Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We all live in a yellow submarine

You would have noticed that I changed the title of my blog. Turns out when I was trying to create meta tags for the pages, the title was too long so I shortened it. Not the world’s punchiest title, but at least it’s self-explanatory. Of Kids and Education. Not a big deal. What was a bigger deal was that my mio box broke down on me this morning. The Singtel guy had to come around and fix it. What has the world come to - one day without Internet and I’m feeling jittery and on edge like a junkie going through withdrawal! It’s a diabolical invention, I tell you (even so, I want I want…)

I’m generally a practical person but in certain areas, I cling on to nostalgia like a comforting old blanket. I’m referring to old movies and tv programmes. When it comes to tv, my kids have an extraordinary attention span (unfortunately this doesn’t extend to homework). Even at a very young age, they could sit through full-length feature cartoons, so I introduced them to a diet of old Disney cartoons (via VCD, then later DVD), even the lesser known ones like Sword in the Stone and Robin Hood.

While other kids were battling it out with the Power Rangers, mine were joining forces with John, Paul, George and Ringo to tackle the Blue Meanies in the Yellow Submarine. (I suspect my kids might be the only ones in Singapore able to sing along to “Hey Bulldog”). The Yellow Submarine is nonsensical, psychedelic and pure fun to watch. I’m a huge Fab Four fan – the bus-stop ad poster of John Lennon’s Imagine in my living room testifies to that.

I derive some twisted satisfaction from knowing that sometimes my kids would choose to watch re-runs of old Scooby Doo or Tom and Jerry cartoons over the more current fare like Teen Titans or Kim Possible.

It’s not just cartoons that my kids watch. I think the phrase “they don’t make ‘em like they used to” really applies to the genre of musicals. Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris, My Fair Lady, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – these are some of the classics my kids have grown up with. Some have made more of an impression than others. For instance, we quickly discovered that Andre was drawn to music and drama when he became hooked on Singin’ in the Rain. He couldn’t have been more than 3 years old, but he could mimic all of Gene Kelly’s dance moves, down to the shoulder shakes and tap sequences. I used to just watch fascinated as he twirled around with an imaginary Cyd Charisse, and brandished a ruler as an umbrella for the signature scene.

When the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang came to town last year, we were lucky enough to win two tickets to the show. Since we couldn't get additional tickets, we let both the kids go together. Even though Andre was only 7, he sat through the entire 2½ show with his sister and they both enjoyed it tremendously, since they know the storyline and songs inside out.

One of my most loved tv programmes growing up was The Muppet Show. Remember them? Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Bunsen and Beaker, Pigs in Space… don’t those names bring back memories? The series has been released on dvd and I bought a whole bunch of them. The jokes are corny, the characters kitschy, and my kids LOVE them. What's there not to love? Elton John in his zany glasses being eaten by a crocodile after he sings "Crocodile Rock"? Hilarious! Lesley-Anne would spout the one-liners to me, like:

Kermit: “The invisible cheeseburger has lost its voice! There’s nothing left of it but the smell of onions.” (followed by a fit of giggles from Lesley-Anne)

Writing about The Muppet Show has gotten me all sentimental, so I'm going to share the love (thanks to YouTube!) Here's a clip of one of my kids' favourite scenes of the Swedish Chef.

Truly an oldie but goodie!


Alcovelet said...

Hey, I love Sesame Street! It was such a joy, rushing home from school and waiting for my favourite programme to start. But yeah, I just have to disagree with the emphasis of today's TV fare, not that I know any. But I can guess, with the number of HIgh School Musical videos and books around! What happened to mystery and innocence?

monlim said...

I love Sesame Street too! But today's tv is all violence and gore and teenage bgr stuff. I also miss the more innocent days...

Lilian said...

The boys grew up on Sesame Street VCDs; they got all their early education from Big Bird :)

Crocodile Rock was funny, I also love the one where Ernie was teaching Bert songs starting withLetter L...LA LA LA LINOLEUM...LOL!!

The boys also liked My Fair Lady and Sound of Music but Eddie cannot tahan, he wants his kids to watch The Mummy, Scorpion King! He did introduce them to Ben Hur and Ten Commandments though. Me? I introduced them to Life of Brian...BLASPHEMY!!

monlim said...

I think it's a boy thing! All fathers want their sons to watch the macho shows :) But I don't think kids would need any persuading to watch The Mummy!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...