Monday Topics: Best of Disney – Characters

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BEST OF DISNEY

Our friends over at Love Our Crazy Life have asked some of their blogging friends (like me) to participate in a Blogging Challenge. So for four weeks in April, on every Monday morning, I will be covering a different Disney-related topic. You can click the link above to find all of the other participants and their entries. Enjoy!

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Top Five Best Disney Characters

A good thing about Disney movies is that they are populated with great characters. You can cheer them on and delight in their life journeys. Some even touch your heart and stay with you for a lifetime! But who are the best of the best?

Please check out my Top Five List of the best Disney characters, and my reasons why:

Number Five – Mickey Mouse (The Little Guy)

Mickey Mouse

Photo Credit: Disney’s PhotoPass CD

The underdog has always been an endearing character in history. Charlie Chaplin certainly took his Tramp persona to unprecedented levels in the silent era of film, and in so doing spawned a long line of imitators–of which Mickey Mouse is certainly one of the best!

Mickey led the world out of the Depression. He taught our children how to be nice. And he showed us all that good guys don’t always finish last. He was the little guy who never gave up.

What really endears this mouse to my heart is that he never puts himself first. In a world where selfishness and Me-ism seems to be the norm, even celebrated, Mickey just keeps on showing that when you put others first, that’s when you gain real happiness!

Number Four – Uncle Remus (Song of the South)

Photo Credit: Copyright 1958 Walt Disney Productions

At a time in history when there were many justifiable reasons for hatred and resentment, one African-American man decided to show unprecedented love. No matter the skin color of the child in need, he was there with a story to make everything better again!

Song of the South is presently ‘banned’ from release due to alleged racism in its content, but I see a very different story within this important film. I see an older man of color respected and relied on by his former owners, a leader amongst his own people, and a person who shows just how big the human heart can be. Uncle Remus is a man everyone in this present world needs to meet and learn from!

James Bassett deserves better than to be robbed of his due for his portrayal of such a pivotal character in the Disney canon.

Number Three – Anna (Frozen)

Mention the Disney movie Frozen and everyone will immediately think of Elsa, the Ice Queen, who finally learns to ‘let it go’ and be her true self. Sounds good on the surface, but have they actually seen this movie? We have a person who damages her own Kingdom, runs away instead of staying and trying to fix things, abandons her duty and her sister, almost kills her sister (twice!), and basically adopts the attitude that it’s not her problem anyway. And this is a woman for little girls to look up to?

Anna, on the other hand, has no negative qualities. From childhood, she desperately tries to make a connection with her sister. Even though she is alone and rejected for years, her love never cools. When the Kingdom is in trouble, she steps up. She tries again and again to save her sister. And in the end, she is willing to die for someone who has done nothing to deserve such a sacrifice. This is a woman for everyone to look up to!

Just because a character has a hit song doesn’t mean they are one of the best Disney characters. Billions at the box office doesn’t do it either. Anna is one of the best Disney characters because she exhibits qualities that we all should strive to emulate!

Number Two – Baymax (Big Hero 6)

“Hello. I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion.” Those who dedicate their lives to serve others, like nurses, are to be commended and respected. And although Baymax is a robot who was programmed to serve, we learn as his story unfolds, that there is more to him than computer code!

Two things emerge about Baymax during the film Big Hero 6. He will bend over backwards to do what he is asked by a ‘patient’ up to the point that it would harm them. Then he refuses to comply and explains why. Secondly, at the end of the film, we see that he is willing to lay down his own life, or terminate his program, to save others. Again, self-sacrifice is a big part of why Baymax is on this list!

“On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate this character?”

Number One – Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins)

Practically Perfect in Every Way. Using the word ‘practically’ means that there are a few things, or at least one, about this Nanny that could be better. I guess she is a bit full of herself, but in a prim and proper way! So why is this lady number one on my list of the best Disney characters?

First, she is selfless. She has given up a life of her own to serve and protect the children of the world. We find hints that she loves Bert and could pursue a relationship with him, but not without compromising her mission. So she goes on alone.

Secondly, her love of children is strong, but she can never have any of her own. In the final scenes of the movie, we see her shed a tear as she has to leave yet another set of children whom she has come to love as her own. Imagine going through that pain each and every time you accept a posting, knowing that you will have to leave!

Thirdly, even though she is a bit of a bossy flossy, she usually lets her hair down and joins in the fun.

Oh, and Supercalifrajalistic makes her expialidocious. And who else can you say that about?

Bonus Character – Herbie (The Love Bug)

Just look at that face! Adorable and plucky, this little VW Beetle probably has one of the most endearing personalities of any Disney character. Whether it’s bringing two people together, winning a race, foiling a plot, or falling in love himself, Herbie does it all with a ‘Meep Meep’ and a ‘Vroom Vroom’!

Perhaps no other character better personifies the no-quit spirit. He has been sabotaged, stolen, ripped in half, and heart-broken, but never has he been beaten! Sometimes it’s the smallest amongst us that have the biggest hearts.

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Be sure to check out all four of my posts in this series of Monday Topics:

Topic One – Disney Essentials

Topic Two – Disney Tutorial

Topic Three – Best Of Disney (You are here)

Topic Four – Looking Back at Disney

Disney Frozen Characters: Olaf!

Olaf

Olaf, the lovable snowman from Frozen!

Hello everyone, it’s Saturday, and for today, we are going to take a look at many people’s favorite character from the Disney movie Frozen — Olaf, the snowman who loves warm hugs!

