Friday, February 4, 2011

Disney Art Gallery

These pictures are the beginning of what I'm calling my "Disney art gallery". They are reprints of Thomas Kinkade paintings. They are not actually "paintings" themselves. They're "officially" called wrapped around gallery prints. They are vinyl. The one on the left is based on the movie, Peter Pan and the other is a composite based on the 1940 Disney classic: Pinocchio.

This particular painting is special to me because it evokes a special memory from my birthday trip to Walt Disney World this past September. Here's the story of that memory.

It was purchased from Shop NBC home shopping channel where I work. I saw it for the first time it on the air early in 2010. Although not really impressed by the subject matter (I'm not a big Pinocchio fan) I really liked the details of it. Of course anything that has to do with Disney usually catches my interest but I was very impressed by this composite of Pinocchio, as well as the one of Peter Pan. The setting and characters from each of the movies are creatively captured in each of them.

I really wanted the Pinocchio picture from the first time I saw it. I thought it would look great hanging on the wall in my computer room next to my framed share of Disney stock. The one thing that was stopping me from getting it was the price. It was a bit high. Even with interest free divided installments (in Shop NBC jargon they are known as "value pays") it was still too expensive.

Still as the year went along from time to time the Thomas Kinkade Disney collection would be featured on the air including the two I liked (Pinocchio & Peter Pan) as well as Bambi, Cinderella and Snow White. Because they were on the air, curious at-home shoppers would call into customer service with questions about them. That gave me the opportunity to share my observations and opinions about the prints with them. For the first time in my life, in a very small and remote way, I was being paid to talk about something "Disney" related.

As time went by I grew to accept that unless the price of the Disney prints came down significantly I would never own one. I liked them but the price wasn't worth their value. Then everything changed because of something that happened during our day at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World on September 8, 2010.

After a wonderful day in the park Paula and I were slowly making our way from Fantasyland, where we watched the fireworks, toward the front gate. That meant going down Main Street USA. We took our time, lagging behind until most of the crowd leaving the park after the "Wishes" show were gone ahead of us. We were just taking our time strolling through the various shops. We did some souvenir buying and looked at all the special and expensive merchandise.

While Paula went into one of the jewelry stores I decided to go into the Art of Disney store. That's where I saw it; the Thomas Kinkade Pinocchio print. It was larger, framed, and much much more expensive than Shop NBC's version but it was the same picture.

I had been admiring and studying it for most of the year. I could almost describe it with my eyes closed. Now I was seeing it in a place that specialized in selling Disney art. I was so excited about the idea of engaging in a conversation with the cast members who were working in the store about this Pinocchio print. These were Disney art experts whose job it was to to have knowledge of the object of my Disney art admiration. But as it turns out they were not the experts I expected them to be.

When I asked them about the print they didn't seem to know much about it. I was a little taken back and disappointed about their knowledge or passion about their wares. But undaunted by their indifference I decided to go with plan "b". I decided that I was going to educate them about it. In my "customer service" mode I began to point out the details and idiosyncrasies of Kinkade's portrayal of Pinocchio's village scene. I was telling Disney cast members in a store of Disney art on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World about a piece of Disney art they were supposed to know about. It was so cool.

I'm not sure "cool" was how they would have described it but for me it was a wonderful experience. The value wanting to own the Pinocchio print had just increased exponentially. Now not only did owning it (the Shop NBC wrap around print not the Disney World print) hold the promise of bringing a little bit of Disney into my home but it now would be a constant reminder of those moments in that Art Of Disney store that night.

Now fast forward 3 months to the moment I opened a box on Christmas Day and much to my delight found my beloved print. My wonderful wife got it for me as a Christmas present.

It now hangs on the wall of our computer room and just above it hangs the Peter Pan/Tinkerbell print that's just a good if not better. Both of them were purchased with the benefit of a sale price, Value Pay, and an employee discount.

So now you know the story of my Thomas Kinkade Pinocchio print. So now when I'm in the back room of the house, working on the computer I can look to my left and feel a little bit of that Disney magic and think about a great memory of my birthday trip to Disney World, any time I want.

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