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July 16, 2021 79 mins

Inaugural guest Janet Varney is back to finish it all up as well. We talk about her new show Avatar: Braving the Elements as we as her latest movie crush, Spirited Away.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to Movie Crush, a production of I Heart Radio.

Hey Everybody, and welcome to Movie Crush Friday Interview Edition.
The last one, Oh everybody. It makes me so sad.
This will be the last regular weekly Friday Interview a
dish for Movie Crush. I do already have a guest
lined up for August, and maybe I'll try and put
out like one a month or something, but this is

going to be the last one, and we are going
to finish like we started with my friend, the great
Janet Barney. She's wonderful, she's funny, she's kind, and she
is supportive, and she is encouraging, and she's super talented
and she's just the best. And so Janet agreed to
come back to kind of book in Movie Crush and

talk about Spirited Away. We uh, we get into some
anime talk here. It's all new to me, but it's
something that Janet knows quite a bit more than I
do about um because she voiced Cora, and uh, any
fans of Cora know that that's that's Janet's voice there.
So we talked about that a little bit. We talked

about her new podcast project where she talks anime and
Cora and among other things. And we talked about Spirited Away,
and it was a great talk with my old friend.
And we also talk a little bit about the show ending.
It's a very better, sweet episode you guys, So I
hope you enjoy it. So here we go with Janet
Barney on Spirited Away. How are you I? I'm doing

all right. I'm doing all right. I feel like my
voice has gotten less shrill when I answer that question,
which is a good sign, you know, like the higher.
I don't know if that's true for you or other people,
you know, but I do feel like, Yeah, the more
the more people like how are you doing, You're like,
I mean that pretty good. I feel like that's a
dead a dead give away. Unfortunately, I always I also

use that voice comedically, so maybe it's a little confusing,
but usually when someone sincerely asked me how I am,
if i'm if I'm up in that register, I'm hiding
a lot. There's a lot of deep pain that has
pushed it's it's put the pain has pushed so high
up in my body that my vocal cords have been condensed,

just a tiny whistle of a noise. Yeah, how about you,
I'm oh ship, we are in trouble. This is going
to be a rough ride. Uh, you look great. I
like your pink hair. Thank you, I um good. Thanks.
I really like it. And I feel like people are
nicer to me when I have pink hair. And I
don't feel like people are not nice to me. In general,

they are all people are nice. But there's something about
my experience of having pink hair is that when people
see you from Afar, they've already decided that you're fun, right,
maybe that you have a little bit of a like
it's a little punk rock. But it's like also when
you see what I wear, it's like I'm wearing a

child's T shirt basically. So it's not like I'm like,
I don't have like a you know what I mean.
I don't have like I wish I had a sleeve.
I would be so cool if I had a tattoo sleeve.
But so when you put all those things together, I
feel like initial, just any initial meeting with people, I
feel that the niceness and familiarity level is it has
is vastly improved from what I just have, like blond

hair or whatever. I only wish now that you had
duped to me with fake tattoo sleeves cool because I
would be and you were just like cool about it
or whatever, because I I would swear to God, I
would sit here and the first thing that I would
think is have I ever seen Janet's arms? I feel
like I've seen her arms before? Why that would be?

I mean, there's a there's a I really understand the
level of like when you start realizing that you're getting
so old that you don't really want to maintain yourself
in a certain way for acting jobs like that is
you know, there's there really starts to be the sense
of like I just you know, I just don't care.

I like I don't care and they'll have to work
around it or whatever. Um. And there's something very liberating
about that. But it's also like, or is that just
you're you're accepting that you're going to go into your
retirement from that business because you know, I don't know
that all of a sudden people are going to turn
around be like you know what, I love your sleeve. Yeah,
we're gonna start giving you sleeve roles. I just turned

fifty a couple of months ago, Janet, so I know
that's a big one. Every birthday, I said, every birthday.
Day of I don't let let the record show. I
said it day of you did. I was just recording
with John Hodgman, actually literally eighty seconds before you jumped on,
and he said, uh, he was talking about you with

someone else, about something like a role, and he said, well,
why not, Janet? And then he said he realized that's
a great sitcom starring you, called why not Janet? And
he said it's up to you, now, me to go
pitch this to you, come up with a premise, and
then that's the show. It feels like I wish that

One Division hadn't all due respect to one Division, which
I wasn't maybe not a huge fan of, but but
they worked real hard on it, and there was a
lot about it that I appreciated. Um, but that had
they not just recently revisited the sort of old timey sitcom,
I would say, why not Janet? Definitely seems like it
was you out competing And I use that term loosely

because no one had ever heard of it. But it
was competing against Mary Tyler Moore, you know, but no
one was watching it because Mary Tyler War was a
great show. I guess the premise would be someone like
the character Janet, would be someone who was a jack
of all trades and kind of like pretty good at everything.
So anytime something comes up, they go, why not Janet?

Sometimes insulted? Wait, I don't have to think about this
that hard. I fully know what it's insulting. It's a
TV show, it's fiction. This is all well and good.
I need to go because I gotta call Hodgman and
find out if I have a chance or whatever this
thing is. I gotta get and if a sleeve is
going to be a problem because I have a lot

of work. I gotta get downe in my arm with
so in your mind, the rewrite is the show is
called of course it's Janet. Yeah, where it's got to
be Janet? Yeah, gotta be imperially Janet. PERI that sounds
like a little indie movie. Here's the thing, why not Janet? Sure,
that's fine, maybe that's season one, But how do you

keep refresh? Throw a comma in there? Why not Janet?
And that's what the next season is about her taking
chances that she wouldn't ordinarily take, living a little, living
a little larger, you know what I mean, take a chance,
why not Janet? And then it could just be why
question mark and then not Janet exclamation. I don't even

know what that means. I'm just going to move the
comma again and say why not Janet? But then that
doesn't really that's that's about that. That years was better.
I mean it was terrible, but it was still better
than why comma not Janet? Janet? That I think this
is all about beating the dead horse anyway, and we've
done that. What is that background you've got there? Is

that real? Or is that? No? This is ah, this
is just a a tapestry. I mean, yes, I realized
that you're saying are You're not saying are you in
the mountains? Are you in the mountains? I wondered if
it was a screen. It's not a blue screen, it is.
That's nice. Yeah, I got a bunch of these Society six.
It's just a place where you can get various and

sundry goods that are being produced. As you know, pillows, artworks,
floor mats, and tapestry is among the options. Do a
little landscape photography filter and I now have a curtain
next to the One of these is hung next to
our bed that's like a desert, you know, Sonoran dessert

looks like my where I'm from, Tucson, Um, you know,
storm clouds, arrows, very pleasant. It turned out to be
a real like everything I've done, I think during the pandemic,
and also every dream I've had during the pandemic has
been like transparently like textbook embarrassingly a two B do
you know what I mean? Like, oh, how to dream?

