Monday, December 26, 2005

 

Bah, Humbug!

In the past, I've been accused of being "wound too tight." That kind of gets me annoyed, because I'm like "JUST because I have an opinion on something and it doesn't correspond with your idea of what is cool or fun DOES not mean that I'm uptight!" (which to some, may be proof of their accusation...but I digress.)

Anyhow. So tonight I watched The Polar Express and I realized that I may - just may - be wound too tight. There were so many things in that film that just totally disturbed me.

For example, I always pictured The Polar Express (here upon to be referred to as "PE") to be calm, fun, relaxed. Plain old good times, with warm blankets and tasty hot chocolate. I didn't picture a little impoverished kid falling down in the snow, dejected. Or scary gaps in between the cars. Or, you know, a crazy ghost hobo pitching fires on top of the PE. Or INSANE roller coaster rides on the tracks leading to an iced over rail, and splitting frozen lakes and the train SINKING!

And that's only the beginning. I also found Santa's village to be eerily reminiscent of Hitler and his crowd, whipped up into a frenzy. They also worshipped the big guy, when, to be truthful, it seems as though they're doing all the work. (not to hate on Santa or anything...) At the very least, it was Oz-like. And oompa loompa-like. Both things have cast a sense of unease over me since childhood. Scary! (so you can tell that this "taking movies too seriously" issue has been with me since the beginning.)

The whole omnipresent Tom Hanks thing? Whose idea was that? Ever since I read an article in the Onion a couple of years ago about how he's transforming into plastic, finalizing with the part of Woody, I see him and I laugh. In fact, I hear his voice, and think "Woody." That is his character to me. He can be no one else.

Don't get me wrong, I like him. I'm actually surprised by that, because I kind of lump of him in with Robin Williams...and something about that guy is a little alarming. But Tom as the conductor? The crazy ghost? Santa? Does anyone else see a stretch here?

And is The PE an allegory? Or is it a plain and simple Santa story? Because in the movie, there was this odd God-like Oz-like moment when Santa stands in front of the main kids and is like "You are a leader..." "You, son, would be good to have a little humility," etc, etc.

Come to think of it, it more recalls the scene where the Wizard gives the heart and whatnot to the Dorothy crew. Or in Narnia, when they get the weapons with which to wage that insane war. I don't know. But is Santa supposed to be like God? He certainly is the God of the crazy little elves. I used to see him as this cool gift giver, but now he seems a bit more sinister...

Santa, as a sinister character? I definitely think it's time for bed.

Comments:
Don't underestimate Santa's sinister nature. He is, in my opinion, a criminal. A number of facts should be kept in mind:

-He commits widespread home invasion one night every year.
-He has widespread surveillance capabilities that brazenly violate our right to privacy.
-He discriminates on the basis of religion.
-His toy factories are unregulated; for all we know, the elves he "employs" could be treated little better than slaves.
-He is plainly a pedophile; what kind of a person invites thousands of children to sit on his lap?

;-)
 
Yeah, I definitely didn't like the way the polar express was a frightful journey. I mean, maybe have the really steep tracks, but not have them nearly kill the poor boy. And maybe have the part where he puts on the e-brake for the little kid, but other than that I just want to see peaceful yet awe inspiring scenes of the train going over mountain tops, across the ice of the north pole and through the dark, northern forests full of woods. (My favorite page from the book!)
 
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