Monday, June 14, 2010

Yay Childhood!....right?

For those of you who are not aware of random tidbits about me, while I am from Portland, Oregon, I was actually born in Southern California and lived in Laguna Niguel for the first six and a half years of my life. This can lead to some thoughts about my childhood, at one point I was not as pale, I got to go to the beach a lot more, and yes I went to Disneyland. Laguna Niguel is approximately a 45 minute drive to the happiest place on Earth, Anahiem, CA also known as home to Disneyland. I'm pretty sure nothing else really happens there, or if it does, it eludes my six-year-old self. Anywho, what I mean to say is, growing up in the early 90s in Southern California, I loved Disney.

Who wouldn't? It's only the most magical place on Earth right? Yes, East Coast inhabitants, I am aware that Disney World is bigger, however they have humidity and I'm pretty sure magic isn't as powerful in the humidity. It makes everything damp, and who likes being a damp, moist, hot sweaty mess?

The early 90s were a highlight in the movie production of Disney with just the right timing of artists, storytellers and musical talent all coming together to produce films that define our childhood. Who in this day and age hasn't heard or seen at least one of the films, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Aladdin, or Beauty and the Beast? Let's not lie here, I had merchandise and so did you. Somewhere in Goodwill bags there lies a Lion King shirt, and who doesn't still remember the words to "Hakuna Matata"? When Disney comes together, they really hit home. When they miss, it's never a complete loss just not very close to the bull's eye. Now a significant note should me made; I am referencing solely Disney films, which means an exclusion of Disney-Pixar collaborations.

Seriously, who remembers or even bothered to see Brother Bear? The Hunchback of Notre Dame scared a lot of little kids in my babysitting experience.

If you look at the dates, Disney didn't really produce any quality animated films for a ten year period.

This past year we saw The Princess and The Frog, which while a bit cliqued was refreshing to see hand-drawn animation and a nostalgic nod to the Princess franchise that Disney does so well (Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, Aladdin to some extent). Is the Princess franchise slightly outdated, contrary to modern feminist ideals, and overly reliant upon some Prince Charming to save a powerless, skill-less dewy-eyed girl with realistically impossible waist? Yes, yes and yes. Personally though, I still like them. I'm not going to go sit in a tower doing needlepoint for the rest of my days, but I'm pretty sure every little girl put on a toy tiara at some point or at least wanted to.

So where am I going with this? I try not to do too much nostalgia. Time realistically goes forward (no relativistic physics discussions on this post). While the marching on of time, we see a new fusion of the Pixar-esque 3-D animation, not actual Pixar on this endeavor, with the Princess franchise in the upcoming release Tangled. It will be interesting to see how this is received by the now adults of the 90s and the new generation who's become so accustomed to computer animation everywhere.

While it is a bit too early to judge how this film will be played out, one thing's for sure. I'm seeing it because I'm a crazy die-hard, and well, there's a cute iguana as a supporting character.

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