The I was telling my therapist I had a dream
about I think I'm having some like you know, like reintegration, anxiety, reopening,
all that. And and then on a separate subject later
in therapy, I was complaining about a disturbing dream I
had had and as I was saying and then all
of a sudden, I was in like it was almost

like a fabric womb, and I was like trying to
get out of the whole. She was like, oh, gee,
I wonder I want very direct short line we could
draw to another part of the conversation. We found I
was like, God, damn it. Everything I do is like
just teach it in the pre count Yeah whatever. Yeah,
it's so that's having having like fabric tapestries that represent

places I'm not traveling during the pandemic. It's just so like, yeah, okay, sure,
super creative, Dan a great job. Those are kind of
fun though. I've had those dreams. I had one when
I moved to New Jersey from college. And I moved
because my roommate in college, his parents were these, you know,
I had, like corporate CEO types that had this big

house in New Jersey and they were getting transferred to Australia,
and they said, why don't you come up here and
live for a few years rent free, And so I
followed him up there. But there was also, uh, I
hate to say this, it was a girl I was
trying to get away from in college that was It
wasn't like stalker territory, but it was just it's gotten
a little weird. And so I was like, perfect time

to move to New Jersey. So I moved to New
Jersey and literally the maybe the first night or two
that I was there, I had this dream that there
was a bear that like came out of the woods
and in a dress and was and beat down the
door of the house and was and was chasing me
around the house to kill me. And I woke up

and I was like, I wonder who the bear was.
That's amazing and it does not help that her name
was Stephanie Grizzle, right, she did it so easy. It's
uh so, I want to talk a little bit about
the new project that you've been working on because it

kind of takes us into the movie that we'll discuss. Sure, uh,
I want to hear all about it. Well, So it
is a I always feel like hesitant to say it's
a rewatch podcast because that's kind of not really how
I pitched it to Nickelodeon, But certainly that is something
that Dante Bosco and I are doing together, which is,

you know, we're not It's not like a watch along
where you know you have to do you have to
synchronize it and listen, which I guess there are some
that do that, but you know, it's it's you know,
we talk about everything that's happening in each episode of
Avatar the Last Airbender to start. But Nickelodeon's intention is
for us to do that with you know, all three
seasons of Avatar and then all four seasons of Cora
and then sort of if if we can and if

it's doing well enough, like to just sort of always
be doing this because there are all these you know,
Avatar books and comics and um at Our studios which
Mike DiMartino and Brian knets Go have founded, and it's
living under the umbrella of Nickelodeon where they get to
sort of make a jillian projects over the next like series.

I think it's like twenty years um, as they kind
of grow out this universe. Um. You know I I
I'm such a fan of them and would be a
fan if I had nothing to do with the shows,
So having any kind of credibility at all to talk
about doing the show with Nickelodeon and have them get
excited about it. And then we brought Dante on who
plays Prince Zuko in Avatar the Last Airbender and general

I wrote in the Legend of Cora um and as
a friend of mine who have done many cons with
and really love being with. And we're very very different. Um.
It's it's a great dynamic and it's been so fun.
We've recorded. Must say, we've probably recorded like sixteen episodes,
but we've only we've just now launched last week and
have released three. So um, it's that space of like,

well I hope he but like what we've done, because
we've already done all of those and we're not going
to go back and change them. So I was so good.
Let's back up a little bit, like where, uh where
did you? Where were you situated when it comes to
these original uh The Last Airbender and stuff like that,

Like were you a big fan? Was this something you
had always been into? And it's like that was at
the seed of it all. Yeah. Well, so when I
auditioned for the Legend of Cora, I was a fan
of The Last Airbender. I was a fan of Avatar,
but was a recent fan of it. I came to
it as a an adult um just through so many

friends of mine who were like, you have to watch
our show, and then I as as I was watching it,
this audition came through for the sequel series, and I
was so freaked out that I tried to emotionally separate
myself from it. I actually had the thought like, oh,
I wish I didn't know how great this is, because
I know how great this second series is probably going
to be, and I stopped. I sort of put a

I put the kai bosh on watching it until I
was fairly confident that I had not gotten a part
on the Legend of Cora because it takes so long
to find out for some animation projects. UM, I'm not
sure why, but for some reason, the casting process for
animation just tends to be much more. It's like luxuriously long.

I mean, I want to say and I'll have to ask, uh,
I'll have to ask. I mean, the guys won't remember.
But maybe like the Glodeon casting will, I feel like
months and months passed. I mean I really felt like.
I feel like it was a long period of time
from when I did the very first audition to when
I remember when I got a call back I said
the words like, oh, that's not cast yet, and then

from that to like a chemistry test again, I was like,
wait a minute, I have long since thought this job
was went to someone else, and then and so so that,
and whereas with casting in live action, for the most part,
you know, it's like we're shooting next week. There's a
lot of kind of like this is and this is
the last piece is finding this person and then we

immediately start shooting. UH and so UM I had returned
to UH to the last Airbender, and then I found
out I got the job. Um, and just lost my mind. Yeah,
completely lost my mind. And it was immediately terrified, as
we've been trained to be in Hollywood, and uh, like,
how can this go wrong? When will I be fired?
This is too good to be true, all of that

kind of stuff. And so I absolutely love it and
it has been it's just been a great opportunity when
it dropped on Netflix, and both shows dropped last summer
during the pandemic on Netflix, and immediately just we're at
the top of Netflix UM chart. I don't even know
what that means, but yeah, uh they were. They were

just sort of consistently like, oh, this is you know,
in in all over the world on Netflix, these two
shows were yeah and and um And so I thought,
because I had talked about doing something like this, because
I do have a lot of experience in podcasting, um,
having done the j V Club for nine years, over

nine years and uh and I thank you. That's the
first time a smattering of applause has really felt fantastic.
Uh and uh And you know, I that was a
real situation where a few years ago I thought, Wow,
if I could combine those two things and get to
do something kind of meta about these shows, I would

love that and I had mentioned it to Mike and Brian,
but they were sort of off starting the Netflix live
action thing. Um, and that was sort of it was
like nebulous because it was like, well, yes, they have
a relationship to Nickelodeon, but now they're working on this
other thing, and Nickelodeon hadn't licensed. Like it's just all
that sort of where does this belong kind of conversation

and but when it when it landed on Netflix, I
was like, I gotta I'm gonna have to try and
pursue this again. And so I did reach out this
time to Nickelodeon, and um, the timing was was right
for them as well, and they were like, yeah, we
want to, We absolutely want to do this. We want
to we're building you know, out our podcasting world and um.

And so I've been working on it for a really
really long time. It's been you know, like almost a year,
and it's it's just been amazing. It's been amazing. It's
it's just a show that both shows are you know,
they just there's just nothing about it that feels like
limited or you know, I mean, yeah, like there's this

there's also a SpongeBob SquarePants uh. Podcast. I love everyone
who did SpongeBob I as people. I love the host, um,
I love Nickelodeon. They are treasure to work with, at
least in my personal experience. I don't know how I
would do a podcast about SpongeBob, Like, I'm not sure
what I would and I'm sure tone only they're very different.

But with Avatar Lost Airbender, we're talking about you know,
we're laughing and talking about like the silly childlike adorable stuff.
We're talking about the quality of animation, but we're also
talking about you know, genocide and you know children having
more responsibility than they're ready for, and you know parental

frankly abuse and you know, it's just it's very very dense.
There's a lot of layers to it. And so it's
just not something I've ever gotten tired of watching or
thinking about. And um, and that's born out in in
doing the podcast. It's a blast, that's awesome. So this
all makes sense to me now. I purposely didn't like
look into a bunch of stuff. I know you've been

posting a lot of stuff on your social meds, uh,
And I was like, purposely like, I don't want to
know what's going on, because I just want to talk
to Janet about it in person. Uh, So I get
it now, is it? Are you going episode by episode?
Is it one of those? We are? But there's I mean,
for example, there's at least forty episodes to the first
season of our podcast, and there are only twenties episodes

of the first season of The Last Airbender. So the
three episodes we've released so far, we started, yes with
the very first episode, which is called The Boy in
the Iceberg. We started with episode one, uh, and we
recap that. We also talked about kind of what we were,
what our own experiences, we're working on the shows, and
what to expect from the podcast. But then the very
next one is a is a sort of deep dive

conversation with Mike and Brian who created the show, UM
talking to them about the mythology, about their relationship, how
they met at risdy UM. And then that conversation went
on so long that it's a two parter, so that
just got released. And then the next episode that's coming
out next Tuesday is episode is Us recapping Episode two,
And then we have episodes where we're just hanging with

cast members UM and in reviewing them and talking about
stuff we're talking to, um, you know, like let's talk
about the martial arts techniques, let's talk about this South
Korean animation with an animator, let's talk about the music composition.
Because the fan base, my experience with them has always
been that they have a really really uh deep interest

in appreciation for the craft of the making of the show.
Um opposed to maybe you know, I'm sure there are
some fandoms that are more about like, you know, this
funny thing happens on the show, or I want it. Yeah,
that's right, that's right. Uh So, so there's that, and
again that feels unlimited, like we're having a problem that

we have so many people that we wanted to fit
into the first season that we're having. We're like, oh no,
we're not gonna have enough episodes? Can we Maybe we
can add some more? And then you know, um, it's
it's great, it's great. It's great to nerd out on.
That's awesome. What about what is it about voice work
for you? Is it is it your kind of I
don't want to say favorite kind of work to do?

