Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Be Our Guest

Belle Pez in hand; Belle rings on hand

Having raised me in the proper fashion, my mother correctly exposed me to all things of the Disney nature. My love affair began at a young age as my nursery was decorated in nothing but the latest and greatest Bambi wall hangings and Winnie the Pooh crib adornments. To say it was fate that I would ultimately retain my love of Disney is an understatement of the highest proportion.

Whilst I professed a love for Disney, rest assured I did not let other childhood necessities fall to the wayside. No, this girl proudly loved The Muppets Take Manhattan, Rainbow Brite, and Labyrinth to say the very least, but Heffalumps and Woozles, Robin Hood, and The Rescuers always held a special place in my tender, toddler heart.

As we all know, Disney’s greatest animated films were produced in the prime of my youthful simplicity. Beginning with The Little Mermaid and persisting through The Lion King; the lasting permanency of these films is felt even in my current age range (the coveted 25-34 check box). I have written in the past that Disney has perfected the art of scaring me into believing I will never be able to lay a hand on these films ever again, and so each time they are released from the elusive vault, I scoop them up and treasure their presence in my movie collection. Ridiculous, I know.

It should come as no surprise then, to know that when I heard Beauty and the Beast was to be re-released in the theaters in a special 3-D presentation, I was determined to see it again in all its glory. Thankfully, I have a kindred spirit in my friend Emily, and we set to make a girls day of it and re-live our childhood dreams of growing up and becoming Belle.

Flashback to 1991, and I remember sitting in the theater with my Aunt Deb as the opening credits and music panned across the screen, and becoming terrified at the dark and seeming somber tone of the film. It did not take much to scare me as a child, and that remains true today. She reassured me, and just like that the scene panned to the light and happy home of Belle and her father. One trip over that bridge into town and I was hooked. My sister, Aunt Becky, and I would go home and reenact the film a million times over, even recording it on my pink tape deck consigned to posterity.

Thankfully, in 2012, I was less terrified and most certainly filled with much anticipation as the somber scene turned toward Belle’s entry into town. It was all I could do to refrain from bursting out in song right then and there and repeat every single line. Emily and I just did that to one another, and certainly saved ourselves from embarrassment in doing so. Indeed I think we were the only two grown adults there without children in tow, though I guess I could technically claim to be there for Scout. All the same, it was worth every second of childhood revelry.

Now to await September 2013 – The Little Mermaid in 3D is released. Set your calendars!