E. has an old soul. How else can you explain how this 3-year-old’s favorite movies are the Sound of Music, Annie and all six Star Wars movies? Well old soul + lenient parents when it comes to entertainment. Personally, though, I think she gets far more valuable life lessons out of the classics than that snot Ariel.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of fall, I always think of the annual showings of Wizard of Oz on TV. I think it used to air on CBS every year, right? Back in the stone ages before DVRs and affordable DVDs, we used to record things on our VHS machines. Oh the horror! I wore out my taped copy of Wizard of Oz as a kid. To this day, when I’m watching it, I can still remember certain points where it went to commercial (for example, when the lion gets scared by the Wizard and jumps out the window — commercial break!).
Wizard of Oz has been on my short list for awhile now of movies to show E. When TNT aired it a week ago or so, I recorded it so we could have our first official screening.
I’ve got to say, there’s nothing like watching a movie you know and love so well with someone, particularly a child, who has never seen it before. She had no frame of reference for the movie and everything about is was so brand new.
In no particular order, here are E’s Top 10 observations of this 72-year-old movie:
1. E: “What does running away mean?” Me: “It means you are breaking your mommy’s heart and you may never see her again.” E: “I’d NEVER run away.” (Note to future, teenage rebellion phase E: please remember this conversation)
2. As I was explaining what a tornado is. “Oh, Mommy, that’s a twister. I know what that is. On the Wonder Pets, one carried a cow into a tree.” Nick Jr. FTW!
3. As the shutter hit Dorothy on the head: “Is she dead or dreaming?” Yup, the death obsession is still alive and well. And how can a 3-year-old kill a story plot before it even begins. I tried to tap-dance my way around the dreaming question but before Dorothy even got to Munchkinland, E. knew it was all a dream. Has she secretly been watching “Lost”?
4. E: “Mommy, what is wrong with those little people’s voices? And aren’t Munchkins what Daddy gets me at Dunkin’ Donuts?”
5. E. thinks a lot like Dorothy. As soon as the Wicked Witch of the West appeared out of the red smoke, E. yelled — before Dorothy had time to utter the same exact line — “I THOUGHT YOU SAID SHE WAS DEAD!” Oops!
The Wicked Witch of the West scared the bejesus out of her. I really thought she wouldn’t be that scared. This is the same child who loves Darth Vader, loves the Haunted Mansion at Disney and thinks the Shadow Man in Princess and the Frog is hilarious. She even donned a scary witch hat for her ballet recital.
6. She wasn’t buying the Cowardly Lion. “No, Mommy. That’s not a lion. That’s a man in a lion costume. Where are the lions and tigers and bears? He’s not a lion. Are there pretend tigers and bears, too?” Tough crowd, Lion. Tough crowd.
7. “Hey, I didn’t know there was a robot in this movie!”
8. She really puzzled over the missing organs. “So, the Scarecrow has a heart but no brain? The Tin Man doesn’t have a heart but he has a brain? Why don’t they both have both?” Where’s L. Frank Baum when you really need him?
9. “Witches can’t melt! Only ice cream melts! That’s so silly.”
10. “You know what Mommy? Since those three stole the soldiers’ uniforms do you know what they are probably wearing? Just their underwear! Isn’t that funny?” And here I was worried she’d be fretting over the scary soldiers after the witch scared her. Nope, she just used the oldest trick in the books — imagined them in their underwear.
Last year, she was terrified of the Abominable Snowman in Rudolph the first time we watched it. But once she realized he turned nice in the end, she wanted to watch it over and over again.
I think Wizard of Oz is going to be the same. Now that she knows the witch gets ice-creamed, I suspect many more viewings in our future. She spent the night with my grandparents this weekend, and my grandmother told me that they went on a walk through the woods and all E. did was talk about the movie the whole time and sing the songs through the forest.
And I’m a big fan of the film’s not-so-subtle messaging — there’s no place like home. She better not forget it!
What favorites from your youth have you rediscovered lately? And which film should I show her next for her continuing movie education?