Part of Our World...

I can take anybody… anybody… in a game of Disney trivia. Seriously, fire away – I can answer any question about any Disney animated movie, starting with Bambi. Scene reenactments – you got ‘em. Musical renditions of just about any song – even better. I have even been known to interpretative dance to Lion King’s “Circle of Life” (which requires 2 other brave souls).

… By the way, I can’t believe I’m actually admitting this…

When I was a little girl, I used to play around in our neighborhood pool, crossing my legs at the ankles and flipping through the water. I would coast along the bottom of the pool, arrange my hair in front of my face, and then push up from the bottom – crashing through the surface and simultaneously flipping my hair back over my head, to my own Ariel-type symphony playing in my head.

Ariel was every girl's role model in 1989.

But in 2007? Imagine my surprise when, mid-elliptical session (I’ve since nixed the swimming), Ariel pops on to the page in Orion Magazine. One of my favorite publications, I always relish in its pages for thoughtful critique & insightful tidbits on our world. Thus, begging the question: Ariel?

Sure enough, in October 2006, Ariel became the leading lady for yet another epic – cleaning up our trashed seas. Though hardly animated, Ariel’s 21st century PSA has taken to both print and interactive media forms, teaming up with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Defense, and the Ad Council. The Oceans Awareness campaign even has its own interactive website, perfect for kids and adults alike. (Check it out!)

So, how is the princess fairing with her interactive features and clamshell bikini? Especially considering, as the contributor so delicately puts, “the oceans are screwed beyond belief?”

The answer lies in our ability not to underestimate the power of a little Disney magic in the hearts of little-ones! If not her, who will tell our children of our endangered oceans? As Ben called in to question on Monday, who will be the next generation of caretakers & supporters for our world if not the kids?

Luckily the author comes around, and I’d like to share this feel good note for what it’s worth. “I’d cast my vote,” he says, “for Hans Christian Andersen’s little mermaid, the one who knew something about danger, suffering, sacrifice and redemption.” Not only does she aim for world love, she fought for immortality through sacrifice, pain, and love. “Her hard-knock story makes her a half-human creature to reckon with.”

The future generations are the key to preserving our natural lands & waters. If it takes a beautiful mermaid, a French crab, and a plush fish to do it, then what do we as adults have to loose by using a little imagination?