Hurt and Hope in ‘Short Term 12’

I avoided Short Term 12 for a long time because I thought it was going to be really hard to watch. It’s a 2013 indie film set in a group home for at-risk teens, and with a topic like that, I was expecting a tragic film about the pain, loneliness, and despair of being human. I had heard it was good though, so I finally psyched myself up and watched it.

[Warning: Spoilers for a 3-year-old movie within]

Continue reading

Either You’re In or You’re Old: Kids Next Door and the Philosophies of Childhood Pt.1

Begin Transmission

I’ve had an epiphany: childhood is important, like really important!…Ok, so maybe it’s not that deep of an epiphany, probably pretty obvious in retrospect…Regardless, the thought occurred to me while re-watching Codename: Kids Next Door, a gem from my own childhood, making me think about the concept in general.

We’ve all had childhoods, that foundational time when we were young, inexperienced, and naïve, eager to experience the world around us in unique ways. Like it or not, our childhood experiences forged us into who we are today. My childhood may not have been the best, but I’m still thankful for it and all the fun times I had during it. I’m especially grateful for the cartoons I got to watch, like Kids Next Door, providing me joy through humor when I needed it most.

KND does a fantastic job of portraying the merits and virtues of childhood (and in a much more entertaining way than a long, preachy blog post, mind you). Ironically, it’s only when I’m verging on adulthood that I begin to realize the show’s deeper value, teaching me some profound things about what it means to be a kid as well as an adult. Gear up and prep for debriefing, agent. For the good of our missions, it’s time we discuss Codename: Kids Next Door.
Continue reading

It’s the White Whale, Charlie Brown!

A daydreaming introvert, I sometimes catch myself thinking about how strange and esoteric human connection seems to be sometimes (at least to me), like ancient arcane rituals that our mortal minds cannot comprehend. What makes connections happen? What exactly do they feel like? How do they function? What makes them last? I’m overthinking things, I know, but, I can’t help it! We live in a scary, fascinating world filled with unique people that I doubt can ever be fully understood, and yet we’re practically expected to—somehow—know and get along with each other.

I’m not sure if I can ever fully grasp the concept, but there are two beautiful movies, The Peanuts Movie and The Boy and The Beast, that explore why it’s worth accepting anyways. One is a playful, nostalgic tribute to the comics and animated specials preceding it, while the other is a Miyazaki-esque fairy tale filled with gorgeous animation and introspective themes. Together they show how easily one can connect to others and why it’s important to do so in the first place. Continue reading