Walt’s ability to deal with the harsh reality that separated two gruesome world wars with the support of fantasy, could now comfortably be described as escapism.
Across the Atlantic and a century earlier, Emily Bronté, a young author, housebound in adversity, learned to escape her own reality, to create a simulacrum of the real world, a world full of ‘real people’, living ‘real lives’, both in love and in tragedy.
Her father strictly managed her environment, yet those dull Yorkshire walls bore no bounds to her imagination of a life that she could not possibly have understood or experienced.
A world that ordinary people enjoyed and endured day in and day out.
Powerful novels like Wuthering Heights, belied her youth and life experience.
In the latter part of the 20th Century, psychologists described such phenomena as Paracosm.
The rather scary sounding term used to refer for example, to a child’s ability to create an imaginary friend for their own enjoyment.
Rather interestingly, an author that Walt greatly admired; J M Barrie, is attributed to have an ability to use paracosm to astonishing effect.
His most famous work is one of Walt’s much treasured novels.
Peter Pan of course, was possibly the most imaginative character of the 1900’s and later became one of Walt Disney’s greatest on screen creations.
Fantasy and reality – a tough balance!
If we believe Walt, being able to dream and fantasise is crucially important.
Who are we to disagree?
Well, to be honest us!
We are parents, spouses, workers, breadwinners and more. We have responsibilities!
As a result we are unfortunately bound by our regular lives and the appropriate pressures that day to day life burdens us with.
The same of course, applied to Walt.
Forgive the pun, but the art of fantasy, in Walt’s case for sure, was to ensure that the dreams influenced reality, exercised carefully without destroying the essential practicalities of his life.
No doubt Walt sat with his kids, doing homework, washing dishes, fixing the car.
My money is on the fact that we saw a glimmer of those practical experiences in much of his work. Walt didn’t just use fantasy to influence his life, he used his life to influence his fantasies.
That is the art of fantasy!