Wednesday, November 20, 2013

More About Your Name

I made the terrible mistake of watching "Up" on TV tonight. It was either that or "Waters of Mars" and I thought this would make me cry less. Fortunately, I missed the really tough first 20 minutes. I did, however, have to endure the "thanks for the adventure; now go find your own" scene. This led me to an epiphany: we didn't choose the name Ellie to name you after a character. Granted, she's a hoot...

...who's filled with big dreams.

She's also a strong woman...

...who knows how to be graceful and tough simultaneously.

I even found this description of the character a while back:
In under 4 minutes Pixar created a brilliant imaginative positive super fun role model for children everywhere. She is proactive, engaged in the world, exploring on her own terms, inviting others to join adventures in her clubhouse with minds wide open. 

Ellie is unencumbered by ideological baggage, social conventions, burkas or glass ceilings. She is 1,000 percent: Center of Action. Her mind is alive and she is animated by it. 

There is no excuse for not being inundated with such female characters. Ellie should be the norm. Instead role models for girls -- particularly in children's animation -- are virtually non-existant. That is the result of decisions which can easily change.

Maybe the concern has been young boys not being interested in films about princesses and fairies. Fine. Ellie is the girl every single guy has fallen in love with, some of us over and over and over again. Guys dream Ellies. Dads will take their children to see movies with all sorts of female characters embodying Ellie's fun, proactive, inviting spirit. She is a phenomenon. A precious archetype. She is the embodiment of a philosophy which must be woven into the fabric of culture worldwide -- and ultimately the reason some of us believe in the power of Art.

Ellie is a MIRACLE.

It is conceivable Ellie may become the most important character Pixar ever creates. We need more Ellies, less excuses.
I wish I could remember the source.

Yes, Ellie is a great character. But for me and your daddy, Ellie isn't about the character, it's about love. I know it's just a silly movie, and your mommy is being pretty cheesy, but this movie is oddly a very important part of the story of Mommy and Daddy. We got engaged while we were up in the air, and then I walked down the aisle to the theme from this movie. Ellie means love to us - love for another person, love for life, and even love for a persistent goofy dog. To us, this is what the world is all about, and you're the next chapter for us in that world. I hope that someday you'll be able to understand the gravity of love; I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it.