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Monday, March 27, 2017


Stan and I went to see the new Beauty and the Beast yesterday. While I have my, minor, complaints (of course I do!), on the whole I loved it. This due, in no small part to the live-action/computer animation combo. I’ve always been a mondo fan of animation – particularly the indie folk like Bill Plympton, Bruno Bozzetto, Ruth Lingford, Cordell Barker, Monique Renault & Gerrit van Dijk and of course, Nick Park.

I came outta the theater wanting to become an animator when I, ya know, grow up (oh wait….I AM grown up!). I wondered why didn’t go into it after college and carnival years. WAY back then though, computer animation, as it exists now, was an inchoate, amorphous dream. As I understood the 1970s process, each cell needed to be drawn JUST like the one before (apart from tiny shifts to show itty-bitty, incremental movement). MEGA tedious!

In college, the Art Department sponsored an animation weekend – Kevin and I went. We got to learn about and explore the medium. Monty Python, at the time, featured some pretty damned exciting stuff which didn’t require scribbling the same blasted image again and again and again. We followed their example.

The Monty Python animated bits were way cool and different but I didn’t think I could get a paying gig doing this sort of thing. Too much fun – no one’s gonna pay me to have fun. Right? I didn’t bother to explore

Now, I want to take an animation class.

Back to Beauty and the Beast though – the two find they’ve a mutual love of books/reading. His library knocks her clean out. It’d do the same for me. Also too, The Amazing Bob and I first bonded over books (amongst other things) – specifically those of Philip Dick. TAB was no Beast though – he was, without doubt, the Beauty of our pair.

The big, magical event happens close to movie's end. The village, in a Frankenstein-esque scene, attacks Beast’s gorgeously Gothic castle. The evil, full-of-himself, bullying, asswipe Gaston shoots Beast TWICE and kills him dead. Beauty is devastated. Passionately grief stricken, she falls over Beast and, day late and a dollar short, proclaims her love for him. The magic rose, which’d been the holder of his curse, springs into action. It resurrects him AND transforms him back into a real boy.

Happily-ever-after-hood is achieved.


I want a fuckin’ rose to bring back my “beasts” – Rocco and TAB!

Also, re: the movie, I’m with Ebert who wrote:
I couldn’t help but feel that the more-is-more philosophy that lurks behind many of these remakes weighs down not just the story but some key performances. This “Beauty” is too often beset by blockbuster bloat. (source)
Yup. True. It IS Disney after all. Why merely do when you can overdo?


  1. Those animated clips are great! I will have to go through the remaining ones when I get home.

    I read a very strange biography on Phillip K. Dick by Anthony Peake last year. He's never been a fave of mine, but after reading that biography, I sort of wish he were!

    1. PKD was a mondo fave back in my 20s. I read everything of his that I could get my hands on and found this out – Man in the High Castle, Flow My Tears the Policeman Said and the short story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep were his best. The rest of it, for me anyway, got too navel gaze-y, too Dude, STOP smoking SO DAMN much hash!

      I want to find that biography now! Thanks for the tip.