How Disney made me a liar

Posted on January 18, 2013


nursery rhymes

The floor under the seats of the local movie theater where I grew up was really quite remarkable. Decades of non-diet soda coated the concrete with a thick layer of sweet syrup. It was like flypaper that caught only popcorn and blobs of gum.  I know this because I spent a lot of time under there.

While other kids were laughing as the chocolate-loving loser was sucked up into the inner workings of Willy Wonka’s factory, I was down there trembling and scared. Most of the time that Dorothy was off to see the Wizard I was off my seat, huddled on the floor seeing nothing but week-old Jujubes and the occasional eviscerated Junior Mint (No, I’m not that old; they played that movie in the theater every few years.). And Bambi was just the first in a long string of Disney movies that had me convinced my parents were going to die a terribly violent death, leaving me orphaned and hungry.

So you see, son, I really did empathize with you when you ran out of the theater screaming as the big mean barracuda tore Nemo’s mom to shreds and killed all 6,598 of his brothers and sisters. I fully understand your unwillingness to watch Wizard of Oz, and I guess I could see how the Sherriff chasing Lightning McQueen down Route 66 at night might freak you out.

There is one thing I have to get off my chest, though. You know the guy who was murdered violently in Lion King when he was pushed into that stampeding herd of wildebeests? Yeah, well, I kind of lied: he wasn’t actually a robot that felt no pain and needed to be recycled anyway. That was actually Simba’s dad.

Sorry I lied, but I really wanted to make it through at least one movie all the way to the credits.