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DTV Monster Hits: my introduction to mashups

 You know, even without getting into postmodernity and schizophrenic time and juxtaposition, I’d say that my generation was primed for mashups and AMV’s. Not least because I once made it a point to watch my well-worn Betamax copy of this very special, taped off television in 1987 by my uncle for me and my cousins, ever year. My dad cloned a copy, Ring-style, and each October I would decide which afternoon was dreary enough to merit watching the tape again. The tape, recorded in gloriously fuzzy Extended Play (long enough to include Alice in Wonderland!), featured It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! as well as Looney Tunes and the Garfield Halloween special. But this segment of tape was always my favourite. Here’s why:

I mean, come on. This special has everything. Snow White vs. Pat Benatar. Ferris Bueller’s principal in whiteface. A special appearance by Vincent Price. What more could you want? Naturally this is the pop culture equivalent of Fantasia: where Fantasia is new animation over classical music, DTV Monster Hits is a series of classic animation shorts edited together over pop music (circa 1987, which in turn makes it retro, so we’re looking at three levels of time).

Also, watching this again makes me wonder: what’s up with Disney’s villains all being far more attractive and capable than the heroes? This was more a feature of the earlier films, I suppose: both the Wicked Queen and Maleficent were outstanding and accomplished women. When I was little, I wanted to be Maleficent — she could light things on fire, transform into a dragon, cast a spell over an entire kingdom, and she had a crow that did her bidding. Prince Philip only won the battle because he had three little old meddlers helping him, and they didn’t even know what a teaspoon is. Ditto Night on Bald Mountain: I wanted to be one of the spirits (hopefully with a skeleton horse) and take part in the festivities. (Who wouldn’t?)

  • Madeline Ashby…

    ...is a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA. You can buy her books here.

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, Tor.com, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.

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