I know, you know a lot of actors talk about
how great it is to just go in there and
your sweatpants and not have to go through hair and
make I don't think I've ever in a single recording
seen anyone in sweatpants. I hate to out us all
because I've also joked that, but I mean, yeah, everyone
I know, everyone I know looks like they mind as

well be going to a fancy dinner. But is it?
Is that true? Though? As far as kind of shedding
away some of the things that you need to do
for camera, is that a big part of it? In
a big relief, It is? It is. And you know,
when I started doing it, I think I was less conscious,

but still a little conscious because I was looking around
at all of these heroes of mine who have been
doing it forever. You know, when like being friends with
someone like Lorraine Newman. You know, she does a ton
of kids voices on cartoons, and I feel like she's like,
you know, put her arm around my shoulder and was like,
You're going to be grateful you have these voice over

jobs when you're sixty, you know, Like so that I
think that feels really good. That being said, I'm not,
you know, a prolific voice over actor like someone like her,
or like someone like you know, Tara Strong or somebody
who's just it does everything all the time, is always working. Um,
because you know what, I'm a jack of all trades,
master of none. Why not Janet? Why not Janet? She's

producing a comedy festival. She's she doesn't have time to
audition right now? Why not Janet? Yeah? I just found
out about Tara Strong. Whose voice did she do? That?
I just she does a voice on Loki? She does
like a that's what I had just looked up. You're
totally right. And then I realized that she's you know,
and she does a voice in and she does a

voice and spirited away, So not to worry. She does
a voice and spirited away. Yeah, she's the baby. Oh
my god, that funny. I'm not ready to talk about
that yet. Great, Like you said that, you really said
that in a too soon kind of way, like I'm
not ready, I'm afrad. I'm not ready to talk about that.
I'm not emotionally ready to talk about that yet. When

does your podcast? Do you say? Just launched the first
couple of episodes. It launched last Tuesday. Today is the
whenever we're recording this. I don't know if you're I
don't know if you want people that's going to ruin.
The will be a couple of weeks old. So mid
June we launched. We launched the podcast in mid June,
and uh and we are. We dropped every week. The

only reason that we have three out now is that
we did, you know, sort of a bonus on our
opening week, and did dropped another one on Friday. But
in general, every Tuesday, that's great. I bet that's so
much fun. I love it. I love it, and I'm
sure people are gonna love it. Super fans from other communities.
We want to have them come in and talk about
what it means to them, so you have time to

become an expert in you know, in that world, and
then you can come and talk about why you like it.
I mean, I guess we can go ahead and start
talking about Spirited Away a little bit because I my
background with anime uh is not was not strong at all.

I didn't ever watch any of it, did never read
any of the the comics, and it's just not something
I was ever I think maybe I was a little
too old. Well, but yeah, came around. I was going
to say that the same is true for me in
the sense that like, no one was telling me about
anime being I knew it existed because I lived in

San Francisco and when you go to you know, spend
time in Japantown, as I did because I worked right
near there. Um. I would always go into these like
I'm sure I'm gonna butcher this word, but kinokunia these
the books Japanese bookstores, and they have you know, manga,
and they have like animy that you could buy on
a DVD. But that seemed like something that people who

knew about it already knew everything about it and it
belonged to them, and no one was saying, like, come
over to my house and let's watch this show and
so and and because um, because it didn't become as
as widely available until much later. I think you're right.
I think there are people younger than us who were

right there for like Crunchy Role, which you know is streaming,
and like is just all kinds of exposure to anime.
And then you know, I waffle between saying anime and anime, um,
depending on like how seasoned the person as I'm talking to.
I feel like I have to say it the right way.
It's like it's like going in being like I would
like to order Ashila and totacos Um. Which where do

I fall on the seasoning scale? I mean zero, you
fall in. Yeah, I'm saying it anime for you, and
then for any listener who is seasoned, I am also
I want to make sure they know it's like a
secret secret word only slightly different. Yeah, because I'm a zero.

You would say anime and I'm like, what do you quote?
Brian Can Let's go one of the creators of Avatar,
as he sort of talked about their influence and vice versa,
he was like, he pointed out, he was like, I mean,
it's just short for animation, like they're they're the same thing.
It's it's really okay. Um, but uh but yeah, So
there's tons of stuff that I didn't get and that

I still haven't seen because now the library of of options,
even just on Netflix alone is just endless. There are
people who only watch who are American, who only watch anyway. Um,
and when I go to conventions that are that are

heavily on that side, like rather than on the kind
of pop culture like oh look, there's an actor from
Guardians of the Galaxy to like that's not Um. I
always feel like wildly intimidated because there's always a ton
of costplay that I just don't recognize, and I have
to be like, tell me, tell me what you're dressed as.
And you can see the look of disappointment cross over
their eyes, like, Oh, I thought you were cool enough

to know what this was, Janet, thanks a lot for
not knowing. You know. Um so, but but these are
but but these movies are are sort of the most
excess of the they to me, they be they were,
I think, and and it's true for a lot of people.
Um that's the first exposure to what you consider uh,

Miyazaki is like the first you know, anime. I can't
I really can't decide it's terrible. I'm say anime. I'm
gonna say anime. Uh. That that that many people ever
saw because it was you know, Spirit Away in particular,
was you know, an Academy Award winner, and it was
uh it did very very well worldwide, and and so
I think it was kind of a gateway, whereas like Avatar,

the Last Airbender and Legend of Kora are kind of
a gateway um animation to anime for some people. Uh,
so so is and and for much longer and deservedly
so is is Miyazaki. Yeah. The other thing that happened
to was, um, you know my adopted daughter Ruby. I
was gonna say, how are you feeling about her being

the right age to watch something like this or this is?
But I'll get to that in a second. This is
I'm not ready to talk about yet. Jane, by the way,
just fully put her hand in front of the camera.
Uh stop in the name of love fashion. Um. So
the reason I said my adopted daughter Ruby because I'm

not like uh Royal Tannenbaum and like, that's how we
introduced her to people, but it's it's purtned into the story.
So when we adopted her, we went out to um
to where we adopted her from, and uh, there's this
process of getting to know birth mom, and so we're
getting to know uh you know, I'm not going to
say her name just because I want to protect her

identity and stuff. But we were getting to know her.
And she's a kid, you know, who's who's giving us
a child and very young and um was way way
way into anime. It was one of her passions and
I didn't know anything about it, and I'm so you're
in a situation where you're trying to connect a little bit,
and because you're also even though they've decided, you also

always feel like you're sort of auditioning to be like,
you know, I'm gonna be a good dad and stuff
like that, and so I was sort of not faking interests,
but like, oh, yeah, that sounds so cool, you know,
like blah blah blah, tell me about it. And through
those conversations it really became clear what it meant to her,
and it wasn't just these cartoons that she was watching.

