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Saturday Matinee

Disney Cartoon #40: "Little Wonders" Music Video (March 13, 2007) - published October 8, 2011
by Albert Gutierrez


Image courtesy of
Apple.com

Earlier this week, Apple founder and technological visionary Steve Jobs passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Soon after news of Steve Jobs' passing, a friend of mine posted an article on Facebook entitled "Steve Jobs and the Idea of Letting Go." What was most inspiring about the article was this particular paragraph, which really spoke to me on a very personal level:

Jobs kept nudging us away from that. Under his leadership, Apple's subliminal selling point was: Let it go. Let go of the uneasiness about computers. Let go of ugly, antique technology. Let go of the fantasy future of personal rocketships. Let go of the expensive, shiny new phone that you bought last year for the slightly less expensive, shiny new phone that's coming out this year. But let go of something deeper, something resistant in you that romanticizes the past.

So often, our lives are spent with one foot stepping forward, while we crane our necks back to the past. But no matter how often we turn our heads, we can't bring back what once was. Nor should we. The great phenomenon that's called life simply doesn't allow it. Too much is going on, too much is always happening, always changing. It's great to hold on to the past, but not if it defines us.

In tribute to Jobs, we'll change things up a bit and take a look at a music video, a first at Saturday Matinee. And the most appropriate music video for these trying times is none other than Rob Thomas' "Little Wonders," which incorporates scenes from 2007's animated hit Meet the Robinsons.

As the video begins, it is a rainy day in the city, but the camera pans down amidst the umbrella-holding pedestrians to focus on one singular figure: the singing Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty. As he sings his song, as we see another situation in the rain: young Lewis being left on the steps of the orphanage. We then see clips showing him growing up, inventing the Memory Scanner with Goob's help, and his failed Peanut Butter & Jelly gun. Yet always on Lewis' mind is the mother that left him, he hopes the Memory Scanner will help him find her.

As expected, the scanner fails, and a dejected Lewis retreats to the roof, where young Wilbur Robinson then takes him in a time machine for a wonderful adventure into the future. We then cut back and forth between scenes in the future and in our present. Lunch with the Robinsons, Goob making the life-changing catch, Frannie and her singing frogs, Rob Thomas singing. Some of our last shots of Lewis' world features him and Bowler Hat Guy witnessing transformations, before we bid goodbye to the Robinsons and Lewis returns to his desk, intent on making even more inventions than before.

As far as music videos go, "Little Wonders" does its job of depicting both the film without spoiling too much, as well as allowing the artist to shine among his words. Meet the Robinsons and Rob Thomas achieves both. We get memorable moments from the film, edited without revealing too much about the film itself. We get inspiring lyrics that are sung perfectly by Thomas, sometimes set against live-action backdrops that mirror scenes from the film. The song itself was played during the end of Meet the Robinsons and is - in my opinion - one of the best endings to a Disney film. It embodies so much of the hope and wonder for our uncertain future, with the promise that whatever is out there for us is worth working for.

For anyone who has Meet the Robinsons on Blu-Ray or DVD, the music video is available as a bonus feature, and is well worth watching. A non-Robinsons version was also made - focusing on Rob Thomas and without the film clips - although I don't believe it is commercially available anywhere. In addition, the article I mentioned earlier can be found at this link:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/steve-jobs-and-the-idea-of-letting-go/2011/10/05/gIQAWxNqOL_story.html

The article is definitely worth a read, but before you do so, spend some time with the Robinsons.

 

 

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