We all have movies we know by heart, that we’ve seen so many times they become akin to comfort food. Perhaps you pop in the DVD when you don’t know what else to watch, or when you’re doing something else and want it to play in the background. When you’ve watched something enough, the experience of watching turns into one of remembering, tuning out the present and filling the time with your memories of the very thing you could be experiencing. Aladdin was one of those films for me which I’d watched so many times I no longer needed a TV; I could just close my eyes and replay it perfectly in my head. (I distinctly remember watching the VHS three times in a row once when I was home sick from school many years ago.) But I recently got the chance to see it on the big screen for the first time in 23 years and it felt like I was seeing it with a fresh set of eyes. Time and experience can change our perspective or deepen our understanding of a film, but we so rarely take the opportunity to come at things from a new angle and recapture the sense of magic that has been softened by familiarity.
As a way to mark the upcoming Blu-ray release of Aladdin, Disney’s D23 fan club allowed people to vote on which cities would get to host a one-time screening, and luckily for me Phoenix was selected (along with Seattle and Sacremento). Continue reading