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Terran Infiltration Resources: The Fictional Masterlist 
6th-Sep-2007 02:49 pm
van's recent posts about music for aliens reminded me of a sort of list I'd been thinking of compiling for quite some time.

Terran Infiltration Resources: The Fictional Masterlist
Don't you just hate this? You find a new planet, learn its history, copy the biology of the dominant organism, and are all set to infiltrate the culture, when someone brings up Clark Kent in conversation. And no matter how many great leaders, scientists and philosophers are stored in your biographical archives, your confusion immediately outs you as a hostile invader.
But no more! Here, we at Terran Infiltration Ltd, in association with the InterNets™ have worked hard to produce this masterlist of fictional works, for total cultural integration. Simply download these works into your databanks, and absorb at your own leisure over the 300 years in lightspeed on your way to Sol3, and by the time you arrive you'll know everything there is to know about fiction in order to seamlessly infiltrate society and take over from the inside! Complete infiltration guaranteed or your money back!*
And all for the low low price of AC$1m plus tax.

*Guarantee only valid if you try to invade Earth during 2007. Not applicable in any non-English speaking areas, the whole of Asia and Africa, anywhere with strange food, or among nerds.
In short, these are works of fiction whose memes (and each work of fiction contains a wealth of memetic information) have been so successful propagating themselves into our culture, that everyone knows what they are.

I divided the works into four categories:
Written Words, which include what we'd know as books and plays, where the story, characters and words are important, but can be read as well as encountered through dramatic representation;
Moving Pictures, which are audiovisual presentations in which the sound and the vision carry as much memetic value as the story and the words.
Serials, which are long running continuous works. The key difference between this category and the other two, is that in this one, you don't need to have seen or read the entire canon, just one or two issues / episodes in order to understand the concept.
and finally:
Lore, which is vague and changeable and often part of a verbal tradition. The point is, that there is no fixed canon for these stories, but people are still expected to recognised the characters and basic stories

Works are put into the category under which they have the most influence. Planet of the Apes, for example, is much better known as a movie than a book, so it goes there. Superman may have been an iconic film, but the comics carry as much cultural weight, and so that goes under serials.

'Sequential' works that nevertheless provide a coherent story went under WW or MP (e.g. Star Wars, Harry Potter). 'Thematic' works with a large canon that isn't necessarily sequential (James Bond; the Famous Five) went under sequels.

I deliberately omitted the Bible and anything else someone at one time has in all seriousness considered fact.

Also bear in mind the following:
 -  you don't have to have seen/read a work for it to have culturally influenced you. Many people have never read Hamlet, but they still know the phrase "to be or not to be". I have never seen 2001(don't  yell) but I know the opening sequence. The point is, we've absorbed the knowledge through cultural osmosis. An outsider doesn't have this advantage and the best way to gain it would be the fiction.
 - This is about cultural influence, not literary merit. Just because something is rubbish, that doesn't mean it hasn't had a profound impact on society. Please no 'quality control' here.
 - NO 'CULT' KNOWLEDGE. Just because all your friends have seen Firefly, it doesn't mean it's been influential enough to infiltrate mainstream culture. Buffy the Vampire Slayer I include because everyone's at least heard of it.

So with that in mind, here's what I came up with off the top of my head. Please give me your suggestions, tell me what should and shouldn't be on it, and spread the word around, linking them back here! Thanks.

Written Word
  1. 1984 by George Orwell
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 
  4. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  5. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  7. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
  8. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  9. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  10. Harry Potter (complete series) by J.K. Rowling
  11. Animal Farm  - George Orwell
  12. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
  13. Peter Pan - J. M. Barry
  14. Dracula - Bram Stoker
  15. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
  16. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson
  17. Faust - Christopher Marlowe
  18. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
  19. Emma - Jane Austen
  20. War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells
  21. I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
  22. The Divine Comedy - Dante
  23. Paradise Lost- John Milton
  24. The Canterbury Tales- Geoffery Chaucer
  25. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
  26. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
  27. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
  28. To Kill a Mocking Bird - Harper Lee.
  29. Winnie the Pooh -  A A Milne
  30. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
  31. Ringworld - Larry Niven
  32. Brave new World - Aldous Huxley
  33. The Odyssey - Homer
  34. The Illiad - Homer
  35. The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
  36. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  37. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  38. The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo
  39. Cyrano de Bergerac - Edmond Rostrand
  40. A Picture of Dorian Grey - Oscar Wilde
  41. The Princess and the Pea - Hans Christian Andersen
  42. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- Roald Dahl
  43. The BFG - Roald Dahl
  44. The Little Match Girl- Hans Christian Andersen
  45. The Little Mermaid - Hans Christian Andersen
  46. Aesop's Fables
  47. One Thousand and One Nights
  48. Tarzan - Edgar Rice Burroughs.
  49. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  - Mark Twain
  50. The Raven - Edgar Allen Poe
  51. The Lady of Shallot - Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  52. The Highwayman - Alfred Noyes
  53. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  54. Carrie - Stephen King
  55. The Stand - Stephen King
  56. The Invisible Man- H.G. Wells
  57. The Time Machine - H.G. Wells
  58. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel).
  59. The Cat in the Hat! - Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel).
  60. Green Eggs and Ham- Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel).

