Category Archives: Disney

Why Do You Think That? (Part Two)

In my short, sweet sixty years of life, I have probably seen more than my share of movies.  I have seen classic movies, black-and-white movies, cartoon movies, Humphrey Bogart movies, epic movies, science fiction movies, PeeWee Herman movies, Disney movies, Oscar-winning movies, and endless box-office stinkers.  But in all of that, one of the most undeniable threads of all is that movies make me cry.  In fact they make me cry so often it is a miracle that even a drop of moisture remains in my body.   I should be a dried-out husk by now.

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I wept horribly during this scene.  Did you?

And the thing is, people make fun of you when you cry at movies.  Especially cartoon movies like Scooby Doo on Zombie Island.  (But I claim I was laughing so hard it brought tears to my eyes.  That’s the truth, dear sister.  So stop laughing at me.)  But I would like to put forth another “Why do you think that?” notion.  People who cry while watching a movie are stronger and more powerful than the people who laugh at them for crying.  A self-serving thesis if ever there was one.

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Movies can make you cry if you have the ability to feel empathy.  We all know this.  Old Yeller is the story of a dog who endears himself to a prairie farm family, saves Travis’s life at one point, and then gets infected with rabies and has to be put down.  Dang! No dry eyes at the end of that one.  Because everyone has encountered a dog and loyal dog-love somewhere along the line.  And a ten-year-old dog is an old dog.  The dogs you knew as a child helped you deal with mortality because invariably, no matter how much you loved them, dogs demonstrate what it means to die.  Trixie and Scamper were both hit by cars.  Queenie, Grampa’s collie, died of old age.  Jiggs the Boston Terrier died of heat stroke one summer.  You remember the pain of loss, and the story brings it all back.

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Only psychopaths don’t feel empathy to some degree.  Think about how you would feel if you were watching Old Yeller and somebody you were watching with started laughing when Travis pulls the trigger on the shotgun.  Now, there’s a Stephen King sort of character.

But I think I can defend having lots of empathy as a reason for crying a river of tears during Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  You see, identifying with Quasimodo as the main character, hoping for what he hopes for, feeling like a monster and completely unloved, and fearing what he fears connect you to the story in ways that completely immerses you in the experience.  This is basically a monster movie.Original-Hunchback_of_Notre_Dame

But the film puts you inside the head of the malformed man, and you realize that he is not the monster.  Righteous Judge Frollo and the people who mistreat Quasimodo for his deformity of outward appearance are the real monsters.  If you don’t cry a river of tears because of this story, then you have not learned the essential truth of Quasimodo.  When we judge others harshly, we are really judging ourselves. In order to stop being monstrous, and be truly human, you must look inside the ugliness as Esmeralda does to see the heroic beauty inside others.  Sometimes the ideas themselves are so powerful they make me weep.  That’s when my sister and my wife look at me and shake their heads because tears are shooting out of me like a fountain, raining wetness two or three seats in every direction.  But I believe I am a wiser man, a more resolved man, and ultimately a better man because I was not afraid to let a movie make me cry.

The music also helps to tell the story in ways that move my very soul to tears.  Notice how the heroine walks the opposite way to the rest of the crowd.  As they sing of what they desire, what they ask God to grant, she asks for nothing for herself.  She shows empathy in every verse, asking only for help for others.  And she alone walks to the light from the stained glass window.  She alone is talking to God.

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Yes, I am not embarrassed by the fact that movies make me cry.   In fact, I should probably be proud that movies and stories and connections to other people, which they bring me, makes me feel it so deeply I cry.  Maybe I am a sissy and a wimp.  Maybe I deserved to be laughed at all those times for crying during the movie.  But, hey, I’ll take the laughter.  I am not above it.  I am trying to be a humorist after all.

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Filed under cartoon review, commentary, compassion, Disney, humor, insight, inspiration, movie review, music, philosophy, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Disney World Without Me

 

Yes, wife and daughter are re-visiting Walt Disney World in Orlando while I continue to rot in the heat at home in Texas.  But it is a completely okay thing.  As you can see, they are with recently widowed mother-in-law, wife’s sisters, and various nieces.  It is an all-girl trip.  It is all about family and healing.

