The Scandinavians embrace a concept known as ‘hygge’. It doesn’t translate well into English, but a rough approximation is ‘cosiness’. Hygge is probably easier to grasp with some examples – sitting in a log cabin with a roaring fire, drinking mulled wine and playing cards with friends. Snuggling up on the sofa, surrounded by candles and watching an old movie. Walking in autumn leaves, wrapped in woolly scarves and heading home for warming hot chocolate. Get the gist? Well for me and my family, watching a Disney movie together engenders a deep sense of hygge. We don’t watch to discover a new plot together, as we know the stories inside out. We watch to have a shared experience, something we can still all enjoy as a family.
My daughter always cries when Mufasa dies and Simba tries in vain to rouse him. My son and husband can quote huge chunks of Dory’s exchanges with Marlin. We can all sing ‘The Circle of Life’ with realistic passion and I still laugh at Bruce’s ‘Fish Are Friends’ meetings.
‘The Lion King’ is my favourite Disney movie and ‘Finding Nemo’ is my husband’s. My preference for the African saga is largely due to the music, but also the way in which the film captures loss, and our longing to remain connected to those who have passed away. ‘Finding Nemo’ explores the same themes of parental devotion and family bonds – I would certainly swim to Australia to find my children if they were swept away and they know that. Disney reminds us about what is important in these busy lives of ours.
If you read more about ‘hygge’, I am sure you will agree that Disney movies are an essential ingredient. Togther with popcorn, of course!