Moving Pictures

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  2. Psycho
  3. Star Wars
  4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind *
  5. Jaws
  6. Jurassic Park
  7. E.T. The Extraterrestrial
  8. Planet of the Apes
  9. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  10. Monty Python's Life of Brian
  11. Casablanca
  12. Gone with the Wind
  13. Spartacus
  14. The Seven Year Itch
  15. Some Like it Hot
  16. The Wizard of Oz
  17. Singin' in the Rain
  18. The Godfather
  19. Halloween
  20. The Shining
  21. Forbidden Planet
  22. The Great Escape
  23. Bullitt
  24. Ghostbusters
  25. The "Dollars" trilogy
  26. The Wolf Man
  27. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
  28. Wayne's World
  29. This is Spinal Tap
  30. Bambi
  31. Titanic
  32. Apocalypse Now
  33. Alien
  34. Terminator
  35. Dirty Harry
  36. When Harry Met Sally
  37. The Bridge Over the River Kwai
  38. The Seven Samurai
  39. Pinocchio
  40. The Lion King
  41. Lady and the Tramp
  42. Back to the Future
  43. The Princess Bride
  44. The Indiana Jones movies.
  45. Mary Poppins
  46. The Sound of Music
  47. The 101 Dalmations
  48. The Producers
  49. The Phantom of the Opera
  50. King Kong
  51. Godzilla
  52. It's a Wonderful Life
  53. White Christmas
  54. The Mummy

  1. Superman
  2. Batman
  3. Spiderman
  4. Star Trek (The Original Series)
  5. Monty Python's Flying Circus
  6. Fawlty Towers
  7. Cheers
  8. Doctor Who
  9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  10. Looney Tunes
  11. Tom and Jerry
  12. Disney Shorts
  13. James Bond (movies)
  14. The Famous Five (Enid Blyton)
  15. Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)
  16. The Simpsons
  17. South Park
  18. Blackadder
  19. Mission: Impossible
  20. The Flintstones
  21. Peanuts
  22. Garfield
  23. Friends
  24. Barney
  25. Alfred Hitchcock presents
  26. I Love Lucy
  27. Scooby Doo
  28. The Smurfs
  29. The A Team
  30. Power Rangers
  31. Eastenders
  32. The Muppets
  33. Transformers
  34. Nancy Drew
  35. Lassie
  36. The Twilight Zone
  37. The Lone Ranger
  38. Happy Days
  39. The Addams Family
  40. Inspector Gadget

  1. Cinderella
  2. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  3. Little Red Riding Hood
  4. Jack and the Beanstalk
  5. Robin Hood
  6. Sleeping Beauty
  7. King Arthur
  8. Three Little Pigs
  9. Beauty and the Beast

OK, That's me out. Give me your suggestions and I'll add them

*Actually, while I include this for the music, four people failed this alien test last night when I observed a friend of matgb's had carved Devil's Tower out of his pudding. AND NO ONE GOT IT.
6th-Sep-2007 01:55 pm (UTC)
Eeh, between me and you, the aliens are going to have a BREEZE conquering Earth. I wonder if we'll get special treatment for helping them out?

Anyway, I totally intend to add to this list, but I am too sleepy to think right now, so I shall tackle this later. :D:D:D

I love this post though. :D
(Deleted comment)
6th-Sep-2007 01:59 pm (UTC)
I added the disclaimer about cultures that aren't Western because I feel inescapably underqualified to provide an infiltration kit for a culture not mine.

