Sunday, August 10, 2014

CWE: "The Journey of Natty Gann" (1985)

Summary: After her father leaves for a job in Washington state, promising to send for her once he earns enough money, Depression-era teen Natty sets out by herself from Chicago to find him.

  • Quite possibly the most family-friendly DVD that I own! It's Disney, no less.
  • Also, I have loved this movie since I was a kid. It's also probably the source of my lingering affection for John Cusack.
  • This is clearly not any kind of remastered video. I'm watching the DVD and it's still kinda jittery over the opening credits. Also, I can't imagine opening credits like this today -- just light yellow text on a black screen. And, like, a ton of credits too, not just title and stars.
  • Ray Wise is *so young*.
  • Meredith Salenger was only 15 when she made this, not much older than the character's age. John Cusack was 19.
  • Oh, it's 1985. Let's clarify that Mr. Gann is *not* a Communist, despite being a union leader.
  • Someone put this on a list of "worst movies of all time." Not even close, even if it wasn't a favorite of mine. They put "Mad Max" on that list too, so I'm inclined to think them an idiot.
  • Oh, it looks like Natty doesn't just up and leave; the woman who's supposed to be watching her decides that she's too much trouble and reports her as abandoned.
  • Jumping to get on the train seems like a good way to get hurt.
  • Oh, yes, the wolf.
  • Train crash!
  • Aw, the wolf brought her a dead bunny. I appreciate that she knew that she needed to clean and skin it, but obviously had no idea what she was doing.
  • Sadly, my cat will not let me use him as a pillow like that.
  • Somewhat kindly farmers. Well, kind wife and not very nice husband.
  • Foxes in the henhouse!
  • And reports of the train crash get back to Natty's father, who assumes that she's dead.
  • Given that this is a G-rated Disney movie, I don't expect it to deal too much with the fact that she's a 12-year-old girl on her own with a lot of older men. There are a few subtle nods to reality, though, like with Parker trying to put his arm around her.
  • Lucky she picked the right car trunk to hide in or her escape from the orphanage place would have been very brief.
  • See, that's what you get when you expect the rough-looking blacksmith to be a bad guy. He goes and saves your wolf.
  • Ah. "You're a pretty thing, you know that?" There it is.
  • I know it's a dummy, but pretty effective shot of the guy falling with the tree.
  • I've been trying to track Natty's journey on a map. They mentioned the town where she was, but I got distracted and forgot the name. The train crash was in Colorado and she's heading to Seattle, so I'm guessing Wyoming or Idaho at this point. Maybe even Oregon.
  • Look! Harry (Cusack) is back.
  • I rewound. River Bend. which is in ... yeah, I'm not sure.
  • The friendship drifting toward romance between Natty and Harry is kinda sweet and kinda creepy. She is 12 and he's probably supposed to be around 18. But it's also pretty innocent.
  • Oh, the pan and scan/cropped image has never been more noticeable than in this scene, with her talking to him off camera
  • I'd like to think that Natty goes to find Harry at some point in the future, you know, when she's not 12.
  • Jed is a pretty dog (or, you know, malamute-wolf mix). Died in 1995.
  • I'm not entirely sure why they are blowing up trees now. And, apparently, doing their best to kill the workers.
  • Also, I get why she's upset that her father apparently passed by without seeing her, but isn't he just headed toward the base camp? And can't she find him there? The woman there knows that she's looking for him, so I'd think that he'd wait for her.
  • Sweet ending reunion.

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