When I was 6 years old, I went to the cinema for a friend’s birthday and saw a new film that was showing. That film changed my life and has had a big influence on the person I am today. It encouraged me to believe that anything is possible (although did give me unrealistic hair goals and meant that I tried to tie my legs together, when I was 7, to emulate the main character). I saw that film in 1989 and, for those of you that know your Disney, like I know my Disney, you’ll know which film that would have been. It was ‘The Little Mermaid’. The Disney adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson classic about a mermaid (Ariel) that falls in love with a human prince and makes a deal with the sea witch to have her fins changed to legs, in order to win the princes heart. The original story sadly does not end well for her, but with the always reliable joy of a Disney film, (spoiler alert!) Ariel does indeed marry her prince at the end of the film (and I cry with happiness every time, without fail).
This sparked a lifelong love affair with the Disney brand. I remember that, during my childhood, my brother and I would always get Disney videos for Christmas and this built up a large collection of the classics for our viewing pleasure!
Now, I already knew that I loved Disney, but when I visited Walt Disney World, when I was 17, it just became so much more for me. That really is the happiest place on earth, in my opinion, and I started to purchase all of the classics on DVD from then on (as videos teetered off into obsolescence).
Then in 2004, my daughter was born. Ah! A new person to join me in my Disney obsession (and she did!). I took her to Disneyland Paris just before her 3rd birthday and the magic all came back to me, as it did when I was a child.
I still feel that magic every time I start watching a Disney film and the little ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ tune plays, as Tinkerbell flies over the top of the castle. No matter what is going on in my life, it takes me back to that feeling of blissful innocence I felt as I child, before the s**t of the real world that we encounter as adults, takes that innocence from us.
Say what you will about Walt Disney and the over commercialisation of the Disney brand, but when I watch a Disney classic, it still gives me the hope that good will always, in the end, triumph over evil. I believe that Disney gives us the escapism we all need.
In 2006 I met my husband (Ben) and it turned out that he was not raised in a Disney household. In fact, I don’t think he had any Disney videos (*gasps*). So, he doesn’t ‘get’ this obsession of mine. Thanks to him, our son (who is currently 6) is also not quite as enamoured as me and his sister. Although, he has just started liking The Little Mermaid (good choice!).
He is missing out and doesn’t even know it!!!! He needs to watch the films and then he will love the brand as much as I do.
Thing is, I’m not the sort of wife that forces their husband to watch things they don’t want to watch. So, how do to go about this, I wonder….
Ah, now there is one thing that Ben likes to do, when I am watching something he doesn’t like. Make sarcastic comments and generally ‘take the piss’ out of it. What if he could do this on a grander scale, where others could also enjoy his ‘hilarious’ observations. Unsurprisingly, he liked this idea.
So, that was the beginning of ‘Disney – Guide for the Misguided’. He will watch through the Disney films in chronological order (just the animated one’s to begin with, and we’ll see how that goes). He may love them. He may hate them. I have no idea, but Hakuna Matata!
Also, I will write various ‘Disney’ posts; reviewing some of the films, TV shows, Disney parks (we’re off to DLP at the beginning of 2020)… basically a plethora of all things Disney!
So if you are a Disney lover let’s see how far it goes. If you are Disney hater (or just merely indifferent), come into the unknown (see what I did there).
Be our guest!
I was never a Disney fan. Not during childhood. Not in my adult life thanks to nostalgia. Never. That’s not to say I’ve never enjoyed a Disney film in my life. When I was six I laughed myself silly at Robin Hood (then saying that, it doesn’t take a lot to make a small child laugh themselves silly, as my own six-year-old can prove). I apparently loved Lady and the Tramp and I’m sure I enjoyed the Sword in the Stone.
My, at times, great dislike of Disney films could probably be attributed to a few factors, with the first being that this film franchise actually ENCOURAGES one to get, what I suppose could be referred to as “the feels”. Emotion. Tears of joy and sadness. The tug at the heartstrings story of love at first sight and the enforced separation due to someone being a dick, before the ultimate reunited happy-ever-after ending. Now I have throughout my life done my upmost to avoid such unpleasantries and I think my approach has worked out very nicely for me. Ok so I may have a tiniest severe anxiety disorder and a sometimes-debilitating inability to express my feelings, but I can happily say I didn’t have to ever weep and subsequently become scarred at seeing the mother of a lovable fawn get murdered.
The second issue is probably even worse than the ‘totes-emosh’ plight of love / deer snuff. The songs. As someone who prefers music which can loosely be described as “alternative”, and as someone who deeply dislikes musicals and ballads, many of the songs don’t exactly float my boat. Unfortunately adding to this is my third issue, in that I live with a wife and daughter who are Disney fanatics and sing the bloody songs far too frequently. As a result, I can suffer from “Disney burnout” without even having watched anything. Admittedly in recent years they have largely substituted singing Disney with ‘The Greatest Showman’ soundtrack and, if anything, this has been worse (I am happy to offer a multi-page highly detailed explanation detailing all the things wrong with that film if you wish. Any takers? Oh well, at least I offered).
So when ‘said dear wife’ suggested I should review all the Disney films as a fun feature for her Disney themed website, my response was similar to my six-year-old self watching Robin Hood. Then when I realised she was being serious, the laughing stopped, and the incredulity began. Did she know me at all? Was this her way to punish me for something? Had I complained about her singing those bloody Greatest Showman songs once too many?. However, it was what she said next that peaked my interest. “They can be ‘adult’ reviews, complete with swearing and inappropriate references, and you can absolutely rip them apart if you want”. Ok, I thought, I can see the logic of doing this, and it might earn me some brownie points along the way. Obviously I will be fair with my reviews and give them all the time of…. Actually, fuck that, let the shredding begin!