woody-=-my-brother

2

As some of you know, my brother died last year. It was actually 8 months ago today. Anyways, when my mom and I went to Hollywood Studios yesterday, we decided to stop and take pictures with Woody and Buzz in my younger brother’s honor. We were the only people in line without little kids and got strange looks, but stayed anyway.

When it was our turn for pics, both Buzz and Woody were very fun and playful and posed for pictures. At the end, though, my mom started to tear up, followed by me tearing up. My mom quietly explained to Woody that her son had passed away in October and that he loved Woody growing up, that Toy Story was his favorite movie as a kid, and he had worn his Woody costume almost every day when he was little after he got it for Halloween.

My mom just said a quiet thank you and stepped back so that the next people in line could take a pic, but before she could get away, Woody pulled her into the tightest, sweetest hug. Buzz engulfed me in a hug, having heard what my mom said.

I’m not exaggerating that Woody hugged my mom for a solid minute as she cried on his shoulder and everyone just got quiet and let us have our moment. The cast member that had my phone took pictures and then started to tear up himself. Woody finally let go of my mom just to pull me into a tight hug and Buzz hugged my mom.

While the character actors aren’t allowed to talk, they made a kissing sound to blow us each a kiss while they hugged us and I could hear Woody sniffing through the costume.

We walked away feeling bad for taking up so much time, but the cast members just smiled and told us they were glad we could have that moment. As we walked away, Woody and Buzz waved by and blew more kisses.

My mom turned to me, with tears still streaming down her face, and said that it was the best hug she had been given by anyone since my brother had died.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the magic of Disney.

2

I wandered for a long time on the upper west side, it must have been hours. My feet hurt, my head was pounding, and I had to sit down I went into a movie house. I didn’t know what was playing or anything I just needed a moment to gather my thoughts and be logical and put the world back into rational perspective. And I went upstairs to the balcony, and I sat down, and the movie was a film that I’d seen many times in my life since I was a kid, and I always loved it. I’m watching these people up on the screen and I started getting hooked on the film.

I started to feel, how can you even think of killing yourself, I mean isn’t it so stupid. Look at all the people up there on the screen, they’re real funny, and what if the worst is true. What if there is no God and you only go around once and that’s it. Well, ya know, don’t you wanna be part of the experience? You know, what the hell it’s not all a drag. And I’m thinking to myself, Jeez, I should stop ruining my life searching for answers I’m never gonna get, and just enjoy it while it lasts. And after who knows, I mean maybe there is something, nobody really knows. I know maybe is a very slim reed to hang your whole life on, but that’s the best we have. And then I started to sit back, and I actually began to enjoy myself.

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

I hate Woody Allen physically, I dislike that kind of man. I can hardly bear to talk to him. He has the Chaplin disease. That particular combination of arrogance and timidity sets my teeth on edge. He is arrogant. Like all people with timid personalities, his arrogance is unlimited. Anybody who speaks quietly and shrivels up in company is unbelievably arrogant. He acts shy, but he’s not. He’s scared. He hates himself, and he loves himself, a very tense situation. It’s people like me who have to carry on and pretend to be modest. To me, it’s the most embarrassing thing in the world—a man who presents himself at his worst to get laughs, in order to free himself from his hang-ups. Everything he does on the screen is therapeutic.
—  Orson Welles