Character Details: Disney Princesses and Prince Caspian

Detail work is vital when it comes to creating a full character. We may not instantly take in every single detail about someone when we see them on screen, or meet a person in real life. But let me tell you, we WOULD notice if those “unnoticeable” little details were gone.

Detail work can happen on a character’s person or in their surroundings, like Wanda Maximoff’s bedroom in Civil WarThat setting gave us a very personal look into the who of Wanda, without us even realizing it at first. Without the careful attention to detail in that scene, we would have known so much less about this mysterious character.

Today I want to talk about personal details about the character’s physical appearance. These small things in how they look, sound, or appear, are in fact HUGE when it comes to telling us about this character. Who they are, where they are from, how they feel, and what they want.

Here are 2 examples of details. The first one is a detail that has been done well and added to the character. And the second is a detail that was handled poorly and it detracted from the character.

1. Disney Princesses and their big eyes.

Ever noticed how HUGE Disney Princesses’ eyes are? It’s become something that even Disney fans are pointing out as rather ridiculous, especially considering that our latest princesses Rapunzel, Anna, and Elsa have the hugest eyes of all. Right?

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I mean, take a look at above slideshow of Disney princesses. The eyes have only grown more disproportionate over the decades, even though you would think they would get more realistic. What’s with that?

Obviously huge eyes are beautiful. But some fans have complained that these beautiful princesses with their impossibly huge eyes and tiny waists have created an unrealistic image for little girls everywhere. It is quite true that Disney does not create the most realistic looking characters. But what if that was done entirely on purpose?

The eyes are the windows to the soul. Eyes are the most important feature on a character to portray what happens in that character’s heart. Squinty eyes = villain. Sad eyes = someone who has suffered. Huge eyes = a person feels trapped, or they are searching for something.

What are the 2 things most Disney princesses have in common? They feel trapped. Trapped by an evil stepmother, trapped under the sea, trapped in a marriage custom, trapped in a little French provincial town, trapped by societal bounds, and trapped in a tower/castle and cut off from the whole world.

Or, they are searching for something. Searching for freedom, adventure, love, safety, truth, floating lights, peace, etc.

Yes, I can now see why especially Rapunzel and the Frozen sisters have impossibly huge eyes. Their lives have been so incredibly isolated, they have been cut off from the world and human interaction and they are desperate to find freedom and love. You can see it in their eyes.

Those who have been drawing or animating stories that are more geared toward children have been using visual clues to communicate more subtle messages and understanding for centuries. And children have been picking up on those details for centuries. I guess the big-eyed Disney Princess is starting to make more sense now. It’s not just an impossible standard of beauty, it’s a clue into these girls’ souls.

A detail that we have often passed off as ridiculous now seems rather vital.

*I have no good explanation for the tiny waists. I am with the thousands of other fans who are ready for realistic portrayals of both men and women in both animated and live action films.

2. Prince Caspian and his changing accent.

What? What in the world am I talking about?

Honestly, not many people have noticed this until I mentioned it to them. It may seem like it should be an easily overlooked detail, but hear me out.

In Prince Caspian Caspian spoke with a Spanish accent like the rest of his Telmarine people. This gave them a distinctly different flavor from the Pevensies, our classic heroes and monarchs who had British accents. The majority of the Narnian creatures also spoke with a British accent.

Listen closely to the difference in Caspian’s accent and the accents of those around him.

Caspian’s accent in that film made him stand out from the other main characters and gave his character even more of an outsider complex. It was a small detail that gave us tons of information about his backstory and culture vs. that of the Narnians or the Pevensies. I found it to be a very unique and charming aspect of his character that I enjoyed a lot.

However, something strange happens in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Caspian has over the course of just three years suddenly developed a British accent.

When did that happen? Typically, if you have been raised up to adulthood with one way of speaking, you tend to keep using that accent for the rest of your life, even if it may soften over time.

