We've all seen plenty of Disney films, however there are only some of us who can remember the circumstances or events that were about us when we saw them. Most of our movie-going experiences were just normal nights out....but sometimes we remember the Disney movies we saw not just because they were Disney films, but because there was something unusual about the night in which we saw them or the opportunity which we were given.
My story is about the film "Night Crossing". Released in 1981, it tells the story of two East German families who attempt escape to the West by constructing their own hot air balloon after a family friend is cut down by the border's automated machine guns.
As heavy as this material is for a Disney film, they still were handing out passes to a sneak preview at the Disneyland main gate one day as my family and I entered. I was 11 years old, and thought we were pretty damn special, getting passes to see a free flick at Disneyland. Well, I THOUGHT the film was being shown there, but it turns out we were gonna have to go to the Westminster Mall cinema to see it. Oh well, no biggie. I still thought it was uber-cool, the reality not dawning on my 11-year-old mind that they were giving these passes to just about everyone coming in that day.
Before we went to see the film, my mother told me that I might be disappointed by the film's story....that this obviously was not the typical Disney film brimming with intelligent VW bugs, black holes, or cats from outer space. This was based on a true story, and she told me I might be bored. I didn't care. The Disney name was on it, and that was good enough for me at the time.
I was absolutely enthralled by the film. It was well-acted and very very suspenseful. The scene where young Lucas is killed at the border left a dent in my heart, and the finale had the audience (and myself) applauding eagerly. So despite the lack of spaceships or dragons, "Night Crossing" became one of my favorite films.
So, I'm in a Suncoast store with a friend one day who knows of my addiction to Disney. I see the DVD sitting on the shelf, not having thought about the movie for a long time, and my jaw hits the floor. My friend sees the expression on my face, snatches it from my hand and buys it for me.
So, now I have two pretty cool memories of the movie "Night Crossing".
Share your Disney Movie Memories, won't ya? And bring popcorn for everyone.