Touching on Touchstones…

Have you stopped to think about the time you had had a “Touchstone” with a loved one? TC has and provides this inspiring piece for you to ponder… – the editor

Back in the 1980’s, Walt Disney Productions had an identity crisis. The brand had become tired and “unfresh”. A new management team had arrived to wake the dinosaur, so to say. While re-christening the firm as The Walt Disney Company, the new team did not want to limit the content to just family fare. So in 1984, a new division was formed: Touchstone Films.

The Disney name by this time was box office poison and a big turn off to hipper audiences. New films barely ran for 2 weeks, and most of the box office revenue came from the re-releases of classic animated films. The movie “Tron” came out in 1982, was a box office disappointment with the Walt Disney Productions label attached, even though it became an iconic video game.

In March of 1984, Touchstone Films released “Splash” starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. It became the first live-action hit from Disney in years. Two years later, the first R-rated feature, “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” was released by Touchstone Films, and was even a bigger hit.

So in the 80’s, the evolution of The Walt Disney Company had started. Now the company is much more diverse in its product. That “touchstone” led to the company acquiring ABC/Capital Cities, Lucasfilm LTD., Pixar, and Marvel.

Notable: Not all Touchstones are Corporate…

Some touchstones are based on a convergence deeply felt memories of being together with loved ones. The stars had aligned. Some little memory or event brings back to better times.

Now during my ponderables, I elude to the past. Not being stuck in it, but using it to trace where I had been, and how I have become to be…

What brought us together? I reach back to several shows or films that got us together, especially with my parents.

A TC Playlist of Touchstones…

Do you remember the first movies you saw in a movie theater with your parents?

I remember my mom taking us to see “Godspell” back in the early 70’s at the Madison Theater. This film of the Broadway Musical was popular back then with some very catchy tunes based on the Gospel according to Matthew. Bingo for this Catholic household. This was an annual viewing in our household every Easter.

A family appreciation for anything from Jim Henson’s Muppets, led to a trip to the Morris County Mall Twin to see “The Muppet Movie”. It was the big summer movie. Later in 1982, we screened “The Dark Crystal” at the infamous** Chatham Cinema.
[**your editor was employed at in her youth]
The vocal wincing that the Lord Chamberlain repeated also was repeated by all of us (including Mom AND Dad!).

I cannot watch “Tootsie” and “All of Me” without hearing my mother’s cackle laugh, which always put me in a good place.

With Dad, the placement of his 1955 Ford Thunderbird, was a highlight of a 1998 screening of the film “Pleasantville” was a bonding moment.

Do not get me started about my father coming home and seeing us watch Dick Clark’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes. He was laughing so hard, we swore he was lit (He wasn’t).

That’s a Wrap!

Your turn! Think about the time you had had a “Touchstone” with a loved one. I could go on for days with no-media related ones. These days with the prevalence of steaming content (via Roku, Freevee, Pluto TV and more), you can come across some old ditties that will take you to your happy place.

So how about trading your “TikToking” for some quality “touchstone” time? You’ll be happier for it.

Thanks for reading (and watching)! -TC


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