I guess you could say I am making up for lost time.
As I am writing this, I am listening to the soundtrack to The Prince of Egypt. Apparently this animated movie about Moses is a classic, but I had not seen it before last night when my housemate insisted I receive, as best described in Pitch Perfect, a “moviecation.” Movie education. However you might word it.
People are always so awe-stricken when I talk about my childhood viewing habits. It seems like everyone I encounter really enjoys Disney, making references and talking about watching marathons of classic movies. They spout off Disney trivia as if every other thought in their head is Disney-related. For some people, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is actually the case.
I, on the other hand, have not watched a single Disney princess movie. Mind you, I really enjoyed the more animal-focused movies, such as The Lion King and 101 Dalmations and The Fox and the Hound, but that’s about it. The occasional Aladdin thrown in sometimes. Otherwise, Disney never particularly interested me. I guess if Finding Nemo counts in there, I watched that on repeat, but with the Pixar situation, that’s a wild card option.
I was never into princess stories. I was never into dolls or Barbies, either. I remember growing up with our bulky TV set sitting on top of a cupboard chock full of VHS tapes (I know, crazy to think about these days of streaming Netflix). At the time we probably owned every single Veggie Tales episode in existence. I also watched a LOT of television, my favorites being Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues.
But I turned out like a functional adult, even sheltered from this Disney universe. I didn’t feel like I missed anything. I loved watching PBS and Nick Jr. I even watched a few shows on what was then Playhouse Disney, but I grew up without needing the fantasies of becoming a princess needing to be saved by a handsome prince, or even that much of an influence from one Mickey Mouse. I’m not great when it comes to remembering the past, but I had a decent childhood.
So I guess some might say I didn’t “do my childhood right.” How can we even make that statement? How can we define that ideal growing-up situation? We’re all different. And to define ourselves by a certain brand of media seems even more absurd. I’m not saying I have anything against Disney, but it doesn’t have much influence on me, and that’s totally okay. We don’t all have access to or an interest in it, and we should not feel ashamed or awkward about that.
Media is powerful, especially at a young and vulnerable age, to really mold us. I would be interested to see if growing up with Disney shapes values and personalities, or if I’m thinking too far out there. Something worth studying.
Anyways, I will keep you updated on my educational, animated and Disney-filled summer. It should be one I will not forget.
Take care, and keep the faith. –Allie