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.
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’.
For more about MacDonald:
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?