Friday, March 19, 2010

Animated Elders

Who knew that Antonio Banderas was producing animation?  Not I, that's for sure. But he is. 

In the tradition of Up (if something produced last year can be said to have a tradition) an obviously old person remembers love and lives with loss and makes a decision but someone knows better and then all hell breaks loose. 

And it's not really their fault.  Either time.  They had plans and those plans were good and somebody else decided to help. 

The Lady and The Reaper was nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 2010 Academy Awards.  If you've not seen what we used to call cartoons in a while, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.  Watch it..... it's a fast 7 minutes or so... and be sure to stay til the credits have rolled.  You'll feel incomplete if you don't.


That was fun, wasn't it?  Did you see the reaper's last scene to get the incomplete mini-joke up above? 

Are you noticing a theme here?  The lady is comfortably dying, going off to meet her dear departed husband when Dr. Superhero decides to save her.  Tell me this character from The Incredibles

 isn't a dead ringer for our medical miracle worker
I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.  Hence, I blog and they animate, or computer graphicate as the case may be.

These are not old people making these movies.  Yet somehow they have tapped into the very essence of my issues with G'ma - who makes what decisions for whom?  At what point does someone else know best?  Are you selfish and ungrateful to refuse assistance?  Is medical science or sheltered care the best answer for every situation?  And, most important of all, who's life is it, anyway?

I've got a third story to share - one with a less buffeted-by-fate theme, I think.  The Triplets of Belleville sends Grandma, stray coarse hairs, whistle and all

to her grandson's rescue. 

And who's helping her?
Why, the Triplets of Belleville, of course.

Former girl-group-hotties, they still manage to cut a rug every now and then.  Here they are in their heydey:

There are few offers of help tendered toward the elderly ladies who anchor the story.  They make lemonade out of the lemons in their lives, and the world (and the grandson) are better for it.  Left to their own devices, these girls do just fine.

Of course, a little help wouldn't have been begrudged....  or would it?

I've got no answers.  I'd just like to believe that I'll be cognizant of my surroundings and interested enough in life to demand to be heard., as the lady and Carl and the triplets and the grandma do.  And I'm hopeful that those around me will have the patience to listen.

Thanks to for the illustrations in this post.

I found the video at Time Goes By, a personal/cultural/topical/elderblog on my permanent BlogRoll. 


  1. I loved that video on TGB and caught the Bandares credit. This post is a nice melange of the treatment of elders in cartoon. For some reason, two of M. Scott Peck's books jumped into my mind as I was reading and viewing: A Bed By The Window and Denial of The Soul. Peck's is not a flawless character, but I always learned something from his work.

    I notice that I am segueing from contemplating my elderhood to living it...short of birthing a first child, nothing I've ever done has been more exhilarating or riveting. How shall we live when we've exhausted our culture's accepted raisons d'etre? Let the Adventures of Cronewoman commence!

  2. It's an entirely new experience, isn't it?

    I've not read M. Scott Peck, but I'm off to the library today so watch the sidebar for thoughts as I remedy the gap in my education.

    A question to be considered: are there superheroes who are older than 35? I'm not enough of a comics afficionado to know....

  3. It's a good thing I read the last line; I was about to forward this to Ronni! lol


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