These Creepy Theories Will Make You Question Your Favorite Kids’ Movies

(Youtube/ScreenRant)

Conspiracies makes kids movies scarier than ever

As anyone parent knows, children are creepy AF.

They sneak into your room in the middle of the night just to silently stare at you, willing you to wake up and let them get into your bed. Or else they scream bloody murder because a sticker is on the bottom of their foot.

Either way, they are walking heart attacks, and those are just the normal ones. What about the ones in movies? Not even horror movies, but kids’ movies. That’s right. Kids’ movies are twisted.

Screen Rant put together a little video that highlights the creepiest theories about the kids in some of your, and your own kids’, favorite movies. You’ll never look at them the same way again!

The video includes clear sociopaths like Kevin McAllister in Home Alone – the video posits that Home Alone is the origin story of Jigsaw, the sadistic killer from Saw who relies on baroque contraptions to murder his victims.

Fun theory, except have you seen Macaulay Culkin lately? He’s much scarier, and he’s real!


via GIPHY

The video somehow manages to make the Toy Story series even more existentially depressing, carries that over to Wall-E, and then delves into a theory that Nemo in Finding Nemo is actually dead, and is just a manifestation of his father’s grief, thus ensuring that the Pixar movies are this generation’s Faces of Death.

The theories are fun, but I’m not sure why we need to darken these children’s movies when there are already tons of terrifying children’s movies to watch! Like the third movie in the aforementioned Toy Story series. Toy Story 3 is like the Schindler’s List of children’s movies. I lost 10 pounds just watching it.

Back in the day, when we were kids, there was no shortage of terrifying flicks that were ostensibly for us but were, in reality, nightmare factories. When’s the last time you watched The Dark Crystal? How about Gremlins? I recently showed my kid Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and halfway through I started watching the door, expecting child services to burst in.


via GIPHY

Nowadays it’s mostly Disney and Pixar that have our kids by the balls, and harebrained theories from that video aside, most of them are pretty tame (especially if dead parents don’t faze you!) They have their fair share of death to keep things lively, but they’re a lot more touchy-feely. Even the Avengers movies lack a bit of an edge. Then again, the DC movies try to be nothing BUT edge and they’re terrible AF so I’m not entirely sure what I’m bitching about.

Keep doing what you’re doing, Hollywood! Tomorrow’s children are just going to pirate your stuff anyway.

ScreenTime: Kung Fu Panda Watch #1 Vs. Watch #183

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

ScreenTime is a recurring column where Matt McC reviews the movies and shows his daughter forces him to watch.

First impressions aren’t everything. Sometimes a movie’s inner beauty reveals itself only after a rewatch or two. To that end, here are two reviews of the Dreamworks Animated feature Kung Fu Panda, separated by six months and 182 viewings.

Kung Fu Panda Review: Watch #1, May 3, 2017

Kung Fu Panda is the story of Po, a young panda and kung fu fan voiced by Jack Black. After an accident causes him to be picked as the legendary Dragon Warrior, he has to leave his father’s noodle shop and train with kung fu legends The Furious Five in order to fulfill his destiny of defeating the evil tiger Tai Lung.

It’s a simple tale of overcoming adversity and learning to play to your strengths. It is told strongly with a concise script and competent direction. Much of the humor may be a little too slapstick for adults but excellent voice work from an all-star cast makes even the silliest gags land nicely. An okay film that kept my daughter entertained, but not substantial enough to be worth a rewatch.

Kung Fu Panda Review: Watch #183, November 2, 2017

Iconic New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael notoriously only ever watched movies once. As she once told famed author Francis Davis, “I’m astonished when I talk to really good critics, who… will see a film eight or ten or twelve times. I don’t see how they can do it without hating the movie.”

Those critics, however, would surely argue that the artistry of a great film cannot be appreciated in a single viewing, that in order to fully appreciate such a film, one must devote themselves to it, to learn to live and to breathe it. This is why I watch 2008’s Kung Fu Panda every single night of the week.

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

Every evening, entirely of my own volition, without anyone prompting me or screaming “PAAAADDDAAAAAA” so loudly the neighbors call animal control, I sit down with a select audience and a bowl of dry cheerios to enjoy one of the decade’s foremost animated Jack Black performances.

The Profundity Of Small Moments

Kael, sadly, did not live to witness this stirring tale of the rotund panda who, against all odds, became a kung fu legend. If she had, she would no doubt have been entranced by Po’s antics, and swept up in the grand arc of his story. She may even have had time to appreciate the aesthetic beauty of shots such as this one, during Tai Lung’s thrilling escape.

