Monday, January 02, 2017

To Make an End Is to Make a Beginning

It was so dreary and rainy when I woke up this morning. I decided it was the perfect day to start taking down the Christmas decorations. I normally let them linger for a few days after New Year's, but after that roller coaster of a holiday week, I wasn't really feeling in the spirit to celebrate anymore. I still love Christmas in general...but I just wanted this particular holiday season to be over.

Ran Sailor Moon Super S: Black Dream Hole to improve my mood as I boxed and bagged all the stuffed toys, porcelain bears, Holly and the Nutcracker, the cardboard hangings, Christmas cards, the baskets of greenery, the Peanuts gift card and the Mickey and Minnie frame, Winter Cinderella, the resin Santa, and the wooden "FaLaLa" and "HoHoHo" signs Linda Young made for me ages ago. An evil dream fairy has been kidnapping all of the children of the world, using their dream energy to power her Black Dream Hole. If it gets large enough, it'll swallow the Earth whole! When her minions capture Chibi-Usa and injure Mamoru, Usagi and the others are determined to bring the little girl back. A young dream fairy who has befriended Chibi-Usa helps them out.

Finished just in time to ride in the rain to work. Pretty much the same deal as the past week - dead in the morning, very busy in the afternoon. The weather didn't help. The rain continued off and on all day. Thankfully, I only had to spend about an hour out doing carts...but maybe it should have been more. The girl who was out for most of the morning complained that her feet were wet and cold. I spent most of the morning scrubbing registers...again. We're coming up on our grand re-opening, and the frantic managers want everything to be perfect.

It was still raining when I hurried home. I went right back into taking down the Christmas things. The bears only took me about 20 minutes; the tree, and hour and a half. It takes a lot less time to take down the decorations than it does to hang them!

Ran Charlotte's Web as I worked. I totally forgot I dubbed the 1973 animated version a few years ago. Since I've had the Star Wars movies on the last few nights, I figured it was only fair to run something with Reynolds, too, whom I also liked. She was the voice of the title character, a kind spider who befriends a pig named Wilbur (Henry Gibson). Wilbur's worried he's going to end up on the farmer's dinner plate. With the help of Charlotte and her amazing web-writing abilities, as well as Templeton the disagreeable rat (Paul Lynde) and Wilbur's owner Fern, the entire county is soon believing Wilbur's "some pig."

I do have Singin' In the Rain, and I may watch that later in the week, but I was really feeling more like I needed the bittersweet vibes here. I've always considered this charming animated musical to be highly underrated. There's some nice animation here (especially coming from Hanna-Barbara), and we get one of my favorite Sherman Brothers scores. "Mother Earth and Father Time" and the title song are gorgeous, haunting ballads; Lynde and Agnes Moorehead (as the Goose) are a riot in "A Fair Is a Veritable Smorgasbord."

After I finished the tree, I went online to continue my fable. The bear realizes after leaving the falcon that she likes telling stories (at least until she can find her special something), and she wants to remain among groups. She has many adventures while searching, from tricking a fat bear who got her angry into thinking he's being shot, helping two bear friends mate, and pointing out to an eagle who thinks there's predators around that he's over-reacting. (He's not.)

But she's picked up some bad habits on the way, including raiding picnic baskets and eating human food that isn't good for her. After a meal in a trash can, she's so sick that she has to get her stomach pumped in a national park animal hospital. Her mates have also left her, though one did produce a lovely little cub. She eventually takes her cub back to her mother and brother, who welcome both home. Her mother even starts dancing again. It's how she tells stories.

Broke for a sausage sandwich, sauteed spinach and onions, and gingerbread around 7. Watched Dick Tracy while I ate and settled down on the couch. Tracy (Warren Beatty) is the ultimate dedicated cop, who would do anything to bring in gangster Big Boy (Al Pacino). He's also dealing with a runway kid and with his girlfriend Tess Trueheart (Glenne Headley), who wants him to settle down. He wants Big Boy's moll Breathless Mahoney (Madonna) to testify. She'd rather testify to having him in her bed. It comes to an explosive head on New Year's Eve, when a mysterious figure frames Tracy for murder and Big Boy for snatching Tess...and both men have to figure out how to restore their lives and careers.

The eye candy is the thing here. The amazing, primary-colored set direction, make-up, and costumes are all carefully detailed to match the comic strip this came from. Some good numbers from composer Stephan Sondheim too, including the Oscar winning Madonna number "Sooner or Later, I Always Get My Man" and the heartbreaking ballad "What Can You Lose?"

Ended the night online with The Slipper and the Rose. I'd heard of this lovely British version of Cinderella before, but I'd never seen it. Here, the Prince (Richard Chamberlain) and Cinderella (Gemma Craven) are almost forbidden to wed, because the King wants his son to honor an arranged marriage and keep their countries from war. It takes intervention from Cinderella's Fairy Godmother to make sure everyone gets what they deserve in the end.

This is still apparently very popular with young girls of the 70's and 80's who grew up watching it on TV and video, especially in its native England, and I can see why. It's both charming and almost darkly hilarious. The fairy godmother is by far my favorite character here. I love how she manages to make everything come out in the end, and even avert that war.

I think this might be out of print on DVD on this side of the Atlantic. Thankfully,it's currently available at YouTube.

The Slipper and the Rose

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