Monday, April 10, 2017

Rip Van Magoo

Rip Van WinkleRip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh Magoo, you've done it again! I read Rip Van Winkle when I was a kid at some point in time, and yet I remembered it best from the Mr. Magoo animated version.

I couldn't find that old nearsighted thespian's take on the Irving classic, but here's his rendition on Frankenstein. Bloody masterpiece!

Perhaps basing your knowledge of literature on a super-condensed, 20 minute version of a novel hundreds of pages long isn't a sound idea, but in the case of the quite short Rip Van Winkle it actually was just fine. Having reread it and matching it up with my recollection of the cartoon, which admittedly I haven't seen in about 30 years, I think it holds up well.

Hahaha...wouldn't Washington Irving be proud to be reading this review if he could? To have his enduring work reduced to its questioned quality in condensed cartoon form; "My god," I imagine him saying, "what an honor!"

This story of a wastrel (quite familiar to me in the form of folks I've known) gone off the reservation only to return bewildered to an unfamiliar home is a great piece of European folklore carried over to America. Bewitching beings beyond the fringe (yes, I'm stealing the phrase from Cook & Dudley) played a big role in the faerie stories of "the old country". It's nice to see them transplant so well to the wooded reaches of colonial (on the cusp of post) America.

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