Episode 5 – The Emperor’s New Groove

Kuzco being admired

Ryan Szrama and Matt Robison talk about the 2000 Disney movie, The Emperor’s New Groove.

Some of the topics discussed: the strange history of the film and its connection to The Lion King, what kids laugh at versus what adults laugh at, the use of an unreliable narrator, llamas, the strange yet wonderful character of Kronk, that mysterious extra lever, awkward calls with Sting, and comparisons to more recent Disney films.

The scene from the 1958 movie The Fly. Warning: it’s actually kind of disturbing.

The opening of Citizen Kane with monkeys:

In case you’ve forgotten it, here’s the ending credits music. It sounds like it’s from another movie altogether. And that’s because it is from another movie.

About Ryan: 

Ryan Szrama is a married father of three living in Greenville, SC. He travels the world peddling open source software but always looks forward to coming home to his family. They love watching funny shows and movies, making a habit of laughing together to keep pride at bay and make it safe for everyone to admit their mistakes.

Episode 4 – The Incredibles

The Incredibles, four of them ready to fight.

Darren Peterson and Matt Robison talk about the 2004 Pixar movie, The Incredibles. Listen to the very end for an easter egg of monumental proportions.

Some of the topics discussed: the timelessness of the movie versus other superhero movies, the mundane stuff of everyday life that is seamlessly mixed with the fantastic, the movie’s relationship to James Bond, how human hair almost sunk Pixar, the body count for the heroes, what the upcoming sequel might be about, and the theme of identity and how we are not the autonomous individuals we like to think.

The volcano base (complete with a rocket of its own) from You Only Live Twice that was referenced in the podcast.

SPECTRE volcano base - James Bond movie

Here is the Goldfinger main theme:


Compare it to the music during the Kronos scene. This is the track called Kronos Unveiled:

What I wish I would have said during the podcast:

  • We give up some of our autonomy so society can actually work. We are not 100% self-determining individuals. You didn’t choose your family. You didn’t choose your name. Those are parts of your identity that come from outside yourself. And that’s good.
  • The identities of Batman and Superman are also major themes throughout their stories. But they are flipped. Superman is really Clark Kent. Superman is just a name. But Bruce Wayne is really Batman. His public persona is the real mask.
  • Elastigirl tells the kids “Your identity is your most valuable possession” before handing them masks. This is ironic. Violet has always hidden her secret identity behind her hair, but now she does so with a mask. Once she figures out who she really is, she knows that its OK to hide that part of her identity, but she didn’t have to be ashamed.

About Darren:

By night Darren is a jazz saxophonist and science fiction aficionado. By day, he’s a mild mannered project manager, father of six and husband of one.

Episode 3 – Inside Out

The emotions from Inside Out at the consoleCory Byrd and Matt Robison talk about the 2015 movie Inside Out.

Some of the topics discussed: imaginary friends, the narcissism of Joy, the malleability of memories and how the future affects the past, the visual language of the film and its potential to help explain mental illness, the lack of a concrete antagonist, the “Chekhov’s gun” principle, and the changes our emotions go through as we mature.

The referenced text of Proverbs 27:14, which calls to mind the over-optimistic character of Joy at various points in the movie:

He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, It will be reckoned a curse to him.

And the quote from Mark Twain:

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

About Cory:

Cory Byrd is a Christian, a spouse and a father. He is also an artist and a writer. His band, Cages of Gold, recently recorded two songs. You can follow him on twitter.

Episode 2 – Cars

Lightning McQueen and Chick HicksDan Lankford and Matt Robison talk about the 2006 Pixar movie, Cars.

Some of the topics we discuss are old-school American cars, NASCAR (the good and the bad), the need for mattresses in this weird universe, the parallel character arcs of Lightning McQueen and Doc Hudson, respect for earlier generations, merchandising, the tenuous likability of Owen Wilson, what does a truck of recycled batteries actually represent in a universe of sentient automobiles, the laziness of Cars 2, and whether Cars 3 will be the Rocky 5 of Pixar.

For the reference to the Oak Ridge Boys, check out this live performance.

About Dan:

A Christian. A husband. A father. And a someone who thinks about stuff.

Episode 1 – The Iron Giant

The Iron Giant Flies past Hogarth's mom

Steve Akers and Matt Robison talk about the 1999 movie, The Iron Giant.


Some of the topics covered are the Superman motif and the archetypal makeup of the Justice League, Brad Bird’s understanding of boyhood, comparisons to ET and other films, self-important bureaucrats and their place as villains, favorite individual scenes, and one of the main questions of the movie: what if a gun had a soul?

This scene was referenced, in regard to the giant making a pose like Superman after hearing a cry for help. He’s about ready to pull back the metal on his chest and reveal the “S” underneath.

The Giant hears a call for help

About Steve:

Christian. Husband and father. VP of Engineering at Appriss. Amateur TV philosopher. Lover of movies.