You know what I did today that completely healed every pimple of stress across my mind? You know what I did today that made me so happy I danced around to songs I haven't heard since middle school on repeat for over an hour? I watched Disney's Little Mermaid.
I hear you laugh. And I laugh with you. But it's true. The single most stress-relieving thing I've done all year it seems, has been to rewatch that delightful cartoon. Instantly transported me back like a time-travelling rocket. All the cares of my barely-functional, apprenticeship in adulthood, all the disquiet thoughts that find me in the evenings, all the bang and clatter of the city, all the worries about the things I need to take of in the coming days and the fact that I have a film release and please god please let this be the one that makes my life easier...it all got reggaed away the second I heard Sebastian the crab strike up the band.
What amazing characterization! What amazing animation!! Even in this post Avatar etc. world of hyper graphic, hyper-rendered, mind altering special effects in movies, the simple hand drawn cartoon of Disney's Golden Era has a charm and an innocence and so much love infused in every sketch that it's hard to keep a heart as childlike as mine from bouncing around the room like a piece of Flubber (remember that one?)
Much to the horror of my closest friend and sisters (well not so much my sisters. They know what a giant baby their elder brother is) I knew the lyrics to every song. From some happy cavern in my mind they came charging out like a pack of puppies unleashed for the evening from the kennels into the lawn of the present. I howled and I laughed, and I danced and I jiggled, and I sang every word off-key and joyous.
It was glorious!! Ah Disney, you magical band of movie misfits. Thank you. There is magic still in this world. And it resides in all the things that made your childhood full of joy and laughter and music. It is the old movies we loved, the songs we learned to love music too. The images we share with our family. Magic is Ariel and Sebastian and Ursula and King Triton. Magic is Louis the chef singing "Le Poisson, le Poisson, hee hee heeee haawn haawn haawn!" and the giggling fit you collapse into after you're done singing along to that bit. It's the thing that makes my sisters bang open their doors after they've scoffed at my childishness and gone back to the their rooms when "Under the Sea" starts playing on the television.
By wondrous happenstance I played that movie. The girls, after watching some god-awful Thai horror movie that had me confined to my room like a prisoner awaiting torture, decided that a cartoon was in order to change the mood of the evening. They asked me to think. The thought translated into action too quickly for me to make a judgement on it, or start to pretend to be a 'man' and tell the girls no no, let's watch something else. A cartoon was asked for and the Little Mermaid was the one I chose. Whatever that makes me, I'm damn proud to be that thing.
Because darling it's better, down where it's wetter, take it from me!!! (and for the prurient minded. The line works that was just as well. Shameful people)
Oh and "Kiss The Girl"? Best Disney song. Ever.