Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Wake up to yourself, Jeff

Every once in a while, a movie comes along that redefines how you see the world. The Wiggles Movie is just such a movie… if you’re under 2.

My son, The Dude, is under 2. And The Wiggles Movie has rocked his tiny spinning world.

I purchased this, the most accomplished work in the whole Wiggles oeuvre, while Wifey and I were down the coast last weekend. Got up at 6:30 while Wifey languished under the covers and discreetly slipped the tape into the VCR. It was recorded in long-play mode and wouldn't play on this machine.


So there I am just before 8 am in Bateman’s Bay Woolworths pushing The Dude in a shopping trolley as he clutches The Wiggles Movie in his vegemited fingers. I tried to push other titles in front of his button nose. Finding Nemo, now’s that gotta be worth a look. See! A turtle! And a fish! A fish I tells ya! But one look at the spine of That Movie and he was not for turning.

In fact, it proved to be such a winner that he insisted on carrying the video case with him all day. One hand to pat kangaroos on Pebbly Beach, one hand to grasp plastic.

I’ve now seen That Movie about 5 times which is more than I’ve seen just about any other feature film. It’s been feeding my non-stop search for insight into the hidden machinations of the Wiggles clan. I can’t stop thinking about them, I see them so frigging much. And I wonder what makes them tick.

When the opening credits roll, straight away I notice that the producer is one Hilton Fatt who must be related to Asian Purple Wiggle Jeff (Fatt, obviously). How did he (she?) get that gig? Was it pure nepostism? Or did he earn his stripes doing the hard yards at the coal face in the school of hard knocks?

That attractive background dancer has appeared in more than one Wiggles flick. Is she having a relatioship with one of the Wiggles? With more than one of the Wiggles? At the same time? In the same room?

I learn a lot from the credits as they roll past my eyes for the 60th time and I find myself wondering again and again about Paul Paddick. Paddick plays the meaty role of Captain Feathersword. Lots of face-time, lots of lines but all of them as second fiddle to the Fab Four. The credits tell me he also often plays the role of Wags the dog: hidden from sight under an animal suit without lines, only the silent howl of a mischevious canine buffoon. Is this the Wiggles putting Paddick in his place? The kids may love you as the Captain, with your sea-borne japery and your pirate jigs but you’ll always be a dog to us.

Wake up to yourself, Jeff. Paddick wants your job. He has a feathersword with your name on it.

Later this week, more on the Wiggles Movie: The Dude may love it but I find the narrative unsatisfying and overtly schematic. Can't wait!

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