I believe in the magic of Disney. I believe that Disney is more than cartoons, princesses, and fairy tales, but about childhood, happiness, and the belief that everything will work out. Because it always does.
Robert Fulghum said it best: “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.” Back then, I shared toys, played fair, and stuck together with my fellow kindergarteners. In Disney, I learned even more about life. Alongside Aladdin, I learned the importance of honesty, while Mulan demonstrated hard work and perseverance. In The Lion King, my personal favorite, I was taught to admit and learn from my mistakes, just as Simba did when he returned to face his past. By revisiting the world of Disney that first taught me these values, I can remember times when life was simpler, when I actually followed all the rules and did my best to emulate our favorite Disney character, be it Jasmine, Hercules, or Peter Pan.
Of course, not everything is happy in Disney. Each character faces hardships and obstacles, such as Scar’s horrific betrayal and Cruella De Vil’s nasty plans. There are deaths, betrayals, and hopeless situations, yet through it all, Disney characters seem to be okay. While they may not face tragic dilemmas like not getting into college or not getting a raise, I still believe in using them as examples and role models to find happiness in my own life. For example, all the people in my life who support and believe in me, people who care for and about me. Though I don’t have beautiful talking animals to sing and dance with, I have my friends and family, and in that way, I think I’m better off than Ariel and Cinderella.
And finally, I think of the times when everything just went wrong; something I broke when I was younger, or a fierce argument with my parents as a teenager. But I understand that although not everything will go the way I want, in the end, it always turns out okay. I won’t ever be a hero or find that ever-elusive Prince Charming, but at least I know that everything will work out.
In a world where cynicism trumps optimism, work gets more attention than family, and anxiety and stress dominate our lives, simplicity is often overlooked and under appreciated. Disney movies and songs shouldn’t have to be mementos hidden somewhere down memory lane; people of all ages can enjoy reverting back to the simpler days. Like my Disney counterparts, I too can find ways to stay optimistic and strong in the face of adversity, and believe that in some way, some time, everything will work out. No, there will not always be a picture-perfect Disney-ified happy ending. But at least for me, Disney gives me hope that maybe happy endings really do exist.
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