Musical illustrations of life

>> Sunday, April 2, 2006

My kids grew up in the 90's, in the middle of the era of the animated movie musical. I swear that every time Disney or Don Bluth put out a new animated film, we not only took the kids to see it, but as soon as the video came out, we bought it.

The songs in these films, just as in a Broadway musical, serve as audio illustrations and enhancements to the story line. As I began to recall and identify some of my favorite songs from these films, I realized that they were all songs that I related to, that had meaning for me, and in a very real sense serve as illustrations of events in my life, or at least of my thoughts and emotions, if not my real life. The following are a list of some of these songs and the event(s), and/or emotions that they illustrate.

  1. "Somewhere Out There" from An American Tail, 1986: This song became very popular and was played on all the radio stations. The first time I heard it, I cried. I had been married for four years, but I knew I wasn't with the right person and that "somewhere out there" was the one I was supposed to be with.

  2. "Once Upon a December" from Anastasia, 1997: When we took the kids to see this film, I was mesmerized by the haunting music and lyrics of this song. Since I was a small child, I had experienced foggy memories of a life not in this time or place and I couldn't make sense of it. I knew what Anya sang of when she sang, "Things my heart used to know, things I long to remember...". It was only two years later that I met the person who would help me remember the things my heart used to know.

  3. "Once Upon a Dream" from Sleeping Beauty, 1959: This film debuted the year before I was born and has always been my very favorite Disney animated film. And the song illustrates exactly what I felt when I found Mozart on line, in May of 1999.

  4. "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast, 1991: The opening scene of this film was my life until May of 1999.

  5. "A Whole New World" from Aladdin, 1992: This song became my life beginning in May of 1999. I've flown on the magic carpet, and now I can't go back to where I used to be...

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