Monday, November 21, 2016

Day 1421: Cars 3

I still remember the first time I saw Cars in theaters, when my family loved it so much that we just had to see it again...and then one more time before it even left cinemas. I don't particularly remember seeing Cars 2, but I know that we did at some point, and I have more than a few memories of watching both films in my own home. If you've been reading Everyday Disney for a while, you'll also know just how much I love and adore Carsland out at Disney California Adventure. If I could live anywhere in the world, aside from inside Spaceship Earth, it'd be Carsland. Actually, I think I ate at Flo's three times in the five days we were in the parks. Or was it four times? 

Either way, Cars quickly rose to, and has stayed at, the top of my favorite Disney-Pixar movies list. I can't quite pinpoint why, but there's just something about this story that hit me and has stuck with me unlike any of the others. Maybe it's the fact that I love driving, and I really loved my road trip this past summer, which, for a while, took us on Route 66. Perhaps it's that dream I have of driving the Route all together, or it might be the beautiful animation and story that should have won it an Oscar. I'm still a bit salty about that one. 

I think, ultimately, the thing I loved most about Cars was that it's a movie without a central villain. Yes, Chick Hicks is there throughout the film, but he's not really...evil, at least not in the same way as Captain Hook or Cruella de Vil terrorize their own films. Cars was, and is, a personal journey for Lightning, and he becomes his own villain. I think that was a really important lesson for me back in the day - that sometimes we want to blame others when the fault really lies with us. We want to blame Doc and Mater and Sally and Mac and yes, even good old Bessie, for our problems, but we can be the villains of our own story too. Lightning is so focused on his racing career and coming out on top that he neglects those around him, getting caught up in his own ambitions without ever realizing the toll they'll take on others. And when he gets stuck in Radiator Springs, it wasn't truly the fault of Mac - it was Lightning, and as he begins to slow down and truly open his eyes, he realizes that there's more to life than ambition. 

As someone who regularly gets caught up in her own ambition and needs to consciously remind herself to slow down and enjoy life a bit more, Cars made all the difference for me. I know I felt that Cars 2 was lacking that same theme, and a physical villain appeared, so while it's still a spectacular movie, I think it lost some of the same charm for me. Which is why I'm actually thrilled by this first teaser trailer for Cars 3. Like with Toy Story, it seems that we'll be coming full circle with Lightning's story. He was, at one point, the young hotshot who had so much to learn, and it was Doc that taught him new tricks. Now, Lightning's a permanent fixture in the racing world, but as we learned in the original film, fame and good luck doesn't last forever. Lightning was once his own villain, and I'm really hoping that we'll see that again in a new way! 

Let me know what your thoughts on the new trailer are in the comments below! 

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Day 1409: We Are Divided

I won't be the first to admit that the 2016 Election didn't go the way I wanted it to, and I certainly won't be the last, but what hurts more than waking up to a President-Elect that I most certainly didn't want to be anywhere near the Oval Office is seeing the hatred and concern in those around me. 

On one hand, this could go down as one of the worst days in American History - not because we elected Donald Trump as our next President, but because of the violence and terror filling cities across the country. There are stories of those already involved in hate crimes and so many are discussing moments of fear as they face oppression. Now, I'm not usually one for politics, at least not in a public setting, but not even I can keep quiet this time. Our country is facing immense change, whether it be for better or worse. But maybe change is what we need. Maybe things need to be different, but in what way? 

Whenever I'm feeling lost, I sort of settle in with my IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth soundtrack and think back to Epcot, partially because it's where I feel safest and most like myself, and partially because of the ideals that created it. Epcot is about experimenting and looking ahead, all while celebrating our heritage and history. Within its walls, there's a delicate balance between the past, present, and future, and when it all boils down, Epcot is about acceptance. 

It's about recognizing and accepting our differences. It's about celebrating the qualities that make us unique and connecting through what we have in common, and what we don't. Epcot is about community, an element that is expressed best through the countries of World Showcase, filled with individual from all over the world, coming together as one, and it's not even just the cast members. Think of the table sharing tradition at the Biergarten. We can come from all over the country and world and sit down at the same table and share a meal like a family. That's special. That's what it's all about. That's what it should be about. 

And at the end of the day, we return to World Showcase Lagoon to remind ourselves how we got here, and rejoice in the idea that, regardless of what happens, no matter who will step into the Oval Office in January, we go on. Now is the time for us to stand together and take on the future, hand in hand, perhaps more than ever, and retain the idea that we will get through it together. That may be easy for me to say, especially as a privileged member of society, but we've made it this far, through far worse trials than this, and I have faith that we will get through this. We have to believe that. 

All this being said, I want to take a moment to share that if you need to talk, I am here to listen. If you feel unsafe, I am here to reassure and protect you. If you need help, I am here, and I will help you. If you feel oppressed, I am here, and I will fight for you. I will do whatever I can to be there for you, and that goes for everyone everyday, even after the next four years expire. 

Hang tight America. We may be in for some bumpy seas, but I foresee the American Adventure to continue for a long, long time. 

Have a magical day!