And applying Journey to the West marks myself out as an alien, which wasn't the aim.
6th-Sep-2007 02:11 pm (UTC)
The first thing that sprang to mind, for some reason, was Moby Dick, even though I haven't read it.

I'd also add The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Wayne's World?

The Man from UNCLE, The Avengers, Biggles.
6th-Sep-2007 02:16 pm (UTC)
Yes to the novels and the movies. The serials - I'm not so sure, because I can't think of how they've influenced culture.
6th-Sep-2007 02:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, Bambi! Everyone knows one thing that happens in Bambi...
6th-Sep-2007 02:17 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
6th-Sep-2007 05:39 pm (UTC)

I don't.
6th-Sep-2007 05:46 pm (UTC)
You probably know it even if you don't know where it's from. That's how pervasive it is. :)
6th-Sep-2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
Conceded and added.
6th-Sep-2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
I'd submit The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Dirty Harry to the Moving Pictures category. I've never seen either, and yet there are those iconic scenes and lines that crop up everywhere.

And possibly Arthurian legend to the Lore category. Even though you have Holy Grail up, your average alien might not realize it was a comedic sendup of other, more serious legends.
6th-Sep-2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
"Dollars" trilogy clarified.

and Arthur added.
6th-Sep-2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
I'd definitely put Friends into serials, since most people can name the characters and a quote/joke/haircut or two, even if they haven't watched a lot of it.
6th-Sep-2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
And also, I'd stick the legend of King Arthur into Lore. Has latest through the ages with various changes and no one knows if its true but everyone's still heard of it.
6th-Sep-2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
Both added
6th-Sep-2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
Personally I'd stick Faust in Lore- the legend is older than Marlowe- and Goethe had an awful lot to say about it. The only thing I can think of that's specifically Marlowe is the "is this the face that launched a thousand ships, and burnt the topmost towers of Ilium" line.

I'd also put HP in the serials- While you certainly need to read at least one, I don't think you need to read all seven to pass as human- not before you get here anyway.

King Arthur needs to go into Lore too, As should big chunks of Greek and Norse mythology.

How can you leave out Apocalypse Now?

I'm shocked you've never seen 2001, but then I've never seen Close Encounters, so I suppose
6th-Sep-2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
Personally I'd stick Faust in Lore- the legend is older than Marlowe- and Goethe had an awful lot to say about it. The only thing I can think of that's specifically Marlowe is the "is this the face that launched a thousand ships, and burnt the topmost towers of Ilium" line.
That's a pretty damned significant line, though. You could say the same for all the Shakespeare plays, but the prose is important

I'd also put HP in the serials- While you certainly need to read at least one, I don't think you need to read all seven to pass as human- not before you get here anyway.
But it's one coherent narrative - one piece of literature, if you will, just in 7 parts. That's how it differs from James Bond

big chunks of Greek and Norse mythology.
I'm not using any divine mythology. But I see what you mean.
6th-Sep-2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
In terms of expressions that "everyone's heard of" the line is important, but it doesn't mean anything to me outside of that. I suppose you could take Marlowe's Faust to stand for all the Faust legends- but if you do that then Mallory's "Morte D'Arthur" should stand for all Arthurian legends. Perhaps we need the "Bumper Book of Quotes People Will Be Familiar With, But Don't Know Where From"?

Ok, Ive got a small list, courtesy of "In Our Time", among others...
Don Quixote - Cervantes
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
Pilgrim's Progress - Alexander Pope
The Aenied - Virgil
War & Peace - Tolstoy
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
The Rights of Man - Thomas Paine
11th-Sep-2007 09:59 am (UTC)
Well, Mallory's Morte d'Arthur isn't necessary, because it's not definitive in it's own right. I certainly only know the Arthurian legend from Monty Python, Disney, and other sources.

I figured the Iliad could substitute for the Aeniad.

The others - could you justify?
6th-Sep-2007 07:09 pm (UTC)
I will probably come up with a million more later!

However, for now I add, for written works:
The Great Gatsby
Jane Eyre
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Hunchback of Notre Dame

For movies:
The Lion King (come on, everyone knows the circle of life!)
West Side Story

and for serials - don't kill me, I am not in the least claiming artistic merit! But everyone knows it and loves to hate it:
11th-Sep-2007 09:55 am (UTC)
I couldn't argue with Barney, actually. And you've reminded me to put in a bunch of iconic Disney movies (the ones that are better known than their source materials). Also can't object to Narnia or Notre Dame.

