Until I moved my Sophomore year of high school, my walls were covered with drawings, cells and framed scenes from Disney movies. I was subscribed to the Disney Adventures magazine and my nightstand housed my treasured collection of every Disney soundtrack CD I could get my hands on, I listened to a different one every night as I fell asleep. I can still remember sitting in my friend’s bedroom speculating about upcoming Disney movies and trying to guess which story they’d take on next. (I called Tangled in 1990 people.) My favorite characters were Pooh, my favorite soundtrack was Hunchback of Notre Dame and my favorite movie was whichever one was on, but if I had to pick it would be between Cinderella and Little Mermaid. I currently own every possible Disney classic on DVD and I have made absolutely certain that Addie has an appreciation for both the new movies as well as the old. (Her favorite classic is 101 Dalmatians.) I watch Mary Poppins when I’m depressed, the most unappreciated Disney classic is The Sword in the Stone and my favorite shorts are Pluto and the Gopher and Bubblebee.
Yesterday I went to a place very few people know about and even fewer have the opportunity to visit known as the Disney Archives. 64 million pieces of art from Disney movies and shorts dating back to the 1920′s. I saw hand drawn pencil sketches from Plane Crazy (1929) and Steamboat Willie (1928.) I even saw one from Pluto and the Gopher. I saw an oil pastel storyboard painting from Peter Pan that was easily one of the most amazing pieces of art I have ever seen and I met the man who archived the scene in Cinderella when her dress changes from rags to a gown. I saw a hand painted glass plates of the most memorable scenes from both Bambi and Sleeping Beauty. I stood close enough to the statues from Nightmare Before Christmas to touch them and the only thing between me and the original marionette of Pinocchio was a piece of glass (and a very protective archivist.) I met the man who illustrated Ariel in The Little Mermaid and another man who taught us how to draw Mickey and Minnie, both men are considered ‘master Disney artists’ of which there are only 5 in the entire world.
You can’t hear it when your eyes are open, it’s impossible.
When you close your eyes at night on Main Street all of the noises and sounds marry into this wonderful orchestra of happiness and peace. An underlying murmur sprinkled with laughter, music and the occasional whiff of magic and dreams. I never hated leaving Disneyland when I was a child because leaving meant going down Main Street.