During our Christmas vacation (teaching is an amazing profession) my husband and I watched a lot of movies. Over the last few days we have guiltlessly been indulging in animated films. Since my husband hadn’t seen Madagascar, and I know it almost entirely by hear, I decided to show him the movie. He instantly fell in love with it, and even though he is 30 years old, wanted to watch all three of the films.
As we watched, I realized one of the main characters, Melman the giraffe, clearly had an anxiety disorder. He is an extreme hypochondriac and is afraid of literally everything. Melman has always been my favorite character, and now I understand why. I can relate to his anxieties and I enjoy the humor that is used on an often difficult subject. It was really profound to be able to watch this movie with a fresh new prospective and be able to analyze the character qualities and discover new themes I had never noticed as a child.
I realized that even though Melman’s disorder was profound, he never seemed to be ashamed of himself. He didn’t try to hide it from everyone. His friends actually embraced him for who was was. Anxiety and all. In fact, his anxiety made him even more lovable.
I think we can all learn a lesson from Melman and his friends, Marty, Gloria and Alex. Those of us who struggle with anxiety can take to heart what it means to not be ashamed of ourselves or hide away from those we love. We do not need to live our lives in the shadows. We can have adventures, even if our anxiety tags along. Those of us who do not have a disorder can learn that we need to be supportive of our loved ones with one and be open to listening to their problems. Just as the gang did for Melman!
I love re-watching my favorite childhood movies and discovering the themes I overlooked as a child. If you have not seen this movie, or haven’t seen it in a long time, I suggest you watch it!