Caspian was a young man when he became king of Narnia. He was old enough that his Spanish accent should have remain entrenched, even if he picked up a few new things from those around him speaking with British accents.

The character of Caspian in TVOTDT has grown and matured since PC, he is a confident and capable leader. But he is still Caspian.

The creative choice to change this single, but very important detail of Caspian’s character was a bad one in my opinion. It robbed Caspian’s character of a very rich and intriguing layer and instead made him fade into the woodwork of the British-sounding cast instead of standing out as someone unique.

It created mental confusion and stole attention from his unique character, instead of adding to it. This was a detail that was poorly handled and hurt both the character and the authenticity of the story.

*****

Stories are made of up of thousands of details. Characters are created with a few big things, and a whole lot of details. The greatest characters have been given careful attention by their creators, folks who used details to their advantage.

What are some tiny things you have noticed that have made a big difference in characters? I’d love to hear from you, so please, share your thoughts with me.

Also, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! I feel delight when I imagine the millions of people who will be doing the same thing this Thursday. Gathering in a common purpose for food, family, and thankfulness. May we never take these beautiful things for granted, may we never take those we love for granted. May we enjoy this day in which so many peoples’ stories are engaged upon the same moment, a shared experience. God bless you all!

 

 

 

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5 Reasons We Love Flynn Rider

It’s no secret that Tangled‘s Flynn Rider has been a favorite among Disney fans since his introduction in 2010. He was one of the key elements that made Tangled a level above it’s predecessor Disney movies.

Flynn really broke out of the mold of boring and backstory-less Disney men and is really one of the most engaging characters to date. He wasn’t just a pretty face (let’s be honest, though, he is incredibly pretty), there was so much more to his character.

I could go into greater depth about the brilliance and complexities of his character, but I’ll save that for a later date. Today, let’s just enjoy a few of the primary reasons that we all love Flynn Rider.

1. The Smolder

Tangled really ushered in a new era for Disney. While many beautiful and charming movies had been made before it, Tangled introduced a finer 3D level of animation to the big studio. Pixar had been doing this kind of amazing animation for a long time now, and I think it is greatly due to Pixar’s involvement in this project that it turned out so well.

The facial expressions in this movie are just amazing. I always say about Tangled, “They told an entire story using eyebrows.”

By far the most prominent eyebrows belong to the one and only Flynn Rider. His facial expressions are just amazing, and with the slightest tweak of an eyebrow he completely changes the mood.

And what is the top Flynn Rider facial expression? I don’t really need to answer that for you, because we all know.

His face is so ridiculously fluid. In one 45 second clip he makes multiple, hilarious facial expressions with just the slightest twitch. Flynn Rider is like the poster child for amazing facial expressions.

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2. His Love/Hate Relationships with Animals

It seems like everyone in Disney is some kind of animal whisperer (Snow White, I’m looking at you). How many of us have had unrealistic expectations set for our human/animal interactions because of Disney movies? Seriously, I could whistle until my lips bled and still no birds would show up to help me clean my room.

Flynn Rider is not your typical Disney character. He actually seems weirded out by the hyper-intelligence of classic Disney animals. His interactions with Pascal and Maximus are hilarious.

He goes through 3 stages of animal interaction in this movie.

(1) Flynn’s face is one big question, “WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?”

Image result for tangled pascal images

(2) He  moves on to feeling the need to justify himself.

“You should know that this is the strangest thing I have ever done!”

(3) He starts talking to animals even more casually and normally than the other characters. He doesn’t have the sparkly, awe-like interaction that other Disney characters have with their animals. He moves right on to normal, person-to-person interaction. He and Maximus might as well be brothers who grew up tussling with each other.

3. Breaking Disney Men Cliches

(1) He’s a thief, not a prince, general, or warrior.

Yes, I know Aladdin also fits this qualifications, but Aladdin was immediately more selfless to start than Flynn is. *For the record, I adore Aladdin as a character and his movie is my favorite of the older, Disney “princess” movies. More on that another time.