West Side Story I'm leaving out, cause R&J is already there, and I'm not sure how influential the musical's been.

I added Jane Eyre and the Great Gatsby, but reluctantly. I love Jane Eyre, a lot. But I can't think of a way I wouldn't fit into society withoiut its cultural influence.
12th-Sep-2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
At least in theatrical circles, and I'm fairly sure in a lot of others, the rhythmic finger-snapping of the Jets is an instantly recognizable move.

Other than that, R&J is probably more influential.
6th-Sep-2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
I'd offer a more general piece of advice, because odds are that the invaders would be preferable to the shambles that is humanity, so I want to help them out here. They couldn't assimilate *everything*, unless they have cognitive tech sufficient to render a reading list superfluous. So what they want are strategies. To wit, if someone mentions something you don't know, snort and look down your nose at the idea as beneath you - which is what I do if asked about a soap opera plot, say - or else go off on an abstract ramble nobody else will follow - as I tend to do whenever Clark Kent is mentioned. WHY, KAL-EL? WHY?
7th-Sep-2007 12:38 am (UTC)
A Picture of Dorian Grey. (Or at least the portrait-in-the-attic-keeps-you-young aspect.)

Some Greek mythology. I'm not sure if that's Lore or written word, but I think people should know that Adonis = really hot guy, for instance.

I would add Back to the Future part one, at least, for the movies. And Terminator 2 more so than just Terminator. I might say Indiana Jones if just for the "Snakes, why's it always got to be snakes" line, maybe. The Princess Bride, yes.

Serials: Lucille Ball, Alfred Hitchcock, Scooby Doo, the Smurfs, possibly Mr. T/the A-Team, Power Rangers at least in concept. Lots of cartoons I could think of, but I'm trying to stick to really iconic ones. I also think world Wrestling should have some sort of mention, but I'm just not sure how. Reality TV shows too, at least deserve some sort of nod. And what about something like Wheel of Fortune or Jeporady? I mean, I can't say how many times I've started whistling the Jepoardy theme while waiting for someone to make an answer.

For Lore, I'd add "The Three Little Pigs" and possibly "The Princess and the Pea"...

I'm sure I could think of more, but that's good for now.
11th-Sep-2007 10:06 am (UTC)
Dorian Grey, Indiana Jones, 3 Little Pigs, The Princess Bride and The Princess and the Pea added, even if I hate TPB. P&P made written word because it has a commonly accepted original version

Greek mythology covered by The Iliad and the Odyssey? I wanted to stay clear of anything religious.

(Sequels included in cases of trilogies)

WWF and Reality shows just fail the "fictional" test.

Thank you!
7th-Sep-2007 09:56 am (UTC) - One of Two...
Well, considering there are only so many ways I can contribute, because much of my knowledge is weird cult knowledge... Okay, turns out I need two comments.


You may wish to include The Muppets (and other similar Jim Henson productions, like Fraggle Rock and Sesame Street). Muppet Show, Muppet Babies, assorted Muppet movies, television commercials and specials and-- look, I'd hope most Westerners can recognize Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy and Gonzo and Fozzie (and Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, too).

Scooby-Doo. You don't have to know that the cartoon went sideways when they brought Scrappy-Doo on or that it seriously jumped the shark when they had Vincent Price in damn near every episode, but a basic understanding of Shaggy, Scooby, and the gang is essential.

They don't count as Loony Tunes, I don't think, but they're another Warner Brothers' cartoon... But one any conquerer should know. "Why, Brain, what are we doing tomorrow night?" "Same thing we do every night, Pinky-- try to take over the world!" They may no longer be at their peak, but you've GOT to know that exchange.

Likewise, if I were to sing to you "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a frightful trip," you'd know you were about to hear about a three-hour tour that got a little bit out of hand.

You don't need to be able to spell 'Decepticon' or snicker whenever someone says something is 'more than meets the eye' and you're more than welcome to believe that 'Autobot' is that one road in Germany, but you've at least got to know that Transformers are robots (not even necessarily that they're alien robots, just robots) that turn into Stuff, usually cars and planes.

