08 April 2007

Where does the Easter bunny hide your eggs.

I know I once got a stuffed easter rabbit. Which was a big deal because when I was little, I used to pull all the fur off of stuffed animals and stuff it up my nose, so I don't think I was always allowed to have them. I believe the rabbit's name was Reuben. At some point Reuben made it into the toilet and had to be destroyed. I think I got a new rabbit later, but it just wasn't the same. That was the first time one of my pets died.

On Easter, they would have the Blue Bird on tv, with Shirley Temple from 1940. I couldn't remember exactly what the movie was about except that it was disturbing and I can always remember pictures of it. Luckily we have the internet now so I don't have to rack my brain trying to remember these things.

It is Christmastime of 1808 in the Austria of the Napoleonic Wars, and young Mytyl is a selfish and unhappy woodsman's daughter whom we first encounter illegally trapping a bird in the King's forest. After the kids' dad is called to the forces, the children are awakened in the middle of the night by a knock on their front door; it is the Fairy, Berylune who tells them that they must find the Blue Bird, the symbol of true happiness. She zaps them into their clothes, and then changes their faithful dog, Tylo and conniving cat Tylette into humans to provide them with escorts for their journey, and then presents them with light who is also a human in a scarey costume.

The intial part of their journey is to the Past, represented in the form of a graveyard, where soon enough, their deceased grandparents are revived, and the children recall fun times at their home with a little song and dance along the way. So now we have zombies along with the human dog and cat who are already horrifying.

After their brief visit back in time, they rest by the roadside, and the cunning Tylette suggests the children search for the Blue Bird in the land of Luxury-a visit she will enjoy more than they will. They are greeted by the fashionable Mr. and Mrs. Luxury who comically slide down the balcony to greet them. There, they get a valuable lesson in what the lives of the rich children are really like, which is obviously bad because Shirley Temple is very poor. Despite Tylette's efforts to sabotage them, they escape. Who needs money? Also, of course I need not mention the cat is a wearing a catsuit! And I am scared of this very much every single year I watch this movie.

So, Tylette goes to the woods to summon the trees of the forest to settle scores with their father, the woodcutter, who has chopped down so many of them, by summoning the natural disasters of the woods to destroy the children. Destroy the children! This doesn't pay off well for the cat, and after Tylette is justly condemned by her own treachery, Tylo and the children escape disaster and travel safely to shore, where Light guides them to the Kingdom of the Future.

There, they meet the unborn Queen Victoria and soon-to-be-born Abraham Lincoln. Who else would you want to meet in the future? There is some kind of dance sequence here about their upcoming baby sister being born but also a huge tragedy at the same time. It takes place in heaven, with greek outfits and angels and Maxfield Parish and for some reason seemed like the scariest part of the movie to me which is probably some kind of Catholic issue. Like worse than the zombies. Then, just like in Scrooge, they go home and it's Christmas and all the kids that just watched this movie are likely seriously disturbed.

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