Rating: Episodes are PG-13, Recaps and Behind-the-scenes are R or more.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters, concepts and dialog belong to Mutant Enemy, The WB, UPN and others. The Amazing Race belongs to CBS, Amazing Race Productions Inc, Touchstone Television Productions Inc, Jerry Bruckheimer Productions and others.
"I just slide it in?"
"It's not gonna spit it out again?"
"Don't be silly."
Whirling sounds of a disk drive.
"Why are we doing this in the dark?"
"You've managed to incorporate fireworks, a chamber orchestra and dancing babies into a 3 minute animated short? I know you're good, but this is taking overachievement to an extreme."
"Huh? No, I just thought it's more, you know, intimate."
"Um, okay." Beat. "It is."
"You sure you want to do this?"
"Watch the DVD, let complete strangers watch the DVD, or go on this trip around the world with you?"
Another small silence.
"Am I a greedy monster if I say all of the above?"
"Do you want to go on the race? Tell me the truth."
"I said we'll see. We don't even know if we get through the first round of applications."
"What if we do? We have this cool video we made ourselves."
"I don't know, let's wait and see. Why talk about something that's still kind of remote?"
"I don't want you to do something if the only reason is to please me, I feel like I've pushed you into doing this race and this isn't what you want."
"Honestly? I'm still thinking about it. I know I said yes, and a big part is because you want to and I want to do something you want to. But I also want to find something we can do together."
"We can do other things, I don't want to force you."
"Look, Willow, I want to do something with you that doesn't involve one of us hopping on a plane and snatching a weekend here and there. Whether running around the world in a stressful situation with a bunch of total strangers is the right thing, I'm not totally convinced, yet. But I'm not dismissing it either."
"I want to do the right thing, Tara."
"I know you do. That's why I'm not saying let's not go. We have this DVD, let's send it in and see, okay?"
"I'm sure. We spent all that effort putting it together, coming up with the theme, writing, programming. Not to mention filling in that horrendously long application form."
"She's so cute."
"Yeah, but I still think you're cuter."
"Sweet talker." Smile.
"Yep that's me. But why are you all the way over there? I thought we're watching it together, intimately."
They snuggled close and hit the play icon.
A cartoon version of a black and white kitten sleeps contently in her soft basket. She yawns, stretches and opens one eye.
Oh, you're here. I was getting comfortable in these blankets.
Hi. I'm Miss Kitty Fantastico and I'm here to tell you 30 things about my owners. Well, strictly speaking I don't exist except as a digital image, cos my owners don't live in the same part of the country, and even though they have plans to have a real cat, the "not living in the same part of the country" bit makes it difficult.
And ooops, that tidbit is one of the things I want to tell you about them. Well, I'd better get started, otherwise I tell you something more.
Comfy? Let's get started.
An animated montage of two girls, one blonde one redhead, going about their normal business. Willow works diligently at her laptop, surrounded by computers, Tara sits at her desk staring at the full moon and absent-mindedly chewing on a pencil. Miss Kitty is at the bottom corner, flashing placards with large numbers, she starts with Number One.
- The redhead is Willow. She lives in California, near where you humans call Silicon Valley. She quit her job in computers so she can start working for herself ... in computers. In other words, she loves computers. She was the one who took hand-drawn versions of me and gave me form.
- The blonde is Tara. She lives in Alabama, more than 2,300 miles away from California. She finds computers useful, but she is more interested in drawing cartoons and writing stories. She did the drawings and most of the storyboarding of this one with me in it. She's my creator.
- It's hard to take Willow away from computers, and Tara from drawing, they love these so much. But what they love more? Each other. Now, repeat after me: "that's soooo sweet!"
- They met when they worked on a web-based animated series, Willow was involved in the digital graphics and Tara was one of the animators.
- Their first kiss was at the end of a busy and frantic week of work deadlines and stolen touches. They'd just had a quick dinner, their first proper meal in days, and were walking back to the studio. Neither can remember who started it, but both describe the buzzing and almost insistent urge that completely took over them. It was the right time.
