Sometime during the mid 1980s my mother was
getting ready for ger cousin’s wedding and I was left along with the
television. Usually this was not the case. We grew up on a steady, strict diet
of PBS and not much else. So to have the run of the Colorado (or Southern
California?) Hotel’s myriad cable channels was a miracle, and mother was too busy
running around with curlers in her hair to care much about whatever daytime
television we might be poisoning ourselves with – and this is the moment I
encountered Darby O’Gill and the Little People.
Sure, the fantastical 1950s Disney drama
was – well – Disney, but lest we forget this is the same Disney era which
brought us the wiskey-soaked knife and shotgun fights of Davy Crockett and
full-length animated features in which the main characters actually DIED.
Apparently it was ok for life to be a bit
more brutal back then… and brutal, as I remember it, was Darby O’Gill’s main
The story goes: Darby’s
20-something-year-old daughter dies and the coach of death (throw in a
screaming banschee) comes to collect her but Darby goes instead but jumps out
and somehow ends up under a mountain with some trickster leprachauns and that
is all I can remember. Every couple of years afterwards I would remember the
film and shudder, and then last week I noticed that it had been released on DVD
in Germany and could be purchased at Karstadt for a mere €8,99.
That’s right, for a mere €8,99 another
generation could be scarred by one of the Classics… because you know Disney
will never ever again put that shit on TV – not with the goofy, brain-meltingly
idiotic kids# shows lineup they have going. Darby O’Gill would be like a
blowtorch in the face of these kids to just want to watch other kids acting
stupidly and cracking some of the worst wah-wah one-liners known to mankind (or
uttered since Schawarzenneger’s Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin.)
But this is the thing… I have noticed over
the years that the films of previous generations – in my case things such as
the Dark Crystal or Goonies – these films are seen as too brutal or
innapropriate for the youth of the 21st century. These sensitive
creatures can only handle happy happy sicky-sweet sugar-coated crap in the form
of film, even though once we swith to the medium of video games: anything
At least with Bambi or Pinocchio the weight
of the moral world is weighed, and the viewer is asked to think and feel – but
with shooting-spree video games another life just goes SPLAT and you laught it
off and keep running and shooting.
There’s something missing here.
Labels: Darby O'Gill and the Little people DVD, Disney, the Disney Channel