Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fifteen Birds

I think "The Hobbit" is a great work of fiction. Really, I do. But for a three or four-year-old? Not so much. But thanks to my DH (an acronym I've never used and always disliked - so somehow it works in this case. Let's just say it's got sarcasm dripping all over it when used in this story. Love ya babe!) Bilbo Baggins is now a constant companion in our lives in both animated and book form.

It all started with a simple Monkey and daddy outing. DH enjoys taking Monkey on jaunts to 1/2 Price Books to see what treasures are to be found - whereas, I'm more of the pre-read, pre-screen, put-it-on-hold-at-the-library sort of gal (mostly). Frankly, one of the scariest phrases my DH utters is, "Monkey and I picked out some movies today!" So after one such jaunt, in walks Monkey clutching an old videotape of the 1977 animated Hobbit movie. I look over at DH (and my dislike of this acronym and overuse of it in this post might give you a hint of the look upon my face). But that look of horrified incredulity had to be quickly masked since there was no taking the movie away now as Monkey was positively glowing at the prospect of a new movie that daddy liked. It was movie night and Monkey planned to be front and center communing with Bilbo.

Now, my husband loved this book in his youth (so did I) and has read the entire series recently as well. So really, there's no excuse not to remember that the story is filled with violence and packed with "scary stuff" like goblins, goblins that ride on wolves, war, dragons, huge dwarf-eating spiders, trolls, Gollum and much, much more. Granted, it has a great anti-war/sharing message - but that mostly goes over the head of my four-year-old as he focuses on the battles and bad guys.

Before the show was to begin I took Monkey's dad aside and told him in no uncertain terms that he'd be watching the entire movie at Monkey's side (no escaping to check email or read a book or pee) and dealing with all night terrors for the next week.

Flash forward many months and Monkey's nightmares are gone and his favorite part of the movie is when the 13 dwarves, Gandalf the wizard and Bilbo are set upon by Goblins riding on wolves. The heroes climb the trees to escape and the goblins set fire to the trees while singing the following truly horrific song (video clip at the end for your viewing & ear worm pleasure):

(©music by Maury Laws, lyrics adapted by Jules Bass 1977)

Fifteen birds in five fir trees,
their feathers were fanned in a fiery breeze!
But, funny little birds, they had no wings!
O what shall we do with the funny little things?
O what shall we do with the funny little things?

Roast 'em alive, or stew them in a pot;
fry them, boil them, eat them hot?
Bake and toast 'em,
fry and roast 'em!
till beards blaze, and eyes glaze;
hair smells and skins crack
fat melts, and bones in cinders lie
beneath the sky! So the dwarves shall...

Fifteen birds in five fir trees,
their feathers were fanned in a fiery breeze!
But, funny little birds, they had no wings!
O what shall we do with the funny little things?
O what shall we do with the funny little things?

Luckily all the words aren't understood (yet) by Monkey because what a great song to teach your friends at preschool!

Although, I have to say the fifteen birds part is very catchy - and my DH and I sing it under our breath all the time . . .

I just hope Monkey identifies more with Bilbo and not the "bad guys" in this case. We do try to discuss why war is bad and why the dwarves should have offered to share their gold in the first place - and how selfish the dragon is and blah blah blah. But still - fifteen birds . . . is what you walk away with in your head.

Surprisingly, after all that, Monkey still refuses certain Disney-type movies at the rental store because a bad queen or monster looks "too scary" (I don't blame him - Disney scares me too) so he's not completely jaded. I hold onto the hope that on later viewings we can start to discuss the major themes more and more and not just focus on the goblins on their wolves.

Fifteen birds . . . in five fir trees . . .

10 comments:

Teacher Tom said...

At least you just have goblins and orcs to explain to your child. I made the mistake of taking my 12-year-old daughter to see Bruno last summer. Talk about a lot of explaining . . . =)

Christie-The ChatterBox said...

Dude, the Hobit is STILL scary to me! As soon as I read the first sentence, I immediately knew what had transpired with your little one. LOL! Happy New Year... and YES I got the clock and it is working like a charm!! Thank you so much for the tip!

Logan's dad said...

DH says :P

Debbie said...

It is funny to me how I forget about the scary things from childhood memories. Then, I find myself in hot water with my kids!

punkernoodlebaby said...

Holy nightmare! We've also stumbled into movies that seem so friendly until you actually WATCH it :) So funny!

Gnat said...

I watched the clip and rembered just how much I hated the hobit as a kid. Don't let DH get his hands on the original Lord of The Rings! That really freaked me out....

"And so our stories go..." said...

Stopping by from SITS. Interesting about the movies and comments.
Mary

thewildhare said...

I love the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, but didn't read the Hobbit until 6th grade - and the Lord of the Rings was High School. I completely agree with you on the scariness for little ones! It is hard, these days, because our kids soooo want to be big - and we soooo want to share - and the movies often make scary things more real than we remember.

The first Harry Potter book came out when my daughter was Harry's age. She read them as Harry grew up, and that seemed to be a pretty good age to take the scary parts in stride. Now, my grandson goes to see the Harry Potter movies, and he is much younger than she was - and the movies are much scarier! Good grief.

Sounds like you are doing a great job making sure your little one gets the best and most out of things - and that your dear dear DH gets to make sure nothing scary comes around. :) It is apparent that you have both created a loving home.

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

Paula said...

I put on the Secret of Nimh once, forgetting how scary it can be!
Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh my word... I can't believe your husband did that : ) He is dear to have sat thru the entire movies with no email checks though : ). I am also SO glad the nightmares have ceased!