I believe the first Disney movie I ever saw was Aladdin, a movie that, after all these years, still holds a special place in my heart. Not only can I still sing along to all of the songs, and quote numerous random lines, but I feel a personal connection to the characters, especially Genie. I get that wistful feeling whenever I see an image of Genie, which over the years has been comparable to running into an old friend, or that feeling you get when you reminisce about the past with someone who has shared a similar experience.
With childhood Disney movies on my mind, I decided to ask a few of my Cast Member teammates what their first Disney movie was, and the answers I received made my day. Hopefully they’ll make your Monday a little brighter:
Sean Reed: “Hercules was kind of the first Disney movie I ever watched in theaters. Why ‘kind of’? Because I was terrified during the (admittedly terrifying) Hydra scene and forced my family to go the distance … all the way out the door! Ironically, Hercules is now my favorite Disney movie of all time and I’m hoping it returns to theaters one day so I can finish what my 4-year-old self started those fateful 21 years ago. He deserves that redemption.”
Winnie the Pooh
Heather Newman: “My parents started off my Disney obsession right away with Winnie the Pooh. I can still remember the line up of colorful VHS tapes that made up our entire movie shelf. In every Home Video my mom signed off with ‘TTFN, ta ta for now!’ and at age 4 I tried to convince my parents to name my baby sister Cassie, after the lesser known bird in the movies (they went with Kacey—close enough!). I’ve carried that Silly Old Bear and all of his wisdom with me ever since.”
Pocahontas and Cinderella
Armen Atoyan: “My first Disney movie was Pocahontas at the El Capitan Theater as a kid. I remember when ‘Colors of the Wind’ played because it rained fake leaves in the theater, which was cool. That being said, Cinderella was my first Home Video; I went through two VHS tapes because I watched it so much.”
Mariana Uribe: “While my parents claim the first Disney movie I saw in a movie theatre was The Little Mermaid (good taste!), I was way too young at the time to remember that particular viewing now. What I do remember is a worn-out, early VHS copy of Robin Hood constantly playing in our family room throughout my childhood. It was one of the only movies my siblings and I could always agree on. To this day, the song ‘Whistle-Stop’ from the opening credits brings me a warm, fuzzy feeling, remembering how we’d all try to whistle and sing along at the start of the movie. If I could hear that song coming from downstairs, I knew I was in for some laugher (the sight of Prince John sucking his thumb always made me laugh out loud), romance (when Robin Hood puts that flower ring on Maid Marian? TRUE LOVE), and a general good time with my favorite altruistic hero.”
The Lion King
Emily O’Connell: “My first Disney movie was The Lion King. I walked into the movie theater right as the NANTS INGONYAMAAA part began during ‘Circle of Life,’ and I’ve gotta say, it really stirred something deep within my two-year-old heart. That song was my alarm clock ringtone between the ages of 20 and 23 and I still love it, which is saying something because I now associate it with waking up.”
Sam Schwartzman: “Well … I had to watch it twice because the first time my mom had to take me out of the theater because I was a little scared of the stampede scene. But the second time, I looooooved Timon and Pumbaa. I would sing ‘Hakuna Matata’ all over the house”
Beauty and the Beast
Jack Harrison: “I cried when Belle cried over Beast. I was four.”
Nicole Pirshafiey: “My very first memory in life was seeing Honey, I Shrunk the Kids in theaters when I was 3. My dad took me to see it while my mom was in labor with my sister (!). I remember loving it until I got scared during the scene where Wayne Szalinski is about to eat Nick in his cereal bowl. Then I made my dad take me out to the lobby where we played racing games in the arcade before going to meet my baby sister. (I didn’t find out Quark saved the day until I watched the end of the movie when it came out on VHS.)”
Lawrence Dalusung: “My first Disney movie was A Goofy Movie. I had a cartoon crush on Roxanne.”
What was your first Disney movie? Let us know in the comments!