Friday, October 04, 2013

Dreamscapes and Nightmare Lands

Actually, I started off today with a rare morning and early afternoon work shift. This time, it was busy when I started and when I finished, since I started and finished just before and during rush hours, but not that bad in the middle of the day. It was so busy when my shift ended, I just barely got out in time!

It was still pretty busy when I finally started my grocery shopping. Thankfully, it was beginning to slow down even as I strolled across the store. The Acme's having some really great sales this week. I took advantage of 40% off the Acme "Lancaster" brand meats to pick up chicken breasts and tenderloins. Grabbed squeeze light mayo and Planters Peanut Butter for $2.99 each. I had to get a pack of Green Giant Green Beans and Almonds for 88 cents, even though I don't really need frozen vegetables. Everything else - pumpkin, cornstarch, sharp cheddar cheese - were just items that needed to be restocked.

I'm not as happy with my schedule next week. I have 23 hours, which isn't as bad as 15, but it isn't great, either. The hours themselves are actually pretty good, except for the 2:30 to 9:30 next Friday. I have three days off, one of them Monday for counseling and another dental appointment.

(On the other hand, it's better than no hours, which is what I would have been getting this time last year thanks to my fractured ankle.)

When I got in from work, I put everything away, changed into regular clothes, and ran several spooky episodes of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  My favorites of these semi-scary tales of the 100 Acres Woods are "Frankenpooh" (Piglet and Tigger disagree over how frightening a horror story should be...and Pooh literally gets caught in the middle) and "Rock-a-Bye Pooh Bear" (Piglet has a nightmare and thinks he'll lose all his friends, so they do everything they can to make him realize that bad dreams don't always come true).

Switched to dubbing Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland while making a lamb chop with farm market vegetables for dinner. I first encountered this animated adaptation of the 1905 comic strip on YouTube last year. I liked it so much, I've been hoping to run across it somewhere ever since. The title character is a typical little boy of the early 19th century. He dreams himself into a fabulous, Technicolor world where kings ride miniature trains, fairies make it rain, and merry green hobos ride crows through the sky. Nemo is overwhelmed to discover he's to be the heir to the kingdom and the playmate to the princess.  But when mischievous Flip (voice of Mickey Rooney) convinces Nemo to use the key the king gave him to open the forbidden door, they unleash the Nightmare King...and heaping lot of trouble! It'll take all of Nemo's courage and confidance - and help from his flying squirrel Icarus and some goofy goblins - to make things right.

It's too bad this one had a hard road to release. It was started as a Japanese/American co-production in 1982, but evidently all hands involved spent a decade trying to decide whether it should be more Japanese whimsy or American kiddie action musical. By the time it made it to the US, it was 1992 (having finally been released in Japan in 1989). With the Disney Renaissance in full swing, Little Nemo was one of the many non-Disney animated movies of the 90s that got lost in the shuffle.

Which is a darn shame, because there's a lot that's good here. The animation is incredible, especially in Slumberland. The characters aren't terrible memorable, the villain barely registers, and the music is less than that, but the action's fun. There's a nice little episode where Nemo meets Flip and then King Morpheus, and then when he's out on a carriage ride with the Princess.

Enjoyable enough if you're a fan of animation or are looking for something different for grade-school-age kids. I think the original full Japanese version (mine is the US release that had a few minutes trimmed) is now on Blu-Ray.

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