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Walt Disney

Have you ever imagined a world without Mickey Mouse or even Pluto? A world without Walt Disney would be a world without his magic, whimsy and optimism.

Walt Disney transformed the entertainment industry into what we see day. He pioneered the fields of animation, and found new ways to teach, and educate. Walt's optimism came from his unique ability to see the entire picture. His views and visions came from the fond memory of yesteryear, and persistence for the future. Walt loved history. As a result of this, he didn't give technology to us piece by piece, he connected it to his ongoing mission of making life more enjoyable, and fun. Walt was our bridge from the past to the future.

While some of his trademark characters like Mickey and the Gang have become household names, it's his fairytales that have totally changed the world of animation for us. So let's look at some of his timeless classics.

Alice in Wonderland (1951)- Alice in Wonderland is a story about a little girl on a mad, magical journey. The main characters in this story are Alice, Caterpillar, Chesire Cat, March Hare, Queen of Hearts, Walrus, Tweedledee and Tweeledum, and the rabbit. Sitting on the grass, Alice sees a white rabbit constantly looking at his watch and swearing he is late. She follows him to his burrow and falls into an extraordinary world where she becomes smaller, grows bigger, runs races with other animals, talks to a cat who disappears as much as he likes, drinks tea with odd people, and plays croquet with playing cards who cause her annoyance. This Lewis Carroll classic never fails to amuse.

Cinderella: Everyone orders Cinderella around: her cruel stepmother, her awful stepsisters; even the big clock in the church tower tells her when to start another day of drudgery. But no matter how her family abuses and humiliates her, they can't stop her from dreaming. For dreams are the wishes of Cinderella's heart, and, despite her sadness and hardships, she has faith that someday her wishes of happiness will come true. When the invitation to the royal ball arrives, Cinderella is sure her time has come… until the evil sisters, with the sly encouragement of Lady Tremaine, tear not only her gown to shreds, but her hopes and dreams as well. "There's nothing left to believe in," she cries, heartbroken and alone. However, though her own words are forgotten for the moment, they still hold the magic that will fulfill her hopes. "No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true..."

The story of Cinderella is an old one, and it is a fairytale that never fails to inspire all the romantic young lasses out there who secretly dream of getting a magic makeover, being the belle of the ball, and finding their Prince Charming. Disney puts his own spin on the story by developing the central character into one of strength and determination, by bringing in the element of humour into the story, so that you laugh and you sigh and keep coming back to this movie for more.

Cartoons personifying animals, fantastic creatures, and even inanimate objects probably did exist before Disney, but Walt the wizard brought a whole new dimension to animated characters that quickly found their way into the hearts of millions of families all around the globe. Let's look at a few:

MICKEY MOUSE: Lets start with Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney's most famous character made his screen debut on November 18, 1928, as the star of the first audio-supported cartoon, Steamboat Willie. Since his debut, Mickey Mouse has become an international personality whose success laid the financial foundation upon which Walt Disney built his creative organization. Besides being the personification of everything Disney, Mickey Mouse has become one of the most universal symbols of the Twentieth Century. Mickey Mouse's skyrocket to fame didn't take long. His cartoons became so popular that people would first ask ticket takers if they were "running a Mickey" before they would purchase admission. Soon, theaters were displaying posters that read "Mickey Mouse playing today!" It was not uncommon for patrons to sit through a feature twice to see him again. The 1930's were Mickey Mouse's golden years; 87 cartoon shorts starring the multi-talented mouse were produced by Walt Disney during that decade. He played everything from fireman to giant killer, cowboy to inventor, detective to plumber. Technically and artistically Mickey Mouse cartoons were far superior to other contemporary cartoons and gave life to an entire family of animated characters: Minnie Mouse, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck, Peg-Leg Pete, and many others.

Little Mermaid: Little mermaid Ariel is not an ordinary mermaid but a princess whose strict father king Triton couldn't keep her away from knowing more about the world out there. She exchanged her voice with the sea witch Ursula to turn her fins into legs for the love of her life prince Eric. But the deal was that if she weren't able to kiss the prince in three days she would again turn into a mermaid and belong to Ursula.

Thus, a dark Hans Christian Anderson tragedy is given a lovable cast, great music, and a happy ending, so that it becomes a story the whole family can enjoy.

Lion King: The Lion King Mufasa just had a baby cub named Simba. All of the animals come to the ceremony, except for Mufasa's brother Scar. Scar desperately wants to be King, but can't. As long as Mufasa and Simba are there. Soon Simba is able to walk and talk. After hearing about an elephant graveyard from Scar, he and his friend Nala visit it. They meet three bumbling hyenas: Banzai, Shenzi, and Ed, but they manage to leave unhurt. Scar is upset that the hyenas didn't do the job, so he orders a stampede to wipe out both of them, but it only takes care of Mufasa. Scar convinces Simba that he (Simba) killed Mufasa.