Flynn stole a crown and left his partners in crime to the hangman’s noose. His only goal for the beginning of the movie is to get that crown and make a fortune. He tries to discourage Rapunzel from following her dream so that he can fulfill his sooner.

(2) He didn’t fall in love at first sight. More on this at the end.

(3) Again, he’s not really sure about these hyper-intelligent animals. See above.

(4) He doesn’t SING, not on his own initiative anyway.

(5) He has a deeply compelling backstory.

Very few Disney men are given interesting backstories, they are more the eye candy for whatever princess is doing her thing. I think Disney is starting to get the picture that maybe we want interesting men and women characters, it has been announced that Prince Charming will be getting his own backstory made into a live action film

The reveal of Eugene Fitzherbert, the orphan boy who loved the book about Flynnigan Rider was precious and compelling. It opened the door for Flynn to soften his heart and let a new, golden dream in. This moment was huge for his character development and setup for that glorious sacrificial scene at the end of the movie.

(6) He freaks out. Many times.

(7) He looks, GOOD. And he’s not afraid to admit it.

All Disney princes are gloriously beautiful (hold back the dimples, Eric, we can’t handle dimples that deep), but none of them ever acknowledge it.

Flynn knows how gorgeous he is, and he completely uses that to his advantage. Don’t get me wrong, I love men with humility, but this very real character flaw of Flynn’s was fresh and hilarious.

4. Best Lines

Flynn Rider has just got some great, very quotable lines, and his delivery could not be more perfect. He’s like the animated Han Solo of great line delivery.

Flynn Rider- You smell that? Take a deep breath through the nose.
[Breathes through nose]
Flynn Rider: Really let that seep in. What are you getting? Because to me, that’s part man-smell, and the other part is really bad man-smell. I don’t know why, but overall it just smells like the color brown. Your thoughts?

Flynn Rider- [sword-fighting with Maximus] You should know that this is the strangest thing I’ve ever done!
[Max flicks the frying-pan from Flynn’s hands]
Flynn Rider- … How ’bout best two out of three?

Flynn Rider- [Flynn looking at his ‘Wanted’ poster] No… no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, this is bad, this is very very bad, this is really bad… They just can’t get my nose right!
Stabbington Brother- Who cares?
Flynn Rider- Well, it’s easy for you to say…
[Looking at the Stabbington Brothers’ ‘Wanted’ poster]
Flynn Rider- [in awe] … You guys look amazing.

Flynn Rider- All right, listen! I didn’t want to have to do this, but you leave me no choice. Here comes the smolder.
[Flynn puts on a pout, hoping to charm Rapunzel. She just looks at him sternly]
Flynn Rider- This is kind of an off-day for me. This doesn’t normally happen.

5. Not Love at First Sight

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in love at first sight.

But, if we were to take Disney’s word for it, love at first sight is the only way any beautiful romances happen.

That’s not the case for Flynn and Rapunzel, however. Flynn did notice Rapunzel’s pretty face when she first stepped out of the shadows, but a second later the first hint of awe wears off and he’s trying to sweet talk her to get his way.

He gains a hint of respect for her when she faces down the goons at the Ugly Duckling, turning the whole place into an impromptu Broadway performance; but it’s more of just admiration at the moment, love has not yet begun to bloom.

The evolution of Flynn’s love for Rapunzel was gradual. He didn’t let down his guard a bit until he thought they were going to drown. And then he shares something very precious and personal with her: his name.

Eugene represents the softest, realest heart of who he is. It’s the most vulnerable part of him, it represents a little orphan boy who never had enough but dreamed big. Rapunzel recognizes how precious that name is and uses it with great respect and gentleness. This attracts Flynn.

He sees the sweet innocence and beauty of her heart at the Festival of Lights. She soaks up every single moment with the joy of a child. Her pure beauty and warm heart are magnetic to Flynn. She is the most real, colorful thing he has ever experienced. She makes his dream of fortune seem black and white by comparison.