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You can also probably tell that they buy into the Filipino-American picture-taking thing where you must document your own face and the faces of your family at every stop or pause or line waiting for the Golden Horseshoe Musical Review in Adventureland.  Oh, and we can’t forget the taking pictures of food before you eat it.

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And you can probably also Sherlock Holmes the identity of the niece in charge of photos and posting them on Instagram.  You will not, however, get their proper names from me.  I try to protect identities in all my public posts.  So when I tell you that this last one is a picture of Pompolina Ipsokookie eating a Mickey Mouse pretzel, you can rest assured that only one of the names in that sentence is not made up.  (Oopsie!  I used Mickey’s real name by accident.  Never mind.)

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I do not regret them having worlds of fun without me.  I am not in good enough health to travel.  I also have to stay at home with the son who is learning to drive and has a job to get to.  And I do get to see the incessant pictures and have a bit of second-hand fun.  It also helps that I am not paying for the trip.  I am being sued by Banko Merricka and don’t have any money.  And they might use a Disney Trip in court to say I have plenty of money and I am just being Scroogie with it.  (And I don’t necessarily mean to insult Scrooge McDuck, so, Disney, you do NOT have to sue me too.)

Anyway, Disney World trips by family members give me something to think about and post about to get my mind off my troubles.  Such things help to take away a bit of the pain of this wonderful life.

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Filed under autobiography, Disney, family, feeling sorry for myself, healing, health, humor

Truthfully…

Truthfully… for a fiction writer, a humorist, a former school teacher of junior-high-aged kids, telling the truth is hard.  But in this post I intend to try it, and I will see if I can stand the castor-oil flavor of it on my tongue.

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  • The simple truth is, I rarely tell the unvarnished truth.  And I firmly believe I am not alone in this.
  • Yesterday I battled pirates.  (While this is not literally true, it is metaphorically true.)  They were the scurvy scum o’ the Bank-o’-Merricka Pirates who are suing me for over ten thousand dollars despite my efforts of the last two years to settle 40 thousand dollars worth of credit card debt.
  • I hired a lawyer, but in spite of what he told me, I expect to lose the lawsuit and be wiped out financially.  I also believe Donald Trump will win as President.
  • I am a pessimist.  And it helps me through life.  I am always prepared for the worst, and I can only be surprised by happy and pleasant surprises.
  • My son in the Marines has developed an interest in survivalist gear and chaos-contingency plans.  We are now apparently preparing for the coming zombie apocalypse.
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  • I like to draw nudes.  I have drawn them from real-life models who were paid for their participation.  But no bad things happened.  It was all done with professional integrity even though I am an amateur artist.  Chaperones were a part of every session.
  • In high school I identified as a Republican like my father.  In college I became a Democrat (Thanks, Richard Nixon) and voted for Jimmy Carter.  I argued with my father for eight years of Ronald Reagan and four years of George H.W. Bush.
  • My father has now voted for Barack Obama twice and will vote for Hillary this fall if he is still able.  We spent most of our conversations this summer exchanging “Can you believe its?” about Donald Trump.
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  • I have been collecting pictures of sunrises for three years now.  I stole the idea from my childhood friend who now lives in Florida and takes beautiful ocean sunrise pictures over the Atlantic.  But I do it because I know I don’t have many more sunrises to go.  I have six incurable diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, and COPD.  I could go “BOOM! …dead” at any given moment.  I believe in savoring it while I have it.
  • I was sexually assaulted when I was ten years old.  I can only tell you this particular truth because the man who assaulted me and inflicted physical and emotional pain on me is now dead.  It is liberating to be able to say that.  But I regret forty years’ worth of treating it is a terrible secret that I could never tell anyone.
  • Telling that last truth made me cry.  Now you know why telling the truth is not easy.
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  • I really do love and admire all things having to do with Disney.  And when I was young, I really did want to find a picture of Annette naked.  There was no internet back then.  That quest helped me learn to draw the human form.  I know how bad that sounds… but, hey, I was a normal boy in many ways.  And I don’t draw her naked any more.
  • Finally, I have to say… in all honesty… I don’t know for sure that everything I have told you today is absolutely true.  Truth is a perception, even an opinion.  And I may be wrong about the facts as I know them.  The human mind works in mysterious ways.  I sometimes think I may simply be bedbug crazy.
  • (P.S.) Bedbugs are insects with very limited intelligence.  They cannot, in fact, be crazy or insane.  Their little brains are not complicated enough for that.  But it is a metaphor, and metaphors can be more truthful than literal statements.

