Ch. 32: The Necessity of Escapism, Part 2
Last time I dwelled on how people need to "escape this misery called life" and some of the ways that they can go about doing so. Mostly, this included basking in the niceties of going on vacation and consuming alcohol (to numb the effects of the stress of travelling).
This time though, I want to suggest one of the best alternatives to those two, and why these choices are soooo much incredibly better than drinking or vacationing.
Watch movies. Not just any movies. Happy movies. Not slapstick ridiculous "off the cuff" movies. Goofy movies. Not sexually provocative sleazy "get your hard-on with Angelina Jolie" movies. Romantic movies. Not chick flicks like the Notebook and most certainly not Brokeback Mountain. But heart-wrenching surreal movies that allow you to sympathize with, but not become overcome with emotion by the characters in the plot, kind of movies. If these "happy" movies that I have tried to screen out still leave you with thrasher/bloodbath flicks on your list, then I suppose I should just give up already. But what I am actually trying to get at here is that some of the best movies that a person could ever go and see arrrreee:
For a long time now, I have maintained that cartoon movies can be some of the best medication for a person in need of reprieve from the stresses of life. Nothing quite says "so long psychopathic horror-style murder by beheading" like watching Roger Rabbit getting dipped ears first into, well, the Dip. Alright, maybe that's a bad example seeing how inhumane that was for poor Roger, but not all cartoons were like that - growing up - or now.
Growing up, us kids had the privilege of watching a lot of Classic Disney movies play in theaters. I still remember watching Aladdin @ Gateway Cinemas when I was about 8. Movies like that appealed to kids' imaginations and dreams and also gave parents a sense of gratitude in that sexual undertones would be left out completely, simply for the benefit of us kids. Lion King: probably still one of the best movies made for kids ever, was the same way. Minus the word "sex" that was apparently written in the stars at some point or another...The success & popularity of Disney's movies through the 80s and 90s allowed for Edmonton weatherman Mike Sobel to run a very entertaining 2 hour Saturday Special on ITV called the Disney Afternoon for a couple of years! This is back when times were simple, and kids weren't all hopped up on sugar and crack. Outside of Disney, The Land Before Time (one), All Dogs Go To Heaven, and An American Tale were some real classics that enabled children to... be kids! These movies offered great entertainment value for children & parents alike and didn't require any sex or violence to do so.
When Pixar got humongous thanks to Toy Story, kids had the opportunity to reclaim their youth yet again. This ridiculous story of friendship and never giving up was a great break from some of the other movies I was watching at the time: Cape Fear and Primal Fear are the two that come to mind. Plus the new Toy Story ride in Disneyland, CA is pretty much the funnest thing ever. Finding Nemo - the movie & the ride - certainly didn't surmount to what Toy Story (1 or 2) offered. Cars was a good Pixar production, but mostly because of the Brad Paisley song "Find Yourself".
But then we kids got brains, apparently. The movie industry thought that us kids had to become more responsible for the lives we were living, and that simply understanding the importance of "The Circle of Life" or that "Beauty is Only Skin Deep" was not enough. Chicken Run made us all think twice about the repressed lives of chickens. Fern Gully was the first to bring awareness to some of the atrocities of deforestation of rain forest in 1992. The Bee Movie let Jerry Seinfeld show us how bees are just another dying species that we should beeee concerned for, as we continue to destroy their habitat. Happy Feet - Same thing. Madagascar showed us how inhuman and lonely zoo animals might be and how the animals vie to be "home". And most recently Wall-E projected what we might be in for as a human race, given the amount of waste we produce and resources we exploit. Thinking Movies. No sex, gore, or violence included.
I saw Kung Fu Panda with some friends and tried to convince them that it was The Lion King reincarnate, with its whole premise of having a reject overcome all odds to make things right. Little did I know at the time that Madagascar 2: Return To Africa was even more of a ripoff of The Lion King, where the lion in the movie had to "go back to challenge his uncle to take his place as king". Direct copy. Oh well. Still a great movie. I liked the penguins.
I have yet to see a number of cartoon movies - on the top of the list are Ice Age, A Bug's Life, and Ratatouille. Well, those are the important ones anyways!
So there you have it: A whole blog about how (non-violent, non-sexcrazed, non-gore) movies can be used to help you escape from some of the heart burning stomach churning realities of every day life, where enough violence, sex, and gore exist as it is! Cartoons. Oi. Sure, some of these cartoons might be "thinking" movies, but I would rather have my kids thinking than watching crap like "Jackass", "Harold & Kumar" (soo good), "Earnest Goes to Camp" or worse...
Also, "how is this better than drinking or vacationing" you might ask? Well, it's not, but how else would have I got you to read this far. God damn' my liver when it's thirsty! Time for a DRINK!!! (too sober to sleep).
The Top 6 Non-Cartoon Movies of My Youth: TMNT, Ghost Busters, E.T. Home Alone, The Goonies, and Short Circuit.