Released in 1968, “The Love Bug” tells the story of a racing Volkswagen with a mind of its own. It was so popular that the movie inspired four sequels and a short-lived television series. While the movie itself starts out funny and has several madcap chases, which seem to be a staple of Disney movies in this era. Toward the end, “The Love Bug” reaches into the realm of nightmares to strike a horror chord.
“Pixel Perfect” is a 2004 Disney Channel movie on Disney+. The description makes it look like a take on the “Weird Science” story. A boy makes a hologram girl to be the lead singer of his favorite high school band. It pretty much follows the G-rated idea for the first part of the movie. Somehow, the hologram has feelings of jealousy, love, and vanity, which the adults mostly ignore. This stirs up conflict between the real girl lead singer and the boy. However, because this is a Disney Channel film, it never gets beyond vague notions of love.
As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.
– Marianne Wilson
In the town of Mica, nothing ever happens. The high school doesn’t have any trophies in its case to prove that nothing happens. When Leo Borlock moves to Mica, he wears his deceased father’s tie to elementary school and is promptly beat up. The bullies cut the tie in half, and Leo realizes he was going to have to fit in if he didn’t want any trouble. Flash forward to high school. Stargirl, her real name, shows up for high school in Mica wearing her non-conforming clothes and playing a ukulele. She sings to Leo on his birthday, and her charm starts to win over the school.
At a football game halftime show, Stargirl shows up with her ukulele and sings. The football team is inspired and goes on to win the game with her as its good luck charm. Stargirl exerts a force of change over the entire community. Like the rain in desert waking up the mud frogs, her style and uniqueness allow the other students to wake up and become more than they have been. However, she faces pressure to conform, especially after she helps an injured player for the other team and Mica loses the championship game.
By subverting her natural inclinations, Stargirl becomes an unhappy shell of who she was, even when she appears to be happy-ish. When she learns her lesson and remembers who she is, she reminds Leo of who he is. While not every problem is resolved, “Stargirl” offers a look at who we can become if we choose to set ourselves free. More importantly, it shows how one person can make a difference for better or worse. Let your creativity shine and help others to explore theirs.
This review is part of our Disneycember coverage. Disneycember appears to have been coined by Doug Walker, the Nostalgia Critic, and Channel Awesome. Come back every day during December and read a new Disney article.