And then, he celebrates her dream with her. He spares no expense to make this moment the most special moment in her life. He understands how much these lights mean to her, he understands that they reflect her soul, which has felt trapped and captive. She trusts him with her most vulnerable place, and he treats her like a princess.

This scene is legendary and makes my throat ache.

He’s ready to go all in. He wants nothing in the world except to be with this beautiful, precious girl in front of him. He’s even willing to turn in the crown to the Stabbington brothers without a second thought. This is symbolic of him giving up his previous dream for a new one.

We know what happens. Evil Mother Gothel scheme, Flynn in prison, Rapunzel back to her captive tower, etc.

Flynn has an energy and desperation that he didn’t have before. Now, he’s not just fighting for himself, he is fighting for someone else. He’s always been resourceful and scrappy, but he’s never been in love.

He rushes back to the tower to save Rapunzel, only to be stabbed by Mother Gothel.

I gasped out loud when I saw this scene the first time. I did NOT expect that level of violence in a Disney movie. It scared me to death, a cardinal rule had just been broken and I didn’t know what to expect next. For all I knew, Maximus would kick the bucket the following scene.

Rapunzel willingly sacrifices her freedom for life in order to save the life of Flynn. I shall continue to call him Flynn, as I feel Eugene is really a special name that only Rapunzel should get to call him.

Flynn was bleeding out on the floor. He wasn’t exactly in top physical condition, no one would have blamed him if he was unable to do anything. He’s already gone above and beyond who he was at the beginning of the movie.

They move in for the kiss, and BAM! He slices her hair off, rescuing her and sacrificing himself.

Respect. Vulnerability. Attraction. Sacrifice.

This is such a well-written, well-rounded model for falling in love. The romance in this movie had so much more depth and maturity than any of the previous Disney Princess films. It opened the door for other amazing romances like Frozen’s Kristoff and Anna in the future.

*****

Flynn Rider was an amazing character all on his own. He had his own set of circumstances, beliefs, and goals before he ever met Rapunzel. She didn’t change him immediately, but in time, being around her altered his priorities.

He was bold and sacrificial. His rescue of Rapunzel in no way diminished her strength as a character or threatened her capability, it only added to the rich interaction. Flynn Rider was a strong male character, paired with a strong female character, and the result was the best Disney princess movie anyone had seen.

Eugene Fitzherbert would be happy to know that he is every bit as legendary as his fictional hero, Flynnagin Rider. His fame has spread far and wide and we still enjoy his story.

What did you love about Flynn Rider? What did you love about Tangled? What did you see that they did differently in this movie from their previous fairytale films?

25 of My Favorite Movie Lines

It is the 25th post on reellifebygrace today! I thought I would have some fun with this number and keep it simple by sharing 25 of my favorite movie lines. These are in no particular order and are merely here to make you smile.

1.”It’s like America, but south!” (Ellie, Up)

I am a big South America fangirl. I understand the deep wonder and excitement that Ellie and Carl have for that mysterious continent. Not to mention, this scene is just the cutest thing ever.

2. “I love you.” “I know.” (Han Solo/Leia, The Empire Strikes Back)

Han and Leia’s romance is one of the top movie romances in the world. I love, LOVE their interaction. This scene is so iconic to Star Wars fans for so many reasons. My favorite bit of trivia about this scene is that Harrison Ford came up with his classic I know response on the spot, and a legendary line was born.

To top this amazing line off, the roles are later reversed in Return of the Jedi when Han says “I love you” to Leia. She gets a twinkle in her eye as she replies “I know.” What a great tie-in between the two movies.

3. “Uh, mebbe I shoulda hooked him up to Bessie, an then took the boot off.” (Mater, Cars)

A classic “DUH” moment that is made totally adorable by Mater. He takes Lightening McQueen’s handcuff “boot” off before he hooked McQueen up to Bessie, the enormous asphalt machine.  My dad always laughs at this part, so it is a fond moment for me.