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Filed under commentary, Disney, drawing, feeling sorry for myself, goofy thoughts, healing, humor, mental health, nudes, Paffooney, pen and ink paffoonies, pessimism, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Magic Kingdom Memories

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Since the Dallas shooting, and now the Nice attack, I have been needing to rely on things that pull me up from the darkness, and shine some light once again inside my goofy old head.  One thing that always seems to make things right again is looking back on trips to the Magic Kingdom.  Some of the happiest times of my life revolve around family at Disneyland and Walt Disney World in Orlando.

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You see, being an Iowa boy, born in the 50’s, raised in the 60’s and early 70’s, I had one of those rustic, bucolic lives that involved hard work, being frugal with money, and (like I told you yesterday) being around a lot of cow poop.  A great deal of my life was about what the future held, imagination and possibilities, and The Wonderful World of Disney in color on Grandma Beyer’s RCA color TV every Sunday night.  Those Technicolor dreams about things with no cow poop involved  came true for the first time when my family went on a summer vacation to Florida and Walt Disney World when I was in high school.  Oh, how I loved those E-ticket adventures with the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, and Space Mountain!  I got to see Country Bears sing and play music on empty moonshine jugs.  We used C-tickets for Snow White’s Scary Adventure and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.  We saw Mickey’s Cartoon Musical Review.  Did you know those last three things no longer exist?

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We went back to Walt Disney World when my family was young, the eldest was six, the middle child was a cranky two, and the Princess was not yet born, though already causing my wife discomfort with six months to go before she made her debut.  That was the time we learned how much my mother really loved It’s a Small World.  We had to take that boat ride so many times that the song still plays relentlessly in my head every time I even start to think about Disney World.  We managed to go back to Disney World again when the oldest was a teenager and the other two were primed to be Disney fanatics.  That time we learned how slowly the other set of grandparents walked.  We also learned that you have to be a master planner to see everything that is good in 5 different theme parks that you just have to check out because, heck, you’ve already mortgaged the future to pay for it.

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And we have been to Disneyland in California a couple of times as well.  We were there, in fact, when the Anaheim earthquake happened, knocking down a couple of Los Angeles buildings nearby and shutting down several rides in the park while damage checks were made.  In fact, it happened during the Star Wars lightsaber battle in Tomorrowland, making us think at the start that it was just a really cool special effect.  It also shut down the food vendor before our expensive hamburgers were cooked.  That part was not so cool.

You can see now at least part of the reason I am such hopeless Disneyphile.  Memories of times spent at Disney parks are the exclamation points on my whole creative life.  It influences my artwork and storytelling to a noticeable degree.  And it takes my mind off my troubles a bit just to stop and reflect, “Once upon a time I visited the Magic Kingdom.”

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Filed under artwork, battling depression, Disney, family, humor, Paffooney

Mickey Draws Mickey

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I learned to draw comics by copying the comics.  So how many times has Mickey actually drawn Mickey?  More than I can count.  I hate throwing a drawing away, even if I did it when I was ten.  But I cannot find all the drawings I have done of Mickey Mouse.  I know some have been given away, some have gotten lost, and some may have even gone up in flames in the garbage barrel out back of the house in the 1960’s.  I have posted pictures of Mickey before.  Remember this one?

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But I can basically do Mickey without looking at any references.  I can do him well enough that people often say, “You didn’t really draw that, did you?”  That’s why I included the simple pen and ink stage of today’s Mickey.  You can see it is really me drawing it.  But the absolute truth is, I draw Mickey because in so many ways I am Mickey.  Yes, I’m a talking mouse that drives a car and owns a dog.  And even though Disney sues right and left for any imagined copyright infringement, I can safely post this here because it is fan art… and I don’t get paid anything for this goofy blog anyway.  It is homage, not theft of intellectual property.

So, here is the final product, drawn this morning, the day after St. Patrick’s day 2016.