Animated Willow goes shopping at Chinatown in San Francisco, she picks up a postcard with a big heart that says "I Miss You" and sighs. Tara takes her dinner into her living room and eats by herself, watching TV. She sighs.
- It takes between 6 and 6 1/2 hours to fly from San Francisco to Birmingham, including one layover at Denver or Atlanta. They usually use San Francisco airport cos there are more flights and it's cheaper than from Oakland.
- The trip takes over 2 days by road. They joke that one day they will try it, but haven't had the opportunity.
- They haven't talked about how they want to deal with the long distance travel situation.
Willow and Tara play with Miss Kitty Fantastico outdoors. It's a beautiful day with blue skies, cotton candy clouds and brilliant sunshine.
- I wish they can have more time to spend together, then may be one day they can have a home and I'll be a real kitty and play with balls of string, sleep under the sun and have my own warm blanket.
- I think it's sweet that they've given me a name already.
- They have a habit of naming their things. Tara's car is called Nadia, Willow's bike is called Miguel. The only exception are Willow's computers because there are so many of them.
- Willow owns 37 domain names and is conversant in almost all the required web language.
- Tara owns a copy of every single book written by Enid Blynton and can carry on a simple conversation in sign language.
Willow and Tara in a kitchen cooking a meal, Miss Kitty peers inside looking for food, rubbing herself on first Willow, then Tara. The girls laugh, and pick her up.
- They love to try all sorts of new foods, at newly opened restaurants or trying new recipes.
- According to Willow the scientist, cooking is a lot like chemistry, it's just a matter of mixing the right ingredients together.
- Tara thinks cooking and gardening have more in common. Though there are rules and instructions, instincts play a big part.
- Spicy food is a joint favorite. There is a Japanese noodle chain that serves only spicy noodles on a scale of zero to five chillis, they managed to get up the four chillis one time but usually stick with one or two.
- Another favorite type of food is garlic, with mushrooms, roasted with chicken and even garlic ice cream!
- In fact, ice cream and chocolate have their own food groups. The definition of heaven is Phish Food.
Enjoying themselves at the park, at the zoo and at home in the bath (separately!).
- They are spiritual people who observe the Sabbats. Which is kinda funny because Willow is Jewish and Tara is brought up Baptist.
- They find visiting aquariums a calming experience.
- Another favorite activity is running through grass that still has morning dew on them, barefooted.
- They love, love, love the smell of freshly mowed grass.
- What is more luxurious than a nice hot bath with scented bath oil, more bubbles than you've ever seen, and soft candles burning in the background?
Miss Kitty then brings us to scenes of their adventures.
- Tara has never been outside the US before last year, when she went with the animation company to meet the other team members in Japan, home of anime.
- Willow studiously keeps a record of the states and countries she's visited in an online map.
- The most memorable trip was one they made to visit Tara's Great-great-Aunt Edna, who lives in a rural part of Oklahoma. They had tea and sampled the brownies made by the still active 106-year old. It wasn't to a famous tourist attraction or a museum with rare artefacts, but they felt real kinship with the elderly lady and it was an afternoon they'd never forget.
- If you ask them which country they want to visit, Willow will say New Zealand for the rugged scenery and the fact that it's so far away. Tara will say India or China because of the ancient civilization and spirituality.
- One of their most embarrassing moments was when they crashed their car into a giant inflatable chicken. They were on their way to a farm show when a wasp flew inside their car. Amidst the wild panic and screams that followed the car skidded into the giant inflatable chicken that was at the entrance of the show. Neither car nor chicken suffered lasting damage.
- They confess separately that they want to see naked childhood pictures of the other, but are too embarrassed to ask. May be one day?
We fade to black, then fade in again. Miss Kitty is back at her basket, this time in front of a warm glowing fireplace.
Well folks, I hope you enjoyed this short film. I'm going back to sleep now, thanks for watching.
Every team that applies for the Amazing Race have to submit a lengthy application form together with a 3 minute video about themselves. Needless to say if the video catches the eye of the casting directors, the applicants have a better chance to proceed to the next stage of the casting process.
Willow and Tara's video is an animated short of Miss Kitty telling the viewers 30 things about them.