4. “My mother was a caterpillar, my father was a worm, but I’m okay with that now.” (Khalil, Veggie Tales: Jonah)

If you have never seen Khalil the caterpillar, look up some clips on Youtube. He is utterly hilarious and a top-quote character for Veggie Tales fans.

5. “I am expressing multiple attitudes simultaneously. To which are you referring?” (Spock, Star Trek: Into the Darkness)

SPOCK SASS! I love Spock.

6. “I think I heard a whoosh.” (Emmet, The LEGO Movie)

Emmet is totally adorable, and this line cracks me up. I can just see Chris Pratt saying this himself. I’d be willing to bet Chris Pratt really is Emmet in so many ways. I feel like if we went inside of Chris Pratt’s mind we would find a double-decker couch in there somewhere.

There are a million hilarious and quotable lines from this movie, I had to just grab one off the cuff.

7. “You hesitated.” (Olaf, Frozen)

Again, so many quotable lines to choose from in Frozen, but this one always cracks me up because of the timing. Anna’s hair is turning white and it’s freaking Kristoff out. Her cute little feminine query, “Does it look bad?” is something so many gals can identify with. Poor Kristoff waits a half second longer than he should to reply, and his fate is sealed. So many males identify with this.

Haha, Olaf isn’t buying it.

8. “I’m just a kid from Brooklyn….I can do this all day.” (Steve Rogers, Captain America: The First Avenger)

I make no secret about my love for this guy. I really feel like these two lines (they are really a part of the same thought) entirely sum up this extraordinary guy.

It’s even better because of all of the follow-up times when Steve uses his signature lines. He never gives up. It’s the Steve Roger’s version of just keep swimming. 

How do you compete with that?

9. “Obviously. Yes, I am. I’m with the Resistance, yeah, *whispers* I am with the Resistance.” (Finn, The Force Awakens)

This kid is so stinkin’ adorable. I fell in love with him on like Line 3. He was so unlike any of the previous Star Wars main heroes. He was so not confident he felt so normal and human. His instant crush on Rey is all the cuter as he seeks to impress her with his “Resistance” status.

Aren’t they adorable?

10. “What do you still have it for?!? I can’t believe you had THAT in your purse!” (Rocket Raccoon, Guardians of the Galaxy)

Obviously I just picked out one gem among that treasure trove of quotable lines that is Guardians of the Galaxy. This one however, cracks me up even when I’m not watching the movie.

The orb just blew up and the Guardians are all in shock. Rocket’s line is hilarious enough, but it’s made even more hilarious by the fact that he and Peter Quill start having the purse vs. knapsack argument right then and there.

11. “Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow!” (Mushu, Mulan)

Using this line as a comeback will either end the argument with your opponent defeated, or you will make a new best Disney friend.

12. “Great, where are we going?” (Pippin, The Fellowship of the Ring)

I’m going for more comical than deep today. Pippin is a great moment of comedic relief in the epic but exhausting saga that is Lord of the Rings. This line is so hilarious in that you-have-no-idea-kid kind of way. It’s even funnier because this stupid line totally breaks up the solemn and dramatic gravity of Elrond’s “you shall be the Fellowship of the Ring” statement.

What an adorable idiot!

13. “And Daddy! He stole my boot!” (Jane, Tarzan)

Jane is a highly underrated Disney lady. She’s charming, adorable, and says the cutest things. She has the most rambling way of getting to the point. It’s even cuter how her round and squishy little professor Daddy follows her bizarre thoughts easily.

This line is when Jane returns from  having met “the wild man” Tarzan. She’s babbling away about this strange creature, only to stop in the middle of her ramble to talk about the theft of her boot. I do this sometimes, so this line always cracks me up. I can’t find this particular line, but here’s a cute scene that will give you a great example of her adorable dialogue.

