Once a Stupid Adult, Always a Stupid Adult

“Now shut up before I slap you silly!”

That’s the sentence. The one that turned my attention from laundry folding (well, I don’t really fold – it’s more like tossing of clothes into separate baskets designated with each child’s name). All the same, it was the “Now shut up before I slap you silly!” sentence that lured me from my task and beckoned me to have a seat next to my five year old. He was watching a movie – a DISNEY movie … a classic … a show that I, and possibly you, watched dozens of times as a child and never so much as got a second look from an adult – let a lone a screening. And so I sat. And I watched as a cartoon “child” was locked into a bird cage and taunted and threatened by an overweight gypsy. (And for those of you that are thinking it was Hansel and Gretel, it was not. That was Grimm, not Disney.)

As the movie continued and my adult mind wandered through assorted analogies, I began to wonder, possibly to deeply, about what the hell I was really watching. I mean maybe all the symbolism I was clued into didn’t really exist. Maybe my 21st century brain was making it all up. Maybe the 1940’s film just appeared laced with unpleasant imagery because I was watching it in 2011. (Yes, this post was originally written two years ago.)

Maybe. BUT. There was Pleasure Island – a place where all boys could go and enjoy gambling, smoking, getting drunk and destroying property without any real significant repercussion – unless you call making a jackass of yourself and then turning into a real donkey only to be sold to work in circuses and salt mines, a repercussion. (DON’T DO IT … it’s hard to resist, I know, but don’t skip ahead to the part where I reveal which movie I am referringmajor Kudos if you’ve already figured it out!)

In all of Walt’s classic movies there is a moral lesson being delivered … (although I’m still not sure what we were suppose to have learned from the beginning scene in Bambi) …  although harsh by many standards, still the lessons depicted in this hour long feature – as well as other Disney movies – are lessons worth heeding:

“If you fart around and waste your life now, then you’ll be a jackass working in the salt mines as an adult.” A fate, unfortunately, that some children unknowingly and unthinkingly choose.

AND …

“A stupid kid can grow into a wise adult. However, a stupid adult usually stays stupid.” So give a kid a break and help them make the right choices now, before it’s too late.

All lessons and jackasses aside, I think, that after watching this beautifully restored copy of Carlo Collodi’s novel, that I agree with the folks at The Journal of Cartoon Overanalyzations  (yes, it really exists, click this link) in that perhaps The Adventures of Pinocchio would be better suited for a high school career planning class than for a five year old. Maybe then there’d be less jackasses roaming free … at least that’s my take. What do you think?

45 comments

  1. By the way, should I be assuming that I am “stupid,” a “stupid adult,” or “an adult” or should I misspell that and accuse myself to/of being a dolt?

  2. As soon as I “blogged” the French stuff I thought, then I thunk…”Les Stooges trois.” But it didn’t bug me too much cause I was able to sleep, all the same.

  3. How about a little to a lot of anal i zing of Walt Disney’s Adventures of a little girl in Wonderland. (you may want to watch out for pot holes and white rabbits).

  4. And in the distant background, as undies slowly BUTT surely filled bins, I distinkly hoid the, the familiar “nyuuuk, nyuuuk, nyuuuk” of Larry, Moe and Curly Joe, (one for each, and…uh… All Fer One), as only that Main French Stooge, and Muskateer, “D’artagnon” would would echo as he waved that pointy wand around!

  5. I also came to watch Pinocchio in January this year. And I too went into a over-analysis mode, ripping through the scenes to understand the symbolism. All in all, I really whatever analysis I came up with & it agrees to yours. :)

      • sorry snosler, but I made an innocent comment on this site and was called a moron. I apparently offended a woman (I believe it was a woman because of the name she used) who doesn’t have the courage to confront me. I will not make the same mistake if I can help it so sayonara, bye bye, adios …auf viterzen (or something like that) . I don’t think that behavior should be tolerated.

      • Ummm … I called someone a moron – but it wasn’t aimed at you … your comments, even as eccentric as they are, are a welcome puzzle for my mind :)

        Shauna Nosler The Flavored Word

  6. I have a tendency to overanalyze everything. Ever since my daughter was born, I find myself overanalyzing the shows she watches, from Disney movies to BabyFirst TV. One day we were watching an old episode of the Flintstones and I was horrified! The writers certainly had no notion of what a feminist is or any belief in equal rights for men and women. Yes, I got that from a cartoon. I think that a lot of what were once considered “kid shows” aren't such by today's standards.

  7. Hi Shauna. I am following you now. No your follow did not come through. I checked my brother's blog since they are put in next to each other on the hops and his went through, not sure how you had to follow. Would you mind coming back by and using the GFC. I know a pain as I've had to refresh as many as 10 times on people's page, but I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  8. Hi Shauna –

    Thanks for stopping by – maybe this is one of the reasons I hated Pinnochio as a kid? It's the one Disney movie I just really never liked… I thought it was scary and weird. My 4 year old perception matches my 26 year old perception… ha.

    Oh, the little sneaky Disney tricks. The original cover of the The Little Mermaid still gets me every time. Disney pervs.. ;)

    Hope your have a good weekend!

  9. Wow, I would not have thought about the symbolism in Pinocchio. The kids have been watching classic Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry–I'll have to look for some of the same in those.

  10. Hi! Thanks for stopping by! I've noticed that a lot of old Disney movies are pretty dark and inappropriate. Kinda makes you wonder what kind of weirdos came up with those stories!

  11. Well I always thought Pinocchio was dark but it did what it was ment to do in the 1800s, it kept the children from telling lies. Guess before the internet kids really did read. ;) Disney sure didn't lighten that up for the movie version. Thanks so much for the follow today, I am following back.

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