And I realized for the first time speaking to her,
how much meat on the bone there was, because she
was really into it and really got into telling me
about how it's not like what you might think it is.
And so flash forward to a year ago now that
Ruby is she's almost six and at the time like
five ish, getting to the point where she can watch

some of the stuff. I thought, you know what this is,
I think in a way sort of honoring the birth
mom to try and turn Ruby onto some of this
stuff and and hopefully they will meet one day and
they can have, you know, something sort of in common
like this and so we watched uh my neighbor Totorow
to start her out, and Emily and I and Ruby

watch it and we were all just like completely charmed
and entranced by how wonderful that movie is. And got
her a tote robe stuffy a lovey and she sleeps
with it and it's just it was so wonderful. And
then moved on to Spirited Away, which for her age
was a little bit more intense. It's scary. It is scary,

isn't it all right? I was going to ask if
I'm wrong? She was She was fine. She's always been
able to separate fact from fiction. And if she gets
a little scared and a thing, she'll just like snuggle
up a little tighter. But she's never it never freaks
her out. Later, she never has nightmares. He's always been
able to punch a buy her class. And you got
to start watching The Last Airbender with her, because if
she if she was fine with Spirited Away, she's going

to be totally fine with The Last Airbender. And it
is so adorable. It's just wonderful. And I want to
watch so I can tell, but you gotta watch my order.
And Cora is scarier so she can age up into Cora.
So you need to watch Airbender before Cora. I mean
many people don't know you don't have to watch them
in that order to get it um at all. There

are definitely people who watched Cora first and then who
watched the Last Airbender. I'm sure there are Last Airbender
fans who are like, I can't believe you just said that, Janet.
But from Mike and Bryan's own lips, absolutely, you can
watch one before the other. Um. That being said, certainly
chronologically like the like the Last Airbender takes place seventy
years before the legend of course, so there are absolutely

there's a value inherent to watching The Last Airbender first.
And uh, it's just it's just better for younger kids.
I mean, I think it's it's there are sometimes there
are people who bring up their kids who are like four,
and they say, she's obsessed with Cora, And in my mind,
I'm like, I would not have been able to handle
the legend of four when I was four. I mean,
I couldn't handle you know, Bambi when I was four.

So I'm trying to handle it out and barely handle
it now. Yeah, she has a hard time with all
those Disney movies because she's like, why is always someone's
always sucking dying in these movies? And she should not
be saying why is someone always fucking dying with that
much vehemence in public? In public, people are going to

think that's a little weird. I'm trying to watch your
core show, though, and you're pushing me away from it.
I'm pushing away because why not, Janet? Because you because
you will not regret watching the last year of wnder
first Okay, you won't regret it. And it flies by,
and there's and it's almost sad how fast it flies by,
because it's so good. I just realized I have my

notes on my phone for this, so I'm gonna email
those while we keep talking for Spirited Away. I'm just
I'm I'm stuck on the idea and how charmed I
am by the idea of you, you know, still feeling
like you wanted to impress the the mother Ruby's mom.
I think that's so lovely. But I was sort of
a man having being like, let's talk more bad enemy. Here.

Hold this baseball? Mit uh, grab this tr let me
this princes us tr a child size Hold on to
that for a second, Like, how else are you trying
to you know, what, how do how does one other
than just to try to telegraph as many ways as
possible what a great person you are? Like, that's that's
just that's such a specific experience that we don't hear

about very often. You know, the experience I mean surely right,
there's the experience. I'm not making you talk about it,
but the experience of of your I'm going to be
adopting your child. Yeah, yeah, it's very intense. And here's
and here's how I want you to feel about that
and feel about me is very intense. It is very intense. Uh,
one of these days I'm gonna do I don't know

if it's would be on stuff you should know, because
we may do a show on adoption, but I'd probably
refrain from getting super personal there. But at some point
I feel like I want to like talk about that
a lot, like to the people on the internet personal
way I do because I have got to share it

with nameless, faceless strangers. Well, for the reason why is
not to do anything for me. But I think that
there's so much I think so many people are scared
of something like adoption because it's super, super fucking scary
that they might shy away from it. And I think,
I think more people need to tell their story because

it is fraught with many, many complications, but it's it's
worth it because you know, and I would say, you know,
without I'm speaking directly out of to quote Ira Glass
Modern Jackass Magazine, But I feel like as people, as
more and more people of this generation of future generations

wait to have kids, perhaps adoption will become even more prolific,
just because it's just, yeah, it's a better choice for
all kinds of reasons, within the context of like, well,
I'm forty eight and I've decided that it's really important
to me to be a mom. You know how what's
that going to look like? The more that's out there
supporting that as a viable choice, if you know, if

that's if that's right for somebody, the more the better.
I mean, yeah, totally, I love it. Maybe I'll do
that one day, share it with the internet. It's not
even a person. So when we had heard a lot
about I had heard a lot about Spirited Away, obviously
because it's just such a huge movie and a big
award winner, and what are you drinking? What is that?

I'm sorry to say, it's a much a it's a
ice much a latte, that's right, but it's also did
you say that in a dumb down way? For me?
How's it really pronounced? Mata? Uh? It's a spirited away
is something I knew about because even though I wasn't
a fan. You can't be just a fan of movies

and watch the Scars and stuff like that not know
about it. But it was always in that category of like, oh,
I'm not into anime, so I'm not going to watch
that like a dummy, Like what a closed minded way
to think. And when we finally watched it, I didn't
know what to expect because Totoro was so just such
a simple story and so lovely and spirited Away was

just so like druggie mind bending and out there and
grotesque and scary, and uh, I was just like what
the At times I was like, what am I watching?
Is like it blew me away? Yeah, well that's one
of the reasons that I am so fascinated by it
and why I think it's so it's so interesting to

talk about because this is a very very bad comparison.
So I should probably shouldn't even be doing it. But
you know how like they are like, this is a
very bad example, and it's of course I'm like, I'm
whitewashing everything in americanizing it. But because I'm American, bear
with me. Radiohead is not a band I would have
ever thought would have become a huge band all over

the world, because you know, Tom York is interested in
making more like his music was just becoming more and
more experimental, and the more experimental became and the less
sort of mass appeal you would think it had their
star continued to rise. And that's not always the case. Um,
because you know, there's all you can snob out in

pop culture and go like, oh the you know, a
lot of the time really popular stuff is not necessarily
great because it's been watered down, or it's doesn't have
as unique voice or whatever. Um. And so the fact
that something like this cross so many cultures and and
was beloved to so many people in so many different
age groups and is still so strange, I think it's

really cool and and worth noting. You know, I think
that's a great comparison. Actually, Okay, well that's not bad.
The two white people are great it's an Internet first
Uh yeah, I mean it. I think as Emili and
I were both watching it. Of course with Ruby, we

were both a little bit uh not thinking I should
we turn this off because she was really loving it.
But I think we were just I didn't know it
was so kind of batshit crazy right until we started
getting into it. And it's one of those that I
watched it again, like just finished right before I recorded
with Hodgment again for the second time. And I know

it's a movie I'll revisit because it's one that I
know you could probably see twenty times and just visually
still find new things that just blow your mind somewhere
in the frame. Yeah, absolutely, And I will say, I
mean that's the feeling that I have watching it, is
it taps so quickly into the being a kid and

feeling out of your elements somewhere, even if it's everything
I say is so American, even if it's them all,
uh like I keep getting awesome them all, but you know,
just that feeling of homesickness. I mean, I felt it
activates my feeling of homesickness immediately because it's so it

is so strange, and she's transported so quickly and she's
so adorable, and the sense of like loneliness of feeling
like I don't have anything to hang onto, I've got
no sort of touchstone. I don't know what's happening to me.
Uh for it doesn't pull its punches on that, to

