Monday, September 5, 2011

childhood influences: a little princess

When I was little, there were a few movies that I watched over and over again.  Among them were such classics as All Dogs Go to Heaven, Beauty and the Beast, Secret Garden, and A Little Princess.  The latter two, film adaptations of Frances Hodgson Burnett's novels, were especially enchanting for me.  I practically knew them by heart (and still do, miraculously).  But as I was watching A Little Princess last night, it struck me suddenly how much those movies influenced me.  

Let's start with my love of chunky, ill-fitting sweaters.  I won't give the film full credit for this obsession, because it seems I have encountered them everywhere over the course of my twenty-one years, but Sara Crewe's gray sweater with her patterned nightgown has been an enduring image in my brain.  There's something artistic about it; maybe it was because Sara was such a storyteller, and I love telling stories.  Nowadays, I make beelines for the sweater sections of thrift stores, because I'm sure to discover something along these lines.  

The next fascination that came from this film was lockets.  You can only barely see it in the sweater picture, and unfortunately I couldn't find any good shots of her actual locket.  All I know is that since I started watching A Little Princess, I could not get enough of heart shaped lockets.  My mom bought me a plastic one when I was probably six, and it sang "You Are My Sunshine", which is still one of my favourite lullabies.  I have so many memories of my mom singing it to me.  But I have since moved up in the world of lockets.

My boyfriend bought this locket for me for our first Christmas together -- two years ago.  My friend had tipped him off that this was something I had wanted forever.  I absolutely love it.  I wore it everyday for quite a long time, but after the clasp started coming loose at random moments, I had to stop wearing it all the time.  The last thing I want is to lose the thing I've worked to attain for practically my entire life.  But really, it was everything I wanted in a locket.  And I especially love that it has little pink and blue flowers in it!

Obsession with big old windows with natural light coming through?  Check.  Secret desire to dance in the snow, in my nightgown?  Check.  Love of attics, even if they creep me out slightly?  Check.

As a hopelessly romantic child, Captain Crewe was more or less my ideal man.  Unabashedly kind, a good father, and classically handsome.  Although I think that last point had to do with the fact that Liam Cunningham played him.  I mean, just look at those eyebrows?  And that nose?  And that jawline?  Oh my.  I just watched him the other day in Centurion with the ever impressive Michael Fassbender.  He doesn't look much like he did in 1995, but still.  An unbelievably suave actor.

Not an obsession, but I still love this image.  And I will forever love A Little Princess.  I'm looking forward to actually reading the book, now that I have a fairly decent hardcover copy of it.  I hope the cute monkey is in it...I really hope he wasn't just a Disney invention.

Now, to re-watch Secret Garden...


  1. Absolutely one of my favorite childhood movies. I used to pop it in the my VHS player almost every day. I still watch it fairly often. Something about it is so empowering and inspiring to me. It's definitely something that stuck with me.

  2. I absolutely devoured Secret Garden & A Little Princess - they were a huge part of my childhood. And I have to say I loved the big windows and dancing in the snow part, as well. There was something about both those movies which managed to capture the magic of real life.

    Ooh, I crushed on Captain Crewe, too. Haha, I thought I was the only one, but he was so kind-hearted! And so imaginative in the way he talked with Sarah. And, I'm pleased to tell you that no, the monkey is not a Disney invention =) Have you started reading it yet? The book is so good!

  3. I haven't yet! I got caught up reading Rebecca, so I put all others on hold. I can't wait though -- I still need to finish Secret Garden. I'm one of those people who always starts ten books at the same time. Alas, alas.

    (Glad to know I'm not the only one who swooned a little over Captain Crewe, lol.)