Flame No. 1: Fievel from An American Tail
As you know, I have a soft spot for mice. Something about the David up against Goliath motif (one of my favorite motifs) that they’re really great at illustrating. And they’re just so darn cute! An American Tail was my favorite movie for much longer than was developmentally appropriate, and this was mostly because I had the hots for Fievel. I won’t say that Tony didn’t ever make my heart go all fluttery (was it the accent?), but he was an older man, and he was too much of a rogue and philanderer for my tastes. Fievel taught me to be resourceful and hopeful and brave, and that second-generation Russian accents are very sexy indeed- even when your voice won’t change for a good many more years.
Flame No. 2: Christopher Robin
I must confess that the theme song from The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh does not cease to make me well up unashamedly- and this is coming from someone who has never ever cried over a movie (not even when it was that time of the month). I laughed much more gleefully than is probably really healthy at the end of the notebook (what can I say, they were stupid and it was about time). I’m just saying, I do not cry at the drop of a hat. But I loved this show. And I dare you to watch The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
without falling in love with Christopher Robin. I mean he’s just so nice and innocent and fun and smart and lovely! He taught me to be nice to my animals and to be happy and to just plain enjoy my childhood, and he still makes me all achy.
Flame No. 5: Edmund from the Chronicles of Narnia
He has a sword. He has a sword. He has a sword. He has a sword. He has a sword. Also, he has a sword. Oh, yeah, and he has a sword. But look at how awesome and kick-ass he looks with his sword(s)!!! I hated him in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but came to forgive and gradually to fall for him in the later books (I am talking about the books, regardless of the fact that the picture is a movie screenshot- but I’ll admit the actor is something of a heartthrob- especially because he has a SWORD!!!!) He showed me that It was Ok to make mistakes- even huge ones, and that in fact that they can make one stronger if one learns from them and decides to grow rather than wallow in guilt and shame. He taught me to be loyal and strong and brave and caring and forgiving of oneself as well as others; and he taught me that I don’t need to have something to show for every square inch of my being in order to feel comfortable in my own skin. Plus also he has a sword.
Flame No. 5: Arthur from Disney’s Sword in the Stone
The Sword in the Stone was another one of my very favorite childhood movies. I love Arthurian legend and wizards and… what’s that other thing? Oh yeah, SWORDS!!! Arthur was just so dreamy- in his scrawny, shy, clumsy, goofy way. And he taught me that the things you have the potential to become will surprise even- especially- you. He showed me never to shy away from leadership because you think you’re not worth it- that it’s something you have the duty to accept when it’s granted to you (unfortunately, I am yet to take this lesson to heart- or to meet anyone foolish enough to grant me a leadership position).
And now for my Heroines.
Heroine No. 1: Mulan.
1. She’s a frakking badass.
2. She’s a frakking badass.
3. She’s a frakking badass.
4. She’s a frakking badass.
5.She’s a frakking badass.
Also, she was a misfit like me- a failure at the role in which she was placed, but a hero when she was allowed to choose her own. She was quirky and clumsy and awkward and a tomboy- when it was precisely the wrong time and place to be one – just like me. She had a firm sense of justice, and she risked everything just because she was doing what was right. She worked her butt off, even when it seemed like she was hopeless and would never be able to compete with the others. But she persevered and ended up playing with the boys- better than the boys. She was smart and creative and funny and kind and positively everything I’ve ever wanted to be. (And I could fly higher than an eagle, ’cause she is the wind…) This movie was yet another of the staples of my early childhood. And adolescence. And I watch it on a monthly basis still.
Heroine No. 2: Pepper Ann
I loved this show as a child, and I’m proud to say that this was precisely the type of teenager I wanted to be, and it is precisely the type of teenager I have become. I loved how absent-minded and imaginative and geeky and cool she was. She taught me that I was special and lovable and cool just the way I was.
Heroine No. 3: Pippi Longstocking
Pippi Longstocking is Pippi Longstocking. ‘Nuff said.
Heroine No. 4: Tish Katsufrakis & Lor MacQuarrie
Ok, so I watched and loved the Weekenders. I was a nineties kid. And I miss those cartoons. Tish and Lor were the embodiments of my two major personality facets: the tomboy and the nerd girl. They rocked. And they showed me that I was awesome and that being a person with a personality and unconventional tastes and sensibilities did not make me any less of a girl, and that I should embrace the things that make me different.