I used to sit and watch movies with my daughter. We’d do a dinosaur night and she would choose to watch things like Jurassic Park (only the first one though). We’d then watch something like Land Before Time starting with the first one. One time we watched like three in a row. There happens to be a whole bunch of them so an evening could be spent starting and stopping anywhere in the list. Often, my daughter would listen to the song critically and then try singing it. She would have to talk about her favorite character and would want then to visit Toys r Us to see if they had that particular stuffed animal toy.
Other times we would watch what we called a Bear-athon. This featured those lovable Berenstain Bears but they taught these lessons for life. On-Demand would feature three of them at a time and we would perhaps watch three episodes or 9 complete stories.
Finally, we often would end up with the King of Bears and I have to admit to still loving Pooh Bear and the 100-acre woods so much. We even saw the movie this year but the times had sadly changed. Somehow what I always felt was an immeasurable and deep quality was slowly getting lost. Then we saw the latest movie and my daughter was trapped in laughter again. She slipped the bonds of the teen years for a moment and saw the characters engaged in their silly but endearing endeavors.
When done, she asked me what it was that I loved so much about the show. I never really answered; but it comes down to this:
- they never really hurt someone else
- the humor was this gentle sledgehammer of words, food, and situations
- the woods were forever but they ended at 100-acres
- the characters were richly deployed across a tapestry of silliness, fun, and enjoyment
- finally, and I still get it; the humor evolved through the shows and the times and the characters often spoke in a deeper term than what we heard them say
So all in all, the characters, the dino’s, the bears; all trapped me in this alternate world where a 7-year old bounced around laughing, singing the songs, and laughing at the shenanigans that a bear could be put into. Whether the huney bowl got trapped on the head or a life lesson was attempted; the richness stuck with me. Stuck with me. In the
Land before Times.