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Advent, or five reasons to ship Disney

The days are getting darker, the air is colder and smells like snow, and it is time for candles and hot chocolate. For me, it is also time to take out my collection of Disney films.

When we were kids, we used to get a new Disney film each Christmas, or sometimes one for each of us girls. Of course, we insisted on watching them right away, so my parents and us cuddled on the sofa to forget real life for 70 odd minutes. This advent, I have been watching lots of them – Cinderella, Frozen, The Lion King 1&2, Aladdin and Anastasia.

1. The songs
Isn’t it amazing how many song lyrics our brains can still remember? Maybe we never intentionally learned them by heart, yet the songs were heard so often, they are ingrained still. As a benefit, “Hakuna Matata“ or “The bare necessities“ immediately shift my mood, my hips start wiggling and I hum or sing along. Disney songs are catchy and easy to remember and I still enjoy listening to them as an adult. “Colours of the Wind“ or “A whole new world“ and “Once upon a december“ are all time favourites of mine.

2. Reminders of childhood
Disney films revoke my inner child and the phase in our lives when we still believe in magic. They may seem to be giving plain life lessons at first sight, yet their stories undeniably make you wonder and laugh in joy. Unsurprisingly my 17/18- year-old students did exactly that when we watched the Lion King today (in Italian, of course). I heard them whispering about what was gonna happen next, watching with shiny eyes and giggling carefreely at the lion cubs. No pretended coolness clouded their personalities, or mine 😉

3. Messages
It is a unique combination that a cartoon film can both amuse and give impulses. In the Lion King, Simba learns that Mufasa lives in him and that our past belongs to us, no matter how far or hard you try to run from it. Of course, the music underlines this message – as does Rafiki’s rather cruel lesson how we can learn from the past:-) Or how Aladdin realizes that all he can do is be himself, no matter what clothes he is wearing. There is an underlying depth in most of the films, and though admittedly all is predictably well in the end, otherwise it would not be a Disney end. Robin Hood has brought hope to the poor and Disney some into dark days.

4. Plot twists
Although I have watched numerous Disney films, some managed to surprise me. How Anna saves Elsa in Frozen and this sisterly love is the answer instead of true lovey’s kiss. Or that Pocahontas does not join John Smith when he travels back at the end of the film.

5. Creativity
I wonder how one person can come up with so many creative stories, believable characters and small details that are unique. I love how in Pocahontas there is a grandmother willow; I love Rafiki’s wisdom and Timon’s humour. I like how Baghira and Balu fight like a married couple and that Cinderella’s mice can sew and sing. It fascinates my that a mermaid who is stunning wants to be human or that Bernhard and Bianca, arguably two of the smallest creatures on earth, are police and keen on saving the world.

All in all, I adore these films and will continue to watch them- not only at Christmas time, but especially then. If Christmas AND Disney do not make us believe in something special and magical, what could?

Author: carasmelody

daydreamer, hopelessly hopeful, I love the power of words, I love poems, words are soulfood

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