible quality Italian-dubbed version of it on YouTube, but I suffered through it because I care, readers, I care. A few seconds in I paused to go and read the lyrics in English because I had no idea what the hell was going on, but then I muddled through to the end. The cartoon is a twist on the Hatfield/McCoy feud. All of the Martins and Coys look exactly alike, which I would say suggests inbreeding except there isn’t a single woman among them, so I’m thinking cloning. Well, not a single woman except for one of our two stars. The families wipe each other out except for one young and hot representative from each side, a young man and a young woman (I don’t know which comes from which family because it was in Italian). They fall in love, get married, the ghosts of their dead relatives freak out, and then the newlyweds beat the ever-loving shit out of each other. The end. I don’t know if I would have edited it out for the violence so much as for the scene where a chicken is pecking food out of a sleeping Coy’s beard. It was seriously gross.
- Blue Bayou is next (or first, if you’re not as obsessive a completist as me). It pretty much does what it says on the tin - there’s a bayou, and it’s blue. A bird flies around. It’s sort of pretty. Nothing really happens. The music’s real slow, and I’m falling asleep five minutes into this movie.
- All the Cats Join In and I am jolted awake. Benny Goodman and his Orchestra play a jumping jam to accompany some cartoon teens getting together to swing, baby, swing. It’s awesome. We see the pencil drawing the scene and there are a lot of clever bits made from this conceit. A car full of kids zooms away too fast for the pencil to finish drawing it, so it has to catch up to the car at a stoplight. A boy teen yawns when a girl teen with a big butt is interested in him, so the pencil erases the weight off and he’s…wait, that’s not clever, it’s a painfully offensive relic of its time. Never mind. Hey, a naked girl! Very racy for a Disney flick - this was back when Walt was still trying to be all grown-up about things. I thought it was pretty sexy while I was watching it, with the girl in the shower and getting dressed and all, and then I learned there were bare boobies in the original version, which were also edited out for home video. Human boobies - bad. Centaur boobies - A-OK!
- Without You brings me back to Slumberland. It’s a lovely song but nothing’s happening on the screen - just scenery changing. At least when Fantasia was dull, it was pretty. Even the animation in this segment seems bored.
- I’m guessing you’ve probably heard of Casey at the Bat. This is a gag-filled “musical recitation” by Jerry Colonna of the famous poem. I won’t go through it joke by joke (even though having visual jokes described to you is hysterical) but the last bit with Casey in the rain in the empty park, repeatedly throwing balls to himself, swinging and missing, crying uncontrollably, is bleakly hilarious.
- Oh, hey, Dinah Shore sings this next one, Two Silhouettes! I remember her from a talk show and…lesbian golf or something? Anyways. It’s two shadowed ballet dancers prancing in front of an animated background. The dancers are real, they’re completely silhouetted, and it looks pretty cool. I found myself wondering if they were wrapped head-to-toe in green-screen material, which might explain why, considering they are dancing a ballet, they don’t actually move around all that much.
- Peter and the Wolf is up next, an animated acting-out of Prokofiev’s tune. The opening - with the narrator, Sterling Holloway, explaining how each instrument represents a character - is very Fantasia. The cartoon is silly fun, but I have some issues. The wolf is drawn in a very Satanic manner and it is constantly drooling. The animators are clearly trying to influence us to root against this noble beast. The good cat tries to eat the good bird and we’re all supposed to forgive and forget, but the wolf just tries to defend himself - Peter and his menagerie come hunting for him, remember - and somehow he’s the bad guy? Prejudice! Wrote a song about! Like to hear it? Hear it go. Also, the wolf clearly eats Sonia the duck - we actually see her ghost go to Heaven - but then the filmmakers wimp out and make it so she’s alive at the end. The Martins and the Coys shooting each other to death was fine, but a wolf eating a duck is a step too far? America has weird values.
- After You’re Gone has Benny Goodman back again as each member of the Goodman Octet is represented by an animated instrument going wild. It’s non-realistic and incredibly fun and somewhat nonsensical - I particularly liked the fingers in tutus dancing on the keyboard - and it’s over way too soon.
- Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet is about two hats that are in love. There’s not much more I can say about it, except excessive time spent on Tumblr led me to expect the fedora to say “M’lady” a lot while wearing a trenchcoat and holding a My Little Pony.
