My Treasured Media

My favorite childhood films and television shows have become a huge influence on me to this day

Morgan Tate (she/her)

“When somebody loved me, everything was beautiful,” the television blared. 

Five-year-old me sat on the middle of the blue carpet in my parents’ bedroom sobbing. I blubbered “I won’t abandon you, Jessie.” I attempted to console the crying toy on the screen. I was unsuccessful. Jessie the cowgirl was fictional. 

I had my own Jessie doll with my name written on the boots. It currently sleeps on my bed, or sometimes on the floor if I accidentally kick her off in my sleep. 

Ever since that day, I’ve always wanted to make sure no toy or person ever feels like Jessie did after being abandoned by Emily. This fictional movie established a sense of empathy in me at a very young age.

My favorite childhood media have developed me into who I am today. “Toy Story 2” developed my sense of empathy and caring for different beings, and being a child of the information age gave me access to movies and television shows that influenced me greatly. 

When I was somewhere between three and five-years-old, my parents were at work and I was sitting on the living room floor of the daycare. The television was on to entertain any wandering toddler. I was entranced by the pantheon of mythologically inaccurate gods on the screen. 

I was obsessed with Disney’s “Hercules” for a while. The obvious next step in this obsession was learning about the actual Greek pantheon. 

I ended up checking out a picture book on the gods from the library. I learned of the inaccuracies of the film and I read and watched other related materials. “Hercules” didn’t just start an obsession with Greek mythology, it led me to a whole slew of other passions such as history, classic literature and art. The film instilled in me passions I still use today. 

Disney Channel was a constant companion of three-year-old me. I tended to watch shows like “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” but a new show caught my eye. One with very geometric characters and a platypus wearing a fedora. I’ve watched all four seasons and two movies of Phineas and Ferb. It encouraged me to be creative. 

People need to think outside of the box. The world is full of challenges to overcome, the only way to do this is to be creative. I need to be like these characters and create something to better the world. This show furthered my need to create and thus my ability to create. I may not be able to create smoothies out of anything or clone my older sister, mostly because I don’t have an older sister, but I do what I can to improve the world. 

Parents associate the screen with addiction and lack of activity from their children, but it isn’t all that bad. These movies and shows promote passions, empathy and creativity. A simple scene or song can influence a child for life, even though a parent might just see their kid staring at a screen.