evil children's story


A few weeks ago, Harper said to me: “Dad, can we write a book together? I have a story I’d like to tell the world.” So she and I took the dogs for a long walk so that she could tell me her story and introduce me to her characters. She told me of three amazing friends: “Aaron the Marshmallow” “Strawberry the Blueberry” (my new all-time favorite thing she’s ever said to me) and “Jello the Fox”. She told me of the “Evil Pineapple Princess-Queen Bangkok” and of her plans for world domination by destroying all dogs!!! Why? Because her head was full of “Mad Ideas!”

I’ll let you read the story to see how it all unfolds, but when we got home from our walk, I had her sit down with some markers and draw out all of her little characters. Then I sat down at my computer and brought them all to life for her. Throw in a little double sided tape and a stapler and a book was born. It’s short, sweet and a little rough around the edges (literally). We’ll be working carefully on character development and story arcs in future stories, but for our first try, we sure had fun.


I think part of the reason that Fury Road works is because of its simplicity. Yes, there is a lot of depth to this movie, with its characters and symbolism and world-building, but at its core it is profoundly simple. It has an almost fairy-tale quality to it. It’s a story about warriors and princesses first fleeing the dragon, then conquering him, and finally winning the castle and cleansing the land of evil.

A good children’s story is the kind that stays with you long after you grew up, the kind that makes you forget that you ever grew up at all. Suddenly, when you hear it or read it or see it, you’re five years old again, sitting rapt with attention on your grandfather’s knee. When an entirely original children’s story appears that has the same effect, it’s a rare feat. I’ve really only had Spirited Away, The Last Unicorn and The Secret of Kells do this for me, in terms of films. All of those were animated features, aimed at children but enjoyable for all ages.

But when an entirely original story aimed specifically at adults does the exact same thing, it’s more than rare. It’s borderline miraculous. When a movie for adults renders its audience childlike - whether in wonder, terror, or confusion - that’s a truly unique occurrence.

Adults need fairy-tales, too, and Fury Road is one.

- bai-xue