The toddler has recreated over 45 iconic scenes from movies of the likes of 'A League of Their Own,' 'Field of Dreams,' 'Pretty Woman,' 'Titanic,' and 'Almost Famous.'
A father-daughter duo in Connecticut is helping feed thousands of hungry Americans through their viral quarantine project. Dan Presser and his 4-year-old daughter, Madison, first began reenacting classic movie scenes in March last year as a means to pass time during the lockdown. "March and April were really chaotic, total lockdown to the point where we couldn't even see our neighbors," Presser told CNN. "It felt like there were 72 hours in every day, so we just wanted to find fun things to do with the kids." The 37-year-old and his wife, Beth Presser, found the perfect way to keep their two kids occupied when they kept hearing Madison repeat lines from her favorite movie, Disney's The Lion King.
"Madison happened to be dressed up [like an animal] one day and she loves 'Lion King' so we filmed the scene of Mufasa falling off the cliff," Presser revealed. "My wife downloaded an app and we put together the clips with some sound effects and it came out pretty funny," he told Good Morning America. The end result was such a hit with their family and friends that the Pressers decided to record more movie reenactments featuring Madison and her baby brother Barton at their home in Southington and share them online.
"We thought if we can bring some happiness to people in this miserable 2020, we should try," Presser—a TV producer for ESPN—explained. Now, a year into "Quarantine 2020 Productions," the family has recreated over 45 iconic scenes from movies of the likes of A League of Their Own, Field of Dreams, Pretty Woman, Titanic, and Almost Famous. While Madison plays a starring role in most of the videos and 2-year-old Barton does his part as a co-star, the videos also feature kids from across the country who are friends of the family. Shot remotely, as is the way of the pandemic, Presser edits the clips together on his iPhone to make it look like the kids are in the same location in the scenes.
"My favorite was 'Braveheart' because at the time no one in our neighborhood knew we were doing these movies and we hadn't seen anyone in months. Then they see our daughter hanging through the sunroof with my sister holding her and her face painted like William Wallace yelling 'They can take our lives but they'll never take our freedom!' A toddler in a cul-de-sac is about as far away from the Scottish battlefields as you could get, which is what was so funny to me," Presser told ESPN. "She loved doing 'Home Alone' because she got to jump on the bed and eat popcorn.
As the videos became a hit online, Presser saw an opportunity to use their popularity to help families struggling to make ends meet during the lockdown and to even teach Madison about the importance of giving back. He created a donation page to raise money for Feeding America and attached it to all of their videos. So far, "Quarantine 2020 Productions" has raised nearly $71k for the nonprofit organization that oversees a network of more than 200 food banks across the U.S. Disney, which owns ESPN, reportedly matches his donations to Feeding America.
"During the first few months, it was a really dark time, especially here in the Northeast so we just wanted to spread some joy and bring smiles to people's faces. After we did a couple of videos we thought it would also be a good idea to start teaching her how to help others and the importance of realizing that not everyone is as fortunate as we are, and people have been really generous," Presser said. "We've had one person donate three separate times, multiple people donate twice, and one person anonymously make a $1,000 donation. I think people have really rallied around and realized that if they're lucky enough to be in that situation where they're still getting paid and still getting food on the table, then they should try and give back."