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Late to the Party — Again
By Gloria Diaz
Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!
Fort Wayne Reader
As usual, I'm late to the party again.
In the past couple weeks, I just discovered the Potter Puppet Pals videos on YouTube. I still haven't seen any of the movies based on the books. I listened to the first book on tape, but the only thing I remember is kid locked in a closet, being fostered by hostile family members, gets to leave for a better place. Sounds like a typical foster child's life here in America, except for getting to leave for a better place. I'M JOKING!
I know the different houses and what quidditch is, but beyond that, not much. The brilliance of the Potter Puppet Pals is that even if you've never seen any of the movies, you get an idea of the character's personalities. In the PPP, Harry seems like an egotistical blowhard, Hermione is the super-straight, well behaved, prepared-for-anything teacher's pet, Ron is nice but clueless, Dumbledore the nutty old teacher who probably shows up for class in his pajamas once in a while, Snape is depressed and dreary (and my favorite PPP, natch) and Voldemort pops in on occasion.
I'm a Buzzfeed junkie, and it was through some list geared at Millennials that I clicked on the video, “The Mysterious Ticking Noise.” Snape enters on stage, wondering about the ticking. He soon starts singing along, and Hermione, Harry, Ron and Dumbledore all join in. Ron eventually finds the source of the ticking, a pipe bomb. All five of them are blown up. Voldemort appears, starts tapping with a stick, and sings his own name, to the tune of “Lollipop.” End of video.
Charming and funny stuff. It keeps the Hogwart's gang alive, although I was shocked to see this video was actually 10 years old (the uploader made a 10th anniversary version) and even more shocked to realize that the first book made its debut in 1997.
That was twenty years ago. And the thought of that is horrifying. But that's a topic for another column.
I'm not sure if the videos make fun of actual scenes in the movies, or perhaps just speculating “what would happen if.” One video, called “Ginny,” shows Potter's lust for Ron's sister. The joke in the video is that after encouraging Ginny to get her hair cut really short, she ends up looking just like her brother. Potter isn't sure what to think, and shoves a pencil into his head.
The perpetually gloomy Snape gets his own story in “Snape's Diary.” Harry Potter breaks into his room and discovers the book, and reads to Ron and Hermione Snape's entries, which are elegantly worded, but rather depressing. We get a glimpse of how lonely Snape really is.
I have no idea who Draco Malfoy is, but from watching the “Draco Puppet” clip, I'm guessing he's one of Potter's enemies. The Potter puppet addresses the viewers, saying that people seem to be enjoying the videos, and in addition, there are requests for a Draco Malfoy puppet. The other puppet pals appear to be well-constructed. Potter says he created the Draco puppet himself, and it shows. Draco's face is a picture glued on to a black toilet paper roll. Draco boasts that he's really rich, and is pure white—er wizard. After that admission, the Potter Puppet shows scenes where Draco is eaten by a hamster, has honey poured on him, has coins fall on him, is pinched by pliers, and is finally burned on a gas stove. I'm guessing these are Potter's revenge fantasies. I have no idea what happened to Draco IPL (In Potter's Life).
Watching these videos is not making want to rush out and watch the movies. Instead, I want more PPP videos. Neil Cicierega, the video creator, has been at this for 10 years, so I'm not sure if he intends to keep on, or stop. Seeing as that Hollywood is celebrating the anniversaries of famous movies, I'm sure the entire series of movies will be re-released soon, Cicierega should keep on keeping on.
I think it would be funny if there was a PPP video showing Hogwarts turning into a for-profit school, and how Potter and his gang would react. I can see Snape being forced to shill on a television commercial: “Be a wizard in as little as nine months!” in the most dreary voice possible.
Anyway, how are YOU spending your summer?