As we anxiously await the release of live-action Mulan on Disney+ this Friday, I can’t help but reflect on how much my love of Disney movies stirred a wanderlust within me.
When The Little Mermaid was released in 1989, I was a shy 11 year old who lived vicariously through Ariel. Now I look back and think she was entirely reckless, but it was fun then dreaming about European castles and handsome princes.
Just like Belle in 1991’s Beauty and the Beast, I knew I wanted more than a provincial life. France is an incredibly beautiful country, and I’ve been blessed to visit Paris and Calais. The City of Lights is truly the most romantic city in the world and a definite bucket list destination. But don’t fall for any Gastons.
The very next year, Aladdin introduced a new generation to a whole new world of Arabian culture. Last year’s live-action remake looks like it could have been partially filmed in Petra, Jordan – a city that’s always intrigued me. It’s like our very own Cave of Wonders. Maybe I’ll be able to purchase a magic carpet at one of the local markers.
I was still on the right side of 40 when The Princess and the Frog was released. I’d been to New Orleans multiple times before, and could not wait to see The Big Easy portrayed in the fairy tale. It did not disappoint. I could literally recall the sounds, sights, and smells of the city as I watched the movie.
Moment of truth, I don’t care much for beignets, but I’d try one at Tiana’s Place.
Brave’s Merida was just a wee lass, but she had the heart of a lion. I had the opportunity to visit Scotland – where the movie is based – for a weekend, and would love the opportunity to go back. I remember the summer days in Edinburgh were so long we were able to shop on the high street until 11:00 pm. Next time, I’d like to venture out into the countryside to take in more of those rolling, green hills.
Moana was released about three years ago and instantly became my new favorite! I love the relationship Moana had with her grandmother, and desire to save her people, which is indicative of Hawaiian culture as a whole. As a destination, Hawaii has it all…volcanic beaches, jagged cliffs straight out of Jurassic Park, and everything in between. Be careful not to disturb Te Fiti.
Circling back to Mulan, I’ve always admired her strength and devotion to her family. Like the character, China is a multi-faceted country, and one of the oldest civilizations in the world. How amazing would it be to visit the Forbidden City, see the Terra Cotta Warriors, or cross the Great Wall of China?! I hope the live-action remake is an archaeological feast for the eyes!
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