Revising Cultural History

I spent my childhood reading fairy tales and mythologies from all over the world, my mother’s answer to every Disney movie ever made. She wasn’t necessarily against my watching Disney movies; she just wanted to make sure I knew the real story, too. As there are many different “true” versions of any given fairy tale running about, it was actually great fun. I was analyzing on an above-grade level at a very early age without knowing, and having a fine time watching the grown-ups’ faces as I explained what was wrong with various movies, be they Disney or just based on these stories.

It now amuses me to watch as Disney works on re-releasing the movies released right around the switch from hand cel work to computer cel work. Songs are being added in, in most cases poorly. I’ve noticed that Aladdin is even having its music video completely redone. So long Peabo Bryson and Regina Bell. You apparently aren’t “Mouse appropriate”. You get to be replaced by apparent airhead Jessica Simpson and her “Hi, I can’t keep my shirt on during a single Charmed episode” husband Nick Lachey. Yes, those two are so much better. I bet they won’t even rebuild the lovely yet simple set used by Bryson and Bell. It’s really quite upsetting. Yay for having the original soundtrack in my collection.

Of course, Disney is not the only movie company having dreams of revisionist sugar plums dancing through their head. I am among the countless scores who feel that George Lucas invalidated her entire childhood with this newest release of the original Star Wars trilogy. Of course, the nickname I have held for the past eleven years is “Ewok”. I was about two years old when Star Wars was released. It’s the first movie I remember seeing. My earliest play dates involved a school friend and me playing with a Hoth playset and an AT-AT. I was always stuck being Princess Leia, but it didn’t matter. I remember going to camps that had Star Wars-themed programs. It was a huge part of both my childhood that has happily followed me into adulthood.

I have heard some suggestions that I have strongly considered embracing. I now regret not acquiring the Special Edition trilogy, and am seriously considering purchasing this new release. I appreciate the idea that collecting them will be a great way to document these apparently living movies. Let Mr. Lucas choke on that!


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