Today’s Awesome Google Doodle: Bonne Nuit Les Petits

Who remembers this awesome cartoon we used to watch when we were kids?

Bonne nuit les petits Marchand de Sable Google Doodle


“Bonne Nuit Les Petits” was the last thing my parents let me watch before ordering me off to bed when I was little. Time has changed – bedtime is no longer pre-news 8 pm these days. For those who don’t remember, the series portrayed two siblings:┬áNicolas and Pimprenelle who were visited by le Marchand de sable (the merchant of sand) just before bedtime as he told them moral stories before sprinkling sand over them as they went to bed.

Well, today’s Google Doodle makes me miss the simpler days of being a worry-less child.

Al Manar’s Anti-Jews Brainwashing

While reading an article by Beirut Report about how local media handled the recent Beirut fire, nothing struck me as much as a screencap that was taken of something Al Manar TV was broadcasting – a cartoon for kids.

The picture showed a bad-looking man, with a chef hat, roasting a chicken. The chef hat had the Star of David symbol on it.

Now I have to ask. I was under the impression that Hezbollah, who obviously owns Al Manar, timidly asked people to differentiate between a Jew and a zionist. How is this calling for that?

The Star of David is not a zionist symbol, it’s a religious Jewish symbol similar to the Crescent for Muslims and the Cross for Christians. Having that symbol in a cartoon aimed at young kids helps them learn that Jews are not their enemy how?

What’s worse, I’m pretty certain that parents who let their children watch such a thing approve of the ideology being disseminated. How despicable. When will Hezbollah and co know that Jews are not Lebanon’s enemies?

The sad thing is that we have a Jewish community in Lebanon that’s becoming more afraid and secluded by the day and things like this can only mean the path will get worse for them. When will Hezbollah know that Lebanese Jews have as much a right of existing freely and without fear as their Shiite followers?

I remember when I was a kid, our cartoon of choice was something on the Disney channel, Pokemon or Digimon. How about Al Manar shows the kids those stuff instead? Oh wait, I’m sure there’s a zionist mentality there somehow. My bad. Let’s teach kids how all Jews are killing us instead.


Rango – Movie Review

Rango starts when a pet chameleon (Johnny Depp), after trying to orchestrate a very fancy looking play with a plastic fish and beheaded doll, gets stranded in the Mojave desert after he falls from his owner’s car. There, the chameleon (who is still nameless at this point), dazed and confused narrowly avoids getting killed by a hawk. Then, the chameleon meets an iguana named Beans (Isla Fisher) who takes him to the desert town: Dirt.

In Dirt, the chameleon finds the opportunity to be whatever he wants. He chooses to be Rango, a westerner marksman, and moments later, when the hawk comes back to terrorize the town, Rango kills him by firing a lucky shot that gets an empty water tower to squash the hawk.

However, soon after their arrival to Dirt, Beans discovers that the water reserves are dangerously low, which prompts her to ask Rango, who gets appointed sheriff, to investigate the matter. Rango undertakes her request and as the movie progresses, you find out the water issue is more complex and twisted than any of them first imagined: control the water and you control everything.

Rango is not your typical animated movie. It is definitely not something for the kids. After all, how many times do you hear the words “prostate exam”, “I’m ready to mate” and so on in a cartoon? The movie is a celebration of everything that is Western. There’s even a Clint Eastwood sort of appearance, just to top it all.

Johnny Depp is brilliant as the voice of Rango. The chameleon who embodies many personalities, depending on how he sees fit, needed an actor as versatile to give him life. And Johnny Depp does not fail at this. He plays well on screen with Isla Fisher, who has come a long way from being a shopaholic, with her impeccable western accent.

Director Gore Verbinski, known mostly for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, strings this movie together as an overall tribute to the western genre. There are hints from many famous western movies in Rango that anyone who’s a fan of the genre would pick up. Add to that the brilliant work of Hans Zimmer on the score, as well as screenwriter John Logan, and the movie becomes a very strong movie overall.

Rango is not a very pretty movie in the sense that animated movies are almost always aimed at providing audiences with a cute looking hero/heroin before anything else. Here, even the good people are cringe-worthy when it comes to the cuteness element, which goes to show how much the creators of Rango did not waver in them wanting to make an animated movie that’s not addressed to a particular audience, but one that fit their vision. Rango is a movie with many firsts. This the animators’ first animated movie and the director’s first animated movie as well. But you don’t feel that it’s a movie of firsts when you watch it because everyone involved gives it their all to make it as good as it could be. And yes, it is good.