When I think of JRR Tolkien’s contemporaries, I usually think of CS Lewis and the rest of the Inklings. I rarely think about what was happening on the other side of the pond — even though that’s where I live.
As anyone familiar with Tolkien knows, he had strong opinions, and that went for his contemporaries. One of those — one I never thought of — is Walt Disney.
Back in the 1937, The Hobbit and Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves made their debuts in their respective countries. Since both have always been a part of my life, I never realized that they came out within months of one another and share a protagonist surrounded by a band of dwarves. It’s just fascinating to think about.
While I don’t know what Walt Disney thought of Tolkien’s work, Tolkien certainly wasn’t a fan of him. Neither was Lewis.
Unlike the past several generations, they grew up only knowing the original (and usually darker) versions of fairy tales. To see dwarves — the creatures of Norse mythology — playing jazz and being downright goofy just felt wrong.
I can understand it. When Frozen first came out, I was appalled by just how different the story is from Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale. There are a handful of similar elements, but besides those things, the stories couldn’t be more different. Since then, I’ve warmed up to it (pun only sort of intended) and have come to like it as its own thing, but certainly not as adaptation. “Inspired by,” sure. “Adaptation”? Definitely not.
Needless to say, it was a fascinating read. If you want to check out the full article, it’s available here.
What are your thoughts on different adaptations of films? Have you ever found yourself in Tolkien and Lewis’ shoes?
It’s official. My mom and I survived our first half-marathon. I spent most of the time jogging to keep up with her long strides, but she kept us on a steady pace, and we finished in under 3 hours and 30 minutes. I would say it’s officially time to check that one off my bucket list, but my mom is already talking about doing it again next year.
In other news, it’s also a year since the young son of a friend was diagnosed with leukemia. The great news, though, is that on this one year anniversary, he’s officially cancer-free. (The good news came a few weeks ago.)
In honor of the occasion, his parents are asking people to do a random act of kindness this weekend. I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to do, but I have a few ideas.
If you want to participate, do it for Joshua.
At this point, I’ve known my husband and his family for most of my life. Yesterday, though, I met a side of one of his grandmother’s that I’ve never known before.
She’s downsizing to a small apartment, which means that the vast majority of her furniture and trinkets are being divvied out now. Usually, a trip to her home is marked by the typical offerings of refreshments (which I’m used to with my Italian grandmother who must only be visited on an empty stomach) and casual conversation. Unfortunately, she’s never been particularly close to my husband’s nuclear family, so it’s never more than casual chitchat.
Yesterday, I was invited to look through her things for anything that we would want to keep. But instead of gathering a few antiques for my china cabinet, I met a different side of her.
Every piece of china that I touched had a story behind it. That pitcher was a wedding present from her parents. That serving dish belonged to another relative’s grandmother. That mirror hung in the entryway of her home when her children were little… and she just wasn’t quite sure that she could part with it yet.
With every short story and musing smile, I finally saw the person I’d been hoping to meet for these past six years. And that person was more like me than I ever had imagined. She’s always been a lover of collecting things, too. If there’s sentimental value to it, if it belonged to a relative, if it smells like years gone by, then she treasured it. And she knew that I would treasure those things too.
Here are my favorites:
This milk glass pitcher and cups were a wedding present from her parents.
This candy bowl belonged to her mother.
During the short time that she worked at Disney in the 80’s, she bought a set of goblets that had been used in the restaurant in Cinderella’s Castle. I wonder if they’re the same ones I used during my first visit to Cinderella’s Castle when I was four…
But my absolute favorite thing from yesterday is knowing more about her.