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I'm back to being disillusioned by adaptations again Cannoli Send a noteboard - 10/08/2019 05:54:37 AM

Two of my nieces were in "dance camp", which is really a series of very long dance lessons. Dance camp, soccer camp, Bible camp... NO! It's not camping if you don't sleep there! ANYWAY, at the end of dance camp they put on a show. And this year it was some sort of Dr Seuss thing based on the stories of Horton the elephant, with a few cameos by other Seuss characters. I checked it out afterwards and it's that "Seussical" thing. They took the Horton stories and mashed them together, so that while Horton is looking in the field where the Russian bird drops the flower with the Whos' dust speck, the bird who wants him to babysit shows up and asks him to sit on her egg. He blows off the Whos and just sits there through all the trials and gets captured and sold the circus and auctioned off to, if I got the story right, the kangaroos, because someone just randomly showed up and handed him the flower with the dust speck. And the kangaroos now want to use this opportunity to boil the plant and dust speck. And instead of the story of all the Whos getting together and yelling, while the mayor scrambles around to get every single Who involved, we just get the external story, where all of a sudden they make a loud enough sound for all the other animals to hear, and then they just hand him the winged elephant baby which hatched from the egg when we weren't looking.

What the hell is this even? How do you tell the whole story of Horton hatching the egg without once using his thematic catchphrase "I meant what I said and I said what I meant/And an elephant's faithful, one hundred percent!"? By cramming both Horton stories together, both are given short shrift. Horton gives the impression he is just blowing off the Whos for the bird for absolutely no reason. When you are trying to save a town from genocide, that is a perfectly acceptable excuse to tell someone you are not available to babysit so she can go on vacation. In the book, Horton has no competing moral imperatives, merely personal motivations to get off the egg, to get out of the weather or away from the mockery to evade capture and he chooses the selfless option each time. He searches tirelessly for the Whos, because he's the only one who can help them, even though the task seems impossible. This musical crap turns him into an indecisive idiot with no sense of priorities, who gets saved by dumb luck and an off-stage character's actions.

This reminds me of the Grinch movie with Jim Carrey, where they decided to give the Grinch a backstory with the Whos rejecting him and making that rejection the source of his resentments. The narration of the book clearly dismisses external pressures (maybe his shoes were too tight) or psychological disorders (his head wasn't screwed on just right), and places the blame squarely on personal moral factors ( "But I think the biggest reason of all/Was maybe his heart was two sizes too small" ).

What is there to these stories, if not the moral? Why would anyone bother adapting them if the intent is to strip them of the moral lessons?

“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” GK Chesteron
Inde muagdhe Aes Sedai misain ye!
Deus Vult!
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I'm back to being disillusioned by adaptations again - 10/08/2019 05:54:37 AM 210 Views
Moral lessons make people feel bad. We can't have that. *NM* - 12/08/2019 07:39:29 PM 38 Views

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