Sudden Nostalgia, at the Absolute Worst Time
While sitting at home on Friday evening, I was scanning the TV for something to watch and suddenly found myself looking at the 1973 animated adaptation of Charlotte’s Web.
And the part in the movie that was on the television was the absolute worst part of the movie.
It was like a crazy, unexpected car wreck – I didn’t want to look, but I simply couldn’t look away.
I think I uttered the words “Oh!” when I realized what the movie was. And then quickly uttered the words “Oh, God!” when I realized where in the movie I was at.
So of course I continued watching, and kept watching until the very end. The whole time – I was in disbelief that such an old film was showing on TV.
The film is dated, and Wilbur’s discovery that Charlotte would not follow him back to the farm came off like a zero-to-sixty emotional thing. Even so, Wilbur’s grief, his wailing for Charlotte had me fighting back honest to goodness tears.
Thanks to YouTube, I’m now able to look up the official movie trailers to movies I remember from my childhood. The one for Charlotte’s Web is super upbeat – which I find puzzling.
They actually use the phrase “happiest motion picture of the year,” which mystifies me. Perhaps I’m too clouded by the experience, but “happy” is not the first word that comes to mind when I think of the film.
I watched this movie a lot with my sister. It was on a VHS tape, and this was one of those films that we just watched over and over again. Which also, looking back, seems a little puzzling.
I remember watching Requiem for a Dream (and thinking it was a good movie). But I also remember thinking “Whelp, no need to watch that ever again.” Once was enough, thank you very much.
Perhaps it never registered as a kid, how sad things were in the movie. And maybe that’s why today, so many decades later, it’s finally caught up?
On seeing it on TV, my first thought was that I wondered if Jasmine and Jahnu know of the animated version. And my second thought was that I’d buy them a copy, so that they could grow up with the film the same way my sister and I grew up with it.
Revisiting this idea several days later, it strikes me as such an odd thing: to want to share this with my niece and nephew. Yes, they would grow up with the film like I did… but wouldn’t that also mean that when they are 40 years old, they’ll see it again and get overcome with a wave of sadness and nostalgia, too?
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