Things in the cotton capital of Australia are about to get ca-razy, y'all! The town of Wee Waa (there will be no Borat jokes in this article) has nabbed itself quite the musical guest for this year's Wee Waa Show — an annual agricultural event held in this wee shire. International electronic superstar group Daft Punk will be headlining and playing their new album, Random Access Memories, in its entirety. Say what? Man, how jealous are neighboring enclaves Pilliga and Gwabegar feeling right now, you think?
And they should be jealous. Because I'll be damned if this event doesn't have all the typical Australian country show entertainment one could only hope for in 2013. This includes treasured Wee Waa pasttimes such as the "pet show, showgirl competition, cross cut saw competition, [and] fireworks." But that's not all, you guys, because Wee Waa knows how to paaaartaaaaaaay! The shenanigans will continue bumping throughout the entire weekend, with horse events, clown troupe, an ute muster (Americans, please Google "ute musters"), and the baby show expected to bring down the house.
Should you fancy a more subdued weekend after listening to Daft Punk on the fair's Friday evening events programme, worry not, because there's something for everyone. The town of Wee Waa also has an America's Got Talent-style competition show — complete with show luncheon (some things never change, eh, former British colonies?), followed by displays of strength and anger against trees in the wood chop competition, and something called "buzz's lolly drop," which I've been assured is a real hootenanny. For those worried that the presence of the Punks would cut out the weekend's most popular events, have no fear: the farmers challenge, demolition derby, and mouse racing competition are still on.
According to a quote in local paper the Narrabri Courier, Show Society president Brett Dickinson explained how the duo was — what we call in the 'biz — a big get for The Show. "It's great for Wee Waa and fantastic for the shire ... we thought getting senator Fiona Nash to open the show was a bit of a coup, but now, our show program has been bolstered tenfold."
Fiona Nash AND Daft Punk in the shire at the same time? This place really does have everything! In fact, if the Wee Waa Show was hosted in a white fish factory on Manhattan's upper lower side (maybe near Little Isreal?), it would be a punchline on SNL's Weekend Update. But no, it's better than that — because it's real.
If anyone wants to fly me to Wee Waa to rub shoulders with the locals and partake in their seemingly excellent taste in recreational activities and good times, feel free. The weekend-long event kicks off on May 17, 2013.
Calgon, take me away. To Wee Waa!
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While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]