Disney It’s A Small World By LeSportsac Handbag Collection — Share Your Laughter With These Picturesque Bags
When I was about six or seven years old, my parents took my older brother and me to Disney World and, after one day of marveling at the Cinderella Castle, “flying” inside a Dumbo-shaped cart, stuffing my face with ice cream sandwiches, and shrieking over all the “ghosts” and skeletons inside the Haunted Mansion, and cruising down picturesque streets inside trolleys, I declared that I wanted to live there — not in the Kissimmee area of Orlando, Florida, mind you, but right inside the Magic Kingdom. The way I saw it, surely I could bring my pillow and blanket to Fort Longhorn or Tom’s Island in Tom Sawyer Island or maybe the Country Bears would adopt me and sing me to sleep every night inside their log cabin. Heck, maybe Cinderella could spare a bedroom! Obviously, my parents quickly nixed my genial plan, but they were tickled by my excitement and my huge imagination.
Since I was so young when I fist visited Magic Kingdom, one of the attractions that appealed to me most was the It’s A Small World boat ride, designed to create a sense of mutli-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural harmony. During this uplifting voyage, guests embarked on boats and navigated through dark and placid with picturesque platforms on either side of them, each designed with the attention to detail reserved for Broadway stage art. We navigated through a tunnel, making our way through an arch shaped like a Chinese pagoda, and encountered dolls in traditional Chinese garb surrounded by folding fans bearing elaborate landscapes. In another area, we encountered a round stage on top of which a group of French cancan dancer dolls held up their voluminous skirts to reveal the layers of ruffles underneath, their têtes adorned with headpieces bearing long plumes. At another stop, Mexican men wearing large sombreros held their precious Spanish guitars, presumably serenading us. Every pit stop on our aquatic voyage led us to a different country until we’d gazed upon a total of 300 costumed dolls — and, through it all, we heard the classic “It’s A Small World” ditty, written by Robert and Richard Sherman, the musical forces behind the Mary Poppins score.
Once we returned home to Puerto Rico, I could not erase the “It’s A Small World” song from my memory bank, finding myself constantly humming the tune or singing the words, “There’s so much that we share/That it’s time we’re aware/It’s a small world after all.” It probably drove my parents to near-insanity, but I suppose they knew I’d eventually become enthralled with a new song — and, after all, this was a musical appeal for solidarity, so it was hard to criticize it in any way (even if it did become annoying when sung non-stop by a tone-deaf grade schooler).
This summer, the original “It’s A Small World” multi-media collages created by Disney artist Mary Blair for the 1964 World Fair are brought back to life thanks to the graphics and prints incorporated into the Disney It’s A Small World Collection by LeSportsac, which includes whimsical, smile-inducing totes, backpacks, weekender bags, hobos, crossbody bags, and cosmetic pouches in vibrant colors.
Pieces include the Disney It’s A Small World by Le Sportsac Picture Tote in Peace, Love, and Mermaid ($128 at LeSportsac.com), shown third from top, a roomy nylon tote in a cerulean blue shade featuring a peace sign motif made of Chinese hibiscus, petunia, and daisy flowers, along with leafy branches, pearl strands, and miniature mermaid characters donning flirtatious floral crowns. The words “Peace and Love” are printed beneath this visual motif, with flowers and a bubble-blowing fish framing either side of this phrase. If you prefer a slightly smaller tote bag with exterior pockets, you might like the Disney It’s A Small World by LeSportsac EveryGirl Tote in Magical Journey ($98 at LeSportsac.com), shown sixth from top, which measures 11″ in length, 12″ in height, and 7″ in width and boasts a zipped main closure and a large, zippered, pleated front pocket . This particular print is perhaps most evocative of Blair’s flair with collages, as it includes houses, castles,and towers with angled, domed, or spear-like roofs — all in a hodgepodge of colors for a kaleidoscopic effect . The asymmetrical, slightly imperfect quality of some of the triangular, rectangular, and round shapes, along with the contrast of colors, works to create a childlike charm, compounded by the sprinkling of phrases like “Share Your Hope,” “Share Your Laughter,” “Share Your World,” and “It’s Time to Share.”
The Magical Journey print appears in a number of pieces, among them the Disney It’s A Small World Collection by LeSportsac Large Weekender With Small Charm in Magical Journey ($138 at LeSportsac.com), which measures 20.75″ in length, 13.75″ in height, and 10.5″ in width. This casual travel bag, shown fourth from top, features an elongated, rectangular shape with rounded sides giving it more of a cylindrical form and boasts a zipped main closure, exterior front and back zipper pockets, and a detachable shoulder strap.
If you appreciate the aquatic elements of the “It’s A Small World” ride, you might be enchanted by the Tahitian Dreams print that appears in such pieces as the Mini Basic Backpack ($78 at LeSportsac.com), pictured fifth from top, and the Deluxe Everyday Bag ($98 at LeSportsac.com). The Tahitian Dreams print showcases an idyllic enclave, taking us to an exotic island locale with mermaids lounging on rocks protruding from rippling bodies of water, lush palm tree leaves seemingly hiding this aquatic paradise and making it feel all the more secret and precious, and an abundance colorful blossoms, pearl strands draped like garlands, along with mountainous formations and quaint wooden cabins with straw roofs visible in the distance.
Every time I look at the Tahitian Dreams print, I remember the hula-dancing Hawaiian dolls I saw as a kid in the It’s A Small World boat ride and that catchy ditty makes its way into my head again, making me remember just how magical it all felt.