Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t do Disney. Those fluffy, feel-good animated movies with the catchy songs aren’t for me. My idea of a good movie is “Reservoir Dogs” (Quentin Tarantino; rated R). But my ignorance of all things Disney shouldn’t hamper my career as a photojournalist, right Guess again.
Burning railcars Sounds like a fun assignment. Tour a sewer plant I’ve been in worse places. Photograph a school play based on a Disney movie Oh, the humanity! Nothing spells doom for me more than a Disney title on the assignment sheet.
A recent assignment found me covering the Freiler Elementary School musical production of “Aladdin.” Plays are usually good photo opportunities, with lots of colorful costumes, action and cute kids. So how could I have any problems Did I forget to mention it was based on a Disney movie
As I shot my first scene in the lavish production, I began taking notes so I could get the names of the students I was photographing. My first entry: “Giant parrot talking to big kid.” Yeah, I was already in deep trouble. As I said, I don’t do Disney.
I was lost. I’d never seen the animated “Aladdin” movie, and with the parents standing next to me singing along to the musical numbers, I started to feel a little out of place.
During an intermission, a parent asked if I needed any information. I needed to get the name of the student playing the parrot.
“You mean Iago”
“The parrot has a name” I asked, in reply.
“That’s right. Iago.”
I also needed the name of the big kid with “Iago” the parrot.
“Oh, that was Jafar,” the parent told me.
So at that point, I knew the names of two Disney characters from a movie I will never watch — and I still needed the kids’ names!
I muddled my way through the rest of the play. I even guessed a few names — Aladdin, the sultan, a princess and a flying carpet. Silly me to make the mistake of asking the name of the student dressed as the monkey. That was “Abu.”
A parent, seeing my perplexed look, asked me if I had ever watched the movie with my kids.
“No kids. Never saw it. Don’t do Disney,” I had to say.
One year, I covered a Halloween parade and saw a youngster wearing a strange blue costume. I asked the parent what the child was supposed to be. It was Stitch, from the Disney film “Lilo and Stitch.” Huh
Then there was the West High School flier this fall that described its homecoming activities. Oh, no. It had a Disney theme.
For one event, I read, “We’re late, we’re late, for a very important date!”
I had to ask — what the heck is that supposed to be I found out it’s a line from “Alice in Wonderland,” which was also made into a Disney movie.
I tell you, it is a conspiracy to intimidate me and keep me in the dark.
I actually watched Disney’s “Incredibles” once, and that experience came in a handy at this year’s Halloween parade. A family showed up dressed as the superhero family, and I was able to take their photo and write a cutline without exposing myself as a Disney no-nothing.
Most of the time, though, most 6-year-olds know way more than I do when it comes to Disney-themed events. Maybe I should broaden my horizons. Or maybe I’ll just wait for the musical version of “Reservoir Dogs.” I’m all over that one.
Snapshots is a twice-monthly feature written by Tracy Press Photo Editor Glenn Moore. He can be reached at 830-4252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.