Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. A day of romance, love, cards, chocolate and murdered gangsters.
A day where couples everywhere delude themselves that because they get to show everyone else once a year how much they love each other with flowers and big chocolate boxes, their love is enduring and forever.
Yeah, I hate Valentine’s Day. The day represents and glorifies everything my life is lacking.
When you look that kind of emptiness in the face for a month, it tends to drain you.
You think about things, about the emptiness of life, and sometimes you wonder why you bother to keep going. The faint hope that someday your work might be meaningful is a powerful motivator. Scotch helps, too, as does Eve Online.
There’s something else that helps, though. Disney animated movies. Bear with me here.
A lot of readers probably grew up during the 1990s, the heyday of animation, when Cartoon Network didn’t suck, Toon Disney didn’t suck and Disney series like Aladdin and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command were mainstays of your morning cartoon watching. Now they’re part of your Youtube searches, if you’re like me.
Anyway, besides the series’, there were Disney’s famous, money-making movies. Were they cliché? Yes. Were the plots formulaic and historically inaccurate? Sure. Were they childish versions of gruesome fairy tales? Indeed. Did their release create a plethora of cheap toys for children to fawn over until the next batch was released?
You get the idea by now. Guess what? I don’t care. We didn’t care 15 years ago, and I still don’t care now.
The thing about Disney movies is they exist in a world where the good guy wins, gets the girl and everyone lives happily ever after.
They exist in a world where the creepy guy in the cursed castle finds redemption through the town nerd, a world where a kidnapped girl raised by a gypsy becomes the princess and marries a reformed thief and a world where genies and flying carpets save a kingdom from cliché goateed sorcerers. What’s not to love?
Let’s bring this back to Valentine’s Day. Disney movies make a good watching for the holiday. There’s romance, comedy, music and someone gets shot or stabbed in most cases. Fun for all!
There’s also all that relationship stuff I mentioned earlier.
If you pick the right movie, you can see parts of your relationship reflected back at you and contemplate about how great your relationship is. Or if it’s in trouble and watching the movie makes you question how it’s going, it’s just a cartoon; don’t read too much into it.
Whether you want to connect with a time that was simpler, when cartoons didn’t suck and the people running the networks weren’t insane, or you want to have a romantic moment and want a change from your standard fare, Disney may be the answer.
Through those simple, cliché stories, there’s hope, love, adventure and songs that get stuck in your head for a week after you hear them.
So happy Valentine’s Day readers, for as long as there is Disney, there is hope. The previous was not a paid advertisement for Walt Disney, Walt Disney animation or Walt Disney merchandise, because if it were, I’d work in radio.