My Year with Disney | Features


On a lighter note, in late June, when I had to watch “The Aristocats,” I decided to fulfill a childhood wish I had when, in 1981, my sister took me to see a double feature at the Arlington Theater: “The Aristocats” and Disney’s James Bond superhero spoof, “Condorman.” We didn’t stay for the second feature, much to my dismay. My entire family refused to take me to see that film. So, after I watched “The Aristocats” this past June, I decided to fork over $1.99 for an Amazon Prime rental of a pan-and-scan stream of “Condorman” to fulfill that bit of childhood neglect. My parents were right all along. The eight-year-old me would not have liked that film any more than the adult me.

The week I watched “The Little Mermaid” in mid-September happened to be around the same time Disney released the teaser for this year’s murky-looking live-action remake. Speaking of remakes, that also happened to be around the time Robert Zemeckis’ live-action remake of “Pinocchio” had been released. If there’s one thing I knew I didn’t need going into 2022, it was not one, but two more remakes of “Pinocchio” to sit through. Enough already!

Then came October.



As stated before, on October 4, Sergio Mims died. Nobody saw that coming and it was the first time a dear friend of mine had passed away so suddenly. On October 8th, I turned 50 and had a lovely birthday celebration at a drive-in theater in Indiana. On October 10th, my dad was taken to the hospital after a fall that cracked his head. After about a week, he needed more than stitches and the prognosis was getting worse, then better, then worse again. This particular week, I had to watch “The Lion King,” a film I’ve always loved, but this time it had a more profound effect on me. There was still more to say and more to do, but am I going to be like Simba soon? “Nah. He’ll pull through. We’ve been through this hospital stuff before.”

The following week saw more trips to the hospital for myself, my mom, aunt, niece, fiance, and my sisters. On Saturday, October 22, I made a point of staying home and getting work done that had been piling up, starting with that week’s Disney movie, “A Goofy Movie,” in which Goofy and his teenage son take a cross-country road trip and end up bonding during some comical and cataclysmic events. It turned out to be a much better movie than I remembered, one that I’m glad I watched when I did. “The Lion King” and “A Goofy Movie” had been released almost a year apart, which means they were in various stages of production almost simultaneously. Why did the Disney artists focus on father/son relationships during this time? The next day, on October 23rd, my father passed away in his hospital bed, surrounded by his family.



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