be sure. And I completely understand why you would be
watching with Ruby and going like sort of constantly just
then watching realize you, oh, I'm just watching her. I'm
not even watching the screen. I just want to make sure, however,
she's responding to this, because I promise you, if I
was four or five, six seven, possibly, there were so
many movies that my dad thought I was ready for

that he would turn have to turn off because I
would just be sobbing, sobbing. And it's those freaking mirror neurons,
like when when a child would be afraid in in
a in a moment in a movie, or even an adult,
I would just be racked with like fear and sadness
and I would have to take a break. Would be like, okay,
j do you want it now here? There's all here

are the categories. Do you want to stop watching it
and never come back to it? Do you want to
keep watching it and power through the international breakdown you're having,
or do you want to maybe we just take a break.
Why don't we stop playing it and then we'll come
back to it. I had to do that with a
Life of Pie. Like the year that came out. I
knew I couldn't see it in the theater. I was like, Nope,
not going to see in the theater. Finally got around

to it and I and I was like, I got
you know, forty minutes in and I was crying so
hard that I was like, I'm gonna have to walk
away from this, Mike, get a cup of tea, like,
get myself back together. I know I'm going to finish it,
but I cannot do it in one sitting. Um And
this absolutely would have been the case for me. I
would have the minute she's scared, the first time it

starts crying, I would have been like, Okay, why don't
we stop this, why don't we bike ride? And then
we'll come back and we'll be ready, will be stronger
and tougher. We will have processed the first few minutes, right,
you know. Yeah. The good thing about kids, or at
least my experience with Ruby, is that they're they're so
just brutally honest and like she'll let us know. First

of all, we don't even have to check in um.
And also like just the little things that you find
a five and a half year old saying watching a
movie like Spirited Away along the way, you know the
running commentary, which is, I wish I could have heard it.
It's the sweetest thing because it's the basest, most honest
take on something. Yeah, through those little eyes like um,

it really helps you point because it can seem like
a convoluted story when you read a plot summary of it.
It sounds crazy and hard to follow. And it is,
like you said, as you're watching it, you're going, like,
I am so engrossed in this. But if you asked
me what is this movie about? Out, I would give
the most cursory answer, knowing it was a waste of
time because no one will get the sense of what

it is just by saying, like a little girl gets
lost in a bistical bathhouse, Like right, it's over. You
can't talk about it, you know, but it is about
Like it's one of those movies that an adult can
go and research afterwards, which is what I did. What's
it about? And they're all these I know, I'm excited
to talk about those themes because I too had to
be like, okay, I I know I'm missing stuff. It

was that feeling, and even that is a little kid feeling,
right of being like, I know this represents something specific
and I cannot look I can't eyeball it and say, well, clearly,
that's the difference between the working class and capital, like
you quite able to fudget A little bit of this
stuff is sort of obvious, But it's a movie that
you can research and dive into. But the beauty of

it is it's also a movie that can exist in
so simplistically for a five and a half year old. Absolutely,
and she scared, she wants her parents. She loves Haku. Yeah,
we all love HACKU. We all love hack. He's a dreamboat.
First of all. I think him, I love him or
be him. I'm not sure a handsome little Japanese dragon
boy in our life to take care of things, that's right.

Oh he's such what a splendid dragon he becomes, yeah,
very splendid dragon. Um. But let's talk about some of
those themes because I did some research, and you know,
some of the more obvious things is the class distinction,
and like you know, obviously these parents literally become pigs
after they drive up in their autie. And then at

first you're like cash and credit cards and you know,
it's it's it's pretty black and white. But as the
movie goes on, there's there's so much going on that
I found myself wondering, all right, the three green heads, um,
one of them has a full mustache and the other
two do not, Like what is that? Like? Okay, one

of these mustaches is different. If I activate that one,
I will get out of the escape room faster. Uh,
It's true, It's true. We think everything, which is a
testament to it. I think absolutely, What are the themes
have you found? Janney, I was setting up to go, Well,
there's also and who could forget? She said, hope, holding

up her face. Well, I think the other another really
big one is no face, right, Like wondering, like trying
to understand, especially from you know, the sense you get
of that character before he kind of transforms um and
trying to sort of understand like, okay, is he something

it's it feels like he's mirroring his environment. But is
that a very specific reference or is it just the
sort of idea of how malleable we all are and
how we need you know, some we we do need
that touchdown, We do need that guide that who is
going to remind us, you know, what the who we

are or or what the best version of ourselves might be. Um,
which actually don't know if that's like fully answered. I think.
I mean it's talks talks about the idea of him
being you know, like reflecting the characters who surrounds him
like and then becoming the things you consume, which makes
you become even more of the thing that you've consumed,

like if you sort of uh, it becomes this kind
of cycle. Um. But that's such an interesting character. And
I will also say that that is an oft cosplayed
character because when you look at the characters and spirited
Away are like, oh, a lot of these would be
a real challenge to pull off and pay homage to.
If you're like trying to get around in a convention center,
you put on your black cloak and you paint a

beautiful no face mask. You have anonymity and you you know,
provided you're not eating people, um, you stay pretty small
and you can you can navigate yourself across the coun floor. Yeah,
and what was the magic trick that Miyazaki uses to
somehow get different emotions out of no face and almost

seemingly expression. But it doesn't change. I mean, it's all
it's all in our own heads. As a viewer, I think, yeah,
and this and just the I mean I I realized
that I was leaning forward so hard when he's just
going uh huh huh, like you really are like I'm
with you, I'm with you, I'm okay, I'm right here,

like I'm trying to understand. I want to understand. Um
that that that that could have such a strong effect
and be so simple. You could say that for the
whole movie. But that's definitely an example of like, oh,
how do I help you? What do I do you
need from me? You know, there's a lot of that
in this movie. I think because you identify so strongly

with all of the characters to want to jump through
the screen and lend a hand. Yeah. Um, And and
it's hard as a person of my age coming into
this stuff at the first time. I can't not compare
it to Disney. And that's totally fair. Well, look, Disney
had to, I mean, they that was like Pixar who
kind of helped Shepherd in the movie on the American side.

So were you thinking of the brooms the brooms uh
and the little set care Well, I just mean sort
of period, like just the different different animation styles, the
fact that there's and you know, I love the Disney stuff.
I love the Pixar stuff, and there they do have substance,
but there's so much more meat on the bone with
this stuff than your typical Disney thing. And I think

part of that is all the symbolism that you may
not quite have it with the Disney movies. Part of
it is it's not wall to wall pop music. Um,
you don't always know, you don't know to look for
the pidd and penises and the Little Mermaid. And I
love the music of all. I mean, I can listen
to and now I have to and have enjoyed listening

to Frozen and and uh and Frozen two and uh,
what's the one on the Island with the girl? It
was so great Mowanna, Like, I love all those songs.
But there's something really refreshing about seeing a movie like
this with just that wonderful score and not feeling like
they're trying to sell a soundtrack on top of it. Well,
it's funny because there are elements of it. I brought

up the brooms um from Fantasia with a little soot creatures,
because there are some sort of like you could compare
some of it to Fantasia, which is, you know, not
something that Disney continuously repeated. But it was this very strange,
special experiment that did have all of these different styles

and all of these and was you know, so largely
based in the music. And it was entirely based in
the music and and some you know, more mature sort
of themes um. But I'm sure he did. I'm sure
he did. I have absolutely Again, modern Jackass magazine do
not know what I'm talking about. It seems unlikely that

he wouldn't have been exposed to that. But I mean,
that's the thing where it's like, well, if that was
a mild influence or inspiray, shin, you've taken it to
the nth level and so far out, you know, just
surpassed whatever your influence was profoundly um. And I realized
also by the way that I was lying, this was

not the first anime that I ever saw. I did
I I saw, I saw. I know that there's something
else that I saw, in addition to having seen something
called Barefoot Gen which is UM anime that I watched
in an ethics in film class when I was in college.
And it is a horrifying, heartbreaking, shattering as it should

be UH anime about a little boy and uh in
the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and it is fucking horrible.
It will haunt you forever. I there are things in
that movie I can't unsee and it is chilling, And
it was definitely something that you know, it's so well done,

but boy is it. I mean, it's like, you know,
the only comparison is the Wall I guess you know,
and that it's just you're like, oh, yes, the things
that can be achieved through anime in terms of depicting
human horrors that we put each other through no no bounds.
So if anybody wants to see something that will shatter
their soul and make them never question whether Americans should

be hated by other countries for decisions they've made through time.
It's it's really something, It's really something well anime definitely
feels like it's much more willing to walk through the
door of of making a movie that really teaches kids
something much more deeply than sort of the Disney stuff.

