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Phelan: Magic of Disney movies still alive

Published: Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

Tomorrow, Disney-Pixar will rerelease its 2003 splash-hit “Finding Nemo.” Needless to say, I will be attending a 3D showing.

Some critics of my attendance, such as my mother, point out that I have already seen “Finding Nemo.” They also point out useless facts, such as the fact that I’ve already seen two Disney movies that were re-released in 3D. These comments only add fuel to my fire.

“Finding Nemo” is not just a movie about finding a fish. The animation is truly spectacular, a panorama of vibrant colors that make the ocean come to life. After seeing how “The Lion King” was transformed into 3D, I’m pumped to watch Marlin and Dory finally find Nemo after all their oceanic exploration.

But, I must say, that even as eager as I am to see the picturesque scenes of whales, coral reefs and turtles on the East Australian Current, I’m still excited to watch the storyline come to life. Disney was founded on films about magic and wonder, and it retains those ideas today. The plot is complex and, for anyone who’s yet to see a Disney film, you will be involved and attached. I grew up watching Disney movies, and today, as I delve into my senior year of high school, I still love them.

“The Lion King,” conveniently also made by Disney, is my favorite movie. It has action; it has adventure; it has romance; and it has music – it’s everything I ever wanted and more! It’s based on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” so the plot is beautifully thick, and it has complex lion characters, which still make me cry. What could be better?

I asked around, and some of my friends and schoolmates responded that they did indeed like other Disney movies better. Soad Ajaj, a sophomore at Geneva, is a bigger fan of the princess era of Disney films. Her favorite is “Sleeping Beauty.” Soad says she likes it because “ ‘Sleeping Beauty’ is pretty,” among other things. But Princess Aurora’s story is still one of the most popular, and she ranks it with those of Cinderella, Ariel, Belle and Tiana, all other favorites of many students.

My friend Marissa Lawrence, a fellow senior, said that she liked “The Fox and the Hound” best. The touching story of friendship still resonates with her. Rachel Valiunas, another sophomore, is excited for this weekend too, because “Finding Nemo” is her favorite movie.

And that’s the best part about Disney movies – they’re still wonderful to me, despite the fact that the target audience is 10 years younger than me. Simba’s story of redemption, Cinderella’s true love and Nemo’s dad traveling the ocean to find him still make me emotional. Yes, it’s a kid’s movie. Yes, I’ve seen it before. But Disney movies are made with magic, and I will never stop watching.

“Finding Nemo” swims into theaters this Friday.

• Courtney Phelan is a senior at Geneva High School. She is an outgoing and energetic young writer who likes to swim, read and participate in general teenage activities. She can be contacted at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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