My first blog post referred to my first ‘serious’ movie as a child, the Raiders of the Lost Ark, and its impact on me. This post is about an entirely different sort of movie and why it is special to me.
I was just over 4 years of age and my brother was 2 when my Grandma (my Father’s Mother) took us to a local independent cinema that was screening The Sleeping Beauty. We had never been to the cinema before, but our little baby brother was fighting for his life in the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and our Grandma wanted to treat us whilst we were staying with her.
For two hours (the cinema had a proper break in the middle with an usherette selling ice-creams – superb!), we were immersed in this beautifully animated, magical story. The film made me forget how much I was missing my Mummy (our parents were staying with our brother in the hospital) and when I would see her again.
I had forgotten this memory, as if it had been locked away, but I recently bought my eldest son a Disney film and when we sat to watch it, there was a trailer for the restored version of The Sleeping Beauty. I started crying because it triggered my memory of that time that was tinged with uncertainty, even down to remembering my Grandma bringing chocolate for us in her beige leather handbag and the scent of her L’Air du Temps perfume.
I am now looking for The Sleeping Beauty on dvd. For someone who is a self-confessed tomboy, it will be a little at odds with my film collection. However, I don’t care because the four year old me will now always be grateful to Disney for my moment of much-needed escapism and a film that will always remind me of my beloved Grandma, who died in 1994. If Disney does this for all sad, worried or frightened children, then they’re okay in my book.
“This is a time when we need to smile more and Hollywood movies are supposed to do that for people in difficult times.” Spielberg