I mean, there are plenty of less Every Disney movie
has it's lesson, But I don't think they're dumbed down.
They're just very sort of down here and basic. I
can't wait to have this conversation after you've watched The
Last Bender, because you're twirling your hair. Guess what you
will not say that about those Oh okay, you will

be like, wow, I can't believe Ruby loved it for this.
But the whole time during that episode, I kept thinking, God,
this is so you know, there's some deep, deep stuff
in there. I guess one of the big themes is
that's sort of talked about the parents feeding their faces,

and there's so much grotesque sort of what was it
called the stink distinct distinc spirit. There's so there's so
much over consumption and purging. Were so the theme of
regurgitation and like X explanation, I guess so, I mean
it just that happens over and over and over. Yeah,

there's a lot of puking, like the idea of being
like I'm gonna sit down with a you know, bag
of pop corn and some snickers and just you know,
it'll drive you towards vegetarian is well, I don't know
if that was any of the point of it. Um.
I love the Uh. Just that whole first bathing sequence. Uh,

from the moment it started till the moment it ended
was just so fucking weird, amazing. Yeah. Uh, because you're
trying to figure out, as the first time watcher, like
what even is what is going on at this bathhouse?
And like I think you spend most of the movie
trying to figure this out, and and you think, boy,

this is nuts. And that's in the first third ish
of the movie, and it just gets crazier and crazy.
Yeah it doesn't. It's so unapologetically bizarre and it's not
like things get wrapped up in a way that that like,
using just this as one example, you know, the main

character Yukuba, right is or you, Bubba. I don't want
to say that wrong, So I hope that you can
edit that out. Um yeah, no, I beg you, I
beg you. I don't need the hate mail. I do
not need the hate mail. Um yeah, yeah, Bubba, thank you.
But the fact that she has we find out, you know,
towards the end of the movie, while not really maybe

it's halfway through, but that she apparently has a twin sister,
and yeah, and and a twin sister, Zeniba. And then
when we meet we go to and then Zeniba says,
it has this wonderful she has this uh they all
have this kind of wonderful experience with her, and she
call me, call me granny. Then when sen goes back

to see she calls her granny. And that's right at
the end, and you're and you're like, oh, wait a minute,
and but nothing is that's it, that's your that's your
your experience of is that is she is she one?
And the same is is there's nothing helping you along

other than that she calls granny. And then you sort
of project back and go, well, it does fly away
every day. Where is she going? I need it? Well
year old to explain it to me. Yeah, exactly, like
for real. But I mean, but that's the other ideas,
like there's no one is ever any one thing. And
I mean, as much as you would think, oh, this

person stands for this, so this person represents this. Everyone's
constantly transforming. People have more than one name. Um. You know,
So there's like, I mean, there's as much transformative stuff
that just keeps happening over and over as there is puking, yeah,
as there is barfing out sludge uh in. In my research,
I did find that u shape shifting is such a

big thing in Japanese culture, So I mean this movie
is just full of it, like things morphing into different
things all over the place. Yeah. I don't know that
I've ever seen a movie with so many original looking creatures.
It's you know, when you're used to when you're raised
an America and you're you've seen only Disney, you see
kids and adults and like a talking animal, one talking

parrot or something right, right, And that's sort of the
extent of it. Maybe some of them get a little
more creative than that, but like, nothing that comes close
to touching this. And also why when you're watching it,
why why are some people presenting as human? Why are
some people? Why are some creatures sort of human what

you know? And then other creatures nothing like them? The
big giant baby. You know, some things are have almost
no shape at all and just totally just sort of
shadows with like a little bit of a hint of
maybe two eyes. And then some are fully articulated and
have giant bushy mustaches and multiple arms and little claw

nails and they're the good right, or they're the tiny
little black little little guys are so cute, little city
dusk guys. Yeah, I think you know, there's so many
little things about the movie that make it stand out
above the rest. Like one of my favorite sequences at
the end, when she's taking the train with no phase

and instead of just having the train on the tracks,
the tracks are underwater and that just like all of
a sudden, everything is reflected and it's just a little
decision like that where you know, whereas it could have
just been a train track is just it's amazing. Yeah.
And those all the backdrop painting is just yeah, so stunning.

I mean it hurts your heart how beautiful some of
those renderings are. And um, you know, I had that
there are these moments where I would be like, oh,
I'm going to look away to you know, pick up
my glass of water, and then I would go what wait,
and then you would and then I would rewind. And
it was like on that, especially specifically on the train,
it was like, oh, the blank space quote quotes that

they're that they're going through. You don't want to miss
that because there's this sort of open landscape that's just
might as well be an abstract painting. But it's just beautiful.
It's just beautiful to the eye. Yeah. I mean, the
whole third act is just full of so much emotion
and heart. I think there's a lot of like sort
of figuring it out of the story and a lot

of fear of what's going on through the first two thirds,
and then that last third it really goes into much
more as far as if you're used to watching Disney
and more traditionally able to digest it thing like linear
even it's just like a sense of was a standard
linear storytelling style sort of Yeah. And then like oh
my god, when she's flying with Haku and she remembers

the story about the shoe, yeah, and he turned and
she remembers that he was the spirit of the river
and he changes back, it's just like the music swelling
and oh, I'm like getting choked up just thinking. I know,
I'm like crying in my house at a on a
what's this a Wednesday at noon? About to record Ricogman

and I'm finishing up that movie. I'm like, I gotta
pull it together. Yeah, And you know, Ruby's like, why
are you guys crying? Like this is very sad to
remember he was a river and She's like, but that's happy,
and I'm like, oh, so simple. It really active. That
was That was another thing that I was not expecting
was um and this is you know, perhaps speaking of

going deeper than necessary for movie crush, but uh it
I felt I'm I'm so used to crying during movies.
It's it's a non issue. I mean, that's that's that's expected. Um.
But I had the the feeling that for those of
you who have experienced a loss that has resulted in

tremendous grief of some kind, I had that like you
can't take a deep enough breath kind of feeling where
grief is like, oh I don't have lungs anymore, only grief,
and it just there's a sense of there's a really scary,
out of control role feeling about grief sometimes and crying

and feeling like, you know, you really understand why there
are cultures that that have keening and that wail and
and that that that that is a necessary part of
of grieving because they're speaking of regurgitating. There is a
sense of needing to get something foreign that's lodged inside

of you out so that you can continue to be
a person and survive. And that started bubbling up in me,
and I was so unprepared for it. And it like
everything with this movie not like everything you can definitely draw,
as we said, we're identifying certain themes, but at the
same time, it's just abstract enough that you can't necessarily

you don't have to necessarily point to any one thing
because it's just this feelings are just being washed over you.
And then and the music and the visuals and the
sense of emotion even not expressed through this specific fick
experience of a character um that I was like I
couldn't necessarily say, you know, because Brandon was like I

was like, oh no, like like, oh, this has become
something else now for you, and sort of like how
what what was what was there a trigger? And I
was like no, I don't know. It was almost like
a sneeze, you know what I mean. It was just
like this is just happening to me. I'm just it's
just happening, and I can't say, oh, I it was

that moment. This moment reminded me of my mom dying,
Like not at all, but it has just been. It
was just down there. I was like, I'm ready here,
I come. Guess what I really I really was like, God,
I gotta I gotta get this under control. Like I
have to sort of tell myself, like you can breathe,
you can breathe. You know, it's okay to have this ceiling.
It feels good, absolutely, I mean it always feels better,

like throwing up. The moment when the nausea stops and
you've realized that you have you fear body feels amazing.
Going from feeling so intensely difficult on some level, Is
it is that's its own high of just saying, oh,
I feel so much better, this is amazing. Yes. Yeah,

