As my family and friends know, I am a huge Disney fan. After watching Toy Story 3 last night I have once again reaffirmed myself as a steadfast member of the fan club. While children are the target market, the story is told in such a way that it is a fun and emotionally touching ride for people of all ages. (Two thumbs up, by the way.) The same can be said for almost all of the projects Disney takes on. The theme parks are another example. Before I had kids I LOVED to go ride the rides, see the shows and be a kid again.
But then I HAD kids. And the entire experience changed.
We took them to the Magic Kingdom and treated them to breakfast with Pooh and the gang. I saw my oldest daughter's eyes light up as she saw her cartoon friends come to life and I got choked up. She gave Piglet a kiss and I balled like a baby. The parks were a blast before my girls came along, with them there they suddenly became magical. They became a place where magic truly happens. Where elephants really CAN fly. Where princesses and princes aren't just on the pages of a book. Where mops dance across the floor and no one finds it odd. Where it's not only OKAY to act silly and be a kid, it's a requirement! I saw everything through their eyes and marveled at what a blessing it is to have wonderful venues like that to enjoy with them.
Kids grow up so fast anyway, entertainment doesn't need to encourage them to try to speed the process up. Seen Toddlers in Tiaras? I rest my case. Yikes. Granted my books target young adults as opposed to kids, but the logic is the same. I strive to write family friendly books that parents and kids alike can read and enjoy together. Maybe it would even prompt a conversation between parent and child about what their favorite part was or a line they thought was funny. It's a simple concept, but a sound one. Walt was definitely on to something, but just to confirm that I should probably ride Space Mountain a few more times. Strictly for research...