Sunday, October 7, 2012

Two Statues of Walt and Mickey

Two Statues of Walt and Mickey

At the Disneyland Resort the two most photographed things in the parks are the two statues of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. The two statues are different and have a different ‘message’ to share.

The Partners Statue in the Central Hub of Disneyland has Sleeping Beauties Castle behind it. The Partners statues has older Walt Disney holding the hand of his friend and partner, Mickey Mouse. Walt’s free hand is outstretched and he is pointing town Main Street. I can almost hear Walt telling Mickey, “Look at all that we've accomplished Mickey!” For many years now these two partners have stood together looking at the Magic they made together. I know even the oldest of Disney fans will stop and look and maybe even cry a little.

Over at Disney California Adventure the new Storytellers statue was commissioned and made for the central end of Buena Vista Street. This statue is of a young Walt having just arrived in Hollywood. His hat is set back a bit and you can see an optimistic smile on his face. His jacket is tossed over his shoulder unneeded in the California sunshine. On top of Walt’s cardboard suitcase, upended at his side, stands an early Pie Eyed Mickey Mouse ready to make the world laugh.

Together these two statues create bookends for Walt’s life.

The Partners statue shows Walt looking back at what he had accomplished. Walt is standing there with his partner Mickey happy at the joy he had brought the world through his life’s work. You can see the pride and happiness at all he has done.

Made second yet showing Walt at a younger age is the Storytellers Statue. This statue tells the story of Walt as he arrived in Hollywood, Ca at the age of 22. Even though he arrived broke, having suffered his third financial setback in his still short life he was optimistic and hopeful, looking forward to what would come in the future. In his face you can see the dreams, his hopes and imagination. Mickey is beside him yet in reality Mickey was not yet there. Mickey was waiting to come to life just five years later. Yet that hopeful, funny little mouse was there in Walt’s playful fertile mind. Not Mickey Mouse exactly but a playful little character full of personality.

I love both of these statues. Partners Walt is the Walt of my childhood, the Uncle Walt I saw on TV every week telling me what amazing stories would be coming next. This Walt brings out the nostalgic part of me. This Walt brings out the feeling of being a little child safe and comfortable.

The Storytellers statue brings out an entirely different set of feelings. I see Walt as a young man excited and hopeful ready to work and work hard to succeed. I see the playful smile and the silly Pie Eyed Mickey waiting to come out of his fertile mind. Storytellers gets me excited and stirs me to be creative and take chances. The “anything is possible if you have courage and conviction” attitude shown in his face and stance is infectious.

Together these two statues remind me that if you have a dream and are willing to do the work you can achieve anything. Storytellers shows me the dreamer while Partners shows me the pride and pleasure of seeing your dreams come true. Thank you Walt Disney for giving me the encouragement to dream. Thank you Disney Company and the designers of the statues for sharing them.

I hope you will be encouraged to dream and not let people tell you that your dreams are wrong. I pray you will find the courage and strength to stick with your dreams and see them come true.

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