Deciphering the “Mwa-mwa-mwas”

Other Worlds Austin’s next Orbiter screening is the North American Premiere of YESTERDAY LAST YEAR on Wednesday, June 21 at Flix Brewhouse. 

In the film, Michael, a driven research scientist working on time travel theory, spends all his time in the garage ‘lab’ trying to perfect a device. Sandra, his wife, is at the bottom of his priority list. Only his friend and associate, James, seems to get Michael’s full attention. But which version of his friend is it, and which version of his wife? A love triangle caught in the circle of time, YESTERDAY LAST YEAR is about the mistakes we make and how far we’re willing to go to fix them.

Buy tickets HERE
More info HERE

In honor of the character Michael’s DIY grit, plus an added dash of inspiration from creepy Tom Waits tune “What’s He Building” (because
obviously), the OWA team is sharing stories of other garage creations…

 

Deciphering the “Mwa-mwa-mwas”

I’ve basically lived in my garage/lab for the past few months. I believe that I am nearing completion of an invention that might possibly change the world… or at least how we view it. For years a question has baffled not only me, but the entire TV viewing public around the world. “What exactly are the adults in the Peanuts TV Specials saying?”

Since 1965, The Peanuts’ Specials have been a staple of seasonal television programming.  Filled with heartwarming stories, unforgettable characters, and that jazz score, Peanuts is quite iconic. One thing that carried over in the translation from comic strip to animated TV program is the complete lack of any seen adults. After all, this is the world seen through the eyes of children. Any interaction between child and adult is represented by the characters conversing with an offscreen voice. This no regular voice, but a strange, almost inhuman sounding “Mwa-Mwa-Mwa.” No matter which Peanuts TV special you might be watching, all adults are represented by that odd, almost inhuman sound.

Ok, I know that ya’ll are thinking “Hey, it’s just a cartoon.” And, yes, I know it is just animation. The thing is, ever since I first saw ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ as a 4-year-old, I felt there was something more to this “adult speak”. There might even be something not so wholesome to the TV specials…

Could it be that secret messages were being sent out to the youth of America through this strange language? If such messages were being delivered, then what exactly were they?

peanuts2.jpg

The “official” story is that the “Mwa-Mwa-Mwa” were actually horn sounds. They were used to represent the adults in a way more fitting with television where “sight and sound” took the place of the “sight” of the comic strip. It sounds like a logical reason. One might even say that it is a very creative solution that would become iconic. The thing is, I’m just not buying it.

There has to be something more to this whole thing. There has to…

I have dedicated the last decade of my life to deciphering exactly what the “Mwa-Mwa-Mwas” are.  I’ve used my life savings to build a device made up of 50 Betamax videocassette players. I won’t get into the technical specifics of the contraption, but trust me, it is higher than high tech. One might even call it highest tech.

So, you are probably wondering, “What will all this accomplish?” My answer is NOTHING… or perhaps EVERYTHING.

So, a Betamax videocassette of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’, recorded from a 1982 CBS broadcast,  has been inserted into the device that I have named“CHUCK”, and is ready to answer the question of all questions “What are the adults in Peanuts TV specials saying?” I have my device hooked to my laptop and the transcription setting ON. Theoretically, it will give you an exact interpretation of what was being said by the adults. Here we go!!!

DEVICE ON

RUNNING

VIDEOCASSETE INSERTED

PLAYING

TRANSLATION BEING RELAYED

TRANSCRIBING

“Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwam-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa, Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa- mwa “Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwam-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa, Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa- mwa“Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwam-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa, Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa- mwa “Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwam-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa, Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa- mwa“Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwam-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa, Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa- mwa “Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwam-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa, Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa-mwa Mwa-mwa- mwa”

So, the results are, shall we say, a bit inconclusive. Though I believe that we’ve made some real progress. My research will NOT end here. I’ve gone too far and sacrificed too much to give up.

Will we ever discover exactly what the adults in Peanuts TV specials were saying? To quote the Tootsie Pop commercials that ran during the Peanuts TV Specials, “The world may never know.”

 

© 2014 OWA SciFi Film Fest, LLC