The Hills are Alive…with Bandits

I recently got the Sound of Music, now restored to a very nice high-def.  Now you can really see just how ugly the children’s curtain playclothes are and realize that Captain von Trapp had every reason to be horrified.   I remember when it was broadcast on network TV once a year and the whole family would gather around to watch.  I’d always take a break right at “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” Blech.  I still can’t stand that song.

The boy and I watched the first half the other night.  It is long.  Really, really long and you see how much they cut out of the movie for the TV version, which I’d never known.

What was kind of funny, though, was the questions that the boy asked while we were watching it.

“What’s a telegram?” he asked after Rolf delivered the first one. I suppose there’s no reason he’d EVER know what that was!

“Well,” I began, “It’s sort of like an email, but they didn’t have computers so they had to deliver it by hand.” I figured I’d leave the whole lesson on Morse Code for another time.

The next one came shortly after that, when Liesl and Rolf are frolicking before the impending thunderstorm.  “What’s going to happen?! Are they going to be okay?!” He was genuinely terrified for them.  I think this is sort of interesting, but I wasn’t sure where it came from.  I wonder if it’s because many kids’ movies nowadays have their characters in almost constant peril.  Think of the latest Toy Story movie–I mean, the characters are rarely just enjoying a free moment.  Some of it might be that thunderstorms are just scarier to little kids than they are to adults.

My favorite, though, was during “Do Re Mi” when Maria and the children begin to sing at their picnic and then all get up and dance away across the hills. He asked, “Why are they leaving all their stuff there?”

“Well, kiddo, they’re just having fun and singing. Why do you ask?”

“Because a thief might come and take all their stuff!” cried my little city kid.

I’m so delighted that my child can watch the first, non-scary half of the Sound of Music and still find a way to find danger lurking in every scene.  I wonder how the second half is going to go when the actual bad guys appear.