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The Order of Oddfish


90-Second Newbery: Robot Quimby, Age 8.235

October 21, 2012

The New York screening of the Second Annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is coming in just six short weeks! And the videos are starting to roll in. I’m enjoying how, in this second year, the participants are becoming more adventuresome in their approach to the material. Everyone remembers Beverly Cleary’s classic Ramona Quimby: Age 8. I’m sure you’ll never forget Robert Carter‘s all-droid take on it, above: Robot Quimby, Age 8.235!

Last year Robert did a great straightforward 90-second version of Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me that was a stickler on accurate details: it used archival footage of The $20,000 Pyramid and even made sure to use a first-edition copy of A Wrinkle in Time as a prop.

This time out, Robert played a little looser with the facts. This is the only adaptation of Cleary that I know of that begins with exposition about Skynet. I love how the pesky Willa Jean, who out-Ramonas Ramona in the book, is portrayed here as a huge dinosaur, leading to the wonderful situation of a dinosaur declaring to the robot, “We cannot both be ladies.” The robot playing Ramona does an impeccably deadpan reaction in the infamous “hardboiled egg” scene. At the end, when robots are dressed as singing and dancing cats, the surreal quotient approaches sweet overload. This video is also a must-watch for anyone who wonders what would come out when a robot vomits.

Thank you so much, Robert and Leighton! This is one for the ages!