Close Encounters of the Squirrel Kind

I’ve always been a big fan of movies, especially Disney ones. Amongst my favorite animated moments are ones that have included quirky animal sidekicks. A few of my top picks include Evinrude, the exhausted motorboat dragonfly in the Rescuers, Tick Tock, the mischievous crock from Peter Pan and of course Cyril Proudbottom, the dopey Clydesdale that accompanied Mr. Toad on many of his wild rides. Out of all the Disney animals, there’s always been a special place in my heart for squirrels. As a little girl, I had Chip and Dale dolls instead of Mickey Mouse and I would always ask my mom to rewind the scene in Sword and the Stone where Merlin and Wart venture into the treetops as squirrels. My most beloved squirrel moment is in Sleeping Beauty where Aurora is cutting a rug with her animal friends with a darling little squirrel leading the way.

Its only because of a recent close encounter that I now realize some Disney moments, especially ones containing squirrels, are better left in the movies.

In a rush out the door this past Tuesday morning, I left my water bottle in the kitchen. With the front door wide open, I turned back to grab it off the counter and upon turning back around, found my very own Disney squirrel, Mr. Nutter Butters, in my living room. The back-story on Mr. Nutter Butters is that he has been hanging around my house for sometime now, but has kept a respectable distance up until Tuesday morning. He enjoys a nice peanut (hence his name) and I’ve always felt a little bad for him because he’s clearly the third wheel with a squirrel couple living in the Redwood outside my front door.

Back to my point. Here I was, having my very own, personal, Disney squirrel moment, but to my surprise, it was not as wonderful as I had hoped. Quite the opposite actually. Having a big black squirrel sitting in the middle of your living room is quite unsettling and not Disney magical at all. My gut response wasn’t to dance around, to shake his little paw in polite greeting or even to offer him a small snack. Instead I screamed in a very un-Disney way, “Mr. Nutter Butters! Get out of here!” which only made him sit down and give me a look which implied “I’m just stopping by for a cup of tea and maybe to do a little dancing. What’s the problem?” So I yelled again, kicked my legs about, and finally shooed him out the front door,

It was only when my living room was squirrel-free that I realized that some Disney moments translate beautifully into real life, while clearly, others do not. I’ll continue to hope for a charming Prince and a happy ending, but done are my days of wishing for the power to charm the animals like Snow White or Princess Aurora. Hopefully, I’ll have many more Disney movie moments yet to come, but my fingers are crossed that none of them will involve animals.

Kristen

Mousetalgia Kristen may be best known for her color commentary, but she also brings her inquiring mind and insatiable appetite for new and exciting Disney-related experiences to the podcast.

In addition to her on-the-scene reports, Kristen is also the Mousetalgia house musician, and often records various themes and tunes for the show on her accordion (or her concertina, her piano, her banjo, or some other various rhythm instrument she finds laying around her home), putting her degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to good use.

After having spent a season in sub-Saharan Africa as a professional storyteller reporting on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Kristen has a special insight into the value of humor and perspective, and Kristen brings this joie de vivre to Mousetalgia. As a member of D23, the Cartoon Art Museum, and the Walt Disney Family Museum, Kristen rarely misses an opportunity to report on West Coast-based Disney happenings.

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