Also, unless 'Mickey Mouse' covers both 'Disney short cartoons' and 'The Mickey Mouse Club,' that one might need to be expanded-- we all know who Donald Duck, Pluto, and Goofy are, too, and we recognise the ears themselves even if we don't have the vaguest idea who Cubby and Annette are. Some of us can't even spell 'mouse' aloud without singing it.

Now, this is either under serials or it's literary, but I think it's serials-- I've never read a single book in either series, but I STILL know who Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys are.

Likewise, if I didn't know who Lassie was, Timmy would still be stuck in that well.

You need not know who the A-Team were or what they did, but you must know that Mr. T was one of them.

Likewise, MacGyver, even if you don't know his first name. You know he can escape from a death trap with only the use of a paper clip, half a candle, two rubber bands, and his Swiss army knife.

... Oh god, no one before me has said The Smurfs? SMURFS.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents. You don't need to be able to name a plot, you just need to associate 'Funeral March of a Marrionette' with a plump man, black and white TV, and some rather disturbing stories.

Likewise, submitted for your approval, an invitation to... The Twilight Zone.

HI-HO SILVER, AWAY! Do you really associate the William Tell Overture with a guy shooting an apple off his son's head, or with "Who was that masked man?"

Along a similar vein, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? (Hint: The Shadow knows.)

I Love Lucy. You do too.

And you know you can always Leave it to Beaver.

You also know who Fonzie is, if not that he is the origin of 'jumping the shark.'

If the harpsichord hits four ascending notes and you snap your fingers twice, then you should know the creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky Addams Family. (This one's pervasive. I used to work in a Halloween store-- six seasons in a row, in fact-- and we'd play the tapes we had for sale in-store. Every time the Addams Family theme came on, the staff would, as one, without any particular signal, whether or not we were with a customer at the time, finger-snap in the right places. It warmed my heart the way Christmas carols are supposed to.)

Inspector Gadget. Go-go-Gadget... no? Okay. Would you believe Get Smart?

7th-Sep-2007 09:59 am (UTC) - Two of Two...
Moving Pictures:

We know that a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.

Most of us also have at least a vague idea of why the rum is gone.

And even if we're bored brainless by the Von Trapp family and their musical adventures, we know the hills are alive with The Sound of Music.

This one gets a bit foggy, but a good many of us got used to it being Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory long before it was Charlie's, whether in book form by Dahl or Burtonesque.

We also all know who Cruella de Vil is, whether or not we know the whole song or anything about the 101 dalmation puppies she intended to turn into coats-- or whether she's a cartoon or Glenn Close.

I'm not entirely sure how to handle this one, but everyone has seen or has heard of SOMETHING directed by Mel Brooks. Really, any one of his works. Can you sing Springtime for Hitler, or perhaps you're fond of Robin Hoods who can speak with British accents, instead? Perhaps the Schwarz is with you, or it's good to be the king, or the sheriff is a n-- no, I know, it's pronounced FRONK-en-steen, isn't it?

I hate to put this here, I really do, but while many of us know it was a book first (and those of us with any kind of an ear know the moving picture was made of suck and Rex-Harrisonning through operatic parts), The Phantom of the Opera is best-known for what Andrew Lloyd Webber has done to it. Maybe you can't sing Music of the Night, but you know the legend and you recognize who that guy in an evening suit and a white mask is supposed to be on Halloween.

This one, I'm not sure if it's cult or not. While I've met many people who didn't know there was a book, I have never met anyone who didn't at least recognize "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." Seriously, online or in real life. A friend of mine in high school introduced himself thusly to an audience of his peers and got a right roar from the crowd. (He was just supposed to say that his name was Nick, in fact, and thank them for coming.)

*skims list of moving pictures again* ... WHERE IS KING KONG? I refuse to be conquered by an overlord who doesn't know what's liable to happen if he climbs the Empire State building.

White Christmas. Yes, I know the song first appeared in Holiday Inn. But the movie that needs seen is White Christmas.

The Mummy. You may choose your version, Boris Karloff or Brendan Fraser.


Beauty and the Beast
The Little Match Girl
The Tortoise and the Hare
The Three Little Pigs (Whether they sing Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf or whether two thirds of them get eaten.)
Tom Thumb
The Shoemaker and the Elves
The Frog Prince (Largely, I'm starting to think a familiarity with Aesop, The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, and Charles Perrault would be a good idea)
John Henry (possibly also Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan, but John Henry was a steel-drivin' man, lord, lord, John Henry was a steel-drivin' man.)
Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp
One Thousand and One Arabian Nights (featuring Scheharezade, not usually featuring Aladdin. Lots of Sinbad stories).

