Friday, September 21, 2012

Why Rent When You Can Borrow?

I'm not sure why it took us so long to catch on to this. Uh, hello? Why rent movies from the cable company or wade through the endless sea of dreck that Netflix calls its children's collection? Why consume precious DVR space with movies you must "save until I delete," when they're wonderfully cost neutral and gigabyte free at the library? My Director and I have taken some serious steps to trim the budge recently. And here's one way that I am sure you are aware of, yet might not take advantage of.

We do one a week, because that's the maximum amount of time the library lets you borrow. That's actually great because just when you're getting tired of the repetition of the same movie over and over, the clock strikes twelve and it turns into a pumpkin. (See what I did there?) We're also lucky because the selection at our town library is pretty great. Here are some of the highlights:

Alice in Wonderland: It was nice to show Peanut a Disney movie about a little girl who wasn't a princess. But I have to tell you, I still have no freaking idea what the hell this movie is about. (Or the book, for that mater.) And I've seen it at least a dozen times. It's just nonsense. I have a pretty vivid imagination, but I just don't get it. Although, I am not a five year-old. So I guess the nonsense makes sense to Peanut because she loved it. But it gave me a headache. However, I do now sing, "A Very Merry Un-birthday" regularly. That always gets the laughs. So there's a silver lining.

Mary Poppins: We all loved this movie. The songs alone make it great. And all of the things that Mary brings: imagination, wonder, laughter. What I didn't realize after not having seen it in quite some time was that when you look past the spoonfuls of sugar and Chim-chim-Churoos, this movie is essentially about a dad and his kids. And at the end, the dad realizes it's more important to spend time with them than it is to spend time at work. Something I realized a long time ago, thankfully.
Pinocchio: Hands down, this is my all-time favorite Disney movie. (Read: I'm Italian.) I must admit, this movie introduces some themes that you probably wouldn't find in a children's movie nowadays. Like smoking and underage drinking. And Jiminy Cricket, while serving as Pinocchio's conscience, is a bit of a ladies' man. Or at least he tries to be. Despite all of the above, Pinocchio remains my favorite because of the simple premise of going after a dream and failing, but not giving up the pursuit. I also love the music in this one. Also, no mention of this movie is complete without my also pointing out that My Director often acts as my conscience, to great success:

I usually let my conscience be my guide.
We also borrowed Return of Jafar, the sequel to Aladdin. If you haven't heard of it before, there's a reason. You can do better. But Peanut picked the movie that week. So we suffered. It has nothing Aladdin has, and less. Another week she picked The AristoCats, which was a pleasant surprise. It's a buddy movie where a stray alley cat helps a rich cat family get home. But you need to explain the issues of wealth, wills, and a greedy butler who tries to off the cats to get the money.

But you don't have to go to such sinister lengths for a few bucks. Check out your local library and borrow a "new" movie. Your kids won't care if it's free. Or 50 years old, for that matter.

We did splurge and took Peanut to see "Brave" this summer. Twice. It was worth it, as I wrote here.


  1. Something I've also done is post to a local board about a movie that I NEED (Last year my kids HAD to see Tinker Bell) but don't want to spend $20 on. I traded Toy Story II for it - and we were both happy.

    If you want to borrow The Incredibles or Madeline or Tangled, I've got those too. But you can't have them, just borrow. So there.

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE the library. Books, music, and MOVIES!! I take stuff out all the time.

  3. Mary Poppins is a favorite with all of our kids.

    I love borrowing because I don't have to keep them at my house. Less stuff is always a good thing!

  4. Mom's who drink and swear turned me on to your blog. I'm a single mother of a 20 and 16 yr old. I just wanted to thank you for allowing me to remember those 'precious, magical' days when my kids were 'children'. We used to have quite the collection of Disney and other children's films. The saddest day of my life; 2 yrs ago at a yard sale we were having, listening to my daughter (the oldest) haggle with a young mother over the price of 10 movies we had. They are (almost) grown, so with the sale of those movies, I said good-bye to the last echoes of their youth. Hold on to every moment, they are but flashes of a life that passes ever too quickly. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  5. We love getting books from the library, but our library has a TWO DAY dvd rental policy, and charges a dollar per day after that. So I always end up owing them a bunch of money. They should name the newly-renovated bathrooms after me.


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