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Filed under cartoons, cartoony Paffooney, Disney, humor, Mickey, Paffooney

Internet Lies About Mickey

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The truth is sometimes Mickey tells lies.  For instance, the title of this post is intended to lure you in with expectations of a juicy something that doesn’t actually exist.  There is no controversy on the internet over this particular Mickey.  He hasn’t done a very good job of keeping it secret that he tells a lot of lies.  In fact, most of the most embarrassing and terrible secret things that he had been keeping secret for going on sixty years are now published in this blog.  Talk about a life being an open book!

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Of course, being a lover of internet conspiracies and ufo’s and junk, there is always that other Mickey to talk about.  Yes, Disney has generated its share of conspiracy theories.

Everyone on the internet knows, for instance, that when Walt Disney died, he had his body frozen cryogenically  so that he could be re-animated once a cure for his lung cancer was found.  Of course, Snopes.com already did the investigation on it and brought out the fact that not only was Disney cremated with full documentation of the process, the first cryogenic freezing of a human being didn’t occur until a year after his death.  This lie about Mickey’s dad, then is easily debunked.  See, the internet lies about Mickey!

Of course, the notion that Disney was a racist and a Nazi and worked with the CIA are much harder to disprove.

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A character from the original version of Fantasia that doesn’t help Mickey’s image.

Most heads of super-wealthy corporations are by nature fascists.  The dictatorial style and oppressive oligarchic command structures of fascism organically grew out of business practices.  Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan were also Nazis.  And, of course, no one believes me when I start in on the Disney/alien connection.  After all, what’s with alien beings in Escape from Witch Mountain, Lilo and Stitch, and even Chicken Little?  I may have some more conspiracy-theory investigating to do.

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So, let me assure you that lies about Mickey are actually lies.  The thing about Mickey’s dream in the 1960’s of seeing Annette Funicello naked is a lie… er, probably.  The notion that Mickey trained himself to be a cartoonist by copying Disney characters like Carl Barks’ ducks are… err… um… lies… maybe.  Well, anyway, the point is… don’t spread lies on the internet about Mickey.  That’s my job.

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Filed under cartoons, conspiracy theory, Disney, humor, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Lazy Sunday with Disney

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So, today I am lazy…  I chose this old picture to re-post and bore you with for today’s Paffooney because I intend to take my kids to see Tomorrowland at the dollar movie theater in Plano.  (For those radical rednecks following my blog in order to get the necessary logistical information to assassinate me for the dual crimes of talking negatively about the Confederate flag and being a liberal, how do you know I didn’t change the name of the theater to protect the innocent the way I do with people?  And now might not be the best time to be exercising your open carry rights in a local movie theater either.) I have already seen the movie, and even reviewed it for my blog (Tomorrowland Review), but I wanted my kids to see it because I love it.  And they were in Florida vacationing on the beaches when I went to it.  I am passionate about sharing Disney movies I love with the people I love.  And while I am not passionate about giving more money to the Evil Corporate Empire headed by a famous talking mouse, I am still devoted to the original Fantasy Kingdom of Uncle Walt himself.  Sundays were always the day that we would make the 50 mile trek to Mason City to eat dinner with Grandma Beyer and watch The Wonderful World of Disney at 6:00 on her color TV.  That was a major thing in the 1960’s when there were no computer games or internet… no I-phones or Androids… just our imaginations and the fuel from Disney broadcasts “in living color” on NBC.

I have always had a full-color imagination, but Disney fueled so many of my childhood games and dreams and drawings that I can’t even begin to give it a proper acknowledgement.  So I posted a Disney episode here so that you can see what I am talking about in a full-color way… even though I know that Disney Corporation will soon be pulling this video from YouTube because they are as jealous of their intellectual property rights as Scrooge McDuck is jealous of his very first dime.  You may not know this, but Disney sued schools who used their copyrighted characters to decorate classrooms for learning, and sued teachers for using Disney films on movie day in the classroom.  They love every dime they can make with their products with an all-consuming, suffocating love.  Sharing is not a lesson you learn from modern Disney.

But that movie we are going to see is full of hope for the future in the face of all the greed, corruption, and disjointedness of the present.  Black and white days may well be straight ahead, but for this particular Sunday I am making the lazy choice of Disney and bright color.

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Filed under Disney, humor, Paffooney