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Thursday, July 24, 2008

"My First Visit to the Movies", by Splogman

Splogman aka Jan T., Splogman's World and several other projects and blogs (and PCL contributor!):

"Writing about my first visit to the movies is difficult, because I'm not certain anymore when (somewhere round 1970), where (Amsterdam or Utrecht?) and which movie that might have been. I do remember that those visits were very exciting indeed and that there was a lot of anticipation involved.
I do remember that the first time it took me a while to understand that the introductional cartoon that we saw wasn't the main movie.
I do remember the strange shocking sensation when the movie was over: suddenly the lights went on and a door down in the left corner next to the big screen was opened to let us out into a world that now had become alien to me, a world that had no awareness of what had happened inside the theatre.
I do remember that the all the movies I saw in a movie-theatre as a kid were Disney classics: Peter Pan (which is most likely to have been the very first), Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and most of all: Jungle Book!
The idea of living in the jungle, free from school, church and other obligations and having animals as friends with whom you could actually talk appealed to me very much. That's why I also liked Tarzan. I didn't see Tarzan in one of the cinemas in the big city, but in the village hall where the Roman Catholic Workers Union organized cinema afternoons for the children of it's members, with old black and white movies that weren't necessarily fun to watch, at least not in my opinion. I remember being heavily disappointed and bored to death when they showed yet another western and not an adventure of my hero Johnny Weismuller. Judging from the trailers on youtube I must at least have seen: Tarzan's Secret Treasure and Tarzan Triumphs.

Trailer - Tarzan Triumphs (1943):

Clip added by pwgr2000

It's only now that I realize that they really showed us really old movies. Naturally we weren't aware of that as 10 year olds back in 1974.

Back to Disneyland: my parents bought these 33,3 rpm singles with a picture book for us of every movie we saw. On side A you could hear the story, interrupted by the sound of windchimes as a sign to turn the page of the book. On side B there were two songs from the movie, sung in Dutch accompanied by the original orchestra soundtrack. My little brother and I played those over and over and over ... I guess there most have been lots of other language versions. I'm trying hard to retrieve those little books, for my own fell apart completely and were thrown away over years.

I still know these translated songs by heart and it was a shock to me when I found out that at some point the Dutch version of my alltime favourites "The Bare Necessities" and "I wanna be like you" had been replaced by completely different renditions, so children of today don't know "my" versions anymore. I can see why they made new recordings, but I still don't understand why they had to replace the lyrics. "I am Balu, the brown bear, a very thick and lazy bear" became "What you can learn from bears, can learn from real bears". I mean, one can overdo education...

So here are the Dutch versions as they should be: "
Or downlod these 2 songs here: 1, 2.

--Jan Turkenburg aka Splogman--

Note: Click label: "My First Visit to the Movies", to read more first-movie-stories.