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Walt Disney holds a special place in families hearts. He has given us our family motto, “Keep moving forward.” We try to keep this phrase constantly in our children’s minds to help them move past difficult times. It is one of the reasons that we were so excited to introduce our children to the magic that is Disneyland.
Earlier this year, our family braved the crowds and ventured into the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland & California Adventure. After a 5 day ‘vacation’ inside the parks we managed to rack up over 45 miles of walking and wandering and racing all over the place. While it wasn’t exactly a vacation that featured any time for relaxing, it was certainly one that was ideal for unplugging from the hustle and bustle of our polarized, clamoring society. While there, we were treated to some of the evening-time spectacles and shows that their numerous cast-members put on. One of these evening-time spectaculars, in particular, was Disney’s Fantasmic…
For me, Fantasmic has long had an enormous impact on my life ever since I was young. When I first beheld the spectacle for myself, the idea of “seeing it in (my) mind and finding in (my) imagination mysteries and magic, visions fantastic,” produced emotions of exhilaration and appreciation that imprinted on the very core of my heart. Another reason why I was able to relate to the show so well had to do with what the show portrayed. So, on that note, let’s hold onto our imaginations as we seek to unearth the ‘Diamond in the Rough’ of Mickey Mouse’s Incredible Imagination! (And, yes, Spoilers are ahead!)
In the spectacle, we see the iconic Mickey Mouse dressed in his red robes, donning the magic hat of the powerful sorcerer as he stands atop a precipice. With ease and excitement, he commands the wind and the waves and the magic of the nighttime sky. The stage is such that the surrounding water going around his island becomes a part of the display. You get to then see how the images and the sounds and the feelings of beauty, romance, intrigue, and adventure and pure imagination take hold within Mickey’s wild imagination.
However, darkness soon sets in and fear takes the stage transforming Mickey Mouse‘s dream into nightmare Fantasmic. Various elements represented by the different Disney villains quickly take hold within his imagination as he falls deeper and deeper into the darkness. The nightmare ultimately reaches a climax as the evil Maleficent draws upon all the forces of evil within her imagination to transform herself into a terrifying dragon. With an evil cackle, the dragon then proceeds to light everything around it, including the water, on fire.
But you see, this is where it gets interesting. In the moments before she transforms herself into the dragon, Maleficent blasts Mickey with a force of darkness powerful enough to rock the little mouse to his core and knock him to the ground. But then, as the giant Dragon looms over the small mouse towering at 30 feet and preparing to deliver the killing blow, Mickey Mouse rises to his feet and defiantly stands face-to-face with the Dragon. As he bravely stares down the dragon, he defiantly declares, “You may think you’re so powerful, but this is MY dream!“ With that declaration, he hits the dragon with a blast of magic that was comparable to when Prince Philip threw the Sword of Truth into the heart of the dragon in the movie, “Sleeping Beauty”.
The reason why I find this so intriguing is that it majestically illustrates a powerful object lesson. While there are influences all around us that are both good and bad, at the end of the day, like Mickey Mouse said, this is our dream, our reality. This is our life and our moment! And, yeah, evil may be powerful and the temptations and the pull of the dark may be strong, but we are ultimately free to choose whether or not we either give in to those temptations or resist and ignore them or seek help in resisting them. Our attitude toward the various influences around us speaks volumes as to how we approach these challenges and trials and tests and how we can rise above the darkness and pass with flying colors or, at the very least, successfully weather the storm.
I have learned for myself how easy it is to fall into despair and, in a sense, give into the darkness around me. Rising above the darkness, however, is not easy and sometimes may take additional help from somebody else. But even if you find yourself all alone out there, you cannot give in to despair and discouragement and the pull of those dark forces. As Walt Disney famously declared, you must Keep. Moving. Forward. Furthermore, The amount of effort we put into changing our circumstances or looking to others for guidance plays a crucial role as well in the ultimate outcome of this battle between light and dark. This attitude and determination to keep moving forward is a powerful catalyst, indeed. However, it’s only half the formula.
The other half comes from putting in hard work and persevering, despite the difficulty. We keep moving forward by putting one foot in front of the other and pressing forward. It is here where faith and determination get called into action. Faith and hope is half the battle. Putting that faith into every footstep and converting it into action, however, requires a different brand of courage. How hard you try ultimately determines how far you will go. After all, as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn once stated, “Your focus determines your reality.”
Fantasmic concludes with the various elements of goodness and kindness and love, represented by the many heroes and princes and princesses, coming together to light up the water and the sky. It is here that you begin to understand that no matter how dark things get, good will always win out in the end, especially if you choose to look for it. For this reason, Disney’s Fantasmic will always represent something very special for me. It will long remain of great value to me because of how eloquently and spectacularly this pearl of wisdom is still portrayed. I will not soon forget the feeling of hope and love and appreciation that were awoken within me the first time I saw it.
What did you see? I’d love to get your thoughts.
– Incredible Elastimom