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Mickey Mouse, Foul-Tempered Giant Rodent

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Steamboat Willie was the official debut of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and frankly I never paid much attention to it until now. So what actually happens in this classic short film? Mickey Mouse tortures a series of animals, synchronized with wacky music. Yeah, there's some stuff about Mickey's conflict with Captain Pete and his relationship with Minnie, but what jumps out here is that Mickey is serially trapping and torturing a bunch of animals. Wikipedia's plot synopsis discusses this (emphasis added):

...Landing on deck, Minnie accidentally drops a guitar and some sheet music for the song "Turkey in the Straw" which are eaten by a goat. The two mice use the goat's body as a phonograph which they play by turning the animal's tail like a crank. Mickey uses various objects on the boat as percussion accompaniment and "plays" the animals like musical instruments.

Finally Captain Pete appears and puts Mickey to work peeling potatoes. In the potato bin, the same parrot from before appears in the port hole and mocks Mickey again. The mouse throws a partially peeled potato at him, knocking him into the river below. The film ends with Mickey laughing at the sound of the bird struggling in the water.

Um. Wow. In this recut of the cartoon, Steamboat Willie is mixed with Philip Glass's opening score from my favorite art film, Koyaanisqatsi. In this new cut, we learn that Mickey Mouse is a foul-tempered mouse-giant who takes out his anger on barnyard animals. Watch and be totally freaked out.

So what's the deal here? In this alternate universe, can we presume that Mickey and Minnie have been freakishly enlarged by some means, and are now using that advantage to take revenge on his formerly larger animal compatriots? Seems like it to me.

See also: Echoes of Koyaanisqatsi; Why Isn't Mickey Mouse in the Public Domain?; and 10 Things You Didn't Know About Mickey Mouse.

(Via MetaFilter.)

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MGM Home Entertainment
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entertainment
The Beatles’s Yellow Submarine Is Returning to Theaters for Its 50th Anniversary
MGM Home Entertainment
MGM Home Entertainment

The Beatles are coming! The Beatles are coming!

In early 1968, at the height of Beatlemania, The Fab Four lent their voices—and visages—to Yellow Submarine, a somewhat strange and slightly surreal animated film, purportedly for children, which saw the band travel to Pepperland aboard the titular watercraft in order to save the land from the music-hating Blue Meanies. (Hey, we said it was strange.)

Though it would be another year before the film’s iconic soundtrack was released, 2018 marks the film’s 50th anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, Pitchfork reports that the psychedelic cartoon will be making its way back into theaters in July with a brand-new 4K digital restoration and a surround sound remix, to have it looking—and sounding—pristine.

To find out where it will be screening near you, visit the film’s website, where you can sign up for updates.

[h/t: Pitchfork]

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DESIREE MARTIN, AFP/Getty Images
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science
Stephen Hawking's Big Ideas, Made Simple
DESIREE MARTIN, AFP/Getty Images
DESIREE MARTIN, AFP/Getty Images

On March 14, 2018, visionary physicist Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76. You know his name, and may have even watched a biopic or two about him. But if you've ever wondered what specifically Hawking's big contributions to science were, and you have two and a half minutes to spare, the animation below is for you. It's brief, easy to understand, and gets to the point with nice narration by Alok Jha. So here, in a very brief and simple way, are some of Stephen Hawking's big ideas:

If you have more than a few minutes, we heartily recommend Hawking's classic book A Brief History of Time. It's easy to read, and it's truly brief.

[h/t: Open Culture]

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