We have the same routine around here every morning. Little Guy wakes up, the Mother Unit heads in to get him up and going, while the Father Unit trundles downstairs to get the morning sippy cup ready. Coffee pot gets initiated. Loving but troublesome-at-3:30AM kitty is granted parole from the garage. Then, we all settle in on the couch for a half hour of tv time.
Best part of my day, really, then everybody is up and moving. Off to work, off to pre-school, outside to stalk birds in the back yard. I could just as easily stalk them out front, but I get fewer awkward stares from the neighbors out back. (I’m kidding. I’m really the one heading off to pre-school.)
My wife and I were just talking about how amazing it is that we’ll sit there and actively watch a movie that we’ve seen roughly 847 times. Toy Story is the latest obsession but the list includes Turbo, Madagascar, Rio, Planes, Cars, and The Land Before Time.
(And, btw, Toy Story came out twenty years ago. TWENTY. Tom Hanks was as old as I am now when Toy Story was released in theaters. That’s…stunning.)
Let me repeat: we will actively watch them. As if we’re not seeing the exact same thing we watched yesterday morning. We still laugh in the same spots, and honestly…get choked up in the same spots.
I know this is the burden of every parent with a toddler (or multiples) scampering through the house, but my point is, that’s a sign of great storytelling, great movie-making, character development, etc. The longevity of any story is one of the strongest factors and whether that’s through seeing something multiple, multiple times, or a single instance that sticks with you thirty years later… is left up to your definition of “longevity” at the moment.
For me, personally, The Princess Bride will never get old. Probably lost count how many times I’ve seen it a decade ago with multiple viewings since. I read Lonesome Dove back in high school, one time, and it’s still one of those novels that absolutely sticks out in my head twenty years later.
I probably haven’t had enough coffee for this to be as profound as I’d like, but you get what I’m saying, right? Being endured (in a good way) or being remembered… I think that’s what every creator strives for. I know it’s how I approach my writing, and it was fun this morning to have that little epiphany over coffee while I listened to Buzz Lightyear say, “To infinity…and beyond!” for the 639th time.