December 9, 2013

On Croods and fears

I got a copy of The Croods from 20th Century Fox (and you can get yours anywhere because it's out today on DVD or Blu-Ray), but the truth is I've already seen it in the cinema on Easter, and this copy goes straight to the pile of movies my children will be getting for Christmas. We have a tradition in our house, every morning where they don't have school the kids watch a movie and we get to stay in bed and enjoy an extra hour and a half of sleep. But in order for that to happen they need a variety of movies, and also I need ideas for Christmas & birthdays, so they each get about 4 new movies per occasion. As you probably guessed we have a lot of movies. What you might have not guessed is that a few of those DVDs are older than the children. Here is the place to confess something I don't think will fit well with my blog-personality - I love animated movies. Love them. My favourite movie of all times (right up there with Die Hard) is The Emperor's New Groove. Which Hidai and I actually watched at the cinema before buying on DVD. Just like Shrek, and Hercules. I take my hat off to the people behind the good animated movie because for me they are doing the impossible - talking about subjects that should be talked about but rarely are. A good animated movie has it all - a message, a crazy character, good music, catch phrases, and silly jokes. Because a good animated movie knows the truth - it's not any less influential and powerful if you say it with a joke.
The Croods is no different, and tonight before I sat down to write this post I asked Ron if he remembers the movie. He remembered the plot better than me I have to admit (and I've watched the Previews again!), and though he said his favourite character is Belt ("Cook. Conversationalist. Navigator. Also keeps my pants up"), he remembered that the message was that sometimes change is coming, and even if you are afraid, you still have to deal with it. For me it's one of the more important messages in life, because it touches upon bravery being the ability to overcome fear, and the fact that life is full of changes.
Some lives more than others. Our lives are fraught with change. For us, the only constant is our family while everything else is in constant danger of being changed. I've said it before and I'll say it again - we are adrenaline junkies, and change is a very big adrenaline-rush, and most of the time we go with Barney Stinson's New Is Always Better rule. When I look at life, for me the equation is - evolve or die.
I know I was supposed to write a simple review about the movie, which I loved, but unfortunately for the 20th Century Fox people, this subject has been on my mind for a variety of reason lately because for me, with my social-fears, everything I do with this blog is me overcoming fears and changing; because Yon's diagnosis threw us smack into the middle of the disabilities world and we had to learn how to swim or he wouldn't get the help he needs; because of Mummy Tries wonderfully touching post about changing yourself and your parenting in order to avoid past generations' mistakes; because life as an expat makes you more conscious about decision not a lot of people get to make - do you want to become a part of your new country, or stay in a small & closed community filled with "people like you". Our decision is obvious, but it is not the obvious decision.
A lot of people let fear of the new, of the strange, of the others dictate their lives. Fear is a good thing. It can save your life, it can make you more cautious when you need it, it usually makes you stop and take a second look, or run away at the appropriate moment. Fear is also a crippling thing. It can make you fight to keep something that is no longer there, it can make you rush, it can make you not change even when there is no other choice.
For the kids, Belt's Da-Da-Da was the most memorable line of the movie, and though it is funny, the one I remembered was "New is always bad". I know so many people who think this way, so many people who just want things to stay the same. They are forever sitting inside their caves, hiding from any sign of change. "This is how we survived" they say, if you don't take risks nothing bad can happen to you. "Always be afraid" is their mantra. If you don't hold your head up high, if you look at everything and see danger, you'll survive. I know so many people who think this way, who let fear run their lives.
And I would recommend that each and every one of them watch The Croods.

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