I racked my brains for a good while (we're talking at least a day) about how to commemorate America's Birthday here on Princesses and Pixie Dust. I feel incredibly blessed to have grown up in the land of the free and, while our nation is far from perfect, we Americans are endowed with privileges and rights that less fortunate citizens of the world are still fighting for. Pride in our nation is certainly not overlooked in domestic Disney parks; from Liberty Square to Limited Time Magic's "Disney's Celebrate America!" fireworks display, the parks' heritage is present and most definitely celebrated! With so much American pride, it was tough to decide which to highlight this Fourth of July- a fireworks display? An ode to the Hall of Presidents? I honestly could have just directed you to the pictures of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in their patriotic paraphernalia at Epcot today... too cute! After starting several posts (and scrapping them), I decided it was time for a little movie break. And (as so often is the way) that is when I realized that a salute to America isn't about fireworks or presidential Audio Animatronics or a mouse in revolutionary regalia. To celebrate the Fourth of July is to celebrate classic American values- a lesson revealed to me by Melody Time's "The Legend of Johnny Appleseed".
Melody Time (released in 1948) is a collection of animated shorts which are bound together by the common thread of music. With its release coming shortly after the end of World War II, the film's depictions of American folklore and culture are particularly resonant, especially that of John Chapman (though most of us known him better as Johnny Appleseed!). If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing this vastly underrated installment in the Disney canon, here is "The Legend of Johnny Appleseed" for your enjoyment and education:
(Also, go get your hands on a copy of Melody Time. In the words of Johnny's angel: "What are ya waitin' for?!")
Johnny truly embodies the founding principles of the American spirit. Like so many others, his journey begins with a dream- a thirst for adventure and a calling to greater things. However, unlike those others, Johnny takes his fate into his own hands (with a little healthy encouragement) and boldly ventures into the unknown not only to achieve his own end, but to give his gift to those who would come after him. His determination in the face of peril speaks to the resilience that our nation is known for. Even more, the sense of community that springs from his labor of love still exists and thrives in our country today; fellowship with family and friends lies at the heart of this holiday, and of America itself.
What does the American spirit mean to you? What are your favorite patriotic Disney gems? I hope everyone has had a safe and happy Fourth of July! God bless America!
Love and pixie dust,