New Year’s Resolutions: Disney Edition
It’s that time again when people around the world sit down and come up with aspirations for the New Year that they have no intention of keeping. But let’s all pretend that we really will go to the gym more often. At least, until mid-January.
In this week’s episode of the Celebrations Podcast, our usual band of merry makers gathered to discuss the New Year’s Resolutions that our favorite Disney characters may adopt. Alas, your humble author could not make the recording, so I’ve offered my contributions here. To hear the rest, you’ll simply have to listen to the podcast. (And, in the wonderful tradition of “great minds think alike,” we’ve doubled up on some of our responses, so be sure to tune in to hear a different take on some of my answers!)
Self-Improvement: Donald Duck
We’ll start with an easy one. In the upcoming year, Donald Duck should (and will) attempt to overcome his notorious temper issues. The lyrics to his theme song state:
Who’s got the sweetest disposition?
One guess — guess who!
Who never never starts an argument?
Who never shows a bit of temperament?
Who’s never wrong but always right?
Who’d never dream of starting a fight?
Who gets stuck with all the bad luck?
No one but Donald Duck!
Unfortunately, it seems that composer Oliver Wallace must have been a compulsive liar. Or he was being ironic. Whichever explanation you prefer. Whether battling with Chip n’ Dale, arguing with Daisy, or raging about the good fortune of his cousin Gladstone Gander, it seems that Donald’s dander is always up. So, this year Donald should try and get his temper under control.
Honorable Mention: White Rabbit
Being late is a terrible habit. It’s even worse when you’re late for a VERY important date. Tardiness is just rude. The White Rabbit (voiced by Bill Thompson in Disney’s 1951 classic “Alice in Wonderland”) needs to work on this. Or at least get himself a watch that isn’t two days slow.
Learn a New Hobby: Claude Frollo
It’s not that Judge Claude Frollo (from the 1996 animated feature “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”) doesn’t have hobbies. It’s just that his hobbies leave something to be desired. Attempting to purge Paris of its Romani population. Vindictively pursuing women who have expressed their lack of interest. Singing angsty, disturbing songs by the fire. All awful as far hobbies go. He should take up stamp collecting or bird watching.
Honorable Mention: Goofy
In September of 1942, Disney released the theatrical short “How to Play Baseball.” It was the first in a series of nine “How To…” films that were produced during Walt Disney’s lifetime, each of which starred Goofy. Two prior films, “The Art of Skiing and “The Art of Self Defense” starring Goofy were released the prior year, also starring everyone’s favorite Dippy Dog.
Over the years, Disney has revisited the formula with “How to Haunt a House” in 1999, “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater System” in 2007, as well as the three-episode series “How to Stay Home,” released in 2021.
With that in mind, it only makes sense that Goofy would be planning to learn a new hobby in 2023. He’s already studied skills like learning to ride a horse, be a detective, swim, fish, and play golf. So, what sort of hobby will he indulge in this year? He could study photography. Or perhaps he’d like to learn a new language. Those seem like reasonable goals. However, I think the most likely possibility is that Goofy plans to learn beatboxing this year. Then he can go on tour with Powerline.
Get Better Organized: The Seven Dwarfs
When it comes to organization, it’s hard to think of characters that need it more desperately than the dwarfs of Disney’s 1937 masterpiece “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” When Snow White arrives at their home, they are completely incapable of doing anything for themself. She is forced to cook and clean for them.
Given that Snow White is canonically only 14 years old during the events of the movie, it’s safe to say that the dwarfs are DESPERATELY in need of a change. Imagine relying on a teenager…to clean up and organize…
But that isn’t the end of the story. In the song “Heigh-ho” the dwarfs state, “We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig in our mine the whole day through…We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig from early morn till night.” Now, if the dwarfs were to get organized, they could probably gain some sort of collective bargaining agreement that would guarantee better working conditions.
Honorable Mention: Dory
In all fairness, this isn’t quite Dory’s fault. She has no short-term memory, which makes it very hard to get organized. But that’s why this resolution is perfect for her. Buy an inexpensive day planner. Write things down. Then it doesn’t matter if you forget them, because she’s got the book to remind her. Presuming she can remember where she set it down.
Live In the Moment More: Woody
There’s one consistent thread through the Toy Story franchise. Woody is guaranteed to worry about the future. Whether it’s concern that he’ll be replaced by Buzz, or simply forgotten about as Andy grows older, it seems that Woody is incapable of simply living in the moment and enjoying his life. In fact, it seems that no matter how many times he learns the lesson, it seems that he’ll forget it. He’d be a lot happier if he could learn to live in the present and stop worrying about what might happen next.
Honorable Mention: Dr. Nigel Channing
The lone character on our list who is not from an animated feature, Dr. Nigel Channing is the head of the Imagination Institute. You’d think that running an organization devoted to the creative side of the brain would be a carefree endeavor, but it seems like Dr. Channing can only view the subject from a clinical perspective. His buddy Figment tries to help, but never quite gets through to him. Yes, he lightens up a little bit, but visit the Institute again and he’s back to his old ways.
Make New Friends: LeFou
Whether it’s in the 1991 animated classic “Beauty and the Beast” or the live action remake from 2017, it seems that LeFou has only one friend: Gaston. Now, despite the fact that he uses antlers in all of his decorating, I think we can agree that Gaston is not the best friend. He’s arrogant, shallow, and a terrible influence. As a general rule, if your best friend ever leads a lynch mob, it’s time to terminate the relationship.
If you need any more persuading, consider this: LeFou sings an entire song praising Gaston. But does the big brute ever return the favor? Not even close. He just sings about the obscene quantity of eggs he likes to eat.
Honorable Mention: Dr. Facilier
It’s not so much that Facilier doesn’t have friends. In fact, he has quite a few friends. They’re just all on the other side. And they seem a bit malicious, what with how they drag him to his doom. This year, perhaps he should find some buddies that don’t want to claim his immortal soul.