Make Disney Great Again

Creative+Commons

Creative Commons

Audrey Cook, Managing Editor

Art is the greatest exchange humanity has, and it’s one of the few things in life (especially in high school) that has no limitations. Claire Cook, a freshman at Keller High School, is a 14-year-old artist devoted to the artistic craft of animating children’s movies.

“I remember the exact moment that I first started drawing. I was in the fifth grade, and I was really bored so I sat down at the computer and looked up a picture of Peter Pan and drew it and I thought it was really good so I kept going. And then all my Disney sketchbooks kind of developed. I have probably ten sketchbooks,” Cook said.

And she hasn’t stopped creating since. Or even thinking about it.

“I think about art every day. I think about drawing every day, but I don’t do it because life’s busy. I probably draw three times a week outside of art classes. I draw every other day because of art. In art class, that’s not the art that I want to do. That’s just what I have to do, but it’s still good practice for artistic ability,” Cook said.

Art is the bounce in her step, and it’s not just a pastime. For Cook, it’s a dream.

“I want to be a Disney animator. Disney used to send out really good messages to kids. I think they need someone to influence the studio. A lot of people that I’ve told say ‘you should make Disney good again.’ So I’m kind of like the Trump of Disney,” she said.

However, artistic expression is far from an outlet of political expression in Cook’s eyes. It’s something deeper than that, more tangible and directly related to the heartstrings of children and adults alike.

“Everything these days has an agenda. Someone is always using screen time to get something political across. And that’s not what it’s supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be about capturing the innocence of childhood like in Lady and the Tramp and 101 Dalmatians. And I would like to bring that back to entertainment,” Cook said.

It’s about the connection, and Cook has high expectations for herself to make emotional connections with her viewers in her future career. She cites the life of her hero, Walt Disney, as a springboard for these imaginative dreams.

“He’s my hero because he took something simple, like children’s movies, and he did it better than anybody else, and he made this whole entire establishment that doesn’t just affect kids; It also affects parents. Movies that make the world’s childhood,” she said.

Cook knows this dream isn’t going to be a fantasy, and she is fully prepared to face opposition before she can create what she loves.

“Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper office for the lack of creativity, but that didn’t stop him,” Cook said.

No matter where her river of creativity will carry her, Cook is certain of at least one thing.

“I would like to animate until I die. I don’t know if I’ll change the world, but maybe I can inspire others,” Cook said. “Nothing ‘special’ sets me apart. But if I can achieve this, it just goes to show [that] other people who think they’re regular aren’t really regular.”