A family quarantine project that started with a 4-year-old girl's love for "The Lion King" has turned into a viral sensation that has raised thousands of dollars for charity during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Presser family, of Connecticut, sent a video to family and friends in March showing their daughter, Madison, then 3, reenacting a scene from her favorite movie, Disney's "The Lion King."
The video was made after Madison's parents, Dan and Beth Presser, kept hearing her repeat lines from the movie and decided to film her doing so.
"We were trying to think of creative ways to have fun with them and teach them stuff," said Dan Presser, the father of Madison and her now 21-month-old brother, Barton. "My wife downloaded an app and we put together the clips with some sound effects and it came out pretty funny."
Presser said they got such a positive response to the video from family and friends, they decided to have Madison and Barton star in more movie reenactments, explaining, "We thought if we can bring some happiness to people in this miserable 2020, we should try."
Today, nearly seven months later, the Presser siblings and their friends have starred in more than 30 videos, reenacting scenes from movies including "A League of Their Own," "Field of Dreams," "Pretty Woman," "Titanic" and "Almost Famous."
In most of the videos, Madison, who turned 4 in August, plays a starring role, with Barton as her co-star. Barton was just 15 months old when the first video was made, but is now just a few months shy of turning 2.
"If this quarantine goes on any longer, he might have a speaking role in these," joked Presser, a producer for ESPN who met his wife while they were both covering the 2010 World Cup in South Africa for the network.
In addition to the siblings, the videos now also feature kids from across the country who are friends of the family. Just like everything else during quarantine, the videos are shot remotely and Presser edits the clips together so it looks like the kids are in the same location in the scenes.
"If they don't want to do it, we don't do it," he said. "But for the 'Titanic' one, I think we filmed it in like six minutes after bath time and before bed and that was one of our best ones."
As the videos got more popular, the Pressers decided to give back and started raising money through the videos for Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that oversees a network of more than 200 food banks across the U.S.
They have raised nearly $12,000 for the organization, which Presser says will be matched by his employer, bringing the total contribution closer to $25,000.
"We've had one person donate three separate times, multiple people donate twice and one person anonymously make a $1,000 donation," said Presser. "I think people have really rallied around and realized that if they're lucky enough to be in that situation where they're still getting paid and still getting food on the table, then they should try and give back."
Disney is the parent company of ABC News and ESPN.
4-year-old girl stars in remakes of iconic movie scenes during quarantine originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com