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

But she would not, in a single viewing, have been able to appreciate the transcendental hilarity of this scene, in which Po smashes his face against a wall. A scene which has never failed to produce peals of laughter from the audience at every single one of my nightly screenings.

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

Kael’s viewing may have allowed her to appreciate the subtle thematic foreshadowing in this transition, where Tai Lung’s shadow briefly darkens the entirety of the Valley of Peace before fading into memory.

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

But it is only after multiple viewings that one begins to understand what it is that compels audiences world-wide, upon seeing this flashback of an infant Tai Lung training with his new master, to yell, “BABY LION, DADDY! SEE? SEE?”

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

A Reverie of Obsession


It is not surprising that “Padda” rewards such dedication: it is a film about dedication, about obsession, about loving something so much it’s all you think and dream about. When Po yells “I love Kung Fuuuuuuuu,” it comes after a montage depicting the lengths to which he’ll go for a glimpse of his obsession. When we yell it along with him, it comes after what feels like a lifetime of staring at the object of ours.

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

It is thus extremely fitting that a movie that opens with the lushly-rendered dream of an infatuated fan should inspire such love that fans of all ages begin their day by screaming, “WATCH PADDA. WATCH PADDA NOW!!!” before they’ve even fully opened their eyes.

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

A Life of Love

Some may be content to experience Kung Fu Panda fleetingly, to watch once, then move on. But true joy can be found in a deeper experience, in immersing yourself in “Padda” day after day, even when you don’t want to, even when you’re exhausted, or pissed off, or bored out of your damn mind. Profound insights come when you dedicate your life to something, and rededicate yourself to it every single day. After all, isn’t that what love is?

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

Four-Year-Old Boy Steals Great-Grandfather’s SUV to Score Candy

4yo Drives SUV to Get Candy
(YouTube/CBS 17)

Ever have a serious craving for some Reese’s peanut butter cups? Totally. Who hasn’t?

Ever steal your great-grandfather’s Hyundai Santa Fe to go on a candy run? No? Well, buckle up!

A 4-year-old Minnesota boy named Sebastian did just that recently, diving the stolen SUV over a mile during morning rush hour traffic to a local gas station, all in search of peanut butter cups. Luckily, this story has a happy ending as no one, aside from a few mailboxes, was injured during the candy caper.

The mischievous youngster used his great grandfather’s walker to reach the keys, sneaking off without anyone noticing. His eyes barely able to see over the wheel, Sebastian made his way down several side streets before making it to University Avenue, a major roadway in the middle of busy morning drive time. Witnesses reported seeing the vehicle traveling erratically, rarely exceeding 15 miles per hour.

Eventually, Sebastian made it to the local SpeedWay where police arrived shortly after.

“We laugh about it, but it could’ve been very serious,” Sebastian’s great-grandfather Roy Becker told news station KMSP. “He could’ve hit a car. He wasn’t wearing a seat belt. We could be talking about a funeral.”

“I’ve never seen a driver this young before operating a vehicle,” Capt. Mark Boerboom told the TV station. Thanks to no serious injuries or property damage, most are able to joke about it now, however, all involved say parents need to be aware of how quickly things like this can happen.

The family says they now plan to lock up all car keys for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps they should consider a few packages of Reese’s in the freezer too… just in case.

Microsoft Unveils Next-Gen Console: Project Scarlett

(YouTube/Xbox)

Microsoft is finally unveiling details regarding its upcoming console that will compete against the PlayStation 5 and Google’s Stadia Service. This high-end console, codenamed Project Scarlett, will reportedly output 4 times more power than their current powerhouse, the Xbox One X, and “usher in resolution and framerates we’ve never seen before.”

This new project will be powerful enough to support ray-tracing (an advanced graphics rendering technique), variable refresh rate support, and up to 120fps in gameplay. It will also support 8k gaming (though, it might be harder getting your hands on a TV that will support 8k, honestly).

Like the PS5, Project Scarlett is utilizing a solid state drive (SSD) to help boost the console’s performance.

“We’ve created a new generation of SSDs. We’re using the SSD as virtual RAM,” says an Xbox spokesperson in their unveiling video.

