In black-and-white, a little girl draws on a piece of paper in the forest. A little boy hides behind a tree, watching her.
In color, Bette Midler walks in the magical forest and puts her hand on her cheek.
The little girl surveys her drawing and hears a voice call out to her. She looks to the left and right, wondering who it is. He gestures for her to come with him. She walks with him and they meet with two kids with a bear and clown head. They find a little boy carrying a drum and continue their trek.
In color, Midler sways in the forest.
In black-and-white, a train rides through a city.
In color, Midler stands in the train station.
In black-and-white, the little kids walk by the train tracks. They find a little boy dressed in plaid and a little girl playing sticks. They welcome the two kids to the group. They walk on the train tracks and walk back to the forest.
In color, Midler stands in the forest again.
In black-and-white, the little kids find petals flying by a little girl, wearing a gown. She waves to them and gets up. She leads them to a cave, where two little boys spar with sticks.
In color, Midler stands in the train station. She puts her hands on her hips and pounds her heart.
In black-and-white, the little kids stop to admire a mountain.
Back in color, Midler sings in the forest, waving her arms. She smiles and turns around, spreading her arms out.
Back in the forest, the little girl draws in color.
In a forest, abandoned children band together and take care of one another. Homeless and lonely, they learned to rely on one another. Adults failed them. They would see them pass by and say nothing. Some would offer food. But mostly, they would stay away, passing through when the city was likely to be busy.
Nonetheless, the children vary from fairytale to complex young adult characters in a dystopian novel, examining human behavior. The little girl who draws seems to be Alice from Alice In Wonderland while the second girl seems to be an idealistic Disney princess who lost her singing animal friends. Meanwhile, the boys are warriors, fighting with sticks from Lord of Flies. However, in the stereotypical gendered roles, it’s the two little girls who become the mothers, promising hope and leading the boys to possibility.
Midler, in turn, is their fairy godmother, keeping an eye on them. She takes them away from danger. Despite their bad lot in life, she believes the children will turn out well and succeed. They will find people who want to adopt them. The forest won’t be their home forever.
Midler may be living in utopia. However, even utopias experience problems by eradicting evil. Evil is able to form again, stronger than before. The perfect world Midler longs for doesn’t exist in any reality.
Director: Tamra Davis Year: 1990