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Alethea & Athena
Thomasina and Page 
29th-Jun-2015 05:33 pm
I think I accidentally did a very cruel thing to Page this morning. She hopped onto the laptop as she tends to do, only now we have a Digibird sitting on the shelf right next to it. She had to inspect, so Athena showed her how it chirps. Digibirds are pretty neat little toys that will chirp when you blow on their chest sensor, and sing when you blow a special whistle at them. Despite the fact that it was ages before Page stopped running away when we started singing (I don't think we sound that bad!), I thought she might like to hear the Digibird sing, so I got the whistle and tried to blow it at the Digibird...only I ended up blowing it right in her ear and freaking her out.

She ran over to the other side of the desk where I got to put my arm over her while I typed for a while, and would occasionally move as if she wanted to check out the laptop area again but was afraid to. We aren't sure if she was afraid we'd whistle at her again, or if she was afraid the bird was doing it unpredictably. At any rate, she did overcome her fear just long enough to defiantly sit on the laptop for a few minutes, and then she ran off and got comfortable in the bedroom.

But speaking of cats, we watched The Three Lives of Thomasina last night! If we had known it took place in Scotland, we might have watched it sooner, because we love Scottish accents. But anyway, we loved it! It was lovely. But there were a couple of minor issues we felt could use a little more attention.

First, there's the matter of the cat coming back to life. They kind of glossed over it by saying that cats have nine lives, but come on. Why was she still alive? Did she actually die and come back to life? Or did the veterinarian's assistant just not do a good job of putting her down? They were pretty busy, and the assistant was very reluctant. Maybe it just seemed odd to us because, after learning about reincarnation, maybe we got it into our heads that the nine lives thing was more like that, and not like a, "Dead...just kidding!" thing. But we're also aware of the theory that the cats having nine lives theory comes from cats living a really long time, which would be something like what happened to Thomasina. Maybe they just wanted to be like Castle and leave it a little ambiguous so you can take whatever interpretation you want...except that they had that whole Bast sequence, which I guess means either she was dead dead, or she was having a near death experience, which would make her dead dead, too, I guess. We were just a little unsatisfied on that point, especially because when they realized she was still alive, they were all like, "Oh, she's alive!" and not like, "Wait, how is that even possible!?" It was just weird.

Second, there's the matter of Mary saying that she killed her father, put him in a box, and buried him. That sounds like a serious psychological issue that could maybe use some attention, but the housekeeper lady is just like, "!" and does nothing, and the priest is just like, "!!!!" and tells her father that she really could use a mother. While I don't necessarily disagree with the child's need for a mother, first, I don't see how the two ideas connect, and second, shouldn't we maybe still talk about this having killed her father thing? Maybe they just didn't have time to go into it in the movie, and the book covers it better.

But other than that! it was a great movie! The movie that proves Walt Disney thinks all women have magical powers over animals, and you don't have to be a princess to do it. Singing in the woods helps, of course. And I loved how all the kids were so nice to each other. And the Scottish accents! They're great in adults, but in children, they're just plain adorable.

I thought it was interesting how on the one hand, you have the new veterinarian that nobody trusts because of his new-fangled science. On the other hand, you have the "witch in the glen," who nobody trusts because she's weird and sings in the woods. In Gaelic, which probably doesn't help. And finally, you have the one person who's a good friend to both of them (even tries to drum up more business for the veterinarian), and he's the priest. I like that, because I think that's how religious folk should be--they care more about getting to know people than listening to rumors and gossip. (But he's not a pushover--he doesn't condone everything everybody does.)

And in addition to the movie being great, one of the bonus features was a brief interview with the actress who played Lori (the witch), and she said just the best things. Our favorite part was when she talked about how when you're in a Disney movie, and you're very young, you get colored with this "Disney image," and you don't want that because you're afraid everybody will think you're a boring actress and you won't get any good parts. But as she went on with her career and started doing plays, she always liked doing comedies, because she realized how much she loves making people feel good. I think she said there's no greater privilege.

Today I'm thankful for getting to see The Three Lives of Thomasina, movies that aren't afraid to make people feel good, getting Danny Phantom in the mail (after I posted about it the other day, I thought, "But what if they take it off of Hulu!?" and immediately went over to Amazon and ordered the complete series, and it arrived today!), having a lovely trio of Digibirds (one sings melody, one sings harmony, and one chirps the parts), and getting a lovely sheet of Jamberries that we won in bingo.
30th-Jun-2015 02:35 am (UTC)
Oh, poor kitties. I think Page may have been afraid of the Digibird because she thought it made that noise. We have a flying monkey that my kids gave us as a gag gift, and Mariemaia is terrified of it. (You can see and hear one HERE on Youtube.) I put it away in the linen closet because it scares her to even look at it, but occasionally, it will fall out when I pull something else out, and when it hits the ground, it makes that noise, and Mari is outta there, usually going under the couch, which is her "I am TERRIFIED and never coming out, ever!" place. Poor girlie. Interestingly enough, Kenshin, who is usually a big baby, is either oblivious or vaguely interested, and he comes up and sniffs at it.

