Jodi Benson’s “Part of My World” Book Made Us Love Her Even More. We knew Mrs. Jodi Benson as the voice of Ariel from Disney’s Little Mermaid, and Tour Guide Barbi from Toy Story 3 and 4. We have also met her and worked with her at many charity events at Give Kids the World here in Florida. What we did not know is the struggles, the joys, the accomplishments, and the path she was guided towards to become the Voice of a Generation.
The book may be 278 pages, but it only took us a few minutes of reading to realize how much we really loved Jodi Benson. She comes off as down-to-earth, level-headed, and spiritual, even going through all the trials and tribulations of life.
“Part of My World” is filled with some amazing stories about her relationship, both good and bad, with her husband Ray Benson who happens to be an amazing actor, dancer, and singer himself. From playing hard to catch to landing the man of her dreams, and then almost losing it all, to come out, in the end, stronger and more knowledgable.
I keep wanting to write Mrs. Jodi Benson, but after speaking to her recently, she said we could just call her Jodi (check out our Chip and Company Podcast Network Interview). Seriously, I can’t tell you in words how sweet and grateful Jodi is. It comes off so well and you just know she means it when you actually spend a few minutes in her presence. Okay, I will stop gushing over her. No, I won’t, who am I kidding? I love you, Jodi! I digress.
Jodi’s life is not all sunshine and daisies. The path to becoming our beloved Disney Princess, Ariel, may end as a fairytale come to life, but the path to get there was filled with personal struggles, pain, and self-confidence issues that we all face in life. Reading about how she overcame, how the people around her picked her up, and how her relationship with Jesus saved her from herself is as inspirational as it can get.
The book really takes off when she talks about her stage career on Broadway in New York City. Her role in Smile and working with Howard Ashman, who becomes a lifelong friend, plays out throughout her career going forward.
Howard, along with co-writer Alen Menkin the two people behind Disney’s The Little Mermaid become central figures in Jodi’s life. The three of them will bring about the “Disney Renaissance”. The tears were real reading Jodi talk about both men, but the stories about Howard are glorious to theater buffs. Unfortunately, we know how Howard’s life ends, and Jodi graciously guides us through these stories.
Disney Fans will be rewarded with stories about Paige O’Hara, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Jodi receiving the Legends Award, and some excellent stories about being a Disney Ambassador. We all can guess what it is like for a real Disney Princess to walk through a Disney park, but Jodi gives us the true details.
I will say this, Jodi Benson is as real as it gets. She does not fake her love of the fans, nor does she take it for granted. Her passion for working with and for Disney is real, as is her love of those who she has worked with over the last 30 years. In the end, we found out how much we truly love her, she was the voice of our childhood, she is our Disney Princess in real life, and she is a beautiful human being who loves everyone and all those around her, she is an inspiration!
Part of My World
Get “Part of My World” by Jodi Benson now at Tyndale House Publishing, or wherever you buy or download books from. This is well worth your time.
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