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1982

Movies

Muffy is humming and rolling a flat can along the counter in the children's department. Jodie asks what's in the can, and Muffy answers that inside she has Jodie, Jeff and Sam. Jodie is puzzled until she reads the title on the can, "Muffy's Musical Movie," she remembers Muffy taking movies of them singing and dancing. Muffy is sending it to a mouse movie festival and hopes to win a prize there, so Jodie puts the can back on the counter and Muffy begins to roll it again, ready to send it today in the mail. Off it rolls! They run after it but can't find it. Jodie comforts Muffy with the hope that Sam will find it, and tells us that if we see Sam we should tell him to bring back Muffy's film can.

We see the can rolling right by Sam's feet, but when we tell him about Muffy's film can, he can't reach it before it rolls towards the elevator. Sam tries to get Jeff to catch it but it goes between Jeff's legs and goes onto the elevator. On another floor, the can rolls off of the elevator and up onto some boxes in a hallway.

Sam and Jeff report back to the children's department that they've searched everywhere but can't find Muffy's film. Jodie suggests to Muffy that she make another movie since she still has the movie camera. Muffy says she'll try but she has taken the book which helped her to make the movie properly back to the library. She may have forgotten a lot about how a movie is made.

Jeff says she knows more than he does, because he doesn't even know what a movie is. Jodie tells him it is like a picture taken with a still camera except the movie camera's pictures move and talk. Just like television, except, as Sam says, you have to go to a special place to see most movies. Jeff thinks it sounds like fun. He wonders what happens at a movie, and Jodie, Sam and Muffy tell him in song. Soon Jeff gets the idea and joins them to sing about what happens "At the Movies".

Next the mime lady demonstrates the different ways people move, since movies are pictures that move. She demonstrates the difference between walking and running. TXL tells her she can stop running now, but the mime lady shakes her head. She's in a race, and a turtle is gaining on her! The little turtle soon passes her as she runs in place.

In the computer room, TXL reports to Sam that she can't find Muffy's movie either. Sam is sorry he won't see himself on the big screen. TXL laments that no one has ever asked her to be in a movie either, so Sam takes a still picture of her. (She displays a smile on her monitor.) He explains that he keeps the camera in the computer room to take pictures of Penelope. Penelope isn't very cooperative, however, she doesn't like having her picture taken. He remembers one time when his neighbor, a young girl named Susan tried to take her picture.

We see this incident in still shots, with Robyn Hayle narrating as the voice of Penelope. Afterwards Sam shows us the picture she took and then is startled to see he is being filmed by Muffy. Muffy tells him to pretend she's not there, but Sam is very nervous and his voice shakes as he introduces a quiz. TXL is excited about her part, which will be showing the quiz, but Sam barely gets out his line, "Time for a quiz!"

The first time, he scratches his nose. Next try is, "Quez for a time!" Then, "Crime for a tis!"

"Nervous nanny goats!" he says in frustration. "Here's a quiz!"


Meanwhile, Muffy is coaching Jodie on how to act a scene about a highly dramatic situation, (to a mouse, that is), which is that all the cheese is gone. "Oh, I'm sad, I'm so sad, all the cheese is gone!" Jodie says with a big smile on her face. Muffy tells her if her words are sad her face and body should be sad, too. Her next try is so good, Jeff thinks she's really sad and tries to comfort her. Jodie suggests Jeff join her for the scene. This time Sam interrupts their act. "There are certainly a lot of sad people around here today."

"Now we've ruined another part, once again we'll have to start." Sam joins in on the next take, rather stiffly. They all deliver the lines together, and Muffy goes off to finish her movie.

Jodie suggests they show Jeff what happens when they go to a real movie, and we see Jodie and Sam's visit to see a movie at the local movie theatre. The marquee reads, "Today's Special: Clive and the Cowboys." They pay different prices for the ticket because Sam gets a senior citizen discount. Inside Sam buys some popcorn for both of them and then they find some seats. Sam's view is soon blocked by someone who sits in front of him. They try moving over, but then another man sits in front of him. Jodie solves the problem by letting Sam sit on her handbag. Now Sam's happy and ready to watch the movie. "C'mon Clive!" he calls to the screen.

Sam remembers fondly how much he enjoyed the movie and the popcorn. That gives Jodie an idea. She'll make some popcorn for them all to eat while they watch Muffy's movie. Sam goes off, too, to do his rounds.

Now Jeff is alone in the children's department, so he starts to daydream about what it would be like to be a movie star, to play a detective or a cowboy. He imagines himself in his dressing room and sings, "Movie star, movie star, look at me, I can be a movie star . . . " First he dances in an overcoat and hat next to a picture of Humphrey Bogart, carrying a big magnifying glass. Next he dances in a space costume next to a picture of Darth Vader. Finally he is a dancing cowboy, pretending to ride a horse and rope a steer, next to a picture of a cowboy. Still imagining, he leaves his dressing room, which has a big star on the door.

In the computer room, Muffy previews her movie on TXL's small screen. It starts with shots of Jeff walking around whistling, but suddenly he speeds up and slows down for no reason. Next a shot of Jeff and Sam runs much too fast. Then everyone is upside down in another shot (Jeff stands on his hands and now appears right side up!). Muffy realizes that her movie hasn't come out too well, since she no longer has the instruction book. TXL suggests a quiz to cheer her up.

We see the mime lady again, and TXL tells us to guess what she is doing. She is obviously lifting something, and it appears to be something very heavy, but then it turns out to be a feather! The mime lady has tricked us, and next uses the feather to tickle us.

Jeff is in the hallway now, rolling a rack full of dresses into a corner right near to where Muffy's film can landed earlier. We eagerly try to get him to look behind the dresses for Muffy's film. He does, and finally, Muffy's movie is found!

Next the gang is in a mini theatre getting ready to see Muffy's movie. A drawing of Muffy appears on the screen, and Jeff asks, "How can you be in this movie when you're also making it?"

"Once I got the camera started, in front of it I quickly darted!" Muffy explains.

The movie is introduced by Sam. "All the world's a stage, or in some cases a movie . . ." In the audience, Sam says the words along with his movie image. After the introduction, we see Jeff, Jodie, Muffy and Sam singing and dancing in many different costumes.

When it's over, everyone claps. "I'll bet you win first prize!" Sam says. Jeff is thrilled. It was just like being at the real movies!

"That's why they say anything can happen at the movies!" Jodie says. They all sing again about all the fun "At the Movies," and Sam and Jeff dance out of the theatre in one direction while Muffy and Jodie dance out the other way.


Quizzes:

  • TXL shows a picture of several animals watching a movie, and invites us to name each one.

Nursery Rhyme:

  • The Lion and the Unicorn

Notes:

  • Muffy's musical movie is mostly a scene from 1981's "Costumes".
  • Jeff and Jodie seem to be especially amused by a shot of Jodie dancing a "highland reel" in full Scottish dress.
  • The title of the movie Jeff and Jodie see is "Clive and the Cowboys," my best guess is that this is the name of producer Clive VanderBurgh and his musical group, which is also referred to in "Sleep" and "Records".
  • Muffy's film can does some incredible things, rolling off an elevator and having enough momentum to jump up on top of some boxes. The shot, evidently, is a shot of the film can bouncing down the boxes, run backwards.
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