I heard a guy on Ted Talks say that he believed all children are born geniuses and that they get “untaught” and dumbed down by life experiences and well-intentioned adults. I can’t vouch for him—I have no clue if that is true. I can remember my childhood very well and I’m not sure that kid was a genius. I would agree wholeheartedly, however, that children are born artists. They can draw, paint, act, pretend, create… all with an enviable abandon. They’re works aren’t perfect, but that’s the beauty of it: they don’t care. And that is definitely something that gets untaught somewhere along the way. Trying to convince my daughter that she’s not a bad drawer or that she can write a story is an uphill battle at best. And at worst, impossible.
Hunkered down on my bedroom floor I could spend hours making up a story with a toy motorcycle, a dragon figurine and a Star Wars action figure. It was like I was making my own movies with my own props. And the stories would keep my attention just as long as a real movie would. I loved drawing and colouring. My friend and I made bows and arrows with bailing twine and sticks. One day we were hunters, the next day superheroes.
I do try to allow myself to be creative. Honestly, that’s part of my reason for making this blog. See, I love to write but often don’t do it. Mostly it’s self-doubt or even low self-esteem that stops us from doing anything creative as adults and that’s usually the reason for me too. And, of course, I love movies so this is a great way to keep up the writing habit.
And we can thank the makers of Toy Story for allowing themselves to do this. Sure, they were motivated to make a groundbreaking movie considering the kind of money they were going to make. But to take on a mountain like that, they surely needed to become kids again.
Congratulations Toy Story. This is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actress: I didn’t realize how testosterone-heavy this week’s picks were, but I think I found a winner: Annie Potts. Potts gave Bo Peep her voice in Toy Story, but she was also one of the stars of the 80’s TV show Designing Women (she played Mary Jo Shively). She was also the Ghostbusters’ secretary in the the classic 1984 movie.
Best Actor: Benicio Del Toro in The Usual Suspects. I loved him in both this movie and, especially, Traffic.
Best Quote: “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that, poof. He’s gone.”
And for your viewing pleasure: my top ten favourite toys growing up. Special thanks to my mom for buying me most of these (maybe all?) for me. The last one has a name: Chico.