Anxious but trying spouse and dad. Trying (and sometimes even succeeding!) to introduce my kid to bikes, games, books, French, and more.
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It has puppets, Christmas, and social justice—what more can you ask for? This is at least the third year in a row I’ve watched this with kiddo, and it still makes me laugh and cry when I watch it.
So, the thing is that I don’t really love the genre of the classic Disney movie, and this suffers from a lot of the issues of that genre. As a somewhat self-indulgent anniversary celebration, though, I think it’s a good homage to the past 100 years of Disney, blending the tropes of the genre with modern sensibilities and interesting animation.
I have a “dad friend” I see most afternoons as we’re waiting for our kiddos to get out of school. He walks his kid home every day, and I either walk home or bike home with kiddo (a lot of walking recently because weather and a broken bike have been getting in our way). So, we hang out where all the walking parents hang out and chat for a few minutes before heading home.
Kiddo’s school is contracting with a company called Booster to raise $78,000 for new technology for the school. U.S. schools are, of course, underfunded, and I’m generally in favor of getting more money into their bank accounts. I have a number of concerns about this fundraiser, though, and it’s making me grumpy. what “technology”? I have a PhD in educational technology, which means two things in this context. First, I’m very aware of the fundamental—and often useful—role that technology plays in learning, so I’m not opposed to updating the tech in kiddo’s school.
This summer, I’ve taken advantage of my 9-month contract with the University of Kentucky to have lots of adventures with kiddo while my spouse (who has a 12-month contract) continues at her job. It’s been a real delight! A couple of Fridays ago, we drove to Danville, a town in Central Kentucky where I spent a summer as a high schooler but haven’t been back to since. We bought her a book, me some amazing chocolate mint tea, and had a great time exploring fun shops and public art in adorable downtown Danville.
Lots to love in this movie: The animation is gorgeous, the concept is interesting, the metaphors are well-meaning, and there are plenty of funny bits. There seemed to be too many subplots, though, and when any of them saw a shake-up, it didn’t always feel deserved. It also feels essentialist in the way that D&D does—yes, differences make sense in the fictional world, but since we’re meant to read them onto the real world, it doesn’t always sit right.
I’d been meaning to watch this, and kiddo was happy to walk me through it (she’d seen it in theaters). The animation is beautiful and there are lots of fun in-jokes and shout-outs. At the end of the day, though, the plot was thin and the characters flat (though they could have done much worse by Peach). It’s probably the best one could do with the source material, but that doesn’t mean it’s great
I don’t remember how I first discovered Jason Shiga, but I do remember working my way through his interactive puzzle comic Meanwhile one summer, some of it while purportedly completing an internship. Meanwhile is one of the first comics I added to my collection and one of the few of my early acquisitions that I still have. Anyway, all of that is to say that when I saw this comic in the new children’s books area at a local library, I immediately grabbed it.