(AKA “Mio min Mio”.) Everything everybody hates about demented fantasy-themed children’s movies is in “The Land of Faraway” and it is hilariously awesome for that.
Where to begin? The hero of the picture is this kid who lives in a country where they speak Swedish or something similar, his name is Beu Willhelm Olson, and he’s also known as Prince Mio. But pretty much everybody calls him “Bosse”, which kind of sounds like “Pussy”. And his best friend’s name sounds a lot like “Yum-Yum”. (Yum-Yum is played by Christian Bale, please note. As in Christian “Newsies” Bale! What the hell is going on here?) So… Pussy and Yum-Yum. If this amuses you to no end, then you must watch this movie. It is your *destiny*.
And speaking of *destiny*, what about the plot? Well, Christopher Lee is the dark knight Kato. He kidnaps people in the Land of Faraway, which is on another planet somewhere, and only Pussy can defeat him. Sadly, Pussy is still in Swedish-Speaking-Country-Land where he lives with his mean auntie. (ANOTHER mean auntie!!! What the HELL is going on here???) She believes that Pussy’s long-lost father was some clearly insane person, which isn’t surprising seeing as Pussy is played by *the* most annoying child actor in the entire universe. Honestly, Courtland (“Dragon World”) Mead has to fork over his Jake Lloyd Award right now, that’s how annoying Pussy is.
But how in the world will Pussy get to the Planet that the Land of Faraway is on? Why, by giving a magic apple to the Djinni in the trash can. Then Pussy will hold on to the Djinni’s beard as he flies back home to the Land of Faraway.
I have to interrupt here, but you’ll understand why in a minute. My choice last year for Cartoon You Need to Watch Before it Gets Canceled was Mtv’s “Clone High”, especially because of this one episode that had me dying. It was a “Say No to Drugs” satire that covered everything from “Tommy” to “Godspell” to “Yellow Submarine” to “2001” to “the Wall”. And it had an entire subplot involving a very bad acid trip. Do you remember that part of the episode?
Well, you don’t have to. Here’s the episode on Google Video, which did not exist at the time I first posted this. Anyway, Pussy’s journey to the Land of Faraway is EXACTLY like that. And also, it is the first scene where we hear… The Song.
“The Land of Faraway” has got one hell of an amazingly cheezy theme song. And we get to hear it a lot.
So Pussy gets to the Land of Faraway, where he finds his father, who is the King of the Land of Faraway! Pussy’s father is the King of the Land of Faraway! The King is Pussy’s father! (This is how people talk throughout the entire movie.)
By a remarkable coincidence, Pussy’s best friend Yum-Yum, from Swedish-Speaking-Land, is also living in the Land of Faraway (I don’t know if having to wonder about quantum infinite realities is the kind of thing a little kid wants out of a fantasy movie). And together, Pussy and Yum-Yum head off to fight Christopher Lee. I gotta tell ya, I knew he’d shown up in some stinkers, but if this is typical, then boy did Peter Jackson find him in time. And they meet a lot of interesting characters along the way. Good times for all. Just make sure you’re playing the drinking game to make it through.
The Best Parts:
5 minutes in – Wow, this kid = mega-dweeb.
6 minutes in – This is SO exciting, I think my head might explode.
8 minutes in – Aw, cheer up, Pussy. They didn’t throw you into the garbage did they?
12 minutes in – Run, Pussy, RUN!!!
14 minutes in – “Yes, there was nothing in that apple but ordinary apple juice. Plus a few spoonfuls of LSD.”
17 minutes in – THE SONG!!!!! (See “Poetry Corner”, below.)
19 minutes in – “Why, oh why didn’t I take the *blue* pill?”
21 minutes in – Patsy’s coming!!! (pause) Oh… 😦
25 minutes in – SHEEP!
26 minutes in – Now, according to that segment in “Saludos Amigos”, somewhere Llamasex is dancin’.
30 minutes in – “Bread to Satisfy all Hunger” and “the Land Outside”. This is a planet of poets.
33 minutes in – There’s an engineering nightmare.
41 minutes in – Pussy and Yum-Yum meet the Totally Insane Old Man.
44 minutes in – Well, g’bye, Bill.
47 minutes in – “Hey, y’all / Lolly-doll / Tiddle-tiddle-Tatum! / Puss an’ Yum were standin’ there / An’ Ol’ Man Willow ate ’em!” (pause) Ah, damn!
