The Walt Disney Company prides itself in making dreams come true. Yes, that statement is very broad because there are many ways that the Mouse and everything in his house create magical experiences that ultimately bring the world to his doorstep.
Those magical experiences happen everyday at Disney’s theme parks and even when a family decides to pop in their favorite Disney film for movie night. Those are the things that you see on TV and people around the world get those magical effects just as advertised.
But for the Owen Suskind and people like Guy Spagnoli who know that the Disney magic extends far beyond the normal effects of Disney magic.
Owen Suskind wasn’t able to grow up like a normal boy because of the onset of autism. Like others with harmful disease, it brought many heartbreaking symptoms including the inability to communicate with others. For his parents, it brought a lot of grief and hopelessness as Owen’s condition worsened.
Guy Spagnoli was a soldier in the Vietnam War who came home from the turmoil of the battlefield to only be welcomed by another battle of his very own. Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD), Spagnoli found life to be grief-filled, violent, and hopeless just like many of his fellow soldiers.
Although both of them found their health conditions as their evils, they both found Disney as their good.
After watching Disney movies with his son, Ron Suskind (Owen’s father and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist) joyfully found out that Owen was able to communicate through Disney movies, specifically through the dialogue the characters gave. “We were no great fans of Disney…but all of a sudden, it was the only way to know our son.”
This year, Guy would have made 49 trips to Walt Disney World in Florida for the sole purpose of forgetting the past and keep looking toward the possibility of a brighter, joy-filled future. “I just try to keep a positive thought and the only way I can do that is through dreaming,” which he does a lot of during his trips.
As you can see, both of them have I’m so happy that both of their Disney stories will now be shared in full with the world thanks to two documentarians who will be releasing their latest creations in the near future.
We’re happy to say that we will also be working with the filmmakers of “Life, Animated” and “Keep Moving Forward” to follow the progress of the their films and to ultimately spread their message when they get released.
Why are we doing this? It’s in our name.
DisneyExaminer means that we’re “taking a closer look at Disney”. Disney does make dreams come true and not just through whirling through space or fighting alongside an Avenger. There’s proof that they also make the dreams come true for people like Owen and Guy whose dreams are less about trying to suspend their current lives, but to live as happily as possible living in the now. These two people are evidence of something I thought I would never see or hear about before.
And we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a closer look at this.
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In the meantime, are you eager to watch both documentaries? How has Disney affected your lives? Has the brand ever helped you through a dark situation? Share that lesser known Disney story if you’d like in the comments below.