“It’s Alive!” Is the exuberant cry that Dr. Frankenstein shrieks when he has re-animated his stitched together fictional monster. He is excited! From what was once dead, springs fresh life. I am waiting for that enthusiastic response after what has been a deadening historical interval. I am man, hear me moan.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy encouraging myself and others to be Yippy-Skippy. When I see someone exuberant I want them to bring on that happy face & spread sunshine all over the place. It’s awesome how we can take a troubling situation and turn it upside down with a smile. My son recently told us a classic Canadian winter story of driving on treacherous roads of snow and sleet. Then he told us how he almost chocked to death after a first bite of a meal. He had us sitting on the edge of our seats because he animated his tale with captivating facial expression and body language. It reminded me of tribal times after a mastodon hunt, but not really because I’m not that old.
I’d love to be a comic strip artist or better yet an editorial cartoonist. These folks use drawings to animate our existence, dull that it is. I have been especially focussed on political cartoonists since they do such a good job of making me laugh/cry at our current leaders. Their point of view effectively lampoons the irony of our existence. I’m particularly keen on the art of Michel deAdder, a brilliant pictorial satirist, once fired from a Canadian newspaper and then picked up by the high profile Washington Post (take that Brunswick News!)
Animation as an art form fascinates me. My dad once tried to use 16mm home movie film to turn my sister’s birthday party into a cartoon. I helped him make stick models that danced while cardboard letters magically arranged themselves into words. I can never be too old for cartoons (such a Saturday morning with cereal by the television unimportant sounding plural noun). Pinocchio, a film by Guillermo del Toro, recently won an Academy Award for stop-motion artistry. Claymation is fun and then came the Wallace&Gromit features. There are many Pixar and Disney films that make me marvel. Walt’s classics are works of art painted in a single cel that connects to a loop of film creating the illusion of movement. Add sound and you have a masterpiece. My granddaughter sings ‘Let it Go’ whenever she is awake. I’ve been singing the ‘Little April Shower’ song from Bambi for more than sixty years.
To be animated is to be optimistic: I welcome the fascinating, the wondrous, the rebirth. As I spring forward with the time change leaving winter’s death behind, the lengthening hours of sunlight will animate my mood, inviting me to look for reasons to dance and sing.