Keep Moving Forward
This weekend, we took Noah to see his first-ever, in-the-theater movie (yes, I know: we're horrible parents), Disney's digital 3D spectacular, Meet the Robinsons. He was fabulous, as to be expected, and we all had a great time. His 3D glasses even stayed on with no problems, which was really my biggest concern.
It was like the writers knew this would be Noah's first movie, because they put in all of his favorite things: Robots, trains, spaceships, dinosaurs, exploding stuff. He loved it. And then when he got a Meet the Robinsons coloring/activity book in his easter
basket bucket, he shrieked with delight ('LOOK!!! It's that kid from the thing with the spaceship!!!')
MTR is one of the better Disney movies in a while, I think. Aside from excellent visuals and a great soundtrack, the story is excellent. In a nutshell, it's about belonging, and it's about family, not too dissimilar to the themes found in the movie version of A Series of Unfortunate Events, but on the happy ending side of things. A very similar current is also found in Finding Nemo.
In addition to a strong family theme, it also had the best summation of one of Walt Disney's favorite themes, the power of imagination. The late EPCOT ride Horizons summarized Walt's creative ideology with the phrase, 'If you can dream it, you can do it.' MTR breathed life into a different utterance, but built on the same foundations: 'Keep moving forward.' The idea being, whatever the odds, keep moving forward with your dream. If you face adversity, failure, defeat...keep moving forward. This idea not too distant from Thomas Edison's famed statement, 'I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.' This movie brought to mind the Disney days of old, when EPCOT was just a vision, and when the actual vision from the man behind the mouse was not for a theme park, but for an Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow, a futuristic utopia of science, wonder and imagination, that would be a standard-bearer for what the world could achieve. MTR inspires those same visions, and also brings to mind the oldest Disney ride in existence, Carousel of Progress, one of Walt's favorites, in which a revolving room rotates around an ever-changing stage which shows the advancements of the last 100 years and imagines those of tomorrow.
But this post is not intended to be a sentimental look back at the theme park of yesteryear. In fact, it is more thinking about life today, and life tomorrow. The biggest thing I came away with from MTR was how grateful I am for Jenni and for our precious son, Noah, and how excited I am about life, life right now and what's to come. MTR ends with the following quote, from which the 'Keep Moving Forward,' mantra was derived:
Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Life changes. There is birth, and there is death. There is joy and there is sadness. Jobs changes, people move away, seasons end. Sometimes change is good, sometimes it's bad, and sometimes, if we're honest with ourselves, it's just change. Sometimes we are the issue, the scared ones, the worried ones, the ones not living today today. Maybe we're looking in the rear-view too much, maybe we're blaming someone for something...perhaps we're holding on to a real hurt, something from long ago. Maybe we're just too scared to do what needs to happen next, for fear of failure.
...and the Father is right there, giving us a big hug, saying:
'...keep moving forward...just keep swimming...I know how this story ends--I wrote it--and you're going to love the end...I love you...'
And that is something we all need to hear.