Saturday, July 01, 2017


Cosmo and Sophie were introduced last night when Delaney was dropped off for her sleepover. We immediately discovered that Sophie is badly out of shape. Playing with a puppy wore her 8 year old ass out in 10 minutes. The spirit was willing, but I seriously worried that the flesh would have a heart attack. Pictures were taken but are blurry and chaotic, as was their intro. We will continue with regular play dates. They liked each other, and Sophie has found her backbone and laid down some senior dog laws on the impudent pup. He promptly sat and waited for further instruction from the lady dog. This will be good for both.

I bought the new, live action Emma Watson Beauty and the Beast specifically for this weekend. What did the child want to watch? Harry Potter. Again. Specifically, the hardest one of all, the last movie, with the big battle at Hogwarts. She takes her Potter world very seriously. Every viewing of a movie is accompanied by an in-depth analysis of character motivation, and detailed review of plot. She understands that Snape was a complicated guy who loved Lily and was both a Death Eater and yet still somewhat loyal to Dumbledore. It's fascinating to listen to a 5 and a half year old reason this out for herself. She's clearly capable of some high level critical thinking, and she's clearly prepping for a Hogwarts entrance exam, and it's delightful and yet really freaking exhausting. Her new thing, when she asks a question the adults can't answer immediately: "Well, Google it up!" So we dutifully consult The Google and answer her questions about the diet of wolves and what was the name of Harry's girlfriend before Ginny (shame on me, I didn't have Cho Chang's name at my fingertips, though I could picture her face from the movie) and on and on.

She does understand that it's fiction, somewhat. She knows that Emma Watson is an actress who is both Hermione and Belle, but still remarks that Belle sounds just like Hermoine when she talks. She's sorting out how fiction works, and she is a huge Emma Watson fan. That makes me very happy, because as young celebrity role models go, she couldn't do much better. It turns out that Emma Watson is pretty much Hermione in real life.

We did watch BatB on the new TV this morning, and damn, I love that movie so much! It's pretty much perfect. I know there was a lot of carping about casting Emma Watson and her "weak voice," but listening again at home, I can see that they cast people who could ACT and also sing decently, because this was live action, and real people carried the story. An animated Disney movie can choose voices from anywhere, people who look nothing like their characters. Live action is a different animal entirely. After seeing it, then reading the carping about casting, then seeing it again, I have a greater appreciation for what they did with this version. Other than Gaston and his sidekick, the rest of the cast is not entirely drawn from musical theater people. And again, other than the big ensemble songs like Gaston's big number, the voices of Belle and her father and the Beast and Mrs. Potts were on the same level of charmingly performed, but not designed to bring down the house. The live action version has a humanity that the animated version simply couldn't do, because...animated. Emma Watson's Belle sings like a person who likes to sing and has a decent voice, not like a Broadway star. It worked for me.

Once again, the questions from the peanut gallery somewhat spoiled it. I will watch it again before bed, without my guest. She was very curious about how they animated Mrs. Potts' face to move on the teapot. She knows it's not "real" but it looks so real, and she really wants to know how CGI works, but at her age, she's picturing "a computer chip inside the teapot" to make the face move. I'm hardly qualified to give her a tutorial on the subject, so let's get this kid into a STEM magnet school in 6th grade, please, followed by an internship with Disney Imagineering in college. She's entering kindergarten next month. That should be interesting. Fingers crossed she gets a teacher who can handle her.

Am I itching to write about politics? Holy shit, you have NO idea! I'm not restraining myself because I am afraid to speak my mind. I'm just trying to come up with a more detailed and articulate way to say that Republicans are just at their core really shitty people, and even more deplorable than I imagined.


wednesday said...

Delaney is starting school at the right time, something tells me she would love a Robotics club, or some other class that teaches coding. Get her started down that path, and she'll probably have built you a Rosie the Robot maid from the Jetsons by the time she's seven!

KatyaR said...

I was just getting ready to suggest robotics! You should check the local Girl Scout council--they most definitely have STEM programming, and they may have robotics as well. Good luck! #shamelessGSplug

Liz said...

My husband's degree is in digital animation (specifically video game design, although he does other work now) and here's the amazing thing: digital animation is SUPER SIMILAR to read animation! While they can do some cool things with motion, they still have to do each image frame by frame, creating layers, just like in the old days.

Anyway, animation is magical and I bet there's a behind the scenes thing about Mrs. Potts!

OH LOOK I FOUND ONE THAT IS REALLY REALLY INTERESTING (that is not sarcasm, I am legit fascinated)

Catherine said...

Thank you Liz! And yes, I'm betting Delaney will want to get into Girl Scouts. I'm aware of their wonderful coding program, and agree that she'd probably be fascinated with robotics. I can definitely see this kid growing up to be a Disney Imagineer. :-)