I Got Movies Too
For those of you who follow my blog, you know that my parents are finally moving from the house in which I grew up. So my last weeks of vacation were partially spent going through the stuff I still had packed up in their basement and in my old room. It was pretty surreal, on a number of levels. But one of the things I found was a DVD I'd bought probably a year ago to give to my niece. As my memory is a sieve, I, of course, forgot, and it's been sitting in my room for nigh on 12 months.
The DVD is a movie I probably watched 100 times as a child, The Last Unicorn.* Here's the weird edited montage version from YouTube:
*Yes, this movie was first a book, by Peter S. Beagle. It's a very good book, but I didn't read it till much later and, in truth, I didn't latch onto it the way I did this film.
I lived and breathed this movie for months at a time. I remember remembering it so clearly . . . but upon watching it again, I realized that all I really remembered were images: the unicorn; the girl she became; the sea foam in which the other unicorns lived; the Red Bull; the Harpy.
So it was an incredible experience when I sat down and watched it again, as an adult. I was struck by two things: it has probably the most outrageously overdramatic soundtrack ever; one that puts even Queen's soundtrack for Highlander (love it!) to shame. The second thing was just how unique this story was, compared to its other cartoon competition. There is true suffering in this movie, and a truly banal sort of evil. Which, as Hannah Arendt made us aware, is the scariest type of evil yet. There is a prince who is a bit of a boob, really, and a princess who appears to realize this fact. There is an ending that's happy and yet doesn't give credence to the Disney, romantic version of Happily Ever After.
Basically, I spent all my time watching a pretty cartoon about one-horned mythological beasties which is really about independence, being faithful to one's nature, and not allowing a Happily Ever After fantasy to dictate your true desires.
Have any of you had that experience with a movie or a book that you took for granted as part of your childhood experience, only to see or read it later, as an adult, and realize that it somehow reflects, and maybe even shaped, your core values?