The world is full of conflict. Conflict between people, conflict within people, conflict between species, and even conflict within species. As a child, one of my favorite movies was The Jungle Book. It was one of the first movies I learned word for word and it was one of the first movies I related to.
I always was a little bit different than my peers in one way or another. Around age 12, my aunt started calling me Mowglie. It took a while to get used to but after I did I loved the nick name.
Advances in technology ensured that I would be transplanted back to my childhood from the minute I sat in my seat this week to watch the new live action film: The Jungle Book. The opening chase scene captivated me. The songs had me humming for the rest of the week. The raw character emotion brought up more empathy than I knew I was capable of.
As a child, disney movies draw us in with intriguing story lines, relatable characters, and magic. As an adult, Disney appeals to us in one more way. Disney appeals to our reality. As a child, the "Red Flower" is simply the villain of the movie. As an adult, we can relate to the story that the "Red Flower" tells. We can relate to the conflict within Mowglie when he discovers what being a man really means.
The story that King Louie tells relates a much different connotation to the adult viewer than their younger counterparts. As an adult, we can relate to the desire to be better. Even being the king of the jungle isn't enough for some. We want more just like King Louie does.
Finally, the complex relationship between Mowglie and his "peers" shines a light on the complexity of adult relationships. It is not difficult to see the struggles and celebrations Mowglie encounters with his peers and easily connect the encounter with a friend or a peer in our lives.
Disney has played a unique role in my life. My first complete spoken phrase was "and now for your feature presentation". Needless to say, I have spent countless hours completely absorbed into the world the animators have created. As a child, these worlds sparked my imagination and as an adult, these films give me a way to relate in a world where the complexity of issues make them feel 'unrelatable'. As an adult the commentary of the films helps us to remember to filter past the complexity and focus on the bare necessities of life.