I think we all need at least one really nice positive thing about the entertainment
business every single day of the year, including weekends. Sometimes it
may be something simple, like a video that showcases something fun and
sometimes it may be a movie
poster that embraces the aesthetic we all want Hollywood to aspire to.
Sometimes it may be a long-winded diatribe. Sometimes it’ll be from the
staff and extended family of CHUD.com. Maybe even you readers can get in
on it. So, take this to the bank. Every day, you will get a little bit
of positivity from one column a day here. Take it with you. Maybe it’ll
help you through a bad day or give folks some fun things to hunt down in
their busy celluloid digesting day.

by Elisabeth Rappe   Author Page Twitter Page  Facebook Page

What I’m Thankful For

Disney Adventures

It is, inexplicably, one of my strongest childhood memories.   It was the first day of first grade. The weather was perfect (unusual for Colorado in the fall), and my parents picked me and my sister from the bus stop. They handed us each a box — a sort of Happy Meal looking box with a handle.  Inside was tons of candy and a present.

To this day, I’m not sure why they did this.  Yes, it was my first day of “regular” school and my sister’s first day of kindergarten, but my parents didn’t usually put together such elaborate things.  That makes them sound like ogres or something. They certainly weren’t! But generally to mark this kind of little occasion, we would have just gone out to dinner or something like that.  (For example, when we finished our swimming lessons, we had dinner out where I asked my dad if we could have a reward. He said it was more swimming lessons. So, there you go.)

I remember two things about my box o’treats. One was this delicious gum in the shape of paw prints, and one was issue #1 of Disney Adventures.   I read it ragged, and my parents got me a subscription so fast that I didn’t even miss issue #2.

I’ve been asked repeatedly “How did you ever get into this job?” and part of that answer is always Disney Adventures.  Yes, I took a lot of weird zigzags (a long stint in British and medieval literature, an equally long stint studying Russian history, and a dabble of journalism) to get back to something I had originally discovered in first grade:  I loved movies, I loved reading about movies, and writing about movies would be the coolest thing ever.  

A lot of people fondly remember Disney Adventures for the comics (and I realize that too must have impacted me — and it’s so incredible to think that’s where I first met Heidi MacDonald, not on Twitter!) but I remember it for the movie news and celebrity interviews. I remember learning about what went on behind the scenes of Batman: Returns and Jurassic Park.  I can’t remember what the hell was said in their interview with Macaulay Culkin, except that I was both jealous of him, and certain we could be friends.  Others have memories of Fangoria or Famous Monsters of Filmland, but Disney Adventures was that gateway for me. It was the main way I learned about movies and actors.    It’s probably too glossy, corporate, and celebrity oriented to be as cool as something like Fangoria, but it left the right kind of mark.

It amazed me that people were given access to this stuff. In some vague way, I wanted to do it too.  Because I was a dweeb and possessed a Talkboy(!), I used to actually stage interviews with my friends, and have them play famous people. I remember making my sister pretend to be Laura Dern.  There’s something funny and sad about a kid who is content to be the journalist, and not the star.

That magazine had a lot to do with who I am. It never, ever occurred to
me that it was odd to be obsessed with movies, television, and comics.
Those pages made it seem normal, and I lived in ignorant bliss until
college when people implied I should put away those things and put up a
Che Guevara poster.   I lost a lot of years trying to conform to that,
and then giving up, and going back to what I learned in first grade.

So, thanks Disney Adventures. Thanks Mom and Dad, for that lovely fall day where you gave it to me, unknowingly setting me up for the weirdest, geekiest, and most inexplicable life I could have imagined for myself.