Thursday, January 04, 2018

Dolls In a Marshmallow World

I awoke to nothing but whiteness. To be honest, it was hard to tell how much snow was coming down this morning. The wind was blowing it all over the place. It was probably only a snow shower, but it looked like a blizzard.

Warmed up with corn meal mush, hot chocolate, and half a grapefruit for breakfast. I figured it was appropriate to kick a snowy day off with Frosty's Winter Wonderland. This is the actual Rankin-Bass follow-up to Frosty the Snowman. Frosty's glad to be back with the kids, but he's lonely when they go home. The kids build him a wife to cheer him up, but they can't figure out how to make her "all livin'." Meanwhile, Jack Frost is jealous of Frosty's popularity with the kids and is determined to become the only cold weather icon.

Spent the rest of the morning taking down the remaining Christmas decorations. Shoved the tree back into what's left of its box first. I really need to find a large, heavy plastic bag or container for it. It's still in its original box, which is falling apart. Everything else - the garlands, nativity, poinsettia placemats, vintage hankie I use as a table runner. cross-stitched poinsettia magnet, crocheted red and green coasters, leftover mini gift boxes, the wreath for the front door, the box with the New Year's party supplies, and the mistletoe - went in the Santa Bag. These are the things that get taken out first after I finish cleaning in early December and get put away last in January.

Ran The Road to Utopia while I worked. The only Road To... movie set in the past and in a cold climate takes us to the snowy Klondike in 1898. Bing and Bob are performers who get caught without money on a slow boat to Alaska. To get off, they pose as wanted criminals Sperry and McGurk...who turn out to have killed the father of Skagway Sal (Dorothy Lamour) in order to get a map to a gold mine. Under orders by a businessman (Douglas Dumbrille) who wants the gold, she plays up to both of them. Her flirting backfires when she falls for one, and they all end up on the lam, chased by goons, villainous blonds, and talking animals.

One of the stranger Road To... entries. I don't know why Paramount felt Robert Benchley's narration was necessary. It added nothing to the proceedings, and even slowed things down at a few points. Otherwise, this is pretty much the same thing as the other movies in a snowy setting. If you loved the rest of the series, you'll get a kick out of this one, too.

Started dressing the American Girl dolls in warmer winter clothes as the movie was ending. Felicity's snuggled in her green Riding Habit over her new undergarments and the tri-corn hat. Put Samantha in her gray flannel Buster Brown School Dress and the black stockings and boots from Rebecca's School Outfit. Whitney's ready to go skating on Peter Creek in Molly's blue and red Skating Outfit and Springfield Collection skates. (It fits her much better than it does Molly.) I have Josefina in a blue striped empire-waisted dress I found for her on eBay and a matching black velvet hat with flowers on the brim. Molly would rather dress down in her Play Outfit navy-blue corduroys and plaid flannel shirt and the "leather" loafers from the Aviator outfit. Pieced together Jessa's outfits from various bits - she has the thick black corduroys and yellow felt sweater with magenta, purple, and turquoise trim she came in, the white long-sleeved t-shirt with the magenta flower and beads from the 2002 meet outfit, and the mid-90's modern black high-top sneakers and yellow socks. 

Did another winter-themed cartoon while finishing the meatball soup for lunch. Max & Ruby did a couple of snowy episodes. Ruby corrals Max into building her second snow-critter of the series in "Max's Snowbunny." Max would rather go sledding. She wants her snowflake-shaped cookies to look exactly alike in "Ruby's Snowflakes," but her brother just wants to eat them. Max wants to play "Duck Duck Goose," but Ruby and her friends have to look for winter birds for their Bunny Scout bird-hunting merit badges. Max's obsession with the game eventually helps them find the last couple of fowl they're looking for. 

By lunch time, the snow was long gone, but the wind continued to howl, and it was still bitterly cold. I gave up on any ideas I'd had of going out and settled into writing instead (after I swapped the Emerson cassette player with the CD player). BB overhears Kylo Ren, DJ, and Snoke say they're going to invade the Toy Factory and force Mother Leia Goose to marry Snoke. She and Chewie are eventually caught, but they manage to make their escape. Chewie leads BB down to the dungeon in the basement. The little girl finds a snoring troll guarding a man dressed as a pirate and bound with chains in a cell. He's Han Shaftoe, Mother Goose's supposedly dead husband, who looks an awful lot like the security guard at Skywalker's Department Store...

Broke around 5:30 to make Mint Chocolate Cookies from that one-bowl cookie cookbook Lauren sent me last year. Did two snow-themed episodes of Scooby Doo while I worked. "There's No Business Like Snow Business" from What's New, Scooby Doo? has the gang at a snowboarding competition that's being plagued by a seemingly indestructible ice monster. When Fred's one of its victims and Velma catches a cold, Shaggy, Scooby, and Daphne take it on themselves to solve the mystery.

Went back to the original Scooby Doo, Where are You? for "That's Snow Ghost." This time, the snow monster is the ghost of a yeti that's terrorizing the area around a dilapidated ski resort. An elderly Tibetan man claims the ghost is after him, but is that really what it's interested in?

Finished the night after a shower with Frozen. Disney's biggest hit movie to date is set in the fictional kingdom of Arendelle. Elsa (Idina Menzel) is about to take over ruling the country, but she's got a secret she's been hiding most of her life - she has the power to create ice and snow. Her sister Anna (Kristin Bell) wants to marry Prince Hans (Santino Fontana), despite having just met him only hours before. This upsets Elsa so much, her powers burst out...and she inadvertently plunges the kingdom into a permanent snowstorm. It's up to Anna, the ice cutter Kristoff (Johnathan Groff), Kristoff's reindeer Sven, and sun-loving snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) to convince Elsa to end her spell...and remind both sisters that there's more than one kind of true love in the world. 

This film's massive success and the recent backlash over the poorly-received Olaf holiday featurette obscures the fact that this is a genuinely good movie, one of Disney's best "princess" tales. Elsa and Anna are both strong characters, and who ends up being the villain is actually quite creative. The soundtrack was a tremendous success in its own right. Elsa's anthem "Let It Go" won an Oscar. I also like "For the First Time In Forever" for Anna and Elsa as they're preparing for Elsa's coronation and the heartbreaking "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" 

If you have little girls, you've probably watched this a million times. Even if you're sick of hearing about it, it's still worth seeing, if only for the musical numbers and fabulous animation alone. 

Oh, and I stuck a ruler in the snow on my porch this evening, right before I started Frozen. It came up to 2 inches. That's about what we were supposed to get, and nothing like the foot that was dumped on the Jersey Shore. I texted Mom earlier in the day. She said that the Ferries had been canceled for the next two days. A teacher and my friend Kelly who live in Wildwood mentioned having a foot of snow or more in their backyards. I'm more concerned about biting chill and raging winds here. 

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