Go to Homepage   Raymond Briggs' The Bear: A Heavenly Music Box

  Crescent Blues Book Views

r rated, four moon iconDisney Studios (VHS), ASIN B00004WGBX
The appeal of astrology becomes clear once we watch the short children's video The Bear, a cartoon version of the popular book by Raymond Briggs. The cover of the film proclaims the irrefutable words: "Friendships are always magical!" How can we disagree with sound child psychology, especially when we add a little Merlin?

DVD: the bear A fundamental story line characterizes this classic work. Child loses bear. Bear finds child. The two run away to the fantastic playground our forebears could enjoy every time they saw a clear night sky. High above us, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor still chase each other, looping through the Aurora Polaris. Simultaneously, the video focuses on the internal world of youthful emotions. The chosen animal provides the critical link to the external world which includes water, land, and cosmos -- all miraculous, at least in the company of the bear.

Now, if we undertake this same journey with herds of human beings, what occurs?

First, we need a birth certificate. Then, we gotta get a passport. International customs will throw a fit about an animal crossing borders. Administrative rigmarole will take six weeks at best. That will give us time to pack stuff we shoulda left back at the airport. Mom will expect us to explain our reaction to the yellow fever shot. Dad will not be happy until we calculate our finances to the last penny. Who bothers with complaining? Responsible parents always deserve thanks, but, at this rate, we will not get to the moon this week, will we?

But the bear, that sweet creature, will never be our parent, and we will never be his parent, either. In some ways, in fact, his role surpasses the parental because he cannot claim to be American, Lebanese, Chinese, Sudanese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Assyrian, Calabrian or even Monty Python, who definitely manifests a British point of view. The bear never heard of embassies, political catastrophes or governing bodies.

Beginning to feel envious already? Do not deny it.

Right now, you know the incredible world of the Child: no forms to fill out, no surveys, no reports. No bureaucrats warning he or she would be better off going nowhere this time of year -- at least until we get our crews in there and see what dreadful thing looms over us this time!

Similarly, a different reality emerges when you know a merry-go-round makes celestial music in the sky. It whirls with cosmic chimes. Twelve houses spin by all the time, twelve signs sorting you into new categories completely free of your old relatives, assigned countries, and all identities grounded by a planet ruled by grim gravity.

Vitamin and imagination deficiencies among human beings tempt many of us to dream of running away with bears. Hence the popularity of the teddy. Adults pretend to be very serious people, though, so we simply step forward and admit: "Hello. Meet a Scorpio -- sign of murder, madness, death, and justice. Nice to see you here."

Meg Curtis

Click here to share your views.