"The big circle of life"
Don is always pushing me to add my voice to these stories. I'm so reluctant. It is way safer behind him. I did have an experience yesterday that I knew I should write about... so here goes.
It's Friday in the library and that means 80 kindergarteners and 75 first graders all take turns coming up stairs. Don't get me wrong, they are adorable, but exhausting. We start state testing on Monday and I'm over a huge fund raiser for the library and I have a big "Accerlerated Reader" challenge going on with the kids... let's just say I'm running at full speed toward the end of the year. (May 27th)
So... I thought, lets make this day fun and easy. I will show the kids a movie. My first choice was Planet Earth, but I have to do a lot of "editing" I don't want to be the one that shows them the lions eating the elephant. I kicked around a dozen ideas and then I spotted "Land Before Time" Wow, I haven't watched that since my family was very, very young.
I have a huge promethean board on one wall so the movie is projected almost like a theatre. The first class arrived. Without any introduction I started the movie and within minutes I heard almost in chorus... "Land Before Time!!!"
This film was made in 1988, how do these kids know about it?
They were completely captivated and so was I. Having just written about "thoughts" being the motivating factor in animation, I watched closely the faces of the characters. I could see what Don was talking about. I laughed out loud when Little Foot was being carried away by his mother and while dangling upside down asks... "What's a long necK?" By the inflection in his voice and the look on his face I knew exactly what he was thinking. Wow... Don was right.
Then I noticed my two 8th grade library aides. These boys couldn't be more different. Thomas is a soft spoken Korean boy who devours books. Isaiah is a 6' Black athlete whose mother arranged for this position. They are great kids and work really hard but this day I was pretty sure the 200 + books that needed to be shelved were never going to make it. Isaiah stopped mid stride, resting the three books in his hand on his head. He was glued to the screen. Thomas never made it out of his chair. His adorable face mirrored all the action he was watching.
As we all sat in the dark I thought of Don in that old theatre watching Snow White and deciding that he would make magic one day. I wondered who was sitting with me. Were there any artists in the crowd, dreamers, architects, inventors, musicians ... absolutely. In a few years it will be their turn to change the world.
I will be watching.
I sure would love to be a kid in your library!
Are any of those kids aware of your connection with the film they are watching?
I can almost picture you saying rather in an understated tone, "my brother Don created that movie", as eyes open wide and brains try to conceive how that could be possible.
I know if I was in that audience I'd be just as spellbound.
I don't ever tell the kids I'm related to Don. It leaves them free to say what they really think. However, there truthfully isn't a child in the school that doesn't call a brontosaurus a "long neck" That makes me smile.
What a great story.To be able to bring joy and entertainment to people is what it's all about. And your job is truly more important. To help provide these kids with access to all the books that will spur on their imagination,creativity and education is really wonderful. Thank you
Thanks Suzanne. That movie still captivates me. I can never expect where the plot will lead me. This is one of the very few films, similar to Bambi where I have no idea what will happen next.
Bambi's a great comparison. I love Land Before Time. The story unfolds like a flower. It just tells the darn story with amazing animation and direction. To me it really tells the story as in the days of Walt Disney the man, which I think many modern producers, writers and driectors mistake straightfowardness as pedestrian. An antidote to alot of recent tryin'-hard-to-be-hip
Originally Posted by OwenWelsh