I saw The Rocketeer at a drive-in theater with my mom and my little brother when I was ten. It was the only place in Sacramento still showing it, and even though the picture was…well, shitty, and the sound came out of a single speaker hung from the driver’s side window, I loved it. I loved every second of it not because the art design was spot-on perfect, or the costumes would go on to influence a lifetime of steampunk cosplayers, or because it was a love letter to early sci-fi – all of those appreciations came from later viewings by an older Barrett.
I loved it because he could fly. With a jetpack. And I wanted to be him.
20 years later, I don’t know how or why (and frankly don’t care) but France’s Digital Banana has reinvigotated and rekindled that joy with a fanfilm that’s equal parts Rocketeer, Looney Toons, and Pixar. It’s different from the film, but because it comes from a more reverent, more nostalgic place. The true test though, is that like all things awesome, it leaves me wanting more.
So to whomever requires my prayers/phone calls/favors/money, please give me more of this. Because I will watch every moment of it.
Because he can fly. With a jetpack.
And I want to be him.