Magical Stories

In 2008, a tiny piece I wrote about my love for The Wizard of Oz was published on NPR’s In Character series. I still love children’s stories, though in a different way and for different reasons.

Some adults aren’t interested in anything for children. You can find a number of essays lamenting adults reading YA, and in this summer’s Making It (a show I thoroughly enjoy) Amy Poehler insisted she did not like Halloween because it is for children. Fair enough. I don’t see it that way, and I like Poehler, but if she wants to miss out on Halloween, I’m sure she still has a full and fun life. (Seems like having POE in her name is a lost opportunity, but okay.)

I can sympathize with fears of adults refusing to grow up or the problems of adults taking over children’s spaces. And when I tell people I like fantasy and sci-fi, I sometimes hear, “That’s for children.” This reveals a profound lack of knowledge of fantasy and sci-fi, but if a story doesn’t speak to you, it doesn’t speak to you.

Last night, I watched Over the Garden Wall. It’s a children’s cartoon but it’s more than that, and it is a perfect series for the month of October, when we head to the time when the veil between this world and the next is thin. Though this trailer won’t tell you much, maybe it’ll capture your attention. It’s weird and magical and nostalgic.

Another animated series for children that is fantastical and a joy for the month of October is Hilda. I binged watched in the midst of the pandemic and election nightmare. Yes, that’s escapism, but why is wanting to escape such a bad thing?

I make art while these and other magical shows play in the background. They lighten my mood and inspire me. A fun story is a fun story after all.

So watch your gritty horror, and maybe, just maybe, take a break for something that delights.

Can you suggest any other such gems? I’d love to hear about them.

Thanks for reading!

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