Disney Challenge

Disney Challenge: International

It’s the month of May, so that means that school is out and it’s time to start planning those summer vacations! And where else but traveling internationally via some of Disney’s animated films.

If you’re stuck at home during summer break, what better way to see the world than through the eyes of one of Disney’s beloved characters? Travel with us to Mexico, France, China, and Scotland, and learn all about cooking, Chinese and Scottish history and the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos.

Week 1: Coco

I feel like I enjoy Coco the more I watch it. On first viewing, I’m just trying to take in the story, remember characters, etc. but by each repeat viewing, I love a little more about all of the details. I’ve learned the songs, an incredible amount about Mexican culture, and now that I’m learning Spanish, I often catch what’s being said without the need for subtitles.

I also like that we’re finally able to see these movies integrated into Epcot. When you travel “around the world” at Epcot, you can now see Anna and Elsa in Norway, and now Miguel in Mexico.

“I have a dimple on this side, but not on this side. Dimple. No dimple. Dimple. No dimple.”

Week 2: Ratatouille

Who knew how much you could learn about food from a rat?

I’ll admit, the premise is a little weird, but the story is incredibly charming and surprisingly full of lessons. Most of the time I’m a Django; food is fuel, shut up and eat your garbage. But there are times that I can be a Remy. Times where I stop to appreciate not only what I’m eating, but the path the food took to get to my table, and the time and love that was put into the preparation. And like all good food, Ratatouille is more about the journey than the destination.

“If you focus on what you left behind you will never see what lies ahead.”

Week 3: Mulan

Another highlight from the Disney Renaissance. I think the two main characteristics of the newer movies are known voice actors, and better music, and this has both. Also, I like to think that Mulan is actually a young Agent May from Agents of SHIELD, who, like Captain America, was frozen in the ice and thawed out in modern-day America.

“I’ve heard a great deal about you, Fa Mulan. You stole your father’s armor, ran away from home, impersonated a soldier, deceived your commanding officer, dishonored the Chinese Army, destroyed my palace, and… you have saved us all.”

Week 4: Brave

Yep, I’m a sucker for princesses who save themselves.

I’m not going to say that I relate to a movie about a Scottish princess who uses magic to turn her mother into a bear, but I do identify with and love the message of a stubborn teenager learning to respect and understand their parent. And in turn the parent understanding the child’s point of view, rather than it being a one-way lesson.

“Some say our destiny is tied to the land, as much a part of us as we are of it. Others say fate is woven together like a cloth, so that one’s destiny intertwines with many others. It’s the one thing we search for, or fight to change. Some never find it. But there are some who are led.”