Review looks at childhood films

HOUGHTON – Michigan Technological University student groups melded the films of their youth with the experiences of their college life at Thursday night’s Winter Carnival Stage Revue.

In keeping with this year’s Carnival theme, “Nostalgic Films of Childhood Days Come to Life in Frosty Ways,” the six groups packed their skits with fondly remembered children’s characters. Though it included some older creations (such as Tinker Bell from “Peter Pan,” who showed up in three skits), most were drawn from the animated Disney films of the 90s and the first decade of Pixar movies.

A representative mix was in Raptor Hall’s “Can You Find Your Love Tonight?”, in which favorites of the past 20 years tried to find out if they had more in common than their parent company. Pairing off with varying degrees of success were Mike Wazowski from “Monsters Inc.” and Dory from “Finding Nemo”; Yzma from “The Emperor’s New Groove” and Rex from the “Toy Story” movies; Tinker Bell and either Timon or Pumbaa from “The Lion King”; and Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” and Tarzan.

Students also found a place in their sketches for jabs at staples of Tech life, such as the cold and the nearly 3-to-1 guy-girl ratio. Sigma Phi Epsilon punctuated its saga of Captain Hook joining forces with the Wicked Witch with several fake ads. In one, attorneys Mickey and Minnie Mouse make an appeal to tuition payers suffering from “empty pocket-itis” and other ailments.

“Thought you were paying for 12 credits?” Mickey said. “Sometimes this disease can mutate into something known as ‘plateau tuition.”

Most skits plugged their characters into the sturdy travelogue structure. Alpha Gamma Delta took Dorothy from the Carnival all-nighter to a Wizard of Oz” story, as she faced off with Dory from “Finding Nemo” against the “Wicked Witch of NMU.”

Delta Zeta transposed the Willy Wonka tour to Tech’s campus. Charlie Bucket was the last man standing after Mike Teevee was zapped in an experimental machine in Fisher Hall and Veruca Salt was whapped by a broomball.

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps slimmed its cast in more sinister fashion.

It closed with a murder mystery in which Quasimodo, a sympathetic figure in his Disney days, turned heel and killed Harry Potter and “Pokemon” character Pikachu before Disney princess Mulan took him down.

Tackling the carnival theme most directly was Phi Delta Chi’s skit, about a stressed-out senior who seeks refuge in childhood movies. After running through the likes of “Space Jam” and “Jumanji,” she decides she’d rather have the real world.

“All these places were movies when I was a kid,” the graduating senior said. “This stuff is too young for me. I want to go home.”

The revue went over well with the crowd.

Sara Ilema, a third-year exercise science major from Grand Rapids, liked the singing and dancing of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

“It was funny, and I think they were the most outgoing,” she said. “Out of all the groups, the others kind of held back. They put it all out there.”

T.J. Rubeck came up from the Chicago area to visit his sister. Unsurprisingly, his favorite skit was the Air Force ROTC skit, where she played Mulan.

“She’s pretty quiet usually, so seeing all the anger – I’ve seen it before – but it’s kind of interesting to see her on stage,” he said.