Puff the Magic Dragon

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by Joshie Jaxon

Jackie Draper, sits in a chair as three of the best psychiatrists in all of medicine, tell his parents that he cannot or will not speak, communicate, nor relate in any way with the world around him. His parents already know that. That’s not what they invited them to consult on. They basically tell the parents to keep Jackie warm and safe from danger. One of them says they can hope for a miracle, but the other two frown on that.

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Alright, before we continue, I wanna break this down. Jackie, who I assume is an introvert, and probably on the autism spectrum, doesn’t talk to those around him. Rather than leaving the kid to his devices, or trying, at least where we the audience can see, to find a level he can relate at, or engage him in something he’d enjoy, they just leave him to sit in solitude, since he can’t/won’t communicate at their perceived level of normal. We all on the same page here? Ok, back to the cartoon.

Jackie sits in his room, as Puff passes by. He tries talking to Jackie, and invites himself into his room. Puff takes the silence as permission to enter, like any good sexual predator. Having no van, Puff opens his bag to find Jackie some candy. Instead he pulls out a glass slipper, Alice’s mushroom, Peter’s shadow, gold spun from straw, a yellow brick, and then gets out construction paper and scissors. He draws up a picture of Jackie and cuts it out, dubbing it Jackie Paper. He then tells Jackie D, that he’s going to essentially borrow his soul for a while. Cause you know, that’s normal.

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Jackie Paper asks if he’s all better. Puff says he’ll be all better if he takes a journey with him, and really wishes he’d used his magic to conjure a van. Instead, we need to build a boat to get to Honalee. Puff has a bed there, after all. Sorry, but as an adult this looks really creepy. If Puff weren’t a dragon he’d be hanging out with Mr. Herbert asking the paper boy if he brought any good news today. There’s a snappy musical number as they move Jackie D’s body aside, and build a boat from all his things.

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As they sail, we hear lyrics from the original Peter, Paul and Mary song. When it mentions pirates, Jackie P gets scared. Kid, just wait until you get to the cave. Ok, I promise, I’ll stop with the Puff the Magic Pedophile jokes. For at least a paragraph. Puff tells him there is no turning back. Man I shouldn’t have made that promise a sentence ago. Damn. We meet the pirate, Very Long John. Yes, that’s his name. Girl is serving pirate realness with his black hat with skull accent, and peg leg. Remember this outfit, Visage will be reading it later.

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Puff shows Jackie that Very Long is nothing but a baker at heart. He asks our fancy pirate to make him a cherry pie. Taking a chance to not be judged, he fires up the oven and makes several pies for Puff and Jackie. They adore eating their words, but his pies are even better. We see Very Long had a costume change, and is now serving baker eleganza realness, complete with two regular legs. Wow, if Puff can make a second leg grow, imagine what he could do for a third. Either this cartoon is dirty, or I am. Maybe both.

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Puff and Jackie reach the sea of the starless sky. When Jackie asks why, Puff tells him it’s the clouds. They’re jealous of the stars that can fly higher than them, and like all small-spirited and stupid beings, they feel they can deny beauty by hiding it. Sound familiar? *cough republicans *cough. A star falls, and though it can’t talk, Jackie feels a connection to her. He has Puff paint wings on the boat, and flies up to return the star. She thanks him as she returns to the sky.

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Puff gives Jackie a medal for bravery, as they crash into a dark and nasty looking island. Puff says this is Honalee. Of course it is. Time to pay for the boat ride, kid. Last one, I swear. They discover the island has been overrun with creatures known as Living Sneezes. Jackie tells Puff to help, but he can’t. Performance issues. He wasn’t counting on an audience. Ok, THAT was the last one. Because the island is spoiled, so are Puff’s powers. He tells Jackie that he needs to go home, since he’s not afraid anymore. That’s great and all, Puff, but how is Paper supposed to return his soul to Draper without you, hmm?

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Lucky for Puff, Jackie didn’t listen. He brought Very Long with him. The pirate/baker says what the Living Sneezes need is his chicken soup. He then proceeds to ladle it all over them. I know it’s supposed to be soup, but it looks like something else. I won’t even go there. I’m just gonna put this picture right here.

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With the Sneezes cured, we enter another musical number. “Soup” continues to rain down on Honalee, and everything begins to return to it’s original state. Everyone joins in the song, and happy times are had by all. As the song ends, Puff and Jackie Paper are back in Jackie’s room. Puff tells him he doesn’t need him anymore, and that he’s ready to grow up. Kid too old for you now, Puff? Hey! I had one left after all. They hug, and Puff removes Paper’s soul, and puts it back in his original body.

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The parents come in, and Jackie talks to them. Since on Earth it’s only been I’d imagine minutes, or hours, the parents are happy, rather than stunned, that their kid is talking to them. Parental hug of celebrated normalcy. They can love him now that he’s “cured”. We end with Puff breaking the fourth wall, asking where our fancy stuff is.

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-JJ

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