I've had those moments through movies, specifically where it I
don't even know and if it, like you were saying,
if it was something specific that was inside me that
I clearly needed to get out but I wasn't in
touch with. But where I had found myself just un
inconsolable and and just in a different state of upset

than I had ever been at the at the end
of a movie or something, and it happened a couple
of years ago, and I can't remember the movie, so like,
that's not even the important part. It's this. It's this
literal physical reaction that happens. Like we said, there are
no lungs anymore. It's like your your throat closes, and
it's uh, it's very cathartic feeling. I always wondered if

like primal screen therapy would be something that would benefit me.
I mean, that's you, I get it. There are cree
creepy seventies therapy that you see in like cult documentaries.
I'm sorry to say, I'm like, now this I don't
have a problem with. It's like, wait a minute, that
that's the thing that most people are pointing to, going like,
well that's wrong, and it looks very healing actually exactly.

Oh goodness, um the I'm surprised Disney didn't try to
rip this off at some point, not this movie specifically,
but after Spirited Away. I'm surprised they didn't say, well,
let's try our hand at anime, or maybe they did
and I wasn't aware of it. I don't even know. Yeah,
I don't. I mean I think you know, like Big
Hero six sort of again, now I'm sort of conflating

Pixar and Disney, and that's not fair to Pixar into sense, um,
it's not fair to either. Look is that fair to either? Um?
I have I I feel the same way about Disney
stuff as as you do anything. I still want to
do voice work for both, and I'm and I am available,
and I do and I am a princess. I'm a princess,
princess princess. Uh No, I mean, it's just it's just

a different The experience that you expect to have is different.
And that's not to say that there aren't Disney movies
that have had um, really lasting impacts on me, and
that I absolutely cherish an adore. I think to some
degree there is a sense of I don't want to
fetishize the otherness of being from a different culture, but

the experience of of watching, you know, I mean, even
like something like Aladdin is still told through the lens
of American storytelling, Like that's okay, this is how we
understand this is this is the Disney way of understanding
this thing that you know is now like problematic yet
also very beloved and important. For other reasons to people,

and I get all of that, um, but I think
there there's you know, there's just something to be said
for like we should all like we should all be
so lucky as to have the opportunity to see art
from all over the world that just feels really important
and um, and it might connect you with something inside
yourself that you haven't had access to through art because

some some some way in which you've you've digested it,
like there, it hasn't touched a certain part, you know,
um that maybe something else will. Yeah. I mean anytime
I'm traveling or here in Atlanta at the High Museum,
anytime I see like something, you know, the art of
Zimbabwe coming for two weeks whatever, whatever, I always try

and go because you know, and a lot of times
it's not something that resonates with me, but sometimes it is.
But it's just like, well, you know, now I know
what that's like. Now now I know what that country
is putting out there, absolutely, and and that definitely goes
I think for my Unsurprisingly, things that maybe would be
more accessible or thought of as children's entertainment on some

level if they are like Miyazaki or if they are
like you know Hungarian like puppetry or I mean pupp
treat to great example, speaking of the Center for Puppetry.
You see the way, if you see the way all
these different cultures handle the same idea of like a
doll that's moving on behalf of a person, like it

has some sort of human traits and characteristics. Um, it's
it's amazing what you can what you find is universal.
And then also those moments that you feel like, oh,
I'm seeing something that comes from some totally other place
in terms of you know, like literally and and metaphorically,
and that's it's you know, it's exciting and it is uncomfortable.

It can be uncomfortable. Yeah, and it doesn't even have
to be another culture or country. Sometimes it can just
be something and there's a little off track, but it
can be something that you just never previously were turned onto. Yeah.
That One of the maybe top two three museum exhibits
I've ever seen was the Alexander McQueen one in New

York that I was like, I don't know anything about
fashion and how fashion and couture and I know nothing
about that stuff. So I go to the show and
I'm just like blown away and then all of a sudden,
I'm not all of a sudden some huge fashion guy,
but I wanted to watch the documentary about this guy,
and I wanted to know more about his life. And
it's like, you know, Emily and I went to the

opera once in l A. We've never been in the opera.
It turns out we don't like the opera. Fair enough,
fair you gotta you gotta try that chip. Yeah, I
got a couple of operas of it. You would like,
Oh yeah, I don't know, being like a weird opera dealer,
all of a Sunnen got a couple of I got
a couple of operas. I think you met. Like we
went to see La bo M that Bas Lorman put
on stage in l A when I lived there. I
was like, this is gonna be the one. It's bos Lorman,

it's operads, and we just couldn't get into it. There's
a there's a German opera company um that did a
version of the Magic Flute that was like, um, Tim
Burton nineteen like Tim Burton meets the nineteen twenties meets opera.
It's they used a bunch of film projection and um,

and it's just strange and dark and unlike anything I
had ever seen before, and I was like, oh, I
love opera. And then I went and saw something more
convention I was like, oh, no, I appreciate opera. I
appreciate opera. I just love that opera in that specific way,
and says Janet, you need to take a little break.

Do you need to finish this later? Do you want
to power through? Oh, that's what intermissions are for got it,
gotta gotta got it. It's your opportunity to leave with grace. Yeah,
it's your opportunity to realize you left the stove on
and that's fine. Um. Well, just to wrap up Spirited Away,
I think the ending with um it kind of struck

me today. Well, like the supposed goal is for her
to be reunited with her parents, but it's not. Um,
it's not one that if you grew up on Disney,
your conditioned that that is like the end all be all.
Like as a viewer, you're not like, you're kind of like,
do you really want her to go back to Yes?
The movie yeah, And it pays off in exactly that way,

like its ending is so abrupt you don't go to
see started very quickly and yeah, like I don't know
where she hero was going to live she see the
new home. I feel sorry for her that she is
back with the parents that were greedy enough that they
I mean, because at the end of the day, they
were the ones who made the decision to you know,

we don't have an understanding of them having been magic
into gorging themselves on this food. Um, that seems to
be a decision that they fully made on their own.
And um, and it's yeah, it's so funny, Like here,
I immediately Michael Chicklist just says one of those voices
that I just, you know, immediately know it's him. And
I was like, oh, that's Checklist. That is full on Checklist,