14. “These mashed potatoes are SO creamy!” (Midge, While You Were Sleeping)

I cheated by using this line to introduce one whole scene full of hilarious lines. Lucy is eating dinner with Peter’s family and about 3 different conversations are happening at once. She and Jack never say a word but smile at each other through the chaos. It’s a hilarious scene, one that I completely understand because I grew up in a large family. I promise you, this is completely realistic.

This movie is priceless!

15. “Whaaaaattt???” (Minion, Despicable Me)

This gif works for EVERYTHING.

16. “You should know, that this is the strangest thing I’ve ever done!” (Flynn Rider, Tangled)

Flynn Rider broke so many rules for Disney guys, I think that’s why he is so beloved. This scene is hilarious.

17. “I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine, and he shall be my Squishy.” (Dory, Finding Nemo)

This is everyone literally every time they see something adorable.

18. “School mascot by day, but by night….I am also a school mascot.” (Fred, Big Hero 6)

He’s so hilarious!

19. “I’ve never put on pantyhose, but it sounds dangerous.” (Joseph, The Princess Diaries)

Fellas, you just have no idea the truth of this statement. I laugh really hard at this line because pantyhose are HORRIBLE! They itch, they pull, they rip, they slip, and you have no guarantees about the length of your life when you start putting them on. They are DANGEROUS!

20. “Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile.” (Hiccup, How to Train Your Dragon)

Hiccup Haddock is one of the greatest things animation has ever brought the world. I flat-out adore this guy. His dry and sarcastic sense of humor is one of the best aspects of this character.

21. “I was with the Navy, not the Navajo.” (Owen, Jurassic World)

There’s a reason Chris Pratt keeps sneaking in here. He’s amazing. I love Owen’s face when Claire looks expectantly at him after asking him to track down her nephews. He gives her this look repeatedly throughout the movie.

22. “Well done, you just decapitated your grandfather.” (Loki, Thor: The Dark World)

Loki gets the best lines.

23. “The word I’m searching for, I can’t say because there’s preschool toys present.” (Woody, Toy Story)

This is a great way to express your emotions in a situation without getting profane.

24. “So yeah, I blew myself up.” (Mark, The Martian)

Mark’s running dialogue for this movie was utterly amazing. He had a great sense of humor that kept things from getting too heavy. Amazing!

25. “If I see one, I shall inform you immediately.” (Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl)

This is one of my favorite little interchanges throughout this funny movie.

And there you have it! 25 great movie lines from some wonderful movies. This was actually far more complicated than I had anticipated. Good thing I chose to do this post for my 25th instead of my 100th. Merry movie-watching to you all!

 

7 Movies That Defined My Childhood

Wonderful movies and childhood go hand in hand. There is a sense of wonder and awe we experience as children that finds a fertile ground in movies. This is why so many people who now spend most of their time watching PG-13 and above movies still have a soft spot for their favorite childhood films. Seeing those familiar films is like revisiting an old friend and reliving a taste of that wonder from childhood.

I have loved movies my entire life. Even as a baby, my mother could sit me down in front of a TV screen and I would be transfixed. I was raised on stories and have grown up appreciating them.

Today, I thought I would take a little trip down memory lane and share the movies that defined my childhood. I have chosen these movies as the ones that not only awed and inspired me, but also helped to shape some part of who I am today. That is the power of a good movie, a fake (or historical) reality and set of characters can touch and shape our real lives in the real world.

Now, onto the movies!

7. Fievel Goes West

Fievel Goes West

I loved a good Western tale growing up! My siblings and I played Old West exclusively for a certain phase in our life. I was also utterly fascinated by pioneers. The idea of brave souls forging into an untamed world to carve out a new life was so romantic. Of course, I was too young to grasp the harsh realities and sorrows, all I saw was the glamour.

