As children, we learn to appreciate the value of a good story. Children know what it means to suspend disbelief long enough to really believe that genies live in lamps and fairy godmothers can get us out of tight places. They need to imagine. The child who never learns to imagine grows into a dull and inflexible adult.

Part of our childhood lingers with us until the day we die. Picasso once said that “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” While it is necessary to grow up and to grow up completely, there is a portion of us that must always remember what it is to be a child.

For me, that portion always manifests itself in the compulsion to watch old Disney movies.

There’s undeniable and unrepeatable artistry about those old movies. Nothing or very little relied on digital assistance. Everything was hand-drawn and hand-painted, giving the viewer the feeling of watching a movie picture-book illustration. The stories were unbeatable. As a girl, I watched them and understood them for their plot alone. Now I understand their art, their details, their humor, and the soul that runs deep at each story’s core.

Yes. Yes, I, as a girl in her mid-20’s, sat down and watched Beauty and the Beast tonight. Since watching a clip of the original movie on Youtube, I’ve been desperate to watch it ever since. Finally, I’m home with a few moments of this rare thing called “spare time,” so I watched it. By gum. You’re never too old for a Disney movie. You’re never too old for a fairy tale. No matter how cynical or crustily “adult” we imagine ourselves to be, we all need to remember what it’s like to believe in the impossible.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to read a little Beatrix Potter and call it a night.