Many people, myself included, thought that he was a filler character, something that Disney felt it had to include in the movie because of some of the more somber moments.  However, I’ve got to say, after seeing the movie, Olaf was perfect in the role he was developed for, and there are many layers to that snowman!

When it comes to Olaf, so many different facets are wrapped up on that snow exterior, I think it is fun to examine him from the perspective of some of the great lines that Olaf had.  It all begins with one of his first memorable lines, which was spoken by Elsa in the beginning, but became Olaf’s montra as the movie progressed:

“Hi, I’m Olaf, and I like warm hugs.”

The beauty of Olaf is his childlike innocence, and how, at the heart of the matter, Olaf is the snowman with one of the biggest hearts in Arendelle.  It’s interesting to me how the original statement wasn’t made by Olaf, but was instead made by Elsa when Olaf was nothing other than just a snowman, yet when Olaf was recreated and came to life, that one line because his way of greeting people.  Obviously to me, at least, Elsa must have subconsciously put that quote in his mind, but we don’t know why or anything, and any conclusion we come to would just be speculation.

“Some people are worth melting for.”

Those powerful six words, found near the end of the movie, really struck home with me.  It is at that moment that Olaf tells all of us in the theater exactly what life is all about, that there are times in our lives when we choose to stand with someone regardless of the circumstances — it is at that moment in time that we realize that some people are worth melting for.  Who would you “melt” for in your life?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

Lastly, my friends, let’s take a look at Olaf and his imagination at what life will be like for him In Summer:

Thank you for stopping by today!  At this point we’ve looked at Elsa, Anna, and now Olaf.  Who is your favorite character, and who would you like to see me write about next from the movie?  Please let me know in the comments below, and thanks!  Now, go out there and make it a Disney Day everyone!

Do You Want To Build a Snowman?

Anna

The story of Anna in the Disney movie Frozen is, to me, one of love, fun, games, and then, sadness.  Once Anna was hurt by Elsa, all fun that Anna and Elsa had was immediately halted, and Anna grew up in a very lonely home.  Elsa did as well, of course, but we discussed her last week, so today, we are going to focus on Anna.

I absolutely love the way Disney worked all of the emotions into such a simple question “Do you want to build a snowman?”  In the beginning, that question signalled the start of fun for the girls.  Then, after the accident, that question was meant to illicit a return to the love they had when they were younger.  That continued until the day their parents died — and with that passing, instantly Anna and Elsa were thrown into the deep end of having to swim on their own.

Now, all of a sudden, the question “Do you want to build a snowman?” wasn’t about playing, or having fun, or anything like that.  Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, that question became about returning to the life they had before their parents died.  Suddenly, building a snowman was to return to the carefree days of their youth, about turning back the clock, the hands of time; building a snowman was about returning their parents to them.  That was, to me, the saddest part of the entire movie.

I think, in many ways, we all ask the question “Do you want to build a snowman?” of ourselves in times of sorrow; I know that when Cindy’s Uncle Bob passed away, some small part of me — the human side of me that wanted him back — wanted to build that snowman and bring Uncle Bob back, despite the fact that I knew he was in a far better place.

What life event have you had happen that you wanted to build a snowman and turn back the sands of time?  If you are comfortable sharing it, we would love to hear it.  Thank you for stopping by and reflecting with us on how we all try to build a snowman.

Diving into Disney Characters – Elsa

Elsa, despair raging in her room, after the loss of her parents.

Elsa, despair raging in her room, after the loss of her parents.

{Editor’s Note: If you haven’t seen the Disney movie Frozen, yet, check out this link for a spoiler-free review, but stay away from this post — there are spoilers here that may ruin it for you!}

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Disney Frozen Review: A Love Story!

Frozen

Disney’s latest major motion picture was released to theaters Wednesday, November 27th, and my family has been to see it.  If you haven’t seen the movie yet, but are interested in going to see it, take a read, and then go see it at your next available time!  It is that good!

Frozen takes us to the Norwegian kingdom of Arrendelle.  Arrendelle, by the way, is a real town in Norway — although the name spelling is slightly different (Arendal) — where a King and Queen live with their two girls, Elsa and Anna.  Elsa and Anna are extremely close, and since they are the only children of the King and Queen, they play together quite a bit.  However, one day, there is an accident — and the decision is made to hide from Anna the fact that Elsa has magic at her disposal.

The unfortunate part of this is that Elsa and Anna grow up virtually alone — they don’t play with one another any more because Elsa fears that she will hurt her sister — and life in the Castle becomes lonely and hard for the two sisters.  Then, when an accident takes the King and Queen from them, their separation becomes even harder.

What I really enjoy about Frozen, more than the story itself, more than the incredible snowman Olaf, and more than the characters, is the incredible music that is part of the movie.  Watching this animated movie in the theater, I can picture it being transformed really easily into a Broadway play, and doing very well at that, I might add.  Here is one of the trailers for the movie that you might enjoy:

Without giving away too much of the story for those that haven’t seen it, let me reveal one last thing…in the end, when all seems at it’s most bleak, and when you aren’t sure if it can ever be fixed — well, at that moment, true love wins out, but it isn’t the true love you think it will be…

Disney Frozen will take your heart, work it’s Magic on you, and if your heart is cold, thaw it for you.  It is that good of a movie.

Have you seen Disney Frozen yet?  If so, please let me know what you thought of it in the comments, and thanks for stopping by today!