There will forever be something mesmerizing about re-watching films from your youth, as the feelings of awe and your captivation for the characters linger. In simpler terms perhaps, they act as a time machine, whisking you back to the memory of looking up at the television, the present you hovering in the doorway reflecting on the past version, curled cross-legged under the television set, eyes drawn in to the adventures of Mowgli, Bagheera and Baloo, rooting for them, dancing with them, defeating Shere-Khan together.
That is the thing we remember most, isn’t it? The fight, the victory of our favorite characters, the comedic villainous creatures being outwitted by our heroes; from Cinderella and the evil Stepmother, to Ariel and Ursula, to the Dalmatians and Cruella De Vil, the unlikely victories of these underdogs (pun intended) against their adversaries ignited in children an unbreakable sense of good defeating evil.
The seeming inevitability in the triumph of those with strength of heart and a strong system of moral codes, the child overcoming the adult became instilled in the minds of children raised upon Disney. As a twenty year old, I believe you can spot a Disney enthusiast, and more often than not of course they are the people who surround me. My friends, fellow movie lovers, appreciate the depth of the work and heart in these cinematic texts, as well as their loveable nature; friends' boyfriends have been able to incorporate their inextinguishable passion for animation into their degrees; parents whose love was reignited following a Disney Renaissance as a result of having children, revisiting – such as I am now – the classics of their youth.
As a child my favourite films to get lost in were coincidently the only two VHS tapes my grandmother owned: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937) and The Wizard of Oz (1939), so back when the summers were long each morning started with one of these two, in my humble opinion, works of art.
Snow White’s impact on me, however, in spite of this being the princess I emulated the most – my earliest memory of ‘dress-up’ was as her, an actual Snow White costume purchased for an early birthday I was immediately in love with the colours, the fabric, the fantasy – was for lack of a better word, minimal. Or perhaps I mean lacking in longevity?
My fascination, and similarly, my friend’s fascination with the princesses of Disney was short, sweet and intense while it lasted. My childhood group of friends consisted of a Snow White, a Belle, an Ariel, a Mulan, a Jasmine, and the love for Disney’s creations was strong and appeared to be unyielding. And it was, at least for a few years. The awful phase of children progressing into what they deem ‘adulthood’ and the sudden, abrupt decision that everything from your life prior to this change is ‘uncool,’ and ‘childish’ is a notion which would disappoint our heroes immensely.
The most beautiful thing about remembering, reminiscing and re-watching our youth incarnate on notably larger television screens is the cropping up of that burning question – why did I ever stop watching and re-watching you? There is no good reason for this foolishness!
So indulge yourself - revisit places, people and narratives you thought long forgotten, because they have not, nor ever will forget you. Mowgli and the others are eager for your return.
See The Jungle Book this weekend at FACT - click here to book tickets.