What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Cricket on the Hearth December 16, 2015

Hello everyone! It’s time once again for Chris’s Corner.

Last night, Megan and I put in our DVD of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer for a little holiday cheer in the midst of what has been a hectic month of preparing to move out of our cast housing in Florida and go on our trip to Thailand to then come back to Florida to move into different cast housing. Oy. It’s been quite the month. Anyway, when we put in the DVD, a movie started playing that we had never heard of. It was called The Cricket on the Hearth, which was a cartoon movie “suggested” by the Charles Dickens story.

We were intrigued. We sat down on our bed and began the magical adventure of a new-old movie. Until it was no longer an adventure, but an acid trip (never done it, just assuming) bent on breaking our Christmas spirit. For those of you who do not know the movie, I’ll say SPOILER here and advise you not read beyond the “read more” feature of this post.

Okay. For those of you still with us, just know that I warned you about the SPOILERs. The story begins with a cricket approaching a house, the most wonderful he’d ever seen. He wanted to reside there, and the owner, who was a toymaker, welcomed him in to stay with his daughter and himself. After all, to have a cricket on the hearth was very good luck. The owner’s daughter was saying a sad farewell to her fiancé, who was to leave shortly with the royal Navy. Now, keep in mind the “good luck” portion of what I was saying, because here we go….

A series of travesties follow the departure of the fiancé. Upon receiving the news of her fiancé’s being “lost at sea,” (meaning for all intents and purposes dead) the sheer magnitude of grief robs the daughter of her sight. The toymaker spends all he has to care for his daughter and must finally leave his home. He is then hired by an evil toymaker (note: we can infer from this film that all good people have teeth and all evil people are missing quite a few) who later asks for the daughter’s hand.

Meanwhile, an old man has been welcomed into the toymaker’s new home, which is in the toy “factory.” The cricket decides to keep the evil boss from marrying the daughter, at which point the evil boss charges his pet raven with the task of disposing of the cricket. The raven hires some hands from a dingy speak-easy type club to help capture the cricket and take him to a sailor who sells crickets in the Orient for good luck. The sailor turns out to be murderous and kills the three kidnappers (one of which was a monkey. This made Megan very sad. She wanted me to let you all know.)

The cricket miraculously makes it back to land, where he arrives at the shop at midnight on Christmas Morning to find the toys are alive. They show the cricket that the old man is actually the daughter’s fiancé, the cricket wakes the daughter up, and the two are wed the next day.

Happy, right? But is anyone else seeing that the cricket is unbelievably UNLUCKY?! The day he shows up, the daughter’s fiancé leaves. Then the daughter goes blind, the two lose their house, and a few animals doing what they’re told get killed. Sure, they end up “happily” married, but in a new, not as good house, and with the daughter STILL BLIND. What the hell, Dickens?!

That’s all for my rant. I’m going to go watch a happy Christmas movie now, I think. One without any sexist crickets. Oh yeah, that was a thing, too. The cricket literally says, “Y-y-y-you nincompoop! Paying any attention to the words of a gushing female!” Merry Christmas, y’all.


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