I'm so glad you got to watch The Three Lives of Thomasina! I have not watched it for many years (maybe 45-50!) so the remembrances/understanding I have of it would be from the POV of a child who saw it a few times between the ages of 9 and 12 or thereabouts. Still, it made enough of an impression on me for me to count it among my favorite live-action Disney films.

I never thought that Thomasina was really dead. I thought that she had been given inadequate medication, and that she was just anesthetized like one would be during an operation. I figured the kids wouldn't have checked, but Lori did, and if I recall correctly, she said something like, "Oh the poor thing is still alive!" I only remember the Bast sequence vaguely, and I think I either ignored it as something I didn't understand, or thought Thomasina was having a dream, or just accepted it as a "magical" part of the movie. I think as an adult, I probably would have questioned it more, as you did.

I do remember thinking that it was very creepy that Mary said that about her father, but I think that I thought Mary was a bit spooky anyway. I had very good relationship with my father, so I think I found it hard to relate to Mary and her father. But, in my childish mind, I do remember thinking, "She is so angry with her father that he is 'dead' to her - and he became dead to her when Thomasina died, so she 'buried' her memories of him along with Thomasina." (or did the priest say something like that?) And again, I just accepted it, whereas if I had seen it for the first time as an adult, I'm sure my reaction would have been the same as yours.

I also love Scotland, and think of it as a magical place, and I wonder if this movie either started that idea or reinforced it. I remember really liking the idea that Lori was a young, pretty, good witch. It seemed a novel concept to me at the time, and having her live alone in a cottage in the glen, gathering herbs and connecting with and healing animals, just seemed terribly romantic and magical, and I loved it!

I am glad you got to see it, and I hope I can see it again sometime, too. :)

PS: I love your icon! Hee!

Edited at 2015-06-30 05:41 am (UTC)
1st-Jul-2015 12:27 am (UTC)
Oh, those monkeys! Mom has a couple of those; they used to make our nephew cry. Now that he's older, I think he likes them when he remembers them. Cats are so funny about what scares them and what doesn't.

Yeah, I think we would have forgotten the Bast scene, too. It's just weird and visually stunning. But there are a lot of Siamese cats that are very pretty.

We kind of understood that that's what Mary meant, but the way she said it was just so ominous and "he deserved to die"-ish. But when I thought about it, it reminded me of the book Peter Pan, where one of the most traumatic things that happened to Peter wasn't any of the terrible things Captain Hook did to him as much as it was when Hook made a promise and broke it. J.M. Barrie was Scottish, too, so I wonder if promises are just that sacred to Scottish children (since Mary "killed" her father because he promised to save Thomasina and then not only failed but actively had her killed).

Young, pretty witches weren't quite so novel by the time we were kids. In fact, I think a relative of ours worked on Bewitched. But she's still a lovely character, and very much like a Walt Disney princess.
1st-Jul-2015 04:08 am (UTC)
Maybe you're right about the sacred-ness of promises to Scottish children. I had forgotten Mary saying, "But you promised!", but now I remember it quite clearly. I still think she was a rather strange and solemn child, but I guess that's just how she was.

I had totally forgotten about Bewitched! It came out about the same time as Thomasina, and I used to watch it all the time, but maybe not during the school year because it might have been on too late. Bedtimes were much more variable during the summer. ;)
1st-Jul-2015 05:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, she was kind of a serious girl. Hopefully she got better after the movie.

Our mom has all of Bewitched on DVD now. Sometimes I think about borrowing it and watching all of it, but we have so many other shows...
2nd-Jul-2015 12:35 pm (UTC)
In the Paul Gallico novel the cat definitely wakes up from being put to sleep with the POV of someone who's a stranger to more or less everyone and everything around her. I don't think she even remembers having known Mary before. But you could still probably interpret that as her having simply lost her memory temporarily (I think--it's been decades since I read the book or saw the movie) due to having been "fatally" anesthetized, rather than having literally "died," then being reincarnated as essentially a new personality in the same body.
6th-Jul-2015 02:04 am (UTC)
That's pretty much how it went in the movie, too.
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