Considering their most popular films have their roots in centuries-old fairy tales, it’s not too surprising that Disney’s animated movies are lousy with magical objects. But these magical totems can be much more than simple MacGuffins designed to drive the action of the story. As shown in this new video from ScreenPrism, they can come to represent any number of things depending on what kind of object they are and what kind of magic they’re imbued with.
When the magical object is a mundane thing from our everyday life—like Mary Poppins’ umbrella or Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage—it triggers the audience to think about their own world in a new perspective. It inspires us to think creatively about what our world is and what our world can be. On the other hand, natural objects like the rose in Beauty And The Beast and enchanted food like the poison apple in Snow White can remind us of the limitations of our world. They function as organic ticking clocks or symbols of our vulnerability, signifying the finite nature of existence.
Ultimately, these magical objects turn abstract concepts like love and power into physical things. Children (and adults) watching these movies absorb moral lessons and get a better understanding of humanity because they see characters interact with things that remain unseen in our world. That, and they get to imagine what it’s like to fly on a magic carpet.
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