- I almost jumped off my sofa in excitement when I realized the final installment was The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met. I had the book and record set of this as a kid - those of you of a certain age may remember these, you turned the page when you heard the bell. I loved the damn thing, but it had been so long that I had forgotten the entire story. I always thought it was a stand-alone Disney short, I had no idea it was a part of a feature. So I was pretty excited to see the actual cartoon for the first time, and I wasn’t disappointed. Seriously, get this DVD just for this short (I’d say watch it on YouTube but I can’t find it). It’s about an opera singing whale named Willie who dreams of being discovered. Nelson Eddy does all the voices and he’s superb. There is an extended dream sequence of Willie singing opera’s most famous roles at the Met - him immense, his co-stars normal sized - and it’s perfection. He’s Pagliacci with a HUGE red nose and a tiny, tiny hat. It’s just…see it. Make Mine Music has a lot of really great ups and a few really boring downs, but this final segment makes the whole film.
Ways you can help:
it continues, don’t believe it’s over.
So… I need to enlist your help. Are you a teacher or a parent or otherwise are around kids a lot? I’m beginning to see that there is a generation of Americans growing up that have no idea how to behave in a theater. I was talking to a big producer out here and he mentioned that several UK stars have flat out refused to come to Broadway because our audiences are so bad. I was talking to some UK actors who groaned when I asked them what is meant by, “It was an American crowd.” We are really making a bad name for ourselves. And as I sat in a show last night where there were people hurling themselves towards the floor from the ceiling and swallowing swords, and had to rather impolitely ask the girls next to me (after they got out their phones for the fifth time to check Facebook) to turn it off, I decided it was high time I took this to the street! If Hyde Park Corner was open today, I would have gotten up on a soapbox and preached it to anyone within listening range.
The biggest thing is that theater is a live event. The actors on stage? They can hear you as well as you can hear them. No, really. Acoustics work both ways. And you know what? Their performance is effected by how well an audience is supporting them and listening. Loud, distracted audience flipping through programs and talking? Cell phones going off? You’ll get a crappy performance. Engaged audience listening and reacting? Those actors will act their guts out for you. Have you ever had to talk about something devastating and the person across from you checks their text messages? You shut down. That’s what happens to the actors when you aren’t listening. They shut down. They are unable to commit to the make-believe. And you just screwed yourself out of your ticket price.
Turn of your cell phone. TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE! TURN OFFFF YOOOOUR CEEEEELLLL PHOOOOOONE! Want to know what a cell phone looks like in a darkened theater? Go into your bathroom, turn off all the lights, turn on your cell phone. It is THAT BRIGHT. Try shielding it with your hand. Guess what? It is still THAT BRIGHT. TURN IT OFF! Consider this an intervention. There is nothing you need to do while you are watching a play except watching a play. And if there is something you think you should be doing instead? For godssake, don’t go to the theater, take care of that stuff. Single-tasking is good for the brain. Watch the play. Don’t check Facebook and Twitter and email. Watch the play. I’m not even going to go into what it’s like having a ringtone go off in the middle of a show. Turn. Off. Your. Phone.Don’t take pictures of the stage, ESPECIALLY with a flash. It is dangerous for the performers. Want to know what a flash picture feels like from the stage? Go into your bathroom, turn off the lights, take a flash picture of yourself. It is just like that on the stage. The lights are so bright, the audience is nothing but a wash of black. So when there is a flash, that wall of black lights up like Chernobyl. Trust me on this. Besides, any picture you are going to take is going to look like shit. So, just stop.
Don’t eat in the theater. Guess what? The actors can hear your crinkles and bag shuffles and your chewing (you know who you are, mouth breathers). I was once at a show, the actors on stage were naked, and the lady in front of me pulled out a Burger King bag and started eating her hamburger. Dear god. Who does that?! I was up onstage talking about my dead child and all I heard from the silence of the theater was the crunch, crunch, crunch of a bag of chips someone felt they needed to eat at that moment. If you can’t not eat for one hour, you need to see a doctor. There is a reason there is an intermission. You can eat and drink all you want then. Just… please… watch the play.
And there you have it! That’s the big etiquette! Watch the play. Turn off your phone. Don’t eat. Don’t take flash pictures. Don’t talk. It isn’t that hard. Really. Pass it on. Share this around. Be the change!
Reblog times a thousand!
Please keep this circulating. Cops are getting more and more brazen, know your rights!
good to know
my brother is a police officer and these are all v true and things he made sure i knew but also remember the police can lie lie lie. the best thing, as mentioned, is to yell “i do not consent” repeatedly and hope someone will hear and act as an eyewitness for you
As always, keep in mind when it is and isn’t safe to act - there are, unfortunately, a lot of cops who will completely ignore your rights whenever they can get away with it, and may retaliate with violence - but do your best to know these in case you need them.
After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.
Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost.