Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Storytellers Statue

The Storytellers Statue

The new center point of the hub of Disney California Adventure is the Storyteller Statue. This is a beautiful statue that never fails to stir my heart and bring tears to my eyes. One thing I love about this statue is unlike the Partner Statue you can walk right up to Walt and stand next to him. It is life size not bigger than life. You can put your arm around Walt and make him part of your picture and therefore your dreams.

This statue of Walt and his alter ego Mickey Mouse looks over the park, not with the, “Look what we did!” look of the Partners Statue of Disneyland but with the look of youthful excitement full of dreams and promise. They stand there in 1923 Hollywood, California with Walt dreaming of what he can do now that he is here. Hollywood in its heyday of movie magic! Hollywood the place of unlimited dreams and ultimate dreamers.

Storytellers reminds me to hold onto my dreams. It encourages me to not give up but to keep trying and even when I get a “good kick in the teeth” to get back up and try again. I see Walt’s expression and think, “I can still dream and it can come true.”

Storytellers is a great bookend piece with Partners at the other end. Storytellers shows Walt at the beginning dreaming of his “little studio”, yet to be started and success as an artist/animator in the new cartoon world. He is looking ahead and not knowing where he will end up but looking forward to the journey.

Partners is Walt looking back saying, “Look what we did Mickey!” Walt in Partners is not looking just at the cartoons or even just the park. He is looking back at a lifelong body of work that touched not just the movie/entertainment industry but in many ways touched America and therefor the world at large.

Partners is the Walt of my youth. That is how I remember seeing Walt on TV as a child during Wonderful World of Color and other shows. I have a special place in my heart for the elder Walt. But still, Storytellers stirs something else inside me. It is Walt in his prime full of strength and dreams, unafraid to challenge the way the world thought about “simple” drawings.

I hope even as I reach an age where most people are slowing down and stepping out of the way for “younger dreamers” to go for their dreams that I never forget Walt the dreamer that never stopped dreaming. I pray I keep dreaming and trying to reach for those stars until my last breath just as he did.

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