51 minutes in – Bats do their business in that water!!!
57 minutes in – Well, this Kato seems like a jolly chap.
1 hour, 1 minute in – NOOOOO!!! JONATHAN!!!!!!!
1 hour, 2 minutes in – Whatchoo lookin’ at, Grima?
1 hour, 4 minutes in – Kato’s minions do their Happy Dance!
1 hour, 6 minutes in – All right, are the years shorter on this planet or has everyone been alive for well over 2,000 years?
1 hour, 8 minutes in – WE KNOW!!!!!!!
1 hour, 10 minutes in – Still more entertaining then the first “Harry Potter” movie.
1 hour, 14 minutes in – That’d probably freak me out too. Then I’d remember that I was one of seven times seven guards armed with a pointy stick.
1 hour, 15 minutes in – EPIC BATTLE!!!!!!!
1 hour, 17 minutes in – Hey, Pussy’s like Yoda! (Och-aye, I did NOT just make an “Attack of the Clones” reference? I have to redeem myself somehow…)
1 hour, 18 minutes in – Hey, Kato’s like the Architect! (Whew, that’s more like it.)
1 hour, 25 minutes in – The Totally Insane Old Man is a might bit too excited about that there weed thing…
Classic Lines of Dialogue: (SPECIAL NOTE – If you can read these without cracking up even once, you need to log out and reevaluate your life.)
“I weave the Fabric of Dreams. That can only be done at night. The Tapestry of Fairy Tales, the Fabric of Dreams, they can only be woven at night.” – Stevie Nicks Look-Alike
“They (Kato’s spies) might be out there! Or in here! Or… or over there! Spies everywhere!!!” – the Totally Insane Old Man
“For a thousand years, I have been forging a sword that can cut through the hardest stone! Finally, last night, I finished it! Only last night!!!” – Vulcan Dude
“Yes! I will lock them up in the tower until they die of hunger. It only takes one night in my castle! That is how long the night is and how terrible the hunger! And when the night is over, there will be nothing left of Prince Mio and his faithful friend but a little pile of white bones! …And when the night is over, I will go to the tower and look at that little pile of white bones. Farewell, Prince Mio, farewell!” – Kato, the Evil Knight
“Flying over rooftops!
“Flying over my town!
“Flying over some stuff! (???)
“I can see a bird.
“It is a BIIIIIIIIIIRRRRD of SOROOOOOOOOW!!!
“High as a BIIIIIIIIIIRRRRD of SOROOOOOOOOW!!!
“Singing of the Laaaaaaand!
“The Land of FARAWAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!
– The Song
Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – Convenience store clerks = angels.
* – Shepherds: keep an extra pair of Pan pipes handy at all times.
* – “If your heart hurts when you think of him (Kato and/or other mean people who suck), then don’t think of him!” – Pussy
* – If you help somebody who is in a cave complaining of hunger, anticipate getting the poop scared out of you.
* – Seagulls = angels.
* – Don’t transform a seagull into an evil human with a heart of stone. He will just resent humans and make everyone miserable forever.
* – If you want to get the damned adventure started, hang around a well with a friendly Water Fairy Who Explains the Plot living in it.
* – If you are the Dweebiest Dweeb who ever Dweebed in your city, and nobody likes you, then it means that you are most likely royalty on another planet somewhere. Just be aware that if you find your way back home, everyone will have been waiting on tenterhooks for you to come and save their sorry arses.
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? That Djinni who gives Pussy a ride to the Land of Faraway, did I mention he was a giant disembodied head?
Good Soundtrack? The Song.
Hot Guys? Christian Bale is still too young here.
Pretty Scenery? No
Nifty Animation/Special Effects? Trippy…
Drinking Game Potential? Drink when you hear The Song (count background music). And whenever somebody repeats an exact phrase.
Head Movie Potential? Eat raisins instead. *^_^*
Now, this is a BAD movie, but I’ll give it a Danny for it’s cheese value.
A Nordisk Tonefilm International (Sweden) film made in 1987 and released in the United States by Miramax and Worldvision. Based upon the book by Astrid Lindgren, directed by Vladmir Grammatikav, and produced by Ingemer Ejve. Music by Ander Elijas.
Christopher Lee, Timothy Bottoms, Christian Bale, Nick (Jake Lloyd Award) Pickard, and Susanna York.
Astrid Lindgren official site