Today I tried to clean up a house a bit, as I have been neglecting chores recently and it is rapidly approaching the point where it is less a Welcoming Home and more a Slovenly Embarrassment, and I'll have to step out on the front porch to visit with the neighbors rather than inviting them in. So I set Connor up to do his stander time, turned on the 25th anniversary version of Les Misérables, and got to work.
Les Mis may not be the most appropriate musical in the world to let a six year old watch. It's chock full of depressing themes like prostitution and suicide and the looting of dead bodies and such, which are not generally things Sesame Street addresses (T is for Tuberculosis, kids!). However, Connor absolutely loves Les Mis-- probably because literally the entire thing is music. He also probably likes it because there aren't any visual depictions of any of the action to distract him from the music, and to top it all off there are tons of flashing light effects. I doubt he's picking up on the fact that all the people who step away from the microphones are dying, because he's not so good at subtext, he's not picking up all the words anyway because of his hearing loss and also, hey, he's six. He probably just thinks I'm weird when I start bawling every time Eponine opens her mouth.
It's not like Disney hasn't done Victor Hugo before. I still wonder who the heck read The Hunchback of Notre-Dame-- a book in which almost every main character dies in despair in a horrible, horrible way-- and thought it would make a fantastic children's movie. I mean for Pete's sake, Esmerelda is tortured into a false confession and is hung, and Quasimodo starves to death embracing her dead body in the cemetery after murdering his father figure and a couple dozen other people. It's a cheery story.
Connor has never seen Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and there are plenty of other Disney movies he won't be seeing any time soon, either. The whale scene in Pinocchio terrified him, and the wildebeest scene in The Lion King had a similar effect. He doesn't like the voodoo skulls in The Frog Prince, and he isn't a huge fan of the end of Hercules, either. I think it's the visual stuff that really gets to him; Les Mis in his mind is simply good music. This is why even though he loves the musical, he will absolutely not be watching the new live action version when it comes out at Christmas.
I need to find some opera DVDs. He'd probably love them too.
2 months ago