Latin Baby ~ Disney’s Latin America Films

About Me, How Disney changed my life

me….Hullo.  I’m L’il Phoenix.

I enjoy blogging, film, drawing, writing, reading, Japanese, comics, and collecting playing cards.

I realized one day that animated films I saw as a child have been instrumental in determining the course of my life as I know it. Far more than silly pieces of children’s entertainment that only last a few years (Madagascar, for example) they leave lasting impressions and are valid from the entertainment, cinematic quality, artistic, and storytelling standpoints….truly enjoyable for all ages.

So, back to how they changed my life. As a small child (and I’d completely forgotten this until I saw it in a paper I found from that age) I loved all the Disney films and wanted to make movies when I grew up. Little did I know that after many changes of heart, I would return to this wish and go into film studies.

When I was a slightly older child, I was dragged against my will into a “kiddy” Disney film, Mulan. I absolutely loved it and thus began my fascination with Asia, which would develop into a love of anime -> video games -> Jrock -> kendo and samurai movies -> Japanese language -> studying Japan, and other stuff. I can’t remember what I did before that all that well…

After an experience learning the joys of film analysis in high school English, I was shown a clip of “Be Prepared” from the Lion King and suddenly noticed the artistic, metaphorical, amazing awesomeness of the scene. Things that you never notice as a child.

Work on film analysis as a school project made me decide on film studies, but when I returned to the Disney movies to re-watch them and read up on the production and innovation in the wonderful book Hollywood Flatlands, I realized just how instrumental these films have been in my life and in America’s cultural life.

I returned to the Latin America flicks inadvertently when I remembered some of the songs in one way or another, and the love of Latin music I’d developed in the meantime gave me a newfound appreciation for the films.

And what got me into classical music? FANTASIA.

And what got me interested in Soviet and Russian history? ANASTASIA (well, it’s not Disney, but Don Bluth used to work there….)

And what got me reading the Pooh classics? WINNIE THE POOH.

I could go on forever with these influences, but what it comes down to is that Disney is, for better or worse, instrumental in many American childhoods, but can also be appreciated by adults.  I urge you to re-evaluate things you liked or watched as a child.  You’ll notice so many things you didn’t before.  For me, the Disney Classics seem to hold up much better than other things I liked as a kid.  But that’s a subject for another time.


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