Saturday, March 19, 2011

Obsession in the House (of mouse)

It started last week when my trusty old netflix dvd arrived. I waited until that evening and then I put in Watcher in the Woods. Mike passed out half way through, and Dobby glared up at me from across the room, wondering why the hell wasn't I feeding him for the 7th time that day. The film was more or less how I remembered it; Bette Davis was old and creepy, Lynn-Holly Johnson was terrible*, but so damn cute in that great 70's tomboy way; and I realized, once again, that (spoiler) the watcher wasn't a ghost, but a being from another dimension. Holy shit!

It is such an unexpected little movie, coming from that weird era of Disney films, a good ten years before The Little Mermaid brought the studio's focus back to animation**, where the country wasn't really interested in seeing them make more cowboy and indian movies and they had exhausted all their plot lines featuring Tommy Kirk and a monkey- so they churned out a few light horror films on Wonderful World of Disney and in theatres.
Honestly, if I had not watched the two alternate endings, I would have been safe. As it was, I DID watch them and in order to figure out what the hell was going on, I realized that I had to imdb the damn movie, which of course, was what began this downward spiral into extensive world of Mr Mouse. By the by, I would absolutely recommend looking up those endings. There is an awesome, if incomplete, giant Watcher that comes and takes the main character into the other dimension- far more dramatic than the theatrical release.
But be warned: once you look it up, you'll have to look up the reason why the studio chose the ending that it did, which will lead you to reading the back stories of the original script, of the multiple re shoots of the ending, to which Ms Bette Davis would have no part of, and eventually you'll find yourself 10 hours later, crouched over your laptop in the dark looking up every single movie and tv special Disney ever produced in the hope of finding that one movie you saw forever ago, but cannot remember the name of, nor anything about other than that one scene where the ghost of some foreign child appears in a barn/attic and then they get trapped in well?? (By the by, that movie is called Child of Glass, and it was created for Wonderful World of Disney. To make things more complicated, WWD has been on CBS, ABC, PBS, NBC and the Disney Channel, appearing under five different names. No wonder those obscure films/specials have been so hard to trace!)
My dissent into the world of Disney progressed into searching for a complete list of Disney World/Land rides and then a complete list of rides no longer in operation. This is very dangerous territory, because there are videos posted of most of the rides that have ever existed and by the 3rd one I became convinced that I NEEDED to go to Disney World. It actually made me a little ill to think, "Jeez, I haven't been there in almost 15 years. Think of all the great attractions that have come and gone in that time period. And I've missed them! I missed them all!".
By the time I was looking up the creation and original intent for the parks (Epcot was to be a real, functioning town! Google it; Walt's ideas for it were really something else), four days had passed and I had mouse ear shaped circles under my eyes and a manic disposition. I knew I had to set my sights on something, anything else, or I would run the risk of being found laying in front of where the old Disney store used to be in the Galleria, with a pair of Tinkerbell wings sewed into my shoulder blades and my laptop wrapped in my arms like an unwilling lover.
Taking the Disney Trip was  brief, but powerfully addicting. The more questions that were answered about that world, the more were created. It was a vicious cycle. But with the help of Simpsons, The IT Crowd and by devoting time to redesigning my blog, as you may have noticed, I was able to break free.

Until my friend posted this.


*Did you know that Diane Lane auditioned for this role? How in the hell was she passed over? I suppose they were banking on Ms Johnson's recent rise to fame via the movie Ice Castles. Bette Davis was apparently not too pleased and treated Johnson like shit the entire time they were filming. Oh my. 
** This was also right before they made all the movies I first remember watching as a child: Flight of the Navigator, One Magic Christmas, The Brave Little Toaster, Return to Oz, Frankenweenie, Honey I Shrunk the Kids....

1 comment:

Frau Schmidt said...

You can take Elliot to Disney World (Paris) because lord knows I wouldn't be caught dead there!