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Film / The Odd Life of Timothy Green

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The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a 2012 Disney movie. It stars a couple, Cindy and Jim Green, as they tell an adoption agency the story of a strange boy. After burying a box full of their wishes for a perfect kid, they meet Timothy (CJ Adams), a boy with leaves on his legs.


Tropes:

  • Bait-and-Switch: Cindy's boss poses the question, seemingly to Timothy, of how his parents thought to make a pencil out of leaves...and then shoves the microphone in front of Jim's boss instead, catching him off guard and exposing him as a liar and a fraud.
  • The Benchwarmer: Timothy is kept perpetually on the bench during soccer games. His parents manage to convince the coach to give him a chance to play... and that backfires miserably as Timothy ends up accidentally scoring the winning goal for the opposing team.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Timothy disappears, but Cindy and Jim are able to get a child.
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  • Clueless Aesop: The movie tries to present the moral that no one is capable of being a perfect parent and will make mistakes, no matter what. Where it falls flat is that it doesn’t recognize the value of mistakes being that you can learn from them and improve yourself. By Jim and Cindy’s own admission, they apparently see parental mistakes as being inevitable and made just for the sake of making them.
  • Commonality Connection: Timothy is concerned when a girl at a party, Joni, discovers the leaves he has on his ankles, but the two end up forming a friendship after she reveals she also has a birthmark on her chest.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Downplayed with Cindy’s unrealistically nasty sister, who reacts snootily or is downright appalled whenever the Greens show pride or affection for their son.
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  • Hate Sink: Cindy's sister is portrayed as a complete snob who belittles Cindy at every turn, openly mocks Timothy on several occasions, and isn’t treated to a Pet the Dog moment like some other characters.
  • How We Got Here: The Framing Device is the Greens talking to an adoption agency's employees some time after the events of the film have passed, trying to explain what makes them qualified to be parents.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Cindy and Jim both want to be parents, but the latter is infertile.
  • Meaningful Name: Timothy Green, given that he has leaves on his legs.
  • Motifs: Pencils and leaves.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: An entire town that thrives from the local pencil factory, which has a museum, and Jim's attempt to create a new kind of pencil on the third act is a montage given the same gravitas as sending a man to the moon.
  • Own Goal: Just as his parents predicted, Timothy's time in the big soccer game ends with him scoring the winning shot...for the opposing team.
  • Parents as People: Both parents make more than their fair share of mistakes and misjudgements, even when they think they're acting in Timothy's best interests.
    Jim: Isn't that how you know you're a parent?
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Cindy’s boss is an all-around unpleasant woman who terminates her after an incident with Timothy, but she does speak up in the boy’s defense about the new pencil being invented by his parents, due to her knowing that he Cannot Tell a Lie.
    • Similarly, Jim’s neglectful father has been disinterested in his grandson the entire movie, but when Jim’s boss insults Timothy in front of an audience, he joins Jim in standing up for him.
  • Plant People: Timothy is a seemingly ordinary young boy who sprouted from the ground during a rainstorm, has leaves on his ankles, and basks in the rays of the sun when it comes out.
  • Pygmalion Plot: The premise of the film is about a couple who decide to create their ideal son/daughter after they are unable to conceive their own. That night their ideal "child" magically appears to them and they have to both raise him and learn how to be parents.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The adoption agent doesn't seem to think that the Greens' story is too weird.

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