Monday, October 24, 2011

Somewhere Out There (from An American Tail)

Towards the beginning of my freshmen year of college I told my mom that I had a cold. She then proceeded to call me every day, multiple times a day checking up on me. I remember getting really annoyed at my mom and slightly frustrated. I felt like I was an adult and that she didn’t need to worry about me.

Then one time she called worrying about something that I felt was irrational and I got frustrated with her and told her that I didn’t need her to worry about me and she responded “Of course I worry about you, it’s my job.”

Your mom worrying about you is one of the greatest blessing you will ever have your life. Whether you realize it or not, the knowledge that she is out there thinking about you and loving you is what gives connects you to your mom and the world knowing that you are never alone.

“Somewhere Out There” from the 1986, Spielberg produced film is about this feeling.


An American Tail - Somewhere Out There from kojihoon on Vimeo.

During a time when Disney’s animated features were mediocre, Spielberg took a shot at created an animated feature and the result was an immigration story that spoke to the hopes and struggles of the immigrant experience of the 1880s.

The film follows the Mousekewitzes, a family of Russian Jews who immigrate to American. During the journey, the son Fievel becomes separated from the family.  The film follows the families' struggle to find each other while surviving in a new country.

“Somewhere Out There” is a duet between Fievel and his sister Tanya, in which they sing about their hopes of finding each other. It features the “somewhere” motif, the leaping melodic shape on that word also featured in “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” which expresses a longing before the melody gently descendes.

One of the strengths of this film is that the voice actors for the kids songs like, well, kids and this is also true for the singing of ‘Somewhere Out There.” Yeah, it’s a little rough but it's cute and feels more real then singing it with perfect technique and clarity.

Fievel is lost in New York City. Think about that for a second. That would be scary today as an adult, now imagine that as a kid in the 1880s. But he’s hopeful because as the song reminds him, “someone’s thinking of me and loving me tonight.”

When things are going fine, you may not think you need to be reminded your mom is out there worrying about you.  But when you have a moment in your life when you feel lost and lonely knowing that your mom is out there really makes the worlds seem not as scary.  As Fievel sings “it helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky.

Nagging phone calls and e-mails are more than worth enduring to be reminded of how much your mom cares about you. Don’t try to argue that she’s being silly or irrational and don’t give her some sarcastic remark, she’s not trying to make your life harder or more inconvenient, she just cares.

So next time your mom calls you and expresses concern about something going on in your life, just say “thank you for thinking of me” and ensure her that you’ll be careful no matter how irrational her worry may be.

She’s just doing her job.

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