Fievel Goes West had just the right amount of boisterous adventure and shoot-em-up fun that a girl fascinated by the Old West needed. I loved Fievel’s thirst for adventure and fearlessness against much larger foes. I craved those things for myself, and I loved watching this little mouse live them out. I found this “tail” more exciting than it’s predecessor An American Tailanother good film, but not nearly as much fun.

6. The Swiss Family Robinson

The Swiss Family Robinson

For a time, this was the only movie that my family owned. You can imagine my delight when watching this film full of adventure, danger, and colorful creativity. One of the books I learned to read on was Robinson Crusoe, so I already had an appreciation for survival stories.

The Swiss Family Robinson took the idea of a “survival” story to a bouncier, more Disneyfied level. These people didn’t just survive, they thrived! They built a beautiful home in the trees for them and their menagerie of exotic animals. Even when faced with the impending danger of pirates, their spirits never lagged and they stepped up to the plate.

So many scenes from this movie are imprinted deeply in my mind. The tree house reveal is one of my favorites, that place was purely magical. Perhaps that is why I now dream of getting to stay in a tree house. I loved the scene with the boys swimming in the waterhole and sliding down the waterfall. Can you say dreamy? Or the Christmas dance when Ernst and Fritz’s jealousy over Roberta comes to a high point. The race day when everyone is on the back of exotic animals and wearing handmade hats? Love, LOVE it!

But the best scene by far is when the family is fending off the pirates. Coconut bombs, giant piles of rolling logs, a tiger pit, and trails of gunpowder! MacGyver woulda been proud. The ingenuity of this family knew no bounds.

I could probably quote this movie fairly accurately all the way through. That would be because my older brother and I watched it every weekend until Mom made us stop.

I have since seen another version of this story that is a very realistic and deep take on the concept. Strandedit’s more emotionally difficult, but also very rewarding. I highly recommend it. Still, Disney’s live-action Swiss Family Robinson will always have a place in my personal movie hall of fame.

5. Roy Rogers and the Bells of San Angelo

RR Bells of San Angelo

The Bells of San Angelo was my first Western film, and my first Roy Rogers film. I watched it at my great-grandmother’s farmhouse. I love this movie for the memories it holds, but also because of the door it opened for me. When I was about ten my family got a collection of Roy Rogers movies and our movie world was forever changed.

Roy Rogers is practically a member of my family. I have seen so many of his movies, I could tell you titles, lines, costars, and sing some of the songs. Roy Rogers was handsome, charming, brave, could sing like a bird, and had the coolest horse on screen.

But even more than that, his heart was bigger than his fame. My family got to know about this incredible man, his wife Dale Evans, and their family when we visited the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum before it closed. We learned about the personal side of these famous celebrities. They were real people who loved each other and their children (they lost 3) deeply. Their heart for children was beautiful, they were heroes onscreen and off.

We even had the joy of meeting Roy Roger’s son, Roy Roger’s “Dusty” Jr. My mama often says that when she gets to heaven, one of the first people she is going to meet is Roy Rogers.

4. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Spirit Stallion OTC

 

There is so much to be said about this incredible movie. It is one of Dreamworks finest and completely unique. A story of the Old West, about a horse, as told by a horse. You see this movie through Spirit’s eyes and his mind. It’s absolutely mesmerizing on every level.

Spirit touched a very wild part of my soul and brought a lump to my throat. There is a deep, spiritual level of life that is driven home into the fabric of your soul. Spirit displays passion, perseverance, the choice to fight and never give up,  and the struggle to remain unbroken in a very earthy way.  I don’t have the time to describe everything I feel or think about this movie right now, but I assure you, this movie WILL be revisited on this site, you have my word.

I watched this movie over and over and over again. I watched it recently again as an adult and it still took my breath away and sent chills down my spine.

3. Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch

Air Bud

I saw Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch first. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s out of order, but it’s still my favorite one. I have always adored dogs, but dogs who can wear clothes and do things like people, or even better than people? Oh my goodness!

