Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Lady Amalthea

Uuuuuuu-nicorn! Uuuuuu-nicorn!

Tell me you've seen that movie, please. Tell me I am not the only one who gets the sheer awesomeness of that freaky animation mixed with a soundtrack from America. I mean, come on people, "When the last moon is cast over the last crumbling mountain, and the last lion roars over the last dusty fountain..."

Honestly, why haven't more people seen and memorized this movie? How can a movie with a transvestite song ("Now that I'm a woman, everything has changed!") not be more widely loved? Ok, so it's not really a transvestite song so much as a ballad about a Unicorn being turned into a human girl by an inexperience magician trying to save her from the Redbull (no, not the drinkable kind, the giant bovine made of fire kind) who drove all the other Unicorn's into the sea so that King Haggard can watch them in the tide only now she is falling in love with a human man and forgetting what it's like to be a Unicorn and that's bad because only she can save the other unicorns!!!! This is EPIC people! SAVE THE UNICORNS!

Fact: My mother hid that movie from me for ten years because listening to me belt the lyrics to every song ("Look and see her, how she sparkles, it's the LAST UNICORN!!!!!") everyday for a year eventually began to wear away at her sanity and it was either separate me from that movie or kill me. Friends, there were days during the first few months when I wished she had gone with the latter rather than divide me from that magical VHS. Eventually I stopped looking for it, but I never forgot the words (not just to the songs, but to the entire movie). Then when I was 20 years old, perhaps thinking it would be safe now that I had finished more than a year in college and was living on my own, my mother brought it out of hiding. Actually, I think she had forgotten about it altogether and only accidentally stumbled upon it while packing up the house to move. And suddenly, there it was. The magical VHS that had for so long evaded my searching. The movie that had shaped the child I was and defined the woman I would become.  

The Last Unicorn.

And behold, the heavens did open and the walls did shake as, once again, at the top of my now considerably more powerful lungs I belted the words to that beloved song "In the distance hear the laughter of the LAST UNICORN! I'M ALIVE! I'M ALIIIIIIIIIIVE!!!" And behold, my mother did weep bitterly.

Anywho, I obviously now own that movie on DVD, (Special edition, Suckas!) and the day my now-husband agreed to watch it with me one Sunday afternoon was a defining point in our relationship. If you've ever wondered when it was that I knew he was the one for me, well folks, I'm pretty sure it was the moment he held me as we watched King Haggard's castle fall tumbling into the sea while hundreds of glittering unicorns came out of the water and rushed forth into the world again! (What can I say? My husband has the patience of a saint.)

But seriously, I know you've only read this far because you are waiting for that moral lesson to come out where I somehow tie this into something I learned in India and make it a microcosm for some big, philosophic idea in life. And don't worry, friends, I'm almost there.

Because you see, near the end when King Haggard has discovered the Lady Amalthea's true identity and the Redbull knows ("Molly, he knows! He knows!") that she is The Last Unicorn meant to be driven into captivity in the sea, there is this short scene with really bad dialogue (which matches the dialogue in the rest of the movie), in which Amalthea begs to stay human. "Don't let him change me!...Everything dies. I want to die when you die! I'm no unicorn, no magical creature! I'm human, and I love you....Lir, I will not love you when I'm a unicorn."And it sounds so familiar sometimes, doesn't it? "Please don't expect more of me! Don't ask me to do hard things, to be something greater than I am right now! Everybody gives up sometime; I want to give up too! I am happy as I am, and I'm afraid of wanting more."

No, this isn't about choosing career over love or never making compromises or the inevitability of death. It's about being afraid to accept your true potential because if you do, then it means you are capable of more than you are doing right now. It means you have no excuse for not doing great things. It means you'll have to make sacrifices and be brave and face up to your biggest fear. It means you'll have to turn around, look the Redbull in the eye, and fight back.

It means you have to apply to grad school again.

"She will remember your heart when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits. Of all unicorns, she is the only one who knows what regret it - and love."


CamilleJohnFam said...

So, John knew this quote immediately...how funny! :)

Nancy said...

I have seen Most Of this movie, cinematically speaking. But I feel pretty confident that I, too, have experienced the full movie. Am I right, or am I right? What a silly question (and not just because it was the same question written twice)! Obviously I'm right, because I always am. On a more related note, I miss you Jen!

Cathlin said...

Nancy, you are right. And I miss you!