Growing up, I had the best of both worlds when it came to stories. I had Dr. Seuss and P.D. Eastman books being read to me, and I had some of the greatest animated films ever made on VHS — The Lion King, The Fox and the Hound, The Little Mermaid, etc. If I’m being honest, I (and everyone my age) was spoiled. We were surrounded by quality entertainment, something I feel isn’t as present for today’s youth.
I admit that this could be me partaking in the classic “Back in my day” speech, but I honestly don’t think children’s entertainment is held to the same standard it once was. That’s not to say that there aren’t great books or movies out now, but it is to say that I am hoarding all my copies of Put Me in the Zoo and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! so that my kids will have them. All of this brings me to my recommendation for Hollywood’s next feature-length adaptation: Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman.
For those of you who haven’t read it — if you exist — the story is exactly what it sounds like. In anticipation of her soon-to-arrive child, a mother bird flies off to find a worm. While she’s gone, her baby bird hatches to find an empty nest. In an attempt to find his mother, the baby bird falls from the nest and begins his search. Along the way, the bird runs into a kitten, a hen, a dog, a cow, a car, a boat, a plane, and a
crane snort, all of whom he asks, “Are you my mother?” Some respond, others don’t, but either way, the baby bird gets the message.
To spoil the ending, the crane takes the baby bird and places him back in his nest just in time for mom to return with a worm. Sweet, right? I think so. I also think it would make for a fun animated film. First of all, the baby bird in this book is freakin’ adorable, which always helps. But more importantly, this is a classic story that could easily be stretched out to fill an hour and a half. Think Finding Nemo but on land and with the baby doing the searching instead of the parent. Throw in some Dory-like humor, and I’m in.
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