So Simba flees into exile and abandons his identity as the future king. He meets and befriends Pumba, a wild boar, and Timmon, a prairie dog, who accompany him on his journey from cub to lion, and teach him to take it easy. Years later, Nala re-enters his life, and tells him of Scar's tyranny, and Simba returns to the pride to claim what is rightfully his…the mantle of King of the beasts.

Even though these fairytales are based on fantasies, each of these stories still gives us different morals about life. For example Beauty and Beast tells us that "Beauty is skin deep". Even Lion king tells us that 'Life's greatest adventure is finding your place in the Circle of Life'. So by watching these fairytales we can also learn a lot about life and phases of life. All of these lessons are presented to us in a package of colours, humour, superb visual effects, and unforgettable music.

Walt Disney is a legend, a folk hero of the 20th century. His worldwide popularity was based upon the ideals that his name represents: imagination, optimism, creation, and self-made success in the American tradition. He brought us closer to the future, while telling us of the past. It is certain, that there will never be such as great a man, as Walt Disney.

By Tashmia Zaman

Time to let go...

We all know how love can make the world seem perfect…those intimate eye contacts, those late night phone conversations, those secrets glances and smiles…they all seem to be just right at that moment. However, there comes a time when we find trouble in paradise. The 'picture perfect' couple decides that there's something wrong within their relationship. Talking to their 'significant other' suddenly turns out to be a boring chore instead of being a delightful pastime. And before you know what's happening, its 'break up' time.

You know, a time actually existed when people actually devoted years to a relationship. These days, instead of yearly anniversaries, we see people celebrating monthly anniversaries. Six months is supposed to be a 'long time' for any relationship. And since breakups are becoming just so common, here are a few guidelines that you might like to keep in mind the next time there's trouble in Paradise.

It's great if you both end your relation mutually, as being both on the giving or receiving end of any breakup can be a painful experience. Just remember that although opposites may always attract, they might never be 'ideal'. Teenage love hurts the most, especially first loves. Getting over it can be difficult, but if you keep in mind a few simple tips, you just might emerge feeling refreshed and cleansed, instead of depressed and dejected. Firstly, don't forget to talk. Talk to anyone, be it a friend, cousin, sister or brother. Make sure the person you're talking to understands (it isn't a wise move going to people who'll just say 'Oh forget about it and carry on with your life'. This'll just end up making you feel more insignificant). Arrange a 'friends' night out'. It'll do you a lot of good to dress up and cruise the city with your friends, or let your hair loose at a party, where you can dance the evening away. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, actually get out and have fun.

Remind yourself that you are a perfect and desirable person, who is nice enough to have loads of friends. But even your friends cant help you during those sleepless and lonely nights, when you're lying awake in bed, tears running down your cheeks, wondering exactly what went wrong. Those are times when you wish to give everything up, just to go back to your 'happy times' with your significant other. Don't make that mistake. Yes, its nice thinking of times gone by…but remember, they weren't always happy times, were they? Once your alone, take time to reflect.

Think about all the negative things that your relationship had: those endless fights, accusations, betrayals that hurt, broken promises… were those really worth it? Think about it.

Lastly, discover a new side of yourself. Try out new interests, explore new horizons…basically do things because you want to do them, not because you want to make someone happy. Remember to indulge yourself. Even simple things like getting an aromatherapy massage, or buying yourself that deliriously expensive dress that you spotted, can be a big help. Even group makeovers with friends can be a bundle of laughs (you'll be shocked at how funny/cute/ugly your friends can make you, when they are let loose with makeup and your face to experiment on!). And to keep yourself safe, remember this last thing: if it hurts now, don't deny your feelings. Let it hurt, acknowledge the fact that you are wounded. Just know that this pain shall pass soon, and when it does, you will be a thousand times stronger than before…

By Jennifer Ashraf (Kashmi)

Campus news

Maple Leaf International School Debate

Maple Leaf International School Debate Club (MPLDC) has yet set forth another event of inter-school debate competition for the year 2004. The final session of the competition, which took place among participating teams from classes VII and VIII, was held on its school premises on November 6.

Present as the chief guest at the occasion was the principal of the establishment, Mrs. Zeba Ali. Also present as the special guest was Sheher Imam Chowdhury from the Bangladesh Debate Federation.

Establishment of the debate club for the school was attained in the year 1990. Inter-school debate competitions were held only among the students of the senior classes, till the present times when the authority of the debate club decided on incorporating the junior classes along. The competition was divided into two groups of Group A (contenting teams from classes IV and V), and Group B (containing classes VI to VIII).

Such inter-school debates also follow the traditional parliamentary debate forms and norms. An amazing number of 52 debaters from 10 teams of all these classes attended the competition of this year. Held on October 30, the champion's title for the Group A final was clenched by a team from class V.

The topic for the senior final this year was set to be "Protecting the environment is more important than developing the economy of the country". Despite an equally controlled, swift and weighted debate from both sides, the champion's trophy was taken by the team from class VII, while the other team ended up as the runners-up of the competition.

By Ridwan Kabir




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