Oprah will be bringing the cast of The Sound of Music onto her show today to prepare America for the re-release of the movie on Blu-ray next week. Parents, set your DVR now.
You're about to be introduced to a whole new avenue for parenting your toddler.
It's called the movie musical, and no one did it better than Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and the rest of the cast Oprah's bringing together today for a love-fest 45 years after the fact.
Confession time: I grew up without television. Before you start screaming "freak" (and questioning my all-out adoration of The Sound of Music), we had a TV. With no cable or satellite, we simply did not have a way to watch Oprah and her ilk.
Which left my mother with two bratty kids who read for hours but eventually wanted to watch something on that big box in the corner. The secret weapons in her arsenal were the films in the Rodgers and Hammerstein Musical Collection.
From Oklahoma! to the King and I, they were the only movies we were allowed to watch as tots. In particular, The Sound of Music, the songwriting duo's last film, was play-acted in our house on rainy Saturdays year-round, my brother "climbing every mountain" and me violating all rules of voice modulation with screechy renditions of "Do Re Mi."
That it was a film about the Nazis driving a family out of their homeland because Captain von Trapp (Plummer) refused to bend to their will hardly registered for us as children. We were too busy bouncing trying to figure out how to create costumes that would allow us to blend with the trees in our front yard. (Maria von Trapp's answer? Curtains.)
Asked recently why she chose the musical oeuvre to fill our video (remember those?) library, my mother shrugged. "They were clean, wholesome," she said. "You guys loved them."
They dealt with adult themes in a family-friendly way, and they answered their toughest troubles with a song.
I'd liken it to the secret "I share Glee with my toddler" movement. It's about the music. But Rodgers and Hammerstein give even today's parents the distinct advantage -- you never have to explain to your growing child why (Glee cheerleader) Quinn Fabray had a baby in high school. The more adult themes -- think Nazis hunting the von Trapps -- will have to be addressed eventually anyway.
Announcements of the Oprah show popped up all over my Facebook this week with friends setting their DVRs, and I got fluttery. These were the heroes of my childhood.
They were the heroes of my mother.
And they could be your heroes too, Mom and Dad.
Images via Harpo Inc./All Rights Reserved/George Burns; Amazon