22 December 2008

People and wild animals

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is filled with wonderful vignettes from the moment you walk through the front gates, until the moment you return to the gates and the world beyond. The land of Asia itself is a cornucopia of narratives and legends, and there is not spot finer for finding these stories than within the crumbling walls within the Anandapur Royal Forest, otherwise known as the Maharajah Jungle Trek.The dilapidated Royal Hunting Lodge is filled with accounts told through the remnants of gorgeous murals and other artistic forms. The most poignant of these stories is told through five reliefs. Though open to interpretation, it is a very telling sequence of events. Below are the reliefs as well as my own interpretation.

In the first panel we are made aware that the land was once dominated by animals who seemed to live well with one another. In the second section we see a violent storm and man trying to find his way just as the animals of the world are attempting to find theirs. In the third relief man begins to remove the forest home of the animals, causing them to flee their homes as well as man. The consequences of these actions are immediately visible in the fourth segment, when man’s own life is put in jeopardy because of famine, mudslides and other dangers caused by his lack of foresight. In the final panel we learn, just as man has, that there is a balance to the world and that working with the earth, and all of its creatures, is the only way to preserve all of our well-beings.

This is only a single instance of the message of conservation and preservation that is prevalent all throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom. No matter what form it takes, it is a message worth listening to and worth trying to carry forward with you. The reliefs in the Maharajah Jungle Trek may very well be some of the most beautiful reminders in the park, but they’re value is only increased when we choose to heed their plea.

No comments: