Sunday, March 11, 2007

Planting seeds with Tick-Tock

I was standing in line at the grocery store yesterday and a young girl of about 7 or 8 came up behind me with her purchase. She was holding a plastic toy alligator. I said "Oooo. That looks like a scary alligator." She held it up and said, "Look, it has a dime in it's mouth." I grinned and asked her if she knew the story about Peter Pan and the crocodile named "Tick-Tock" that had swallowed a clock. Her reply was "No, I haven't seen that one." I was saddened that her first interpretation of the word "story" was that of a video rather than a book. I hopefully put a seed in her by telling her she should ask her Mom or Dad to take her to the library and find a book about Peter Pan and Tick-Tock. Maybe she'll read the book before the more convenient DVD gets popped into the player. Are children's imaginations being muted by feeding them the visual images before they have a chance to create their own vision from words?


Mary said...

IMO, there isn't a movie that compares to the written word -- CAN'T compare as it is words BEFORE it can EVER be a movie.

NOR can a movie EVER take the place of a person's imagination. I have been disappointed quite a few times by a movie remake of a fav book -- it never compares to how my mind had it all pictured.

For me, full appreciation of the story begins before I even read the first line. It starts with the weight of the book in my hands, the feel of the glossy jacket, the vivid colors and designer/artist props for the cover, the rustle of turning pages, the chance to get inside the author's head through their acknowlegments and dedications, the font and graphics all carefully and masterfully designed with full consideration of the reader's experience. I love reading the jacket flaps to get the publisher's take on the story. I even like getting author/pub. website info to click on should I choose to.

Putting a world together through an actual book is MORE than the story itself -- it is a labor of love by a wide community of like-minded spirits.

Hmm. Maybe I should just tell you how I really feel about books, huh...:-)

Barb said...

Mary: Don't hold back girl, tell us how you really feel. hee hee. Well said and much more eloquently done so. You author you.

voyageur said...

Mary: there are some movies that exceed the book. It just does not happen too often. "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is a great example of that. Not only was the story in the film a lot better than the book, a novel about cartoons is always going to lack something.

I've not seen or read "Peter Pan".

And yes, as a matter of fact I AM an author.

Mary said...

Voyageur: Agreed. Roger Rabbit was indeed waaaay whackier and enjoyable on film than I EVER imagined it, and that is difficult for an author to admit :-) I feel like I'm taking the first step in the 12-step author program MAOT (Movies Are Okay Too).

AND there is NOTHING I would like more than to see a story of mine on the big screen. I've got my wall space reserved for the movie poster and everything -- so I guess that sort of makes me AC/DC. Ha!

My mind is very much a movie fan, but my little black heart will always belong to the written word.

BTW -- what do you write/genre? Writing is such an incredible world, isn't it!

Balou: As always, you are so gracious with your props! But you are quite the writer as well. Your thoughts and humor make 'born a girl' a fav - must read - blog of mine!

voyageur said...

Mary: So, are you one of those few who has read "Who Censored Roger Rabbit"?

I have written a couple of history books.

Mary said...

Voyageur: Nope. Sorry. I better make myself clear. Roger Rabit was a movie I NEVER imagined that I would like.

It's been many years since I've seen it, but I remember being totally enthralled by the visual effects: Jessica truly was sensual which was amazing for a cartoon (I actually forgot at times that she was a cartoon) and Roger truly was entertaining to watch -- like a bullet fired into a rubber room -- he was just all over the place.

I've got a great imagination -- but this movie exceeded anything that I could've visualized.

Another "exceed" imagination (for me) is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The breathtaking scenery and truly hideously pathetic Golum far exceed the books for me. Of course, I read them many, many years ago and I've found the fantasy genre is kind of 'out there' for me. So all of this does play a factor.

Regarding your books: Congratulations! Very cool. What era do you write about?

voyageur said...

One thing the book explained better than the movie, was what Jessica really was. In the book, they come outright and say she was from dirty comics. Also, if I recall correctly, she was an outright villain in the novel.

Two other amusing things I remember from the book that were good or could have been in the movie but were not:

1) Someone swept up the floor and dumped it out the window into a bed of toon flowers, which sneezed. That would have been a good visual gag.

2) Someone made a comment that pro football just wasn't the same since they changed the rules to allow cartoon gorillas to play.

Yes, Roger himself was well done. They were up to the challenge of coming up with a rabbit that was nothing like Bugs. The only cartoon character I can think of right now with a personality remotely like that of Roger Rabbit is Spongebob Squarepants... and Spongebob came years later.

As for Lord of the Rings, I think Tolkien himself, had he been alive to see it, would have dropped dead from a heart attack to see the amazing way Gollum was brought to the screen.

The history books are narrow-focus local histories.