This will result in a console that is up to 40 times faster than the current generation, cutting loading times to a fraction of what they currently are. (You’re welcome, players of massive RPGs)

Of course, new consoles are dead in the water without quality games to release with them, which is why Microsoft is making everyone knows that Halo Infinite will be launching alongside it. Hopefully, couch co-op is including this time around. [biggest side-eye ever to 343 Industries]

As with the PS5, we don’t have actual specs of what the physical Project Scarlet console will look like yet, but be on the lookout for updates in the coming months, especially when next year’s E3 rolls around.

Robin Williams’ Son Zak Pays Tribute to Dad With Naming of Firstborn

McLaurin Clement Williams
(Instagram/zeldawilliams)

Everyone loved Robin Williams, his energy, spontaneity, and unbridled creativity thrilled stand-up audiences, TV viewers, and moviegoers alike for decades. It was a tragedy and something of a shock to the general public when the legendary comedian took his own life.

When Robin Williams committed suicide five years ago, the world lost one of it’s brightest, most joyful presences. The loss we feel, of course, is nothing compared to what his family had to endure, including his eldest son Zak Williams.

 

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You’re a grown man now and I’m so proud of you. A little bit of you will always be my “Mr Pym”. Happy Birthday, @zakpym!

A post shared by therobinwilliams (@therobinwilliams) on

On May 22nd, via an exclusive report from People, Zak and his fiancee Olivia Williams welcome their first child, and Zak paid tribute to his late father with the name they chose. The 8lb baby is named McLaurin Clement Williams, which might not sound like a tribute to Robin until you learn that the unique “McLaurin” was Zak’s father’s middle name.

Zak’s sister, Robin’s daughter Zelda, posted photos of her nephew on Instagram, in which she reveals that McLaurin will go by “Mickey.”

Zak is an entrepreneur, but after his father took his own life, his son became a staunch mental health advocate as well. In the aftermath of his father’s death, when the actor, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it was revealed that some of his symptoms were also a result of diffuse Lewy body dementia.

In an excerpt from a biography of his father, printed in Vanity Fair after his dad’s passing, Zak expressed regret over not spending more time with Robin in those final few months

I’m kicking myself for not visiting him during that time. Because I think that was a very lonely period for him. In retrospect, I feel like I should have been there, spending time with him. Because someone who needs support was not getting the support he needed.

With the birth of his son and the use of McLaurin as his son’s name, Zak is paying sweet tribute to his father.

Clever Ad Campaign Recreates Iconic Living Rooms With IKEA Furniture

IKEA Recreates Famous Rooms
(IKEA)

We’ve all done it. We’ve all sat around watching TV and wondered how the characters can afford their lavish apartment. A group of twenty-somethings living in a pair of Manhattan apartments with spacious living rooms, multiple bedrooms, and full-sized kitchens? In this economy?

You probably guessed that I’m talking specifically about “Friends,” the classic 90s sitcom that was the poster-child from unrealistic real estate expectations. It simply didn’t make sense, certainly not to anyone who’s lived in NYC anytime in the past 30 years, that an often unemployed chef, a masseuse, and a waitress at a coffee shop could afford the rent, let alone stylishly furnish their sprawling apartment.

Unless they shopped at IKEA. Which still would have cost them. But how much?

The Swedish furniture manufacturer, notorious for its own sprawling spaces, cheap prices, and mind-bending instruction manuals decided to help us out. They recreated Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel’s village apartment entirely out of items in their catalog. Complete with prices! (Although in foreign currency.)

The recreation is part of a brilliant ad campaign IKEA United Emirates called “Real Life Series”, which was dreamed up by Publicis Spain. The “Friends” living room isn’t the only one they put together. They also recreated Joyce Byers’ home, including the alphabet wall, from “Stranger Things.”

They didn’t rebuild the Upside-Down version of the room (IKEA is not LEGO), but for their third room, they chose a place just as surreal: the Simpsons’ family room, home of the couch gag.

I don’t know that I’ve ever wondered about the cost of the iconic Simpson’s couch, but kudos to Publicis Spain and IKEA for running with this clever campaign. Now you have all the information you need to model your own home after your favorite fictional family and “Friends.”

Just don’t count on being able to fit it all, especially if you live in Manhattan.

Teacher Brings Clippers on Graduation Day to Give Students Free Haircuts

Teacher Robert Dunham Gives Grad Haircuts
(WTVR/Dionyah Randolph)

Being a teacher often comes with extra responsibilities not listed in the job description. Besides educating our youngest minds, many teachers are also the only other adults our kids interact with on a daily basis. That often means looking out for not just their mental wellbeing, but their emotional and physical health as well.

