Storybook Land Month: The Old Mill
This week we continue our series in honor of Disneyland’s anniversary, devoting this month’s posts to the attraction that I consider the most quintessentially “Disney”: Storybook Land Canal Boats. This is more appropriate today than any other day, as today is the 57th anniversary of Disneyland’s Opening Day.
The Old Mill is a 1937 animated short produced by Walt Disney. For those who have never seen it, it shows the community of animals living in and around an old abandoned windmill in the country, and how they deal with a violent thunderstorm. If you haven’t seen it, take 9 minutes and watch it, then come back.
This Silly Symphony was, among other things, a way for the animators to experiment with new techniques and technology. The Old Mill is most notable for being the first use of the multiplane camera. (According to Wikipedia, “The multiplane camera is a special motion picture camera used in the traditional animation process that moves a number of pieces of artwork past the camera at various speeds and at various distances from one another. This creates a three-dimensional effect.”)
To get a better understanding of what a multiplane camera does, watch Walt Disney himself explain it:
The most striking thing to me in this short is the way the animals count on the cartoon’s namesake. When the weather is calm, they rest there. When it turns violent they take refuge there. Sure, it gets a bit more battered than it was before the storm, but ultimately it serves well as protection for these creatures.
As the Old Mill was for the animals, God is for us. Sure, He is much sturdier (if one can use that term for God) than the windmill, but still, He is where we rest in the calm times and seek refuge in times of trouble.
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to Him,
for God is our refuge.”
Just imagine how much trouble the animals would have been in had they not stayed close to the old mill. When times were good and the weather was calm, they could have wandered off. But what would have become of them when the storm struck? Would they have made it back in time? Would they have been able to find shelter elsewhere? Perhaps…but then again perhaps not.
What do you do when times are good? Do you stay and find your rest in God, rejoicing in what He has provided and drawing comfort and strength from His presence? Or do you wander off, only to get caught in one of life’s storms and then run to try to find your way back to Him in the dark times?
Question: The Old Mill stands as a reminder of our place of peace, security, strength, and faith. Which of those do you most need today? Are you seeking to find it in God, or somewhere else? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.