I don’t know if there is a child in the world that doesn’t love Disney. Well, if there is, then that child is very, and I mean very – unique. I, for one, am not that unique. I fell for the Disney charm just like most other children out there and, to this day, I can’t stop being in love.
The first and only Disney video (yes – “video”) I ever received was Cinderella. I loved the story, the animation, the mice and, most importantly of course, the glass slippers ! Oh, the glass slippers. I remember receiving a gift of white, plastic, high-heeled, shoes which were big enough to fit my large toe in and to go up about half way up my foot. Why my cousin and I were given these plastic heeled shoes (and we were given many pairs of them) is beyond me, but they became our favourite toys for a long time. Naturally, we would both take turns to act like Cinderella wearing the glass slipper. … Actually, we had a lot more fun re-enacting the ugly sister putting the heel on, saying, “there, it fits,” only to have her dress yanked up to reveal that her foot was not all the way in the slipper. That was pretty simple – and amusing – to do, given that the plastic heels didn’t fit our full feet either.
I guess what I’m saying is that, yes, I loved Cinderella … but that was possibly because it’s the only Disney video I had. My cousin, on the other, raised to be the brat of the family, was given almost all the Disney videos available at the time. I should be grateful, really, that my aunt was having such a wonderful time encouraging materialism, because it’s from those videos that I finally got to experience the wonders of Disney.
Together, we watched all of the princess videos; although, now that I think about it, I don’t think we watched Pocahontas … you know … one of the few strong women in a Disney movie at the time. Anyhow, putting that aside. … We watched the Disney princess movies together, one by one, until one day, we finally made our round to The Lion King.
For the first time, while watching the video together, I felt completely engrossed in a Disney movie. I mean – completely engrossed ! … Like I saw my life in that movie. Or, at least, one part of it. … To me, King Mufasa was like my father. He was strong, protective and caring – everything that I saw in my father; and, oh my gosh, that scene where Simba roars his itsy bitsy roar, only to try roaring again at the laughing hyenas and finding that he was magically creating a terrifying sound. … Cue Mufasa’s entry. … That scene had me crying and not the usual crying that I do when I watch movies (as my sister likes to constantly poke fun at me for), but balling my eyes out crying.
The moment that I cried my most, though, was when Disney killed my father, I mean, Mufasa. Yes, that’s right, Disney traumatised a little kid by killing off the animation embodiment of her father.
I cried some more throughout the movie, because, well, it’s amazing. After watching the video, though, I thought about the movie a lot … I pretended to be a tiger cub a lot … and I cried thinking about my father’s death … a lot.
Yep, that’s the influence The Lion King had on me and you’d think that I would leave my love for this movie behind in my childhood where it should belong; but nope. When I was 19, I went to see The Lion King in the theatres and as soon as the first musical number opened the show, yep, you guessed it – I cried. … And now, at the age of 27, I bought The Lion King illustrated book, hoping that one day I can read it to my soon to be born niece, and it took me all of one page before I started to cry.
It’s clear to me now that this story will always influence my heart and, in all honesty, I’m okay with that. I never want the Disney magic to end for me and I hope that children all around the world, existing and yet to exist, will get to experience the same magic and love, because there is nothing quite like it. … And I hope, that one day, I can write a story that can have that same magical effect on at least one child, because that would be a dream come true.