So on June 12th, as his 5th-grade class prepared for their “Moving on” ceremony, Robert Dunham did as many teachers do each day: went above and beyond. The first year elementary educator woke up with a feeling his kids may need a little extra TLC on such a momentous occasion.

“I just had this gut feeling that some of my boys weren’t going to be able to get a haircut, so I instinctively picked up the clippers,” Dunham told Yahoo. “My wife says to me ‘where you going with those clippers?’ and I said ‘something tells me some of my students are going to need a trim.’” Dunham is no stranger to barbershops. His father who had raised the family in Brooklyn owned a chain of barbershops where Dunham picked up the trade.

As his students began arriving at school that day, Dunham knew his initial instincts were correct. He took out the clippers and began trimming, one kid after another. Word spread quickly around Carver Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia, and soon other teachers caught wind of Dunham’s random act of awesomeness.

(WTVR/Dionyah Randolph)

“The next thing I know, one of my colleagues came to my room and said, ‘Can I send you one more?’ and I said, “Just keep sending them!” recounts Dunham. “One of my colleagues from 4th grade just started taking pictures and then she posted them, and it took off from there.”

Not looking for notoriety or a pat on the back, Dunham says he was only doing what he thought was right and trying to lead by example while giving his kids the best day he could. “It was their Moving on Ceremony and I wanted it to be special.”

The news comes just a year after a state investigation uncovered a cheating ring at the elementary school, led by then school principal, Kiwana Yates. “Often we get a bad rap because of things that happened in the past,” Dunham told news station WTVR. “We tell people, this is in the new Carver.”

Dunham says he always tries to lead by example, leaving his students and all of us with a simple message: “Remember to always get caught doing the right thing, remain humble, and it’s not always about how you start, but it’s how you finish.”

Father Figures: Newfound Sense

Christian Madamba
(Supplied/Christian Madamba)

“When I held my daughter for the first time, I felt this newfound sense.

I can’t really put it into words other than it was like someone put a blanket or cape over my back and I was donned with this responsibility of protecting this being for the rest of my life.

At that moment, I knew that my purpose in life was no longer for me but for her.”

– Christian Madamba

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

A Tribute to Sports Dads, The Raptors, The Blues and Big Papi

Raptors are Champs
(Twitter/Raptors)

It’s only appropriate to take some time on Father’s Day to raise one to all the sports dads out there. Someone has to set up the soccer goal in the back yard, teach the finer points of hitting a fastball to a kid who can barely hit off a tee, and scream belligerently at the refs during a high school basketball game (OK maybe not the last one).

Like most sports fans, I picked up my love of sports from my dad. One of my earliest sports memories was being woken up on a school night because he thought I should see the Stanley Cup presentation (and he was right). He coached my hockey team when he couldn’t skate much better than the sixth-graders on the ice, and years later I got the assist on a goal my dad scored when we were playing on a rec-league team together (when I gave him a pass so perfect even he couldn’t have blown it).

We weren’t even together for one of my favorite memories. As huge college basketball fans, there was one March where our favorite team made the NCAA tournament by blowing out the No. 1 team in the nation. Immediately after the win, my dad called me from the sports bar where he was watching the game and asked if I saw it. I told him I not only saw it, but I had skipped one of my college finals for an impromptu road trip to see it live. I was a little worried he might turn full dad on me for skipping a major exam, but his reaction was one I’ll always remember.

“Oh man, college is the greatest time of your life!” he said.

So here’s to all you sports dads, who truly have your priorities in line. If you’re looking for additional Father’s Day #content, USA Today has a great collection of athletes with their kids and the U.S. Women’s National Team shared some memories of their dads before their big game Sunday.

USWNT Dad Memories
(Fox TV Stations)

Check out the USWNT video tribute here.

Speaking of the USWNT, many were clutching their pearls after the 13-0 win over Thailand earlier this week. There were far too many “pundits” taking the team to task for running up the score and celebrating too much, and whining about “winning with class”, which is such an old man take. Or is it a fair question: did they score too much? Were the celebrations overboard??

No. No, they were not. I’m sorry, but it’s the World Cup, the highest stage for soccer, it’s not exactly the stage where you worry about the other team’s feelings. I could understand the sentiment if this was 11-year-olds playing in a rec league, but this is the World Cup. Most of those players will only get to play in one, so I’m fine with celebrating their moment however they want. Besides, Thailand should be honored, as they were part of the game that broke the record for most combined goals. Sure, they didn’t score any of them, but that record couldn’t have existed without them.

