Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Jawbreaker and The Journey of Natty Gann

Of our Js we have a mix of iconic and lesser known. Of the major films, there is Jaws and Jurassic Park as well as Jewel of the Nile, Jacob’s Ladder, Jackie Brown, Jane Eyre (so far, I’ve only seen this William Hurt version), Jerry Maguire, JFK (one which kids should watch because of its historical significance), Johnny Be Good and Jumpin’ Jack Flash. I went with the ones I’ve seen the most and learned to appreciate much more than the others.

Jawbreaker: This one is another chick flick about the four high school girls who are pretty, popular and ridiculously sadistic. Much like Heathers, “The Flawless Four” play a prank on one of their friends by putting a jawbreaker in her mouth to gag her during a fake kidnapping – the friend ended up dead. But that doesn’t deter the leader of the gang, Courtney (Rose McGowan) who decides to act as if nothing has happened. After the class geek, Fern Mayo discovers that the girls have covered up a murder, Courtney convinces her to join them by turning her into an exotic, popular girl at their school. The heroine of this film is Julie who turns against her friends by discovering an recording of Courtney admitting to the murder. All in all it’s another over the top films that doesn’t quite catch the same vibe as Heathers but it’s interesting to say the least, just because of the wicked popular girls and frenemies theme. Plus, Marilyn Manson is in it as a shady character in a club – good casting!

Courtney: We just killed our best friend! Do you realize what this means?
Marcie: You're a shoo-in for prom queen?

The Journey of Natty Gann: So I watched this movie a ton of times as a kid and I still love it when it’s on cable (all too rarely, I might add.) It’s a Disney movie that has beautiful scenery and such a great story that is based on the girl who finds a companion in the most unlikely of companions – a wolf. Set during the Depression (so there’s some nice costuming and set creation done here), Natty Gann’s father has to find work so he travels from Chicago to work as a lumberjack in Washington. He leaves Natty behind and lets their landlord know where he is and asks her to watch over Natty. Instead Natty is reported as an abandoned child and she has to travel across the country in search of her father. After letting the wolf loose from brutal dog fighters, the wolf decides he can trust Natty and he helps her along the way as well as, get this, John Cusack! It’s just a good story and I love the earthiness to it and the Annie-theme of orphaned (sort of) Depression era kid. It’s fascinating to see her travel like the ton of other hobos had to back in that time and it’s captivating enough for a younger audience due to Disney standards. I don’t know – I just like it and I think most students would like it too. And might I add, recently when I watched Race to Witch Mountain for the first time, Meredith Salenger (Natty Gann) had a cameo appearance where she plays a news reporter named Natalie Gann. Bless you, Disney, and your Easter eggs.

Natty Gann: I'm cold.
Harry: Buck up kid, will ya?
Natty Gann: I'm bucking!
[turns to Wolf]
Natty Gann: I'm bucking, right?


  1. John Cusack and a wolf companion guaranteed my eternal love for The Journey of Natty Gann. I even ended up adopting a dog that looks very wolf-like! I haven't seen it in a while. I might have to Netflix it now. :-)

    Wishing you continued success with the A to Z challenge,

    1. Thank you so much. I should look for it as well. Such a good film - I understand why you would get a wolf-like companion after seeing this. I don't recommend trying to hop trains with him though. Haha.

  2. Jawbreaker! There is a blast from the past! LOL you made me smile!