[Reposted from January 2008.]
An animated video of a kiwi with a dream nabbed “Most Adorable” in the 2007 YouTube Awards, along with
14 33 million views to date. As you’ll see, there’s something more profound going on here than mere adorability:
My kids all loved it. Connor watched it again and again, sorting out the implications of and emotions around the kiwi’s decision.
This morning Erin asked to see it again, and I got her on the YouTube page. She watched it once, then clicked on one of the video responses that popped up. Suddenly she was clapping and woohooing.
“What happened?” I asked.
“THE KIWI LIVES!” she crowed. “He doesn’t die at the end! He LIVES!!”
I walked to the computer, puzzled. She replayed what she had just watched. Somebody had done a 15-second remake of the ending:
Most interesting of all are the comments on that one — mostly irate, convinced (as I am) that this revised ending robs the original of its poignancy and power. I agree, but I LOVE what it reveals about the human inability to accept, or even think about, death.
In addition to death itself, the original raises issues about the right to die, the consequences of free will, the power of the creative spirit, and the dangerous beauty of singleminded dreams. It’s incredibly rich and provocative. If instead you prefer a dose of denial with your entertainments, the revision’s for you.
Or, if you prefer no remnant of redeeming features, there’s this: