In 1975 I attended the re-release of Bambi at my local theatre. I am sure many of you had a very similar experience. As 'Man' entered the forest my anxiety rose, when the Great Prince broke the news to Bambi that, "Your mother can't be with you anymore." I completely lost it. That was my first experience with storytelling that could really manipulate my emotions.
My youngest daughter had a similar experience last night. We went to the theatre and watched the movie Frankenweenie. Without ruining the plot, Quinci was absolutely mortified throughout the second half of the film. I think she was equal parts sad and scared.
My first instinct was to take her and leave. I didn't because (as bad as it sounds) I was really enjoying the movie. The homage Tim Burton made of this movie is amazing.
After the movie was over I thought about what had happened, remembering my own experience with Bambi. I was really devastated for days over the death, but I still remember the movie. Having watched it several times with my own children I still have that sadness present. I don't think this is a bad legacy, it is really a gift.
As teachers our goal is to make a qualitative difference in our students. We want them to attach an emotion to the time we spend with them. We want to be remembered. Storytellers know this inherently. They tell stories that are emotional to them in a way that transfers that emotion to the listeners. They make us feel. Maybe we should learn from them.