Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Of Mice and Magic

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and Bluey. She wants to help her dad Bandit make a "Duck Cake" for her sister Bingo's birthday, but her mum Chili says she can't until she cleans up the Lego mess in the living room. When Bandit makes a mess in the kitchen and has to fix the cake, Bluey learns the importance of helping others.

Karen picked me up at ten minutes to 10. We spent most of the hour we spent at the Haddon Township Library talking about my options for school. If I do go back to school, I need to decide which one, and I need to do an application for federal aid and send it to my Abilities Solution counselor. Finding a job in the proving to be harder. Most jobs in this area are for health care or teaching, neither of which interest me.

When I got home, I had a fast lunch while watching Charlie & Lola. She says "I am Really, Really, Really Concentrating" when she enters the Egg on the Spoon Race in her school's Sports Day. Marv and Charlie are joining the three-legged race, while Lotta hopes she'll do well in the obstacle course. Lola tries so hard to focus on keeping the egg on the spoon, she gets a prize of her own in the end.

Headed out shortly after the cartoon ended. I actually managed to get in on time for a change, which was about the only exciting thing that happened all afternoon. We were quiet almost the entire day. If people aren't out of town, they did their shopping last week for the holidays. Not to mention, the weather was gorgeous, sunny, windy, dry, and warm for April, in the lower 80's. It was too nice for shopping. It picked up a little around rush hour, but other than that, there were no really huge problems. My relief was right on time.

Went straight into writing when I got home. Brett's not impressed with Richard at all. She knows the Wild Rider Gang have hit other businesses and ranches in the valley. She wants those varmints gone. Gene tries to send her home, but she won't go until he gives her his word that he'll find the missing cattle and money.

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game Syndicated as I worked. They're up to the week where Bob Barket sat next to nubile young Charlene Tilton...which may not have been the smartest idea, given how he behaved with the models on his own show. In the first episode, Bob's delighted when he's the only one to match a contestant and encourages a standing ovation. His chair turns on him in the next episode when it sinks below the level of the desks and the one they get to replace it is too high.

Finished the night on The Roku Channel with The Secret of NIMH, one of my favorite animated movies. Widowed mouse Mrs. Brisby (Elizabeth Hartman) is terrified when her son Timothy (Ian Fried) comes down with pneumonia days before she has to move her family out of the about-to-be-plowed fields. Busybody Auntie Shrew (Hermoine Badderly) suggests asking The Great Owl (John Carradine) for help. The wise but majestic creature encourages her to go to the rats in the rose bush for aid. 

Turns out the rats are extremely intelligent former lab animals who run a highly detailed society in the rose bush, with electricity stolen from the farmer. Their leader Nicholdemus (Derek Jacobi) wants them to start a farming colony in a safe far-away valley, but there's a splinter faction led by the treacherous Jenner (Paul Shenar) who would rather not upset the rose bush. Mrs. Brisby and her moving project ends up caught between these two warring factions. It's Mrs. Brisby herself, however, who saves her children and her home after disaster strikes, proving that real magic comes from a loving heart.

One of, if not the best animated film of the 1980's. Mrs. Brisby has always been my favorite character. She's one of the most realistic depictions of motherhood in animation, from her hilarious encounters with Jeremy the Crow (Dom DeLouise) to her initially horrified reaction to the Great Owl. Jeremy also has some good moments, especially when he and Mrs. Brisby are dodging Dragon the cat in the opening. The animation is flat-out stunning, with lush backdrops, detailed character movements, and incredible effects for the time. Jerry Goldsmith's orchestral score is one of my favorites from any animated film, as is the gorgeous Paul Williams ballad "Flying Dreams." 

Major warning that for something rated G, the movie does get very dark at times. Three gristly on-screen deaths, several scary sequences with Dragon, the Great Owl, and in the finale, and frank discussions of death, grief, illness, and animal testing make this for families with older elementary schoolers on up who can handle the heavier subject matter. 

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