Monday, March 18, 2019

Stinky and Dirty Show

I'm loving all of these children shows being developed from children's books! I reviewed the first episode of Pete the Cat a looooong time ago, and unfortunately haven't watched the rest of the show yet! It's one that I feel like I should watch with my son, but he'd rather watch the same episode of Paw Patrol for the hundredth time - anyone else have that problem? I'll probably watch several of these Amazon Prime and Netflix kids' shows on my own, and just let him sit in if he wants.


One we can both agree on, however, is The Stinky and Dirty Show. This show is loosely based on books by Kate McMullan and Jim McMullan. It's such a cute show, with the catchiest theme song ever. I love how childlike the characters are, and how full of wonder they are. Stinky and Dirty (from I Stink! and I'm Dirty!) are the main characters, but Brave and Mighty have their own books, too.

I love hearing the voices picked for the characters on the show. Billy West (Futurama), Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride), Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants), Jane Lynch, Andy Richter, Joan Cusack, and Whoopi Goldberg all voice characters! Mostly I just love that the two main characters are children. When I read the books aloud, I automatically use a tough voice because the stories are all about showing that different vehicles can do. I read it as a "You don't think I can do this? I'll show you," attitude. Hearing the friendly tones of the show made me wonder if I was totally misreading the books! I might have been reading the book characters a little rude - whoops!

There are already two excellent seasons of this show, and my son and I are both excited to see more! The stories are really cute, and I love the animation style! It's pretty true to the book illustrations, but just looks amazing on screen.

Have you watched The Stinky and Dirty Show? Have you read the books? What did you notice that was similar or different?

Friday, March 15, 2019

Dahl Study: Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat

My author study of Roald Dahl started with a reading of his Collected Stories while watching the accompanying episode of Tales of the Unexpected. Each Friday I'll recap a story and show (with spoilers, just so you know), but I encourage you to read and watch them on your own if you're interested!


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"Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat" from Collected Stories (read 12/28/18)

I was originally put off by the framing of the story - "Let me tell you a story I heard..." It reminded me of stories in undergraduate creative writing workshops, even after we were told to not frame them that way or as dreams.

The meat of the story was SO GOOD. I had no clue what would happen with the pawn shop, and my mind was churning trying to figure it out! I was trying to decide how and why the pawn shop clerk had ripped off the husband before deciding to root for him.

This is a great O. Henry-esque story with a nice twist. It's an interesting case where both characters are "bad" people - so you want to know what happens to them without really being invested, which makes for an entertaining read.


"Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat" from Tales of the Unexpected (viewed 12/31/18)

In the introduction, Dahl says the story is short but took him a long time to write because he had to get the plot just right. The film was a bit different - no frame of "Let me tell you this story I heard," which of course made me love it more. There were some minor differences in that Mrs. Bixby traveled by train from New York City to Brooklyn in the story, but flew abroad on film, which also changed how long she was gone and how often she visited.

Everything else was so well done, just like in the story. I would pay good money to know what happened in the elevator after the credits rolled!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Dahl Study: Man from the South

My author study of Roald Dahl started with a reading of his Collected Stories while watching the accompanying episode of Tales of the Unexpected. Each Friday I'll recap a story and show (with spoilers, just so you know), but I encourage you to read and watch them on your own if you're interested!


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"Man from the South" from Collected Stories (read 12/27/18)

The suspenseful build-up of this story is very well done. I knew the story from Four Rooms, which Tarantino adapted as "The Man from Hollywood" - but the ending of the film is drastically different! I was waiting for that ending, so the suspense might have been ramped up a bit for me. It made the "real" ending seem like a little bit of a letdown, especially after being on the edge of my seat for the bulk of the story. It still has a nice twist at the end, though.

The start of the story had a Salinger-ish feel to it, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" in particular. It's interesting to read Dahl's children's books with energy and adventure and nonsensical words, and then read a straight-forward story with tension and little emotion.


"Man from the South" from Tales of the Unexpected (viewed 12/31/18)

Introduced by Dahl, he explains that he only writes two short stories a year because he knows he has to keep the reader's attention for every second, or else he's "dead".

The story is followed exactly, even really filmed in Jamaica. The suspense during the lighter scene had my heart pounding even though I knew what would happen. That's the sign of a good writer and a powerful story - not dependent on a hook or twist ending that keeps you from enjoying it on repeated readings/viewings (ala The Sixth Sense). Very well done.