Written Word

I can't be of much help here, but for heaven's sakes-- TARZAN. Edgar Rice Burroughs.

... No, no, more help than I thought-- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens.

Also, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, both by Mark Twain (or Samuel Clemens, if you like).

Who wrote Gunga Din?

The Pit and the Pendulum, or if you don't recognize that one, The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe.

Carrie, The Stand, 'Salem's Lot, or Firestarter, Stephen King. (I could come up with more, but we all know those four, right?)

The Invisible Man, HG Wells. A story about how a lot of knowledge and a little forethought is a dangerous thing.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel). Likewise, The Cat in the Hat! and Green Eggs and Ham. Not a perfectly representative sampling of the good doctor's work, but everyone knows them-- they know that his heart was two sizes too small and they looked and they saw him step in on the mat and they do not like them, Sam-I-Am, they do not like green eggs and ham.
11th-Sep-2007 10:34 am (UTC) - Holy Crap!
The Muppets on its own, because it implies Sesame Street and The Fraggles.
Nancy Drew
The A-Team
The Smurfs
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The Lone Ranger
I Love Lucy
Happy Days
The Addams Family
Inspector Gadget
Mary Poppins
The Sound of Music
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Roald Dahl (bollocks is the first movie more influential)
The 101 Dalmations
The Producers
The Phantom of the Opera
King Kong

Beauty and the Beast
The Little Match Girl and The Little Mermaid - HCA
(HCA included but Grimms not, because there are mutliple versions known of Grimms' stories. HCA's versions are unique in today's canon)
Aesop in general
1,001 Nights which usually includes Aladdin. My copy did, anyway.
Tom Sawyer
The Raven
and The Stand
The Invisible Man
The Grinch, the Cat in the Hat
and Green Eggs and Ham

I the following might be not be influential enough, honestly:
Pirates of the Caribbean

Tom Thumb
The Shoemaker and the Elves
Salem's Lot

I didn't get the following:
"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a frightful trip,"
The Hardy Boys I only know from a South Park episode.
who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
Leave it to Beaver I know the title, but no content
Gunga Din
John Henry

"Mickey Mouse" changed to "Disney Shorts"

Thank you so much!
11th-Sep-2007 11:59 am (UTC) - Happy to be of service!
My mother's copy of 1,001 Arabian Nights includes Aladdin, too, but the foreword says that it was originally in... um, the Blue Fairy Book? One of those [color] Fairy Books, anyway. I can understand shoving it on in there, though, because despite being orginally set in China, it fits. (Mmm. Useless knowledge ahoy!)

I was thinking plain old Pinky and the Brain rather than Animaniacs-- they had a bigger following and references to them cropped up in other things (of course, now the only one I can remember is Batman, and it's owned by the same company, so).

But I'll stand right up and defend the Gilligan's Island theme song. Or at least Gilligan's Island in general.

Hardy Boys go along with Nancy Drew; it's sort of the same thing, kids solving mysteries, but gender-specific. I've never read either, I just know that they're ongoing series of books that have been around forever.

Fair enough on not knowing The Shadow, because it is old and I'll admit I was raised to look at old media and go 'neat!' (I didn't hear a song in my own home written before 1970 unless it was Disney until I was at least twelve.)

Leave It to Beaver... well, it's one of those TV Land classics. Passing familiarity. I have a clearer image of June and Ward Cleaver than of the boys, if only because June Cleaver was the epitome of Nineteen-Fifties Mom. With the pearls and the heels while seeing the boys off to school in the morning.

Gunga Din... okay, I'll admit I include it because I know the last line or so "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din," and I have the vague impression of it being a Big Deal in terms of poetry.

As for John Henry, you might be on the wrong side of the pond to get him. But he's worth reading about. Wish I could find the song somewhere, but these things change with the retelling. Sometimes John Henry loses. Sometimes he wins. Sometimes he dies. Sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he has a girl. Sometimes his shaker has a name, or a larger part in the tale. But he's always John Henry, that steel-drivin' man, and he always goes up against that steam-powered drill, and he's always a slave who was freed at the end of the war.
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