The Wonderful World of Fairy Tales

Another special experience I had frequently in those sometimes slightly magical years of childhood is one which, I do not doubt, millions of other American children shared with me in a similar way.  I refer to it in the singular because it was a regular program.  And the regularity of it along with the cozy, familiar frequency, is part of what made it special. That was, The Wonderful World of Disney.

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For me the most special time of the week was Sunday evening after coming home from the beach, having a bath, getting into the PJs and then watching The Wonderful World of Disney.  (Eventually The Wonderful World of Color) There was, and still is, something about fantasy and magic that touches on the spiritual.  The same as with Somewhere Over the Rainbow, fantasy touches that place in us that longs for something we can’t see.  Something deeply good that is out of this world.

Disney took the fairy tale genre into color with cartoons and amazing animations world famous for more than half a century now.  Those early movies transported me over the rainbow at least for a little while, and I do believe that God used them to touch on my longing.

Famous for his (posthumous) influence on C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald was a master story teller contemporary with Lewis Carrol and Dickens.  His best works were his original fairy tales.  He wrote for both children and adults.  Both he and Lewis believed that there is often more truth in fairy tales and fantasy than what we see with our uninspired visions of ‘reality’.

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For more about MacDonald:

https://blog.bookstellyouwhy.com/george-macdonald-master-of-fantasy-religious-thought

 

Investigating the Disney youtubes from that time I found that the song, When You Wish Upon a Star was a theme song that has stayed with me.  I didn’t even know that I knew the lyrics!  And I realized that as a child wishing was like a form of prayer for me.  I wished for certain things very hard and I can recall looking out at the stars as I did so!  I believe now that God heard those wish-prayers.  God himself is the answer.

Did you grow up watching Disney or reading fairy tales?  Did they have a spiritual impact on you?  Have you ever read MacDonald or much C.S Lewis?  What about Tolkien or other fantasy writers?

 

 

 

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About perigrinatia

World traveler, Primary and ESL teacher, emerging writer
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6 Responses to The Wonderful World of Fairy Tales

  1. Bruce Clymer says:

    Well said. I hadn’t thought about Disney in this context before, but I certainly understand and believe the points you have made. The world of fantasy is “pure” and “childlike” (as God wants us to be) and is a place where good is good and bad is bad but good triumphs in the end. The fantasy world bears little resemblance to the world we live in yet, has a powerful appeal because deep down (if we admit it) this is the way we wish our world actually was.

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    • perigrinatia says:

      Thanks again for your insightful and uplifting observations Bruce. As I replied to Laurie, there’s a reason why so many of us prefer stories with happy endings. Despite the pains of this life we’re assured that the real story we’re in now WILL have one!

      Have you checked out The Sacred Romance yet? 😉

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  2. cjstraus says:

    I definitely agree. I still love fantasy. I’ve read all of George MacDonald and CS Lewis and Tolkien. It’s been a while since I’ve read MacDonald, I think I’ll revisit him!

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    • perigrinatia says:

      I didn’t know that you were into these authors too, Cindy. Revisiting MacDonald is a great idea! Let me know which one you get into. Btw, have you ever read C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy? And do you have a favorite of all these books? I think, besides the first of the Space Trilogy I loved MacDonald’s Wee Sir Gibbie the best.

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  3. Thank you for this insight into the reminder of the comfort and wooing of fairy tales. It affirms for me that place of contact that God has always made available to me but I forget to go there

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    • perigrinatia says:

      I love the way you phrase this insight as “the comfort and wooing of fairy tales”, Laurie. Yes that is what many of them do. Maybe that’s why so many of us enjoy stories with happy endings. We know that The One Who is the Resurrection and the Life will bring unimaginable good in the end. Nevertheless, He cried before He raised Lazarus from the dead. He relates to our sorrows right there in the midst of them.

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