CineSavant Column

Tuesday May 14, 2019


Well, I wasn’t thinking this week — I try to get a LITTLE variety into my review choices but both films I’ve reviewed are about aviation in WW1 and a couple of decades thereafter. I of course forgive myself — and I even caught myself and spelled ‘Richthofen’ correctly.

For Mother’s Day I sent out this drawing my daughter made twenty years ago for my first review book … it’s about Gorgo, of course, and the big monster’s the mother of the little monster … honest, it seemed a good Mother’s Day gag yesterday. If anybody should want to swipe it for online use (like I never swipe online images) please contact me so the artist can be properly attributed.

My kids certainly know Gorgo as a Mother’s Day movie. The same goes for the eco-positive John Huston epic The Roots of Heaven. In one scene an elephant breaks into a pen to free its baby. The situation aligns neatly with the finale of Gorgo and also takes us back to the harmonious relationship between Dumbo and his Ma, Mrs. Jumbo. If you really want to make some pachydermical connections, take a look at an early scene in Elephant Boy where a baby elephant, playing in the water with its mother, runs through her legs like a puppy, splashing water around and having the time of its life. The Dumbo animators must have used it as a reference, as the action is almost identical.

This boxed set landed on my doorstep a week ago. It’s so heavy, at first I thought it was another book to review. A Blu-ray review is on the way, but it won’t make tomorrow’s street date, so in the absence of bigger disc news I’m reporting it here. It’s the Studio Ghibli modern classic, Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke (Mononoke-hime). In this case the oversized box is a plus, providing a larger canvas for the artwork in the forty-page book. A soundtrack CD is included as well. I remember being proud back in 1998 when my kids opted to go to the one theater playing it in Japanese language with subs, instead of dubbed into English with all the star talent. Princess Mononoke Collector’s Edition, from Shout! Factory.

And finally, I’m wondering if the review page DVDtalk has breathed its last. It hasn’t posted a new review for a couple of weeks, and its submission website is down, the place I’ve gone for 20 years to look for discs to review. That’s too bad for me, for the page was my only source for Scream Factory discs. But the only other reviewer I’ve heard from on the subject is my wise colleague Stuart Galbraith IV. If someone out there knows what’s happening, I’d like to know too.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson