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Kye and I watched Guillermo del Torro's Pinocchio the other night. It will stand as one of the greatest achievements in filmmaking, just watch. It's stunning and affecting, a reinvention of the classic children's tale, one that in the end refuses to reward conformity but rather independence of thought and action--a message more desperately needed today than in any other time in human history. Going along and getting along is literally destroying this planet as I write this. Not rocking the boat is as well. More than ever, our species' survival needs rebels and boatrockers, people unwilling to settle for the status quo or weepy for a rose-tinted past that never existed. Pinocchio has been nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar, but that, as many commentators have said, is nowhere near enough recognition. It should be a solid contender for the Best Picture Oscar *period,* end of discussion. That it isn't is just more evidence that these awards are fatally corrupted. That's hardly news to Asian, Black, or Indigenous filmmakers. I'm sure animators feel the same way, and rightfully so.
Queen Walmar Seburbia is determined to kill six heroes she has foreseen can destroy her. Three are in one universe; three are in another. Her weapon is a powerful Vortex Cannon, and her ammunition is none other than the Muse itself, who goes by the name Zappee. She has weaponized Zappee, filling the Conductor of Dreams with so much energy that Zappee will spawn fatal heart attacks in the heroes once fired at them.
Zappee tries to warn her not to go through with such a dangerous and cruel plan, but the queen isn't listening. She lights the Cannon and fires the Muse into the sky. The Conductor of Dreams splits into two universes, striking six unfortunate chests a moment later.