Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

October 30

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Reconnecting with Childhood

by Ann-Katrina

The Last Unicorn by the moon

Childhood, it’s a place we’ve all been at one time or another, where anything is possible and there’s usually that one (or possibly two or three) story that is its cornerstone.

Yesterday, I went on a mini-adventure as I was perusing the aisles of Amazon. I went through the usual adult fare, plucking out titles and covers I thought sounded or looked interesting. My shopping list grew, as usual. But before I clicked on the purchase button, I did something unexpected…I typed in the word unicorns.

Why unicorns? Truly, I have no idea, but the results were a time machine pulling me back some 20 years. Waves of emotion came over me as I scrolled down to learn that The Last Unicorn was a book penned by Peter S. Beagle*.

As a child, I saw the movie. It was raw, and disturbing, and beguiling. The movie helped nourish my imagination and it created a cozy home in my heart for all these years.

It was by fate that the movie came on television again so I could record it on VHS tape and I watched it over and over again. Then, when I was older, I purchased the actual VHS tape and watched that over and over. (In fact, I still have it.)

There was some great joy in discovering that one of my all time favorite children’s movies was based on a written fairytale and well-crafted in the traditional style based on the snippets I was able to read at Amazon. Without hesitation, I added the book to my shopping cart and can hardly wait for it to arrive so I can immerse myself in that fantastic world where enchanting unicorns, clumsy wizards, bare-breasted harpies, crotchety kings, hapless princes, dizzy butterflies, frightening red bulls, and epic journeys for truth, honor, and love still exist.

So, take some time today and rediscover your childhood. Was there a movie that moved you, inspired you, or just somehow made a home in your heart when you were young? Then maybe today is a good day to go searching for the book so you can enjoy it in a different way. (And if it’s not based on a book? Well, pop in the VHS/DVD and imagine what it would say and how it would read if one were to be written.)

* On my journey, I discovered that there was a ruckus about the original DVD release (in 2004) and the 25th anniversary release (in 2007). It seems that the 2004 version was little more than a steaming pile of <insert expletive here> in terms of quality, but the 2007 version which was the product of much prodding is all around better. Unfortunately, Mr. Beagle receives no revenue from its sales. So, if you’d like to purchase the new DVD and would like Mr. Beagle to receive some proceeds, then order it from the Conlan Press website.

Comments on Reconnecting with Childhood

  1. # Lady of the Review wrote on November 18, 2008 at 3:40 am:

    Oy, this movie brings back memories! I don’t think I’ve ever cried as much as I did when I saw this movie for the first time. It killed me! And now, though I’m an adult, I don’t think I want to see it again. My luck I’d sob like a baby…again. :~P

  2. # Ann-Kat wrote on November 26, 2008 at 5:37 pm:

    I won’t lie, you probably will sob again. Seriously.

    This movie has always managed to move me somehow. It gave me that belief in magic that I still carry with me today.

    And I can understand not wanting to see it again. Sometimes when we fall in love with something as a child, we want to keep that memory, that emotion it pulled from us, alive. Seeing it through adult eyes could tarnish it. I took a big chance when I watched The Last Unicorn again as an adult, but I was lucky…it retained its beauty and magnificence.

  3. # Sunday Salon: Unicorns, Wizards, Runaway Mistresses, Reluctant Widows and (Possibly) Possessed Paintings - Today, I Read… wrote on December 7, 2008 at 3:38 pm:

    [...] Reconnecting with childhood has never felt so good. [...]

  4. # Sunday Salon: Keys & Graveyards, Unicorns & Interludes, and a Few Ghosts for Good Measure - Today, I Read… wrote on December 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm:

    [...] even felt compelled the watch the DVD (which recently arrived) and, being the absolutely softy that I am, found myself tearing up. It’s [...]

  5. # Review: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle - Today, I Read… wrote on February 22, 2009 at 11:31 am:

    [...] I watched the DVD after I finished the book and was surprised at how much was taken out. Despite removing some scenes [...]

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