Now, because I choose to.

Ten years…

Jesus Christ.

Ten years ago, I tried to start a blog on That Guy with the Glasses. I decided I was going to review all 52 canon Disney movies. I had no real background in film criticism. I didn’t know much about animation other than I liked it and could express opinions with colourful profanity and pop culture references. I had a juvenile, 2010s sense of humour. Back then, it was all it took.

After a false start where I realised that the TGWTG website was a clunky unusable mess (and because I suspected this Doug Walker fellow was a bad egg), I struck out on my own and threw together a simple wordpress site. And here we are.

It’s hard to succinctly sum up something that has taken up over a quarter of your life. Mouse has changed almost as much as Neil Sharpson has. When I first wrote that Snow White review I had hopes and fears. I hoped, madly, that I’d become a huge internet star based on a text blog (highly unlikely in 2012, absolutely impossible now). And I feared that the blog would just vanish into obscurity or that I’d get bored or disillusioned or quit a few weeks in. Neither happened.

Instead, it just lived. It just kept going. Through highs and lows. Mine and everyone else’s.

It’s been a wild ten years, hasn’t it? I mean wild in its original meaning. Feral. Untamed. Unpredictable. Red in tooth and claw. One long journey through Bahia.

This blog used to be my lifeline. Back when I was a young, frustrated man desperately wanting to be told I was funny or clever or a good writer I needed this blog so badly. I wrote because I had to. Because I needed, desperately to be seen.

I don’t need the blog any more. I write for a living. I’m doing the thing I always dreamed of doing, and amazingly, it’s every bit as wonderful as I hoped. But the blog won’t be going anywhere. Because I still love it. And I do it now, because I choose to.

If I hope anything about this blog, it’s that it was for you what it was for me. A little safe harbour on the mad churning sea of the internet. A place where no one was trying to make you angry or sell you something. A place where we could be people. Or mice. Same thing, really.

Ten years. Did it matter? It mattered to me. I hope it did to you, too.

“Thank you all. From the bottom of my heart.”
“Well, you know how you can thank us all?”
“Oh fine.”

NEXT TIME:

26 comments

  1. Congrats to 10 years! (Has it been that long already?!) 0_0;

    (Also, will we finally talk about Bruno?) 😛

  2. Yaay!
    Congrats, Mouse – it’s been a wild ride and a pleasure to read these past ten years (well, a bit less than ten years… I don’t remember when I started reading, I think just before the WWII era films).

  3. Can’t remember exactly when I started reading the blog (somewhere around The Rescuers maybe?) but I remember first commenting on the Beauty and the Beast post which was in April 2013. Hell of a long time has passed since then. Thanks for everything Mouse, your blog has been a highlight of my internet life for a decade now, congrats!

  4. You’ve come a long way as a writer. Back in 2012 I loved TGWTG, but I can’t even go back and watch that stuff now, the whole “recap the plot beat for beat and add swear words” thing has aged pretty badly.

    But I think even in your earliest reviews you were better than that, generally having something to say about the history or themes of the work that added a lot to my overall enjoyment. These days a lot of the content I consume is somewhere on the “Edutainment” spectrum, and I think this blog is partly responsible for my tastes evolving in that direction.

    (Although portraying Walt Disney as an immortal warlock and evil mastermind will never not be funny.)

    And needless to say, you started from that position of quality and only got better. I loved your first book and look forward to your next.

    Here’s to ten years, and hopefully many more.

  5. I remember Summer 2013. I was looking at TGWTG site for more content and looked at the blog list and thought this Hercules review by a guy with a silly name might be a decent way to kill ten minutes. 9 years later, and I am still here.

  6. Happy Anniversary.

    Regrettably over the years I’ve lost my capacity to extend congratulations that I haven’t extended before and that aren’t corny, sappy, cringe worthy, or a combination of the former. So my gift this year is sparing you one of those beyond the ever elegant and self-sufficient ‘Happy Anniversary’.

    Maybe next year.

  7. Tried posting this once, don’t see it, can’t sleep, trying again. Maybe it’s an email thing.

    Long time lurker here, but it’s probably for the best I didn’t comment much of the time – I discovered this blog when I was 13 years old. I had watched most of the Canon in order via a combination of long-gone YouTube uploads and library rentals. I got to the 2000s and my interest waned right after Dinosaur (wonder why). A few months later, around the time of your Frozen review, I found the blog. I slowly caught up, and I’ve read it all ever since.

    Lately, being in college, I haven’t gone to see Canon films in the theater, but I always carve out some time to watch one before you review it, even for Wreck it Ralph 2, bless its heart. Now I have a reason to watch Encanto, and fast!

    In any case, you’ve been a fixture of my formative years, and I’m thankful you still share your thoughts with the world. I still go back to read older reviews if I need a laugh or, dare I say, some historical nerd reference.

    There will always be young kids like me who will find this blog, and will have to “start at the start with Snow White.” Of course, they have a lot more work to do than I did, but they’ll be just as captivated, I’m sure.

  8. My god, has it been 10 years ALREADY? Seems like jusr yesterday I had my short (but fufilling) stint as your voice and us reviewing Enchanted together. Regrettably, I never got to finish that audio job, but you’ve gone on quite fine without me. And I still love reading your reviews.

    You’re a good egg, Mouse. Here’s to you.

  9. I also can’t believe it’s been so long since I started reading this blog. Had some fun times here, Mouse.

  10. Happy 10th, Neil! Yours was the first blog I would read on a daily basis anxiously awaiting the next review in the Canon from you! You were the one that inspired me to create a blog myself. You were the one who calmed my fears about writing reviews because I felt I wasn’t “good enough” or “knowledgeable enough” to be a critic. You were the one who gave a shoutout to my 2nd blog on your blog resulting in my traffic increasing dramatically that day.

    If it wasn’t for you and your blog, I dunno where I would be in terms of this part of my life. So thank you indeed!

  11. Congratulations on the latest anniversary of your Great Project: May your whiskers ever flourish, may your tail never be trapped, may your local cats remain hilariously slow in all respects and may your descendants never eat you out of house & home!

    (On a more serious note, congratulations once again and Best Wishes to your family).

  12. Ten…. ten years…..

    I still remember when The Princess and the Frog was the latest review on this blog!

    To your health for however many more, Mr. Sharpson.

  13. Congratulations on ten years! I’ve had so much fun reading your reviews over the years. It’s nice to know that your blog is here whenever I need an uplift. My favorite blog on the ol’ web. A sincere thank you for continuing to take the time to write here.

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