Why We Love a Disney Hero
I do like a hero, in fact, I wouldn’t mind being a hero. After all a hero is someone for others to look up to, someone who is celebrated for their good deeds. Disney isn’t short of heroes, I’ve seen countless films containing too many heroes to even try and list them all here. There are the obvious ones – the square-jawed, handsome (and charming) Prince that turns up to rescue the damsel in distress, but there are also a whole host of others – let’s meet some of them.
He’s been around for a long time (90 years to be precise) and has appeared in numerous Disney cartoons and feature films including Fancy Free, The Three Musketeers and Fantasia. Mickey is one of the biggest stars of all time and has regularly played the hero. A popular character, Mickey has a heart of gold and always strives to take care of his friends. He can be a little bit mischievous but his impish behaviour makes him even more endearing. Mickey has a playful nature and is fun to be around, and his frequent acts of kindness remind us that being a hero involves more than daring feats and dangerous rescues.
One of the leading characters in the hit movie Beauty and the Beast, the Beast looks like an unlikely hero, but isn’t that part of the message this memorable film delivers – that you should never judge a book by its cover. The Beast is portrayed as a pitiful character – a recluse who hides away from the world in his majestic castle. Once upon a time he was a handsome Prince, but unfortunately his personality left a lot to be desired, vain and self-absorbed, the Prince was transformed into a scary looking Beast by a disgruntled witch. Of course, he is remorseful, but accepts his fate, until Belle comes along. The Beast is awkward and obstinate at first, but as he gets to know Belle, he discovers the meaning of friendship and the art of caring for others. In turn Belle starts to see that there is more to the Beast than meets the eye. He is actually rather charismatic and considerate (under all of that hair)!
Rather unsurprisingly a tentative romance follows, can Belle give her heart to the Beast in time? Will Gaston (an admirer of Belle’s and rather an unpleasant fellow), kill the Beast as he promises? Beauty and the Beast is a classic film, and the Beast makes a great, if slightly unconventional, hero.
Jack Skellington, or the Pumpkin King as he is often known, is the lead character in The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). He’s not your average hero (a little bit bony and his lack of eyeballs gives him a rather scary appearance), and he often gets it wrong. We can’t fault him for his enthusiasm though, when he wants something he certainly knows how to go out and get it. Jack also has an exceptionally large heart in his skeletal body. His greatest wish is to share his vision for a new, fun place to live, with his friends and neighbours in Halloween Town. For Jack has decided that Halloween Town should be given a makeover, and he decides that Christmas is the season he and his loyal subjects will celebrate. Cue mayhem, as Jack gets it very wrong, he wants to make it all so special but his naivety causes massive problems. Jack is a hero because, first off, he wants to make life exciting for those around him, secondly, because he’s not afraid to try something new, and finally, because he realises the error of his ways and does his best to make amends.
We All Need a Hero
You might not be able to invite the real Price Charming, Beast, Jack Skellington or Mickey Mouse into your home, but how about a lovingly crafted and painted piece of artwork instead? I have really enjoyed designing and producing the many Beauty and the Best figurines in the Jim Shore Designs Disney Traditions range. There’s the Disney Traditions by Jim Shore Ooh La – Lumiere Figurine (Lumiere is one of my favourites – he’s a little bit mischievous and likes to be a bit cheeky to Cogsworth). There’s also the Disney Traditions by Jim Shore Be Kind – Belle figurine, which shows Belle, resplendent in her recognisable yellow ballgown, prettily posing. There are plenty of other lovely figurines in the range too, why not come and take a look?