Well, here we are. The final COUNTING DOWN TO DADDY’S BIRTHDAY NIGHT. The 40th movie. I can’t believe we did it. It’s bittersweet. On the one hand, this was insanely fun. So many awesome movies and awesome nights. And awesome people. And awesome food. Obvs squad. Definitely sad to see it come to an end.
But on the other hand, this coming to an end means…WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!1111
I can’t believe it. It’s actually happening. All the planning. All the waiting. And now the trip is in 2 days. Wow.
Also. I mean, we will still do Disney nights and talk about them on the blog but still – I mean…
So for this one, we saved one of my favorite movies. Not my absolute favorite, but definitely up near the top for so many reasons. I mean..
Yeah, The Fox and the Hound. Ohai tearz.
And so fitting that Steph joined us for our last night since she has been with us for so many throughout this whole thing. We have loved having her be such a big part of all of this for sure. We heart her. Like, lotz.
So being that this movie takes place on the farm, we decided to have some “down home” food – fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cole slaw….
Yeah, KFC. Don’t judge. We are on a grocery shopping hiatus. Cuzza we going to Disney.
And we had some Arnold Palmers served in mason jars.
And for dessert, we had some watermelon and Famous Amos cookies.
Two notes – one, Nickie, Steph and I did not have fried chicken. On account of Disney being so close and I need a good weight buffer since I will be stuffing so much into my facehole.
And two – we WERE also planning on having macaroni and cheese. But the people at KFC were literally the worst ever. The worst, Jerry. The worst.
So being that this movie has a hound dog AND it’s right up against us saying goodbye to our Daisy for like 10 days, we decided to spend some extra Daisy time and take our girl out for a walk.
Ugh, we are gonna miss her but word is there are some new doggie souvenirs at Animal Kingdom so we will be sure to bring her back something. Plus, she gets to spend some time with her friend Jewel at our friends’ Kenny and Michelle’s house. Thanks guys!
Fox and the Hound is a big one for me. Top 5’er for sure. And it’s an odd one to be up there, no? Hardly any music really aside from a few short tunes. Relatively slow story. And none of the characters are what you would call iconic Disney. I mean, I don’t see Big Mama walking around the parks anytime soon for sure. Or an Amos Slade cupcake on Main St. Imagine though?
But I don’t know. This one gets me right in the feels. And for sure, it’s a great movie on its own. There is like hella-depth here. Abandonment. Enduring friendship. Prejudice. And at the heart of this movie is a story about how the world and its “rules” can steal away innocence. Like, some deep shizz. And if you do not cry…at least thrice…in this movie, then I think perhaps you’re some sort of android. You should get that checked out.
But, really, what makes this movie so special to me isn’t only contained within the movie itself. I have a really strong personal connection with this one. I may have mentioned this before, but my parents divorced when I was 4. And it was a weird time for me as a kid. At 4, you don’t really get stuff like that you know. All of a sudden, your Dad just sort of isn’t around as much anymore. I mean, not that he went away. He was basically seeing me as much as a divorced kid saw his dad back then. Seeing him mainly on the weekends, we found ourselves going to the movies often. Like, a lot. In fact, I think part of the reason I think I love movies so much can probably be traced back to this time. Going to the movies to me meant something beyond what I saw up on the screen.
So, in 1981, this little theater in Medford started showing The Fox and the Hound. My dad took me to see it. And I was enthralled. Couldn’t get enough of it. So much so that I made my Dad take me to see it. Every weekend. We no joke probably saw that movie like 20 times in the theater. Even one weekend, he tried to take me to some western that was playing. Like 2 minutes after the credits started rolling, I asked if we could go into the room next door to watch Fox and the Hound. He obliged. Of course. Because he was awesome.
And again, the movie was great. Definitely. But I think it also provided a sense of comfort to me. The repetition. It gave me something familiar to keep going back to. Todd and Copper were always going to be there. Playing hide and seek. Growing up. And being there for each other in the end. And as a little kid, I think having that…Todd, Copper, my Dad….week after week. It was something I needed. It let me hold onto something that I knew wasn’t going anywhere.
Years…YEARS later. When this movie was released on DVD, my Dad bought me the gift set (with the stuffed Copper) because of what we shared watching this movie. And I still have that Copper. Which makes me feel like I still have a little of him around.
All of this leads me to why I am so glad we did this whole countdown. Because this is what Disney movies mean to me. They aren’t just images up on a screen. So many of the movies on this list transcend their original purpose. When I watch Jungle Book, I can’t help but think of Myles on my shoulders at Animal Kingdom when he was 3 singing “Bare Necessities.” When I watch Winnie-the-Pooh, I will always think of Owen’s pooh blanket and how he couldn’t go anywhere without it. And whenever I watch Up, I will always…ALWAYS think of when Nickie and I renewed our vows in Disney to “Married Life” in Walt Disney World.
I am sure there are people out there that probably think it’s crazy. A grown man with such an attachment to cartoons and stories. But I am glad I have such a connection to these movies. Because it’s nice to have something I can turn to if I need to feel closer to my Dad, for example. Or revisit a happy memory with my wife. Or for a little while feel like I did when I was a kid and had the whole world out there waiting for me. I feel pretty lucky to have these movies and everything Disney has done as a part of my life. It’s nice to have something that can bring you back to so many places in your life in an instant.
And I want to thank everyone that has followed me on this journey. I am really excited for Disney World but sad to see this little piece of the pre-trip come to an end. This has been so much fun. I have had so many great times with so many great people. And I thank everyone that joined us for these nights as well. It’s really great when you can share something like this with so many people that are important to you. And of course, I want to thank Nickie, Myles and Owen for being with me every step of the way. Through this countdown and through everything else in between and outside. I love you guys. These nights would obviously not mean even close to as much to me without you.
Now, let’s go to Disney World!!!