Curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Walt Disney on Curiosity. (The Commonplace Book Project)

Walt Disney. (Courtesy Everett Collection / John G. Zimmerman Archive)

You can find all the posts in The Commonplace Book Project here:

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
 — Walt Disney, as quoted in the end credits of Meet the Robinsons.

I’ve got a Middle Grade story idea brewing that I’m pretty excited about, because it’s making me think of my most favorite Disney movie.

I know I’m probably the only person alive, but my favorite Disney movie is Meet the Robinsons.

Maybe it’s because Lewis reminds me of my son, Nick. Maybe it’s because the family at the center of the story is huge and rambunctious and not perfect. Maybe it’s the way the Robinsons manage to have space (physical and otherwise) for everyone to have their own thing. I don’t know. I just know that when I need to feel happier, Meet the Robinsons does it for me.

But when the quote above comes on at the end — every single time — I choke up. I know it’s weird, but I do.

I grew up close to Disneyland. My grandmother lived in Garden Grove, close enough to the park that we could sit on her front lawn and watch the fireworks at night. My mother and aunt both worked there when they were children.

I remember, when I was a little girl, riding on the Monorail and listening to the narrator talk about how Disney’s vision for the park was that it would never be done. It would all ways change. And it always has. In the 1980s, it was different from when my mom worked there in the 1960s. And it’s different now.

And also the same.

My father’s mother — my other grandmother — was an artist. She worked as a color girl on The Song of the South and Fantasia.

I guess Disney is in my blood.

Saving Mr. Banks is one of my favorite movies that features Walt Disney. It’s about his quest to make a movie out of P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins.

I also loved Walt Before Mickey.

The Imagineering Workout is a book of creativity exercises designed by Disney Imagineers. It’s one of my favorites.

Today’s Poem:

by Robert Frost

`You know Orion always comes up sideways.

Throwing a leg up over our fence of mountains,
And rising on his hands, he looks in on me
Busy outdoors by lantern-light with something
I should have done by daylight, and indeed,
After the ground is frozen, I should have done
Before it froze, and a gust flings a handful
Of waste leaves at my smoky lantern chimney
To make fun of my way of doing things,
Or else fun of Orion's having caught me.


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Shaunta Grimes is a writer and teacher. She is an out-of-place Nevadan living in Northwestern PA with her husband, three superstar kids, two dementia patients, a good friend, Alfred the cat, and a yellow rescue dog named Maybelline Scout. She’s on Twitter @shauntagrimes and is the author of Viral Nation and Rebel Nation and the upcoming novel The Astonishing Maybe. She is the original Ninja Writer.