Wednesday, November 24, 2010


There are certain childhood memories that, when I look back on, seem so amazingly joyful that it's almost too much to handle in that moment. Hardened stress-driven New Yorker that I am, being able to experience perhaps a small millisecond of childlike joy just shoots a laser beam right through my jaded soul.

Bittersweet is perhaps the best word to describe the feeling of nostalgia, as it is both heart warming and heart wrenching to think that at one point in your past, things seemed truly magical.

Sometimes those instances still occur, but because most adults are so preoccupied with worldly things, it's not so easy to hold onto. Hence, the flashback, and its appeal to me; because for once, I can revel in the glory that was childhood, and try to keep it least for a little awhile.

Now that you've dried your tears of this sentimental interruption, let me focus your attention on the latest (emphasis on "late" - and completely justified. Since it's the day before Thanksgiving, this qualifies as a Friday...right? Right.)


Animalympics was one of the VHS movies we had that we weren't sure how we acquired. It's possible that Grandma saw it one day at the video store and decided that since it was a cartoon and featured animals participating in Olympic-themed sports, that it was instant gratification.

By george, was she right.

  • First of all, it was a parody - and given that we were a snarky family, this was immediately a plus.
  • Second of all, it has the voices of Gilda Radner (of SNL fame), Harry Shearer (of The Simpsons Fame) and Billy Crystal (you could tell he was a big deal since even I knew who he was.)
  • Third of all, it was goofy. There's an alligator boxer, a Japanese penguin gymnast and an Italian octopus bobsled team called the "Calamari Brothers." Yeah. Awesome.
  • And finally, it had a great soundtrack. By people that were not Disney.
I was trying to fall asleep the other night, but I simply could NOT get these moments out of my mind. I remember watching this video over and over again, and constantly being swept away.

But it's just a cartoon, you say!

Ahhh, but there's no such thing as just a cartoon......

This is how the movie opens - can I begin to try to explain how fucking amazing this looks? Possibly not, it's mostly because you're not 10 anymore. Shit sucks, don't it?

Little did I know, the animators who worked on this film had some pretty impressive resumes: Brad Bird (Pixar, The Iron Giant), Roger Allers (The Lion King), and Steven Lisberger (writer and director of Tron, and I you can definitely see the influence here.) I was a geek before I even knew what it meant!


California neon ocean hallucination trip. As a kid you were flabbergasted, mystified, perhaps a tad bit frightened, yet completely enthralled with the images that were being played across your TV screen. The only thing that's changed is the lack of a VCR.


For some reason unbeknownst to me, no one has posted this song with the visuals from the actual movie. For those of you that were not fortunate enough to see, just picture this - Million Dollar Man + Wild Boar = Ski Champ - while you're listening.

Let's face it; coming off the 70s, there had to be some disco in here. I have to admit, I was a BeeGees fan, so this delighted me beyond words. But even if you don't like disco, or dancing animals getting it on, it's still pretty damn catchy.

I leave you with a final gem; the song itself is a bittersweet trip into something that whispers like nostalgia, makes your stomach float as if on air, and your mind imagine that for a suspended moment in time, you really are away from it all.

This is the stuff that childhood dreams are made of.

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