Wednesday, November 10, 2010

3 Reasons Why Follow That Bird Scared Me and 3 Reasons Why It Was Awesome

I'd like everyone to come in a little bit closer today. Gather, gather. Sit up front. We're all a happy family. For we all have one common thread.

And that thread is: all of us--you, me, that guy over there--were emotionally scarred by the both terrifying and terrific epic film, the 1984 classic, Follow That Bird.

A refresher:

There were three things that made this movie terrifying:

1. My friend and confidant, Big Bird, is on the run. By himself. With no parents to lead him, and Stranger Danger at every corner.

Big Bird is supposed to only be 6 years old, by the by. What if that was me?? What if I had to start a life with a new family and they were terrible so I had to run away all by myself! It happened to Big Bird, it could happen to ME!

2. When Big Bird is blue.

Big Bird. My friend. My confidant. He is in a cage, and he is SO SAD, that he has TURNED A DIFFERENT COLOR. I didn't even know that was possible, but if Sesame Street says it is, THEN IT IS.

3. Do I have to say it? DO I EVEN HAVE TO SAY IT.

Miss.....Finch. If a scarier Muppet exists in the world, I have yet to see it.

Nope. Not as scary.

Not even close.

Nice try.


Still no.

Close, but not them either.


Miss Finch was perhaps the first villain I ever encountered in my young life. And I have been scarred to my soul. First, she rips Big Bird (friend, confidant) out of the warm embraces of Maria and Luis, then she plunks him down among a horrible, vapid family, and then when he tries to escape, she and her dark, soul-sucking eyelids chase him across the country! It's not enough that he is a child on the run, but he must be a HUNTED child on the run.

And I know I'm not the only one who has felt this way. Anyone young enough to have encountered this movie as a small child was petrified of this woman.

There are two things that are great about this movie, however. Scratch that, three things. The first is Canadian actor Dave Thomas. The second is the music. Specifically "Easy Goin'", the feel-good song of the bird, the children, and their farm.

Question: Did you and Laura figure out the harmony to that song and teach it to your friends so you could belt it out while walking through the nighttime streets of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois?

Answer: DID. WE. EVER.

Question: ...Wait, why were you singing this song in college?

Answer: Because I bought the movie for Laura's 22nd birthday, and (the third and final thing that is great about this movie) we made up a drinking game to coincide with it while we watched.

Question: Oh PLEASE tell me you still have the rules.

Answer: .....

Question: Emily?

Answer: ....

Question: You got distracted looking at the drinking game rules for Cash Cab online, didn't you?

Answer: Hmm? Huh? What? Oh, right! Follow That Bird drinking game. YES! Of course I have the rules. They are simple, and they are awesome. Here we go:

1. Drink every time they say "bird."
2. Everyone pick an extraneous and beloved Sesame Street character to follow throughout the movie, such as Grover or Cookie Monster. Whenever that Muppet is in a scene, you drink.

We may have had other rules, such as "drink every time you are so scared of Miss Finch that you can neither look away nor blink," but for the life of me, I can't recall any other rules being necessary.

So yes, perhaps I have been able to overcome such fears as becoming separated from my family and being forced to walk home. Now I can focus on the important things, like togetherness of friends and drinking alcohol while watching beloved childhood movies. I'd like to think I've become a real grownup.

On a separate note, does anyone want to create a Mary Poppins drinking game with me?


Liketohike said...

Yes, Miss Finch is very very scary. But Dark Crystal is scarier. Most def. Also possibly the singing skulls.

Margaret said...

I want to drink to your mary poppins drinking party that I'm currently suggesting you throw.

FreeFlying said...

Hahaha! I just read your most recent 3 posts in a row. Mosquitoes, whales, and birds. Who knew animals were so funny?

Jacky15 said...

"And I know I'm not the only one who has felt this way. "

NO YOU ARE NOT. That movie scared the daylights out of me as a child and i would run away from the tv when ms finch appeared. Everytime i try and explain to people the terrifying nature of that movie i will simply direct them to this post. Thank you.

Joe said...

My mom took my sister and i to see this in the movie theater when it came out. I BURST into tears when Big Bird appeared painted blue. I was inconsolable. I distinctly remember this... an old wound reopened.

Anonymous said...

Miss Finch is one scary bitch!!!

James McClarin said...

I honestly thought I was alone in being terrified of ms finch as child. I was talking to my mom today about my daughter and how she watches the same movie over and over. She reminded me about how my brother and I used to watch Follow that bird everyday all day because it was the only movie we had. That instantly sparked a chill down my spine when ms finch's eyes popped into my head. She didn't remember who the villain was so I googled a picture for her and stumbled onto this post.