If you grew up anywhere near the 80’s, you just know E.T. I was born in 1981 so I was a baby when this movie came out; so I don’t think it rings so solid in my childhood as it might older kids, but I def. still watched it in awe. (Flight of the Navigator was more my jam when it came to little kids I can identify with hanging with cute aliens from space). I mean who didn’t want to ride through the sky with their friends? I hadn’t watched this movie in probably 15 years, but since it popped up on Netflix, I wanted to give it a shot with my 8 year old daughter.
Now, she’s scared of most everything; but I knew she could handle E.T. because he’s never portrayed as scary in any way; and as we were watching the first scene, where E.T. is checking out the local plant life, the trucks arrive and my daughter was hooked! It was such a cool thing to see her get sucked into the movie, screaming out loud “Run, E.T., those men are bad, I think!”.
It’s a whole different way to enjoy movies, as your kids grow up and letting them experience ones you may have treasured as kid or didn’t care for; you see it through new lenses and it’s quite an amazing journey. We did fast forward past the part where he’s a dry husk as that one brought her to tears, but in the end, she cried mixed happy and sad tears for that hard to watch ending where Elliott loses his best friend.
Recently, I met someone who brought up the Sea World situation to me; where they are shutting down their famous “Shamu” show due to the years and years of cruelty to their animals and general harsh living conditions of these killer whales. No other movie in existence will show you exactly what this entails like Blackfish.
What first turned my attention to this movie was another movie called “The Cove,” about the dolphin-killing industry in Japan where a man named Ric O’Barry , a marine life conversationist, put forth a Herculean effort to stop the killings he investigated by sneaking onto owned property, getting arrested, even storming into a meeting of the world leaders. He’s heavily involved in saving all marine animals around the world from awful situations. Watching that movie changed me in some way; I started reading about Dolphin preservation, gave money online, and looked at how we treat these animals in a whole different light. Then, came Blackfish. It highlights the natural inclination of these animals, Killer whales, to live in pods, with their families their whole lives, in broad, deep oceans. Taking them out of them, putting them in concrete ponds and forcing them to give birth where their babies are separated from them (amongst other atrocities) is cruel and heartbreaking. The main crux of this film is following one certain killer whale, Tillikum, who is known to have killed at least 3 people during his life. One of them, a Sea World trainer named Dawn Brancheau, loved Tillikum and he her, but the movie makes good points to show how these whales could be driven to these actions from the life of captivity they are in. It’s a haunting movie, one I’ve watched a few times and has made me follow this Sea World fiasco for the last few years. It also makes me reflect on when I actually went to Sea World as a kid, when it was in my home state of Ohio. I remember the Shamu show, even had my picture taken with a Shamu character in costume. It saddens me to think how many of us children and adults were duped into thinking these majestic animals actually enjoyed performing those shows for years on end and living in dark prisons when not performin. I urge to watch this movie and obviously decide for yourself but you will not easily forget it.