Friday Favorites 11/30/2012
On our busiest day in Arizona last week, Muri and my daughter, Amy, went to my grandson Reed’s Thanksgiving party at school while I took my granddaughter, Savy, out for lunch to Paradise Bakery. I had, by the way, the prettiest date in the place. After I took Savy home, I joined Muri to go to my grandson Maddux’s Thanksgiving Feast at school. After school, we collected the two boys and drove to the local theater to see Wreck-It Ralph then finished the day baby sitting all three grandkids so my daughter and her husband could go to the movies by themselves. The result is what you might call Exquisite Exhaustion.
Reed loves movies. He may be the only person I know who loves movies more than Muri. He also loves video games. Wreck-It Ralph is about an arcade game villain, Ralph, whose job it is to destroy things, only to have the games hero, Fix-It Felix, defeat him in the end. It was therefore, the perfect film for Reed. Like the best of animation features, it was filled with interesting characters, great graphics, and humor, some directed above the children in the audience to their parents and grandparents. The scenes where Ralph, tired of being the bad guy, attends Bad-Anon, a 12-Step group for troubled video game bad guys, are worth the price of admission. Reed always watches movies intently … it is a credit to Wreck-It Ralph’s clever story line and humor that Maddux did, too. Neither Nana or Papa squirmed in their seats or checked their watches once. Nice.
But Wreck-It Ralph isn’t this Friday’s Favorite. Do you remember when before every film, we’d get to watch a short animated feature, what we called a cartoon back in the old days? It might be Porky Pig or Wiley Coyote, or, if the film was by Disney, Mickey Mouse. My childhood favorite was Mr. Magoo, whose poor sight always got him into trouble. Alas, Mr. Magoo is probably out-of-bounds in these PC times. It’s been long time since I’ve seen an animated short before a feature film. But delightfully, Disney is screening a new short, Paperman, before Wreck-It Ralph.
In Paperman, a lonely and overworked young man meets a young woman on the train platform but she disappears onto a train before he can come up with the nerve to ask her name. When he spots her in a window across from the office, he attempts to get her attention using paper airplanes made from the stack of papers he’s supposed to be working on. Made as a black and white silent film accompanied only by music from Christophe Beck, Paperman is a delightful little love story but what makes it a favorite is the animation, done using a revolutionary new technique that merges computer-generated images with hand drawn figures. These stunning images, courtesy imdb.com and cinemablend.com, will give you a taste of what I’m talking about. There’s nice page featuring videos on the making of Paperman here if you are interested.
So, it’s the weekend. Take your child … your grandchild … yourself … to see Wreck-It Ralph. You’ll enjoy Ralph and you’ll be enchanted by Paperman.