We were writing about animal crackers just the other day, and begin singing “Animal Crackers In My Soup”–prompting one grumpy co-worker to ask us why we were singing some song from a commercial that she really hated. After reporting that co-worker to the FBI, we learned that there’s a commercial for classic Shirley Temple movies on DVD that plays on television a lot, and features the lil’ Hollywood star singing her classic tune.
“Shirley Temple isn’t a bad and wicked child,” we responded, and realized how badly people need to be educated on the greatness of Shirley Temple. Maybe she’d have a better reputation if the people at 20th Century Fox had agreed to loan Shirley out to MGM to star in The Wizard of Oz. Instead, Judy Garland got the role just as Shirley’s career began to decline. Before that, though, Shirley Temple had spent the 1930s as one of the biggest movie stars o the decade, making four films a year. A lot of them have remained classics, too, including Wee Willie Winkie, Heidi, and Curly Top. (The latter is the one with “Animal Crackers in My Soup.”)
Shirley Temple was more than plucky, though. She always played little troupers and was a great inspiration to regular folks during The Great Depression. We would’ve been depressed realizing that a 9-year-old was making over $1,000 a week back then, but you could say that about any Hollywood star of the times. Shirley handled adulthood better than plenty of today’s starlets, too. Her film career wrapped up, but Shirley–who began to be known as Shirley Temple Black–began a career in politics that included her being a United Nations Representative. She was also one of the first women to ever publicly come out about her battle with breast cancer. That was back in 1973.
Fortunately, Shirley is still around to celebrate her 85th birthday today. Maybe she’ll always be uncool, but we know for a fact that certain kids still get a kick out of Shirley Temple–and she’s certainly a welcome alternative to Honey Boo Boo. Yes, you knew we’d mention Honey Boo Boo. Anyway, here’s that Shirley Temple classic that annoys our co-workers. We hope you’ll admire her pluck, though…