Like they're really they really did it because they picked
this like just very like I'm just a regular guy,
you know voice as his. Yeah, and and and then
I had to look up that it was Lauren Holly
who did the female voice, because it wasn't quite as
iconic sounding. But yeah, but and Suzanne Plushchett is the ISA,

which is like, you have to smoke a lifetime. She
had to. She really devoted a lifetime of smoking to
that role. Um, with her incredibly raspy boys, but of
course it was perfect. Um but yeah, she's she comes
back and you really have a sense of like, oh, yeah,
the regular world cool, cool, cool, and you know as

she's going through that, and then they're like, well, you're
gonna be going to do school and she's like, I
think I'll be okay. Credits it's just very over, yeah,
not a lot of sentiment attached, like you're used to
hear in the States, Um, well in fact, and she's
like she's so she's feeling emotional in her mom's like
don't stop clinging, like oh boy, okay. Yeah, it's like

can we go back to the to the spirit world
to Yeah, it's a little bit of the Goonies effect
of like the kid has this big adventure and then
as reunited with the parents and then it's kind of like, oh,
adventure Land was so much better. Yeah. Yeah, I think, um,
we are and we are. Yeah, you're right. We're conditioned

to feel like if it's a it's a movie we
think of for young people, there's more a sense of
like I have to be taken care of all the
way through, and part of being taken care of all
the way through means that there's something beautiful and wonderful
and and uh and and safe and great about being
back with your parents and yeah, I think he wanted

the parents to be different or like, if they were
here in the United States, the parents would have transformed
somehow and been different. And then you know, but this
means accuses like nah, yeah, back to it. Yeah, kid,
they wish they could have eaten more of the those
beautiful dumplings. I know, those dumplings that they eventually probably

threw up. Well, Janet, this was great. I think we
were going to record a separate thing to go into
the final mini Crush, but I think since we're here
and we're just chatting, uh, this is the last Movie
Crush episode officially. Uh. You started the show off with
show number one, and everyone was like, oh, you started

with Tron the best movies of all time. You can't listen.
You came around, did you? I don't know, but you you,
if I recall correctly, you begrudgingly acknowledged that there was
personal history that made my choice really justifiable. Have you

been hanging on to this for three and a half years?
I am this is a reckoning, Mr, this is a reckoning.
Now it's not even about the movies. It's about having
these great conversations with with people who are friends of
mine sometimes and people who I don't know that I
can connect with about movies and art and culture. And um,
you were the first person to have on because it

was it was just a no brainer for me to
have someone on who has done a lot for me
and my personal creative life. And I know I've told
you that before, but you have always challenged me to
do things I didn't think I could do. And uh,
I know that will continue through the years with um
sketch Fest coming back back, which I'm so excited about.

But I wanted to have you on here is the
last guest, and that you were actually the fact you
were already scheduled. And then it's kind of been in
the back of my head about ending the show, and
then it kind of hit me out of the blue.
I was like, wait a minute, Janet's coming on. It's like,
I think this is it, Like this is a sign
you'll just bookend it. An I can't thank you for that.

That means so much to me. I I can't even
tell you why. Um, I that means that just means
the world to me, chuck, um, because I've been wanting
to do the show again and um and then dem
old Cole like became you know the guy who comes
on the show. So oh, I goes, he's you do
He's gonna talk about defending your life. Great, now I
can't talk about defending your life either, Thanks, Cole. Let's

just keep cross him off all my favorite movies off less.
Uh no, it's and it and it really you know,
as you know, we were going to record earlier than this,
and my mom passed away, and I was just sort
of take, you know, pulling back because at any moment,
I didn't know when that feeling was going to bubble up,
and it felt very very unpredictable, and it felt like

a lot to put another person through. If I understand now,
you know, you could have had the juicy your episode.
If if we've done it, then uh and so and
and so I'm really really glad that it that it
did work out, because I don't know that you would
necessarily have have thought, you know, oh right, I you know,

Jan is probably wondering why I didn't follow up with
her after her mom died to say are you ready yet?
Are you ready yet. Um, well, i'd certainly is trying
to give you space, and I knew it would come
around at some point. Well, I just and then too,
you know, I I just miss you guys. I can't
believe of how much love I have and such a
deep connection I have with friends that I mean, I
can but um, you know I I I love you

guys like you're my next door neighbors and we've lived
next to each other for ten years. I it's so
insane how much I would yeah, and and so you know,
my it really it's very touching to me that you
would that you would have me on and have it
be the last episode. I don't I thank you and
and and if you're and and if it's and if

it feels good and like, yes, I'm I was ready
to be do you know it's not like that. Obviously,
no one's saying it's not a show that you that
you would have done forever that someone else was like,
we're a Paula blug buddy. Sorry, you know, to feel
like that's the nice thing that's sort of representative of
one of the nice things about podcasting is that you
can go I think I'm good like this was great.

This was great. On your terms, I'll probably do some
episodes here and there when I feel like it. No,
this is the last episode. What are you talking about?
Don't undo what it? Asshole. I can't believe I did that. No,
I've told people that I will do one off episodes

here and there. But how about this. Of course, after
every one of those potential last episodes, I will have
you on to get and we'll have this moment again.
Won't beat contrived? Mean a lot to me? You know what.
I'll even watch whatever movie it was that your other
guests wanted to talk about, and you just tag me
on and we'll just do one minute's worth where I

tell you my opinion of the movie, and then we
spend the rest of the time saying, well, right, you're wonderful,
this is great. What a run? Can you believe it? Uh? So,
thank you, Janet Barney. Where what's what's the name of
your podcast? Where can people find it? Uh? The Avatar
podcast is Avatar Braving the Elements. Uh. It is available

anywhere you get podcasts. It is an I Heart Radio
UH partnered presentation. But you can find it anywhere Stitcher, Apple,
all that good stuff and it comes out every Tuesday,
and I do that again with Dante Bosco and uh.
And then obviously the j V Club has been around,
Chuck's been on it more than once. I talked to
people about their awkward teenage years. UM one of my

favorite shows. It's a very it's very very fun again
like movie Crush, It's like, yeah, the premises, we talked
about this, but it's really just about getting to know
someone and getting a chance to hang out. Um. And
then and then I do an improvised space comedy podcast
called Voyage to the Stars with Kirsten vangs Nous from
Criminal Minds, Felicia Day, Colton Dunne, Steve Berg and oh

you didn't. Oh we've been like, we've just finished recording
our third season, but only two seasons I think are out. Um. Yeah,
we were on a We're on a mad cap adventure,
a bunch of people thrown together. I am not even
a person. I'm an AI on a ship that eventually
gets a robot body. Uh and uh, and have a
bunch of uncomfortable space missive tuers that UM most often

results in as accidentally destroying a planet as we try
to navigate back to Earth. I got to check that out.
You should look because it's of course a ton of
your favorite people are the guests of it too. All right, Janet, Well,
I can't wait to see you hopefully next January sketch
Fest and hug your neck and get Brandon and Emily
and all of us together again. Yes, please, I need it.

My soul needs it. My soul needs it too, And
I'm so glad again to have been the very very final,
final final episode of the movie Crush. Final episode. All right,
I'm gonna let you have the last even word, So
go ahead, what's your final word? Final episode? One word

by Janet? All right, everybody, that was it. I hope
you like that as much as I did. I had
such a good time talking to Janet. She's just you know,
she's she's the best. I've said it before. I know
you're tired of me saying that she's the best, but
she really is. If you knew her, you'd say the

same thing. So big thanks to Janet for for coming
back and wrapping up the regular weekly interview editions with me.
Thanks to Janet for kicking off the show three and
a half years ago with Tron and uh boy, It's
It's been a lot of fun in between, and book
ending this with Janet means a lot to me, so

big thanks to her. So I hope you all enjoyed it,
and I hope you take care of yourselves. This is
not the end. Look for episodes here and there, everyone,
They'll be coming at you with some regularity. But I
love you all and I thank you all. Look for
a very special supersized mini crush coming up soon as
soon as I can lick this covid and get everybody

in the can that I wanted to And you're really
gonna enjoy that. One's a lot of fun. So be well,
take care of yourselves, get backs, and continue to wear
those masks everyone. Movie Crash is produced and written by
Charles Bryant and Meel Brown, edited and engineered by Seth
Nicholas Johnson, and scored by Noel Brown here in our

home studio at Pontsty Market, Atlanta, Georgia. For iHeart Radio.
For more podcasts for my Heart Radio, visit the iHeart
Radio app, Apple podcast, or wherever you listen to your
favorite shows.

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