disney

A Nostalgic Lesson on Failure

It took my sister and I all of two days after Disney+ came out to give in and subscribe.

For some people, the draw was the backlog of Marvel movies and shows like The Mandalorian, for us it was easy access to Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.

Because let’s face it, when it comes to movies made for television (and sweet sweet nostalgia) Disney Channel Original Movies are master class. The stories are simple (and at times ridiculous) but they are wholesome and weirdly empowering and full of iconic one-liners that I will quote until my dying day.

Aside from DCOM’s, Disney+ (who, regardless of how this blog may seem, is not sponsoring me) has also given us access to a variety of other Disney movies, most of which I’d completely forgotten exist.

Take Ice Princess, for example. It stars Michelle Trachtenberg (a.k.a Harriet the Spy), who plays a brainiac that takes up ice skating for a physics project, and ends up eventually pursuing it as a career, all while falling in love with a Zamboni driver named Teddy. This predictable yet undeniably adorable film is what brings me here today.

I’m a firm believer that inspiration can come from anywhere, and I’m not too proud to admit that I found it while watching this movie with my sister at 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

About halfway through the movie, as Casey Carlyle (Michelle Trachtenberg) starts to take ice skating seriously (the decision of which creates backlash from almost everyone around her, most prominently her mom) she confronts controversial ex-skater Tina Harwood (played by Kim Cattrall) and asks her to be her coach. When Tina bluntly states that she doesn’t think Casey has what it takes, Casey replies, “If I fail, I fail, but it will be because I wasn’t good enough, not because I didn’t have the guts.”

This line struck a chord in me, and I immediately wrote it down.

As hard as it is to admit, we are not destined to succeed in everything we do, and we are not always going to be the best, even when we give it absolutely everything we have. But sometimes it’s not about being the best, it’s not about winning, it’s not even about getting exactly what you want. It’s about knowing you did everything you could, gave everything you had, and didn’t let your fears hold you back. It’s about having the guts to try, and when things don’t work out, to try again, maybe in a different way, or maybe on a completely different path.

I know I’ve both put off and completely given up pursuing certain projects or passions solely because I was scared I would fail. But at the end of the day, failing is never going to be the worst thing you can do, and it is never going to hurt more than never knowing what you could do.

So today I’d just like to encourage you to go for it. To try and then to try again. Your win is out there, and it’s waiting for you on the other side of fear. So give it your all, and see where it takes you.

A Lesson in Courage from the Real Moana

My sister and I recently got around to seeing Disney’s Moana and, long story short, we’re obsessed. And while I could go on and on about pretty much every second of every minute of the entire film, quoting my favorite parts, gushing about my favorite characters and belting out every verse of my favorites songs, I can pretty much sum them up with this gif:

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After watching Moana for the first time, I went through my normal routine of stalking everyone (actors, directors, etc.) associated with the film. I like to get an idea of where they came from and the other work they’ve done, so I can feel a strange sense of emotional pride for people I’ve never met. “You’ve come so far!” I tell them. “I’m so proud of you!”

I like to believe that in some way they receive this message with a passing sensation of happiness, but I’m well aware that I’m probably just forming one-sided attachments to strangers. Oh well.

Amongst my findings on the Moana crew: Auli’i Cravalho, a.k.a the voice of Moana herself.

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Some basic info on Auli’i for you (compliments of Wikipedia):

  • She was born in Kohala, Hawaii (which is the northern tip of the big island)
  • She is of Chinese, Irish, Native Hawaiian, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican descent.

Some less basic, more impressive info for you:

  • She’s currently sixteen, but nabbed the roll of Moana at the age of fourteen
  • She recently performed destroyed at the Oscars

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And finally, the piece of information that got me writing to you today:

  • She was the very last girl to audition on the very last day of casting.

In an interview with People, Auli’i said she almost didn’t audition because of all the amazing submissions she’d seen on YouTube, but was encouraged by an Oahu casting agent to change her mind. And so, she did. She auditioned in the very last slot on the very last day.

Recap on what happened next:

  • She got the part
  • She made her acting debut
  • She became immortalized as a Disney princess
  • The film got nominated for a long list of awards including two Oscars (Best Animated Feature Film & Best Original Song “How Far I’ll Go”)
  • She performed “How Far I’ll Go” at the Oscars

So you know that old saying, “it’s worth a shot”?

It really is.

So keep taking those shots. You never know where they might take you.

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