Monday, December 13, 2010

The Traveling Dreamer

I often tear up when I see things that are overly whimsical. I can't explain it exactly, but it must have something to do with the ideas of imagination blending with and distorting the real world to create something wholly beautiful and nostalgic. It's harder to do this, I think, than bending reality for a new horror film.

I seem to have a penchant for commercials (Refer to my Mr. Peanut post) and so I admit with no shame that, yes, a mere commercial sparked this sense of wonder within me. Again.

Why commercials? I have a theory. Commericals = flash fiction. Do you see it? They share the same power. Both are short on time. Both can leave an imprint. Either you can flash a bunch of numbers and facts with a plainly dressed woman with white teeth or... you can take the opportunity to hit your viewers hard. Create not just a good ad, but an unforgettable story; something that still lives inside the viewers mind long after the program comes back on.

The commercial this time is for the Kia Optima 2011. Now, I usually hate car commercials. I'm not impressed with grinning families piling into shiny cars. I yawn when the sleek racers traverse various terrains. But this is no average car commerical. Here's a bar of screenshots:

A train full of animal-headed gentlemen and a pretty girl? Ooooo. Here's the commercial in its entirety:

Cool, right? I'm in love (of course I am - did you see the diorama?).

It's nostalgia alright. A pure dose of it. But after my head stopped spinning, I noticed that there was something familiar about it. Boy is in his room, ready to fall asleep, and then he goes soring off somewhere in his bed. Hm. Okay. Just like the animated movie, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1989).

Originally a comic by Winsor McCay, Little Nemo became one of those classic videos that was a staple for little kids growing up. No matter how it made it into your VHS collection, it was there. I think we have to thank it for a lot of things. Sparking creativity? Number 1. If you haven't seen it yet, here's a nice clip to give you a feel for it (and prolly the main plot):

So what is with this image of the sleeping child going on a moving journey through odd, magical worlds? It's become a symbol. I believe it represents hope because we still have the ability to dream. The most important part is to never forget. So even as the kid in the Kia commercial becomes a grown-up in a fancy car and Nemo wakes up after his final adventure in Slumberland, we still leave both worlds with the strong sense that they won't forget what happened in their dreams. What do you think?


  1. "When I often tear up when I see things that are overly whimsical."
    Oh dear, syntax. That aside it's a little surprising to me that your writing style here differs so greatly from 'Birdcage Girl'. Give it some the dynamics it so needs!
    As far as I know Figment doesn't have a messaging system, so if you'd care to discuss my critique further I can offer my e-mail.

  2. @Isaac "Give it some the dynamics it so needs" ? That doesn't make syntactical sense either.

    @cloudykim Milk Crowns. I love that. Another great car commerical is the one for the Nissan Leaf with the polar bear. One of the best commercials I've seen.

  3. Why did my last comment vanish?

    @elfarmy17: The author of this blog has the ability to edit her posts, whereas I am unable to change my comments. My intent was to write "Give it some of the dynamics it so needs!", there's no need for to play it like you've never made a typo before.
    The only one with a right to comment is the blog's owner - and if she is sensible, she already knows I am merely offering advice as per my remarks elsewhere.

  4. Issac, stop being a troll. Actually, stop being a *stalking* troll. Stop trolling Kim's Figment account and stop trolling her blog. It amazes me how you managed to survive this long in the world, given your grossly proficient ability to irritate people.

  5. Beautiful! Dearest Kim, thank you for finding me. I think we shall get along swimmingly. xx

  6. Thankyou dear for this gorgeous post! And thankyou for your beautiful comment on my blog too (1001 ways to be more lovely).

    Your writing takes me to a different state of mind. And since I am not particularly clever with writing, and all this "syntax" business does nothing to miff me,
    I find it quite beautiful and would love the pleasure to follow you - you are quite the beautiful, ingenious young lady.

    And being the art loving person I am - I loooooooooove the design of your blog!
    Did you happen to do it?

    all the best

  7. Yes, just conceptualise away!
    You can make the design request as specific as you like.

  8. Wow, how have I never read you before? you're brilliant!

  9. @namie: I'm sure you feel like a hero, calling me a troll.
    I don't understand why you feel this way: the fact remains that I took the time to read every single chapter of Birdcage Girl available to me, making the effort to point out shortcomings in the writing and the reasons I consider them problematic. I provided explicit examples, possible corrections in some cases, and suggestions to improve the text's cohesion and the story's narrative. At no point did I attack the writer's story or talents.

    And stalking? Please.
    I used the link to this blog provided on the writer's Figment profile; you make it sound like I scoured distant corners of the web to find it. Kimberly is an aspiring writer and she put up a story on Figment that anyone using the internet can read. If she cannot handle what comes from that, how will she handle publishers, editors, literary analysts, reviewers, etc.? But I understand that constructive criticism isn't always taken well. It is for this reason that I chose to post here, should she wish to respond to my input for HERSELF.

    The mistake I noted on this blog post has been fixed, too - are you going to insist I am an evil person for pointing it out? What would happen if a potential publisher or employer checked her blog and saw the first, dramatic sentence of the post with a glaring error? It would suggest that the writer is lacking in focus or ability and doesn't even re-read/check her own work.

    But sure. Maybe we should all hide behind our friends and their dependable defense, maybe we should believe everything will be perfect the first time, and maybe we should only give each other doting or pointless reviews, with no evidence that we paid close attention to the text and what it was saying.

    "its so nyccccc"

  10. @mckenzie

    Wow, thank you for following me :) I'm glad you like my writing :D

  11. @Issac Thanks for taking the time to read my work and review it. Every writer makes mistakes, so having other eyes at the ready is useful.

    You have potential to be a good literary critic. I want you to be able to grow as one. While you intend to be well-meaning, the language you use to express your frustrations is inappropriate. A well-versed critic gets his or her point across without the use of such side remarks such as "look at you" and "this one is just ridiculous." My skin is thick enough, thank you, but perhaps these little comments are the reasons why some people react negatively to your critiques. It's up to you to decide what to do about it, of course.

    By the way, in regards to your quote above, not everyone is skilled in the art of critque, but everyone has the right to read and express their feelings, no matter how grammatically incorrect they are.

    Thank you and have great day. *smiles*

  12. Hah, that commercial is definitely reminiscent of Little Nemo. I've been trying to find that movie lately, I loved it as a child! Netflix doesn't have it!

  13. Yes..."commercials=flash fiction". This makes sense...again the links are expired but I could get the energy to go look these things up. I learned about Little Nemo from the Nentendo game...