/ Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

by Daniel Vickers

disney sunday movieI wanted to start this week’s article with a thank you to my father, my father-in-law and to all of the dads out there who go above and beyond to provide for their families.

Last week we finished up our discussion about moving to the Sunshine State, so this week I wanted to move on to a topic that is very close to my heart – Disney Movies!

Growing up as a child of the 80’s, I was witness to what I consider to be the pinnacle of Disney entertainment. The Disney Sunday Movie was one of the highlights of my week. I had no idea if I would ever meet Captain EO, but I did envy his awesome golden spaceship. I would eventually forget about Captain EO until one sunny day in 2011 when for a brief moment, I met Captain EO and his crew, and got to ride on that golden spaceship.

I have heard many Disney-centered conversations between married couples, and the one question that always comes up is “Which one of you is the convert?” Being a part of the WDW Radio Community, almost every other reader that I meet asks this question at some point in conversation, and my reply is always the same. “I’m the dreamer, she’s the convert.” While obviously a funny subject, I hadn’t given much thought to how much Disney had influenced my life until I began my quest to introduce Disney to my wife. She had grown up in an environment very much removed from things like Disney and it was hard for me to understand how anyone couldn’t instantly love everything about it. It is amazing to watch from day to day her journey as a “convert.”

This brings me to the subject of my children. My kids will be 13 this year, and I feel myself going through this same process once again. The world has changed, and what was once considered quality family entertainment is now old and boring. Bringing my children into the fold has definitely been a challenge. No, there are no pineapples under the sea, and you won’t be seeing any wild police chases; but, that doesn’t mean that Disney movies aren’t adventurous. If we take Swiss Family Robinson for an example, in a short timeframe the family has their ship destroyed, they are shot at, marooned on a desert island, they construct an awesome tree-house, tame wild animals, are shot at again, and on it goes. As I see it, this is much more entertaining and has a longevity that is lacking in much of today’s entertainment. What is even more important is that all of these movies are centered on family.

Another question that I have been asked is “Why would you have your children watch these old movies?” I always answer this question with another question – “Why wouldn’t I?” Morals, Values, Faith, Respect, I don’t see the problem with keeping these ideals at the center of our family. While I will admit that a certain aquatic sponge will give a quick chuckle, I can’t recall hearing said sponge stress the importance of morality or respect.

I will close with a question for our readers. How have Disney movies/tv shows impacted your life? Do you think the days of movies with a message are coming to an end?

As always remember, you’re a firework! Ignite the light!


I am always looking for ways to add to the Magic. It is with this spirit that I would like to ask our readers a trivia question. The first posted comment that answers correctly will receive a little Disney Magic!

Go to this youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=eb8i_hL8lKk#t=43s) and watch the clip from 42 seconds. There is a quick scene with a young man performing some acrobatic martial arts. I would like to know what Disney property was this scene taken from, and who is the actor?

Good Luck!




7 thoughts on “Never Grow Up: The Power of Disney Movies”

  1. Kevin W says:

    The clip is from “Sidekicks” a Disney television series from the ’80s. The boy in the clip is Ernie Reyes Jr.

  2. Steamboat Eddie says:

    I certainly think Disney movies and shows have impacted my imagination the most. I can’t make a call on whether or not movies with a message have gone the way of the Dodo, I’m hoping that’s not the case. As for the trivia question, I watched that clip a couple times and have no idea lol!

    Later on.

  3. Chris says:

    This was a great post, and very close to home.

    I was with you on my week revolving around The Wonderful World of DIsney every sunday night as a child in the 80s. It’s funny knowing what I know now about Eisner given the joy he brought to me back then.

    I don’t think movies with a message will ever die. I think if you could flash forward 500 years from now a lot of things would be different, but I promise you we’ll still be telling stories.

    We are currently in a period where the business of movies is threatening the magic, but that cycle will spin itself out. The truth is that if you’re doing it right and in love with the craft, all those morals are going to come out in the finished product whether you’re conciously trying or not. Cinema reaches down into the heart of things and shows us what matters. Just like dreams. That’s not subject to trends or corporate vapidity.

  4. Dan V. says:

    Kevin W – Congrats, you are correct! Hit me up on twitter and we’ll work out getting the Magic to you.

    SteamBoatEddie – I always look forward to and appreciate your comments. I am with you in the hopes that the direction that is being taken is a temporary one.

    Chris – Man, what a great comment! I have also noticed that some movies can’t help but elaborate on morals when taken from a different time period. Often times I am left dismayed after watching media that is intended and marketed towards children. There are still diamonds in the rough out there, and it will take innovation through storytelling to move the cycle forward.

    Thanks for the comments!

  5. Dan V. says:

    Did you see what KevinW won?


    Congrats Man! Now go watch yourself some “Electric Knight” 🙂

  6. Kevin W says:

    Thanks so much, Dan! That was a difficult trivia question. If I hadn’t been lucky enough to recognize Ernie Reyes Jr., I might not have made the connection.

  7. Fred Aebli says:

    My kids are now 11, 12 and 19. When they were younger watching the old Disney movies and then the rush of the new animated features from Lion King to the Toy Story it was a great evening(s). Now instead of watching Cinderella over and over and over, they now have found their own favorite and pass on some of the classics for now. This Friday night, my Father’s Day gift will be realized as we do a dinner and a movie…..Monster University. So it is still a family thing for us.

    It was once said that Stephen Spielberg was a great director because he told a great story. Same holds true with the Pixar animations. Great stories will last forever as these repetitive sequels land over and over again with no real substance.

    Maybe social media will change all that as they learn there is a generation of us 80’s kids who seek these experiences and have the desire to see them.

    Great post!!