Reader Feedback: The Too-Cool-for-Disney Age Gap

Dear Proprietress,

First of all, brilliant site. Not sure who is running this show but whoever she is must be brilliant.

Help me.

I am the father of 2 middle school aged children. My younger son refuses to watch Wall-E with me. How might I change this? Is he too old to have his brain modified with large doses of electricity.

Now for the really big issue…. I was in Best Buy and noticed that Finding Nemo was out in 3D. I asked them if they’d watch it with me. Their response – ‘no!’!!

Given their reaction, was it wrong for me to do the ‘Homer Simpson’ to them in the middle of the store?

Please help. I am considering family therapy which I can’t afford.


Dear Eric,

First of all, mahalo for the compliment. You clearly have impeccable taste.

Now, as to your concern, I fear there are simply people in this world who don’t understand the magic of Disney. This could be due to many things: being born with a black hole instead of a heart is one common cause. Under-exposure at a young age is another, so be sure to show them the classics at a young age. Also, a trip (or twelve, depending on your means) to Disney World is vital. It’s hard to appreciate the magic of Disney without associated nostalgia.

However, since you are writing with this concern and are a follower of my website, I am going to assume your children have been properly exposed and educated. In fact, I think you have nothing to worry about. Why?

Because your kids are in middle school. And middle school is when you’re not supposed to care about anything except really bad music and even worse reality TV shows. There’s no way you can admit to liking Disney in middle school.

Disney’s lame and for kids! What totally cool and mature 13 year old would watch a kids’ cartoon movie? Losers.

I will admit, even I went through a “non Disney” phase. Granted, my middle school years happened to fall over the era when Disney was churning out films of, er, lesser quality (Treasure Planet, Atlantis, Home on the Range, etc). And I still loved my family’s annual trip to Disney World. But even so, I rarely discussed Disney and I didn’t really watch any of the movies for about three years.

That didn’t mean I didn’t still love Disney. I would still listen to the music on my ipod quite often as my “guilty pleasure” and if it was on television I couldn’t help but watch it. In fact, I bet if you still bought Finding Nemo and turned it on yourself, your kids would probably still sit down and watch it (while playing with their iPhones to maintain their indifference).

But here’s where you can take heart, dear reader. I think this Disney gap time is actually necessary, because it allows you to take a break from Disney movies and rediscover them in a few years when you have a more mature mindset. When you watch the Disney movies for the first time post-puberty, it’s like watching the movies for the first time. Disney movies, don’t forget, were made for adults and kids to enjoy simultaneously. So when they approach the movie as an adult instead of as a kid, they appreciate it in a completely different way.

Wait for the first time they re-watch Hunchback of Notre Dame and take in the complicated perversion that is Frollo. Or the beautiful bromance between Baloo and Bagheera in The Jungle Book. Or the way gender roles are examined and twisted in Mulan. Or even just how truly beautiful the animation is in Snow White.

So, never fear, they will learn to appreciate the majestic and poignant poeticism that is Wall-E. Just give them a few years and don’t push it too hard. They’ll come around.

If they don’t, there’s always the Clockwork Orange method.

Best of luck and thanks for writing in!

Your Magical Guru,


  • Raleera

    this is just too precious