The Toronto Raptors got to celebrate this week as well, winning the NBA championship over a depleted Warriors squad. I’m not one of the people beating the asterisk drum, but it was such a bummer to see Durant go down in the manner he did and to see Klay Thompson not far behind him. They put up a valiant fight, but those were catastrophic injuries to overcome and it is a sad note for the Warriors dynasty to end on.

That being said, Kawhi Leonard had an insane finals and it was great to see players like VanVleet and Siakam get a championship. Even aged veteran Jeremy Lin, who averaged only a few minutes more than I did in the playoffs, made history, becoming the first Asian-American player to win a ring. So, the Raptors deserve to celebrate.


Rounding out a championship week, The St. Louis Blues capped off a dramatic turn around to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. It’s hard not to get behind stories like that, as the Blues went from dead last to hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. And huge props to the bettor who turned $400 into $100,000 by backing the Blues when no sane person would. He had many chances to hedge that bet but he stuck to his guns, and it must have been a wrenching game 7 for him. He should probably give a considerable chunk of that to Jordan Binnington.

Deadspin had a great video of Blues fans going crazy on local news. This is one of the best parts about a championship-starved franchise finally crossing that line. The pure jubilation when your favorite team wins a title is a level of bliss you experience a couple of times in your life (if that, I’m still waiting for the Bengals to win a Super Bowl.

Blues Fans on the news
(DeadSpin)

Check out the footage here.

And in less than celebratory father’s day news, David Ortiz is still recovering in intensive care. The Red Sox great was shot last weekend, and his daughter took to Instagram with an emotional post about his recovery.

 

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I would like to formally thank everyone who has reached out so kindly to feed us, transport us, and support us. Those who have extended prayers, thoughts, and love, I thank you. If there is one thing this world should know it is the admiration I have for this man, my father. I find myself complaining on a daily basis yet chaos has struck but my dad hasn’t complained once. I promise on my life he has not once looked for pity, tears, or even indicated how he feels in his current state. He may be hungry (he’s eating only ice right now) and he may be tired but you know what he said not more than 3 minutes ago? “Even the toothpaste tastes good here.” I hoped to share a bit of optimism in a time like this. People keep asking: [if] there is anything [they] can do. There is one thing everyone can do. Anytime you want to complain or feel sorry practice David’s method and turn that sorrow into optimism. #myRemarkableDadDavid #IceChipDiet #ThankYouDoctorsDominicanandAmerican

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Beer-Loving Dad Gets Proper Send-off in Foster’s Can Casket

(Solent News)

Raising a glass to someone who’s died is a common tradition, but literally burying them in a beer can is something new.

Perry Cardy, a father-of-three was buried in a casket resembling a massive can of Foster’s lager—his favorite drink.

(Solent News)

“I think he would have been blown away and I think he would have thought it was really funny,” said Mandy Hunter, Perry’s sister. “It was a fitting send-off for him. He loved a Foster’s top, that was his favorite drink.”

A lager top is typically a summer beverage in which a lager (in this case, Foster’s) is topped with a bit of lemonade or lime juice, so it made sense that someone who clearly knew Perry set a can of lemonade on top of the casket.

(Solent News)

“I spoke to the funeral directors and asked if we could have the coffin wrapped, like you can do with cars,” Mandy continued. “He said it was possible and gave us a quote. While a traditional coffin would be around £400, we paid £700 to have the Foster’s can printed on it.

“We didn’t want it to be a sad funeral, we wanted it to be upbeat and happy, just like how Perry would have wanted.

“We had so many lovely comments at the funeral saying what a lovely idea it was, it will make people remember Perry’s funeral with happy thoughts.”

(Solent News)

On the evening of April 19th Perry was assaulted outside of his local pub. Perry was rushed to the hospital with serious head trauma but succumbed to his injuries the following morning. The man responsible has been charged with murder and is scheduled to appear in court later this month.

Despite his quiet demeanor, Perry was always friendly and well-liked by his community—so much so, in fact, that his sister was surprised by just how many folks wanted to pay their respects.

“Perry was quite a quiet person who kept himself to himself, so I don’t think even we realized just how well liked he was by his friends and fellow workmates. We are overwhelmed with the amount of people who turned up.”

Cheers, Perry!