Monday, October 3, 2016

A Crusader's 10 Year Mission...Quest...Thing...From God!


As far back as I can remember, making dreams come true isn't always easy. You must earn your keep by working hard, saving up and above all, patience. Which is the case for the one important thing that I want more than all the games, than all the anime in all the world. I am, of course, referring to meeting the heart and soul of Ariel the Little Mermaid herself, Jodi Benson. A dream that I am holding on for 10 whole years. And in the wake of so many famous people dying, it has become much harder for me, fearing that my dream will never come true. But before I go any further with this, let me tell you how I came down to this today.

It all started a long time ago, not that long anyway, in 1989. Things were big around that time, Tim Burton brought Batman back to his dark roots, Sega should what the "Genesis does what "Nintendon't"", and many popular movies getting sequels like Ghostbusters II, Karate Kid Part III, Back to the Future Part II and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Speaking of movies, around the holiday season on November 19th, that was the day The Little Mermaid was released in theaters. The movie have saved Disney from a certain fate and started a decade long trend of Disney movies called the Disney Renaissance from 1989 to 1999. But as much as I want to talk about the movie's backstory in how it came to be, but this is about my experiences on this movie and everything that came in between.
Around the time when I was a kid, I didn't see the movie when it was released in theaters, but I saw it one year later when it was released on video, when my childhood friend, Amy, came over long ago. But, I saw it multiple times, when I went to public school. I saw it when recess was rained out, seeing it in not just the library, but also in the auditorium. Of course being a kid, I initially thought of The Little Mermaid as "girlie stuff". Because my mind was on other things like wrestling, other cartoons and video games. It was normal for a kid to act like this, normal, innocent fun. But, it didn't last forever.

In the beginning of 1999, my father died around the time and it changed me forever. He died from liver cancer, due to consumtion of alcohol. And because of this, I avoided watching The Little Mermaid. And every time I avoid watching it, I thought of my father. And even in the later years, even getting high school diploma, the thought of The Little Mermaid couldn't escape me.  It's been like this for quite a long time. All that changed when 2006 came about.

When I use to have HBO, I stumbled into a movie that I haven't seen in a long time and that was Little Shop of Horrors, the movie based on the musical based on the Roger Corman flick (Say that ten times fast). I watched it multiple times around that time, especially watching the opening credits. When I look hard at the credits, I stumble upon on the two people who did the music and the songs. It turns out the same guys who did the songs for Little Shop of Horrors, also did the songs for The Little Mermaid years later. Their names are Alan Menken and the late, great Howard Ashman. Anyway, I watched the movie and hear every, single song in the movie. And when I hear the song, Suddenly Seymour, for the first time in a long time, I have shed a tear.

You see, when my father passed, I thought my childhood, the part of me that makes me who I am, was long gone. Along the road, I watched Ernest Scared Stupid and I have learned about a little something called "The Heart of a Child", which is another way of saying your childhood. Other than that, I had to overcome my fear. By the time I got my birthday money, by October 3rd, 2006, I bought not only a couple of PS2 games, but also The Little Mermaid Platinum Edition DVD, on the same day it was released. And for the first time in long time, I got no ill feelings and I enjoyed it.

The next day, while looking for my old Disney books in the attic, my mother called me down and she told me not to go into the attic without her consent. Then, I broke down and told her what I am writing right now. Afterwards, my mother assured me that my childhood was never gone, it was there the whole time, it was just misplaced. From that point on, I vowed that will never forsake my childhood ever again. Your childhood is something that should be remember and cherished, never regretted.

With that in mind, with renewed vigor, I vow to make my dreams come true. But, the one dream I want to accomplish was to meet Jodi Benson herself. I never knew what kind of person she was until I learned that she was a devoted Christian. She is a believer in God, just like me. I thought to myself, "Wow, no wonder she sings that good as Ariel. She is like an angel." And rightfully so, her voice is as golden as an angel's.  And I made a vow that I will find a way to meet her. And by doing so, I will finally move on with my life and my soul, and my father's soul, will finally rest.

Anyway, my, is still ongoing and it wasn't easy. Take for instance, making friends with people who are fans of Jodi Benson like Jamie Farrar, for example. I read about her life problems and her dream of meeting Jodi Benson and it came true, thanks to the voice of Belle, Paige O'Hara. I was touched by her story, it inspired me to follow my path to meet Ms. Benson. When I met Jamie and ask her some advice, she disappeared. I wasn't taking advantage of her because of her fandom. I just wanted to be friends with her because I needed some help in how meeting Jodi Benson. What a gip. Before then, I wrote a touching letter to Glen Keane, who drew Ariel in the first place and he was touched by my kind words from talking about his father, Bil Keane (the created of Family Circus) to talking about Ariel and Jodi Benson in general. And not to mention I wrote a letter to the voice of Ursula, Pat Carrol and she was thrilled with my kind words and my fanart of both Ursula and Morgana. Still, to this day, I can't decipher the latin phrase "Eceques et Love". If anyone can translate it, appreciate the help.

Anyway, to make a long story short, it is not an easy path. And with people dying like Arnold Palmer, C. Martin Croker, Prince, David Bowie and Gene Wilder, it has become much harder. And I fear that she will be next and everything I work so hard, from supporting the Sailor Moon fanbase to writing stories and everything in between, will be all in vain. And I will never move on if that happens. But I still believe that I will make my dreams come true. And who knows, I will talk about my success in the next 10 years, or 20 or 50 years. Until then, I will always have my seashell cross, a reminder to hold on to your dreams and never lose your childhood. Let's hope that dream will finally come true before then.