Starting with a Mouse

“Mickey Mouse to me is a symbol of Independence,” stated by Walter Elias Disney on how Mickey Mouse came to be. Mickey continued to be a symbol for many people for many reasons, but for me, he symbolizes much of what he symbolized for Disney, “…a means to an end.”

I began writing almost a year ago as a way of getting over a break up, but my writing began feeling impersonal, generic, and just a catalyst to post about a new recipe I tried. The Disney Movie Project began, very quickly, to become a chore rather than something that gave me peace and sanctuary from the noise of my life. The noise became so loud that the project became a stress inducer to the already heavy bag of rocks it feels like I carry on my back at all times.

Several things happened between now and my last post- things that made my project and the purpose of my project feel irrelevant. I’ll spare the details, as they aren’t nearly as important as my reason for writing again. In an era of reboots and revivals, I am taking the leap to reboot the Disney Movie Project, but with a very different goal in mind. This time, rather than racing the ever expanding and unfinished list of Disney entertainment against an hour glass of “Days to Complete…”, I will take my time and savor every film, every recipe, and every creative opportunity that may inspire me within this project. I’m still not certain what the result of this project is supposed to be, but I do know that it brings me joy; and I think if I can find joy in the littlest things like a mouse, then maybe I can find joy in all aspects of my life. I was not put on this earth to punch a clock, pay my bills, and die. I was put on this earth to love my life and all of the joys and stresses that come with it. Hopefully, as I find joy in this silly endeavor, the noise will start to quiet, or, at the very least, become a gentle hum in the background as I embrace the reality of what it should mean to live.

Since Walt began with a mouse, so will I. I decided to start over with Mickey Mouse. I’ve now watched all of the cartoons I could get my hands on spanning from 1928-last Friday’s new release. What I discovered about these cartoons is that they never try to be something that they’re not. They don’t mark time for the characters, they don’t try to be “edgy” to appeal to a wider audience range, and they don’t apologize for what has been put on the screen. I’m not so naïve as to gloss over the blatant politically incorrect portrayals in the cartoons of Hollywood’s initial Golden Age; and I’m certain as a reader, you have over a million activist opinions running through your mind about Disney and Mickey Mouse. I’m also certain that you and I share almost – if not all of the same opinions. We are probably standing on the same or relatively similar soap boxes. However, I’m tucking my soap box away for now as that is not what this post is about. This post is about breathing new life into something that I shelved for many months, and remembering that if Walt Disney can create something so life changing for himself with the tiniest of creatures, then so can I. I am by no means building a business empire, but if we want to get metaphorical, I guess I’m building an internal empire – finding joy in the smallest unlikely places. Here we go.

Yours Truly,

Alice Lea                                          

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