These movies posses a very special place in my heart. I fell in love with this beautiful dog who regularly saved the Little League team while helping his people through their own difficulties. I may have also had a little crush on Kevin Zegers (Josh), but that was secondary.

I used to spend hours daydreaming about having a sweet dog named “Buddy” who was my best friend. It would be so cool, we would have lots of fun together and he would be super smart. This dog wagged his way into my soul and has stayed there. He made many boring or sad moments in my childhood feel brighter.

You can imagine my dismay at the Buddies movies when the puppies were talking! WHAT?!? The coolest thing about Buddy was that he was smart and resourceful as a DOG, he didn’t need to use words to communicate. He communicated with his actions. I have many more little fan-girl feelings to express on this subject, but time grows short.

I still dream of having a golden retriever one day. Can you blame me?

2. The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book

Everyone remembers their first Disney movie. This was mine. No, I didn’t start out on Disney princess movies. In fact, I didn’t see a princess movie until I was 16. Guess what? I survived and I’m actually normal.

The Jungle Book was such a cute story with a cast of unique characters. My favorite was always Bagheera, who got the cold shoulder from Mowgli for being the “stuffy parent”. I always felt bad for Bagheera, he only ever wanted the best for Mowgli and fought to protect this little man-cub. Baloo got all of the fun points, but we all knew it was Bagheera who kept that child alive.

My brother and I watched this many times growing up. We would run around the house singing “The Bare Necessities”. To this day, he and I get excited about watching our old, childhood favorite.

I was utterly delighted with the new, live action remake of this beloved film. The filmmakers took all of the best parts of the movie I grew up with, removed the annoying bits, and then filled out the story. I was utterly delighted with every aspect of that movie, I can’t wait for it to come out on Blueray!

1. The Prince of Egypt

The Prince of Egypt

Now we have arrived to the 1st movie in my life. The movie that has probably done more than any other movie to shape who I am today.

I saw The Prince of Egypt in theaters. It was my first movie ever, and my first movie in theaters. I was 2 years old, and I was completely drawn in.

The colors, the movement, the story, the music, I drank it up like a thirsty little flower. I couldn’t identify or comprehend everything that this movie taught me, rather, I felt it. I knew that I felt something when I saw the treatment of the slaves and I heard their desperate cries in the music. I felt Moses’s agony and the fear of the Egyptians. I felt the struggle of the Plagues. I felt the fear of the Hebrews as they were crowded against the Red Sea with an army of murderous Egyptians at their backs. And I felt the power when the Red Sea parted and God brought His people through.

We owned some of the soundtrack to this movie. My brother and I used to spend hours dancing to it in the living room. My favorite song happened in the Midianite camp “Through Heaven’s Eyes”. I dare you to listen to this song and not dance. It has such a rhythm of life and a heartbeat to it.

I can remember listening to one of the choral pieces one time, a bit of music describing the Hebrew people’s despair and torment. For the first time in my life, I made the connection between music and emotion. I understood that the song was telling me something from the depths of a person’s heart. I was only 3 years old, and that moment still influences me today.

I love Ancient Egyptian history. I love the story of Moses and the rescue of the Hebrew people. I am a storyteller. I find ways to communicate messages and emotions to others. I am learning and hoping to make movies that speak to people the way this movie spoke to me. The older I get, the more things about myself I find I can trace back to what was awakened in my heart and mind when I watched this film.

I have much, much more I could say on this subject. Stories awaken our hearts and imaginations like nothing else, that is why our first stories are so dear to us. Our childhood movies aren’t just cute memories, they are a part of who we were, and who we are today. They touched us in very personal ways and continue to touch us. I have so enjoyed sharing my favorite childhood movies with you and I hope this has brought back some sweet memories in your own heart.

What movies defined your childhood? Why did you like those movies? Do you still enjoy them today? What did those films make you feel? What did they make you believe in?

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