In 2014, the Library of Congress deemed it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. For me, its significance was established long before that! “Luxo Jr.” came out in 1986. I vaguely remember seeing the two-minute animated film in a movie theatre. What I remember most was being surprised that a desk lamp could convey emotions and stir them in me! I’m not sure whether it disturbed or fascinated me, but, either way, I never forgot it.
“Luxo Jr.” has been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. With its hopping desk lamp, it revolutionized animation techniques and earned Pixar an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short Film. It managed to convey emotion in inanimate objects. I think experiencing that convection of emotion messed me up! I’m almost certain I did not have a tendency to attribute human characteristics to inanimate objects before watching that film!
Sure, I’m sentimental; I have always been sentimental. I was teary when I traded in my 1984 vehicle for a 1990 model car! The question is, was I teary because “Luxo Jr.” brought a desk lamp to life, prompting me to project human emotion onto objects in my own life, such as an exhausted Jamaica Blue Hyundai Pony?
Much as it sounds highly implausible to you, it sounds highly plausible to me.
On Saturday, we took delivery of a new stainless steel, convection range. That wasn’t really the problem. The problem was when the two delivery guys lifted our old oven from the spot in our kitchen where it had stood for 26 years, reliably cooking our favorite foods for our favorite people. The oven had shared in so much of our lives, and contributed so much to our lives as new homeowners, newlyweds, new parents, accomodating hosts and curious cooks.
There are plenty of objects in our lives that we associate with emotion. Even though they are objects and devoid of emotion themselves, there are times when I imagine they feel what I’m feeling. That’s convection. To complicate things, our oven was with us a long time and the food it created for us and our significant others, played such an important role in our lives. It conveyed love.
|Our new range|
Will our new convection range be able to convey love?
Using personification or anthropomorphization for the convection of emotion in inanimate objects is troublesome. Where does it end? Given that I have managed to get rid of old lawn mowers, smelly sponges and used tissues without getting sappy, I’m somewhat consoled that my sentimentality hasn’t taken me completely over the edge.
As he lifted our faithful oven, one of the delivery guys asked whether it was broken. Feeling guilty, I rather sheepishly answered, “no”.
They placed our old oven on the street as they took the new range from the truck. I held the door open as they carried the new convection range past me into our home, but I just stared out at our old oven alone in the street, unwanted and facing rejection. I know, that’s convection at work; my mind conveying emotion in our oven. Even writing about that moment of convection now, gives me the blubbers.
|Our faithful previous oven|
Am I a lunatic? Out to lunch? A couple of slices short of a full loaf? There’s enough sadness in the world that I don’t need to manufacture it in manufactured goods!
Maybe I should have asked what happens to our old oven. Perhaps it will go to a family somewhere, where it will continue to cook and create happy moments. Many of our discarded objects could do with recycling.
Yes, indeed, the name “Luxo Jr.” could very well come up in future therapy.
I can tell you that even though I loved the “Toy Story” films, I never watched the last one after people told me how sad it was. I know my limits.