Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Shut Up, Chipmunk

Another Thanksgiving weekend event involved going to the movies, to a smallish theater complex in Elk Grove Village -- a mere eight screens, which would have been extravagantly many when I was a movie-going lad. The movie: Enchanted, of course at the request of the kids.

The prospect of a Disney movie makes me hold onto my wallet and ask, rhetorically and futilely, why? Why more money to Disney? Haven't I given them enough? From nowhere a faint, squeaky, voice -- it's the Mouse -- whispers, "No, give me more! More!"

So I do. Fortunately, Enchanted wasn't bad at all. It missed a lot of opportunities to be stupid, which is saying something in a movie (1) made in our time and (2) by the Mouse. For example, the animated part of the movie started out with a stock Disney animated character, the wisecracking rodent (or other small animal) -- a chipmunk in this case -- who sounds like he's from the Bronx or the Jersey shore or somewhere else with a grating accent. He too made the transition into the human world, which is the movie's central premise, story-book characters coming to a world "with no happy endings" (ours). After that, the chipmunk can't speak because, well, he's a chipmunk and animals don't talk in the human world. In other words, the director shut the character up, and not a moment too soon, I thought.


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