"You Too" and Stuff...

If it's "a penny for your thoughts" but you have to "put your two cents in", someone is making a penny somewhere.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Not-So Incredible...

Having finished my duties at the chili fundraiser for work, I was trying to decide what to do. I had a plethora of options for this Saturday night, none too exciting, all replacing sleep that I knew I should have succumbed to but, myself, never wanting to miss out on anything, decided that retiring early wasn't possible.

It was determined by those that I was spending the evening with that we would go to see a movie. Interestingly enough, after slight debate, we would either go see the light-hearted "Saw" or we would take an adventure with Pixar's new movie, "The Incredibles." Majority ruled on this one so we headed off to see the latter.

It was dazzling, of course, as all Pixar productions are. It didn't have quite the "over the kids' heads" humor that I was expecting and the should-have-been-simple mission was confusing to me...take that anyway that you would like. "The Incredibles" was also suprisingly more violent than I was expecting. Working daily with women and children who are escaping abusive relationships, I found a scene in which "Mr. Incredible" picks a female character up by her throat and begins choking her and another scene in which the villian, "Syndrome" punches one of the "Incredible" children in the face, concerning.

The film did have one saving grace. One of the natural things to do while you watch anything animated is try to figure out who is providing the voices of the various characters. As soon as I heard the "Incredible" daughter, Violet, speak, I became enthralled and began clapping as I usually do when I get excited about something. One of my favorite authors and NPR contributors, Sarah Vowell, was supplying Violet's voice. Of course, if you have ever heard Ms. Vowell speak, you would immediately recognize the voice, no matter how out of place it seemed.

(Pictures courtesy of Disney/Pixar, copyright 2004)

I thought of Ms. Vowell as a feminist so to hear her scratchy, wavering voice match the body of a flawless, perfect-bodied teenage girl, was disappointing. They could have at least given Violet some acne, a bad haircut, big feet, or uneven adolescent breasts. It's kind of like seeing Janeane Garafalo, Jean Kilbourne, Ani Difranco, hell, even Gloria Steinheim, playing the role of "Barbie" in her big screen debut. At the same time, I was excited to see that Hollywood had seeked and obtained an extremely talented, educated, and intelligent female, relatively unknown to many households, to play a feature role, and in this movie, one of the films' heroes. The lingering message celebraing young powerful females was important enough to prevent me from leaving the theater totally disappointed. However, I still wanted to pass out flyers to all of pre-pubescent female movie-goers making them aware that they could save the world, even with wide hips and braces.

Sarah Vowell is an amazing writer and I think that I probably have everything she's ever written saved, stashed, or shared. Listen to one of my favorite Sarah Vowell autobiographical stories at this site or on "This American Life" thanks to the 300 local NPR stations across the country. Check her out...you might learn something or at least become amused...


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