Tangled up in Disney
The other night, James and I watched Tangled, the latest animated offering from Disney. It was definitely enjoyable: not as great as Enchanted or Beauty and the Beast, but nowhere near as dreadful as Pocahontas and her coloured wind. The characters were nicely flawed and I liked how the bad witch’s songs reflected a Chicago-esque feel a lá “When You’re Good to Mama”.
But almost without fail, one of the most wonderful moments of any Disney film occurs in the first 10 seconds. It’s when the animated castle comes on, the fireworks go off, and the theme tune “When you wish upon a star” falls like fairy dust into your ears. It gets me every time.
Disney has been with me my whole life. It was with my dad his whole life. And it will most likely be with Abdul through hers. I love the ad campaign that is out right now for visiting Disneyworld/land*. It shows children being told they are going to Disneyland and their little faces light up with joy. The cynic in me keeps imagining they filmed the commercials sort of like this:
Mommy: Guess what, kids? We’re going to Disneyland!
Kids: Wow! That’s great! Can’t wait! Yay!
[Camera stops rolling]
Director: That’s a wrap!
Kids: When are we going, mommy?
Mommy: Oh, we’re not. That was just for the commercial. Thanks for the great expressions, kids!
Then the kids do this.
I remember the first time I went to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida. We lost my mom for hours. My father, sister and I went on the teacup ride and, when we came off, we couldn’t find her anywhere. We went on a couple more rides as we looked for her. Eventually, we located her at the Lost & Found booth. Like every kid who goes to Disney, I bought an autograph book and practically tackled every character I saw to get their signature. Now, of course, I know that the people behind these characters are frustrated actors, but who cares. I was living the dream.
The amazing thing about Disney is that, even though I know it’s a huge corporation and not remotely light and fluffy, it brings back strong feelings of nostalgia, including my first Snow White and the Seven Dwarves record, playing Alice in Alice in Wonderland when I was 8 or so years old, and throwing up in the queue to see The Fox and the Hound (I had food poisoning or something).
And one day, we’ll tell Abdul that we’re going to Disneyworldland* she will get very excited and she will buy an autograph book, too. I can’t wait.
*Walt Disneyworld is in Orlando. All the others are Disneylands.