Why King Moonracer is My Hero

Most people recognize King Moonracer immediately from the Rankin and Bass Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He is the flying lion who lives in a castle. He is the King of the Island of Misfit Toys.

King Moonracer is also my hero. Let me tell you why.


As King of the Island of Misfit Toys, King Moonracer flies around the world each night and gathers up all unwanted toys. He gives them a home on his island. He shares his love with the toys others would just cast aside.

When King Moonracer is forced to reject Rudolph, Hermi, and Yukon Cornelius’ request to remain on the Island of Misfit toys, you can see that it pains him to do so. You can sense his internal struggle.

After all, King Moonracer is not a toy. He is the ultimate misfit, a flying lion who wears a tiny crown.

But unlike the all the other misfits on the island, no one laughs at King Moonracer. No one calls him ridiculous. They are awed by the majesty of his presence. He is alone in the world. Yet, he seems so content and focused. He is driven by a sense of responsibility to his mission.

This is why I love King Moonracer. This is why I say King Moonracer is a lifestyle choice. Some people laugh at this. They should because it’s meant to be funny, but at the same time it means something more.

When I say that King Moonracer is a lifestyle choice, I’m saying it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be driven by a sense of purpose that perhaps few understand. I’m saying it’s okay to believe as only a child can believe. It’s okay to have a flying lion as your personal hero.

One could certainly do a lot worse.

King Moonracer is a Lifestyle Choice

I used to have King Moonracer as my profile picture on LinkedIn. I told myself that I was doing this because I was proud of King Moonracer, but really I was afraid to use my own picture. Over time, I learned to put myself out there and be who I am without fear. I learned to laugh at myself and to be at peace with my own shortcomings.

It wasn’t that long ago that I changed my profile picture to my own. It was a happy day. I’d just written a post on How Not to Write about overcoming fears of being anonymous. I’d been blogging for eight years but always under a pseudonym. Now I was stepping out into the light.

Most people who know me might wonder how on earth that I, Jamie Grove, could be afraid of anything, let alone putting my face out there. I’m an outgoing person, always ready with a smile because I am genuinely happy to be alive. I sit in front of the cafe in summertime with my bare feet propped up on a chair. I love life. But this only proves that fear can strike anyone, even those who seem the most confident. The question is what do you do with that fear? Do you allow it to consume you, or do you press on?

After that post went up, HNTW sort of went from an obscure place where I spoke mostly to myself and a handful of friends, into an experiment in connecting with people. It is still growing, but I can say that it is a wonderful little community of writers. I share with these writers my thoughts and struggles, my triumphs and failures. Together we overcome the fear that is so prevalent in the world of would-be writers.

As much as I owe to my love of King Moonracer, I don’t believe HNTW would have grown had I stayed behind the lion’s mask. I’m proud to display him on Twitter though, and I think he’ll stay there for a long time. He’s a lifestyle choice to be sure.

One could certainly do a lot worse.

Who are your heroes and why? Please share in the comments!

10 thoughts on “Why King Moonracer is My Hero

  1. My heroes are everyday people that do things that inspire. My inspiration comes from people who believe in their ideas, go beyond their comfort zones, and commit to a leap of faith in themselves. I feel in order to be sucessful its not convincing others, its convincing yourself that no matter what happens, the execution is the true prize. When you believe in something this strong, others will follow, and it is the true key to success.

  2. @Karen Thanks for that thoughtful comment. I love it when regular folks take a chance. Life is too short to suffer in quiet desperation. Life is meant to be lived!

  3. James Burke (Science Historian) because he is the ultimate educator; witty, passionate, erudite, awesome hair, and great fashion sense. Neil Gaiman because he can tell one hell of a story and I love his voice (you decide which one I mean). Will Wright, a la SimCity, The Sims, Spore, because he’s a dreamer who can put his dreams into action, an experimenter, a big kid who builds software toys. And my dad, because he loves unconditionally and gives of himself freely.

  4. @Craig Lovin’ that list, my friend. Giving of one’s self and unconditional love is a beautiful thing. Now we know where you learned it. 🙂

  5. Jamie I am reading this a day after reading this quote in Entertainment Weekly: “Today’s would-be heroes are so flawed or messed up, they need to be saved from themselves before they can save anyone else.” so I gotta say, thank goodness I can come here, read your writing, and discard the other negative rubbish! Love King Moonracer, love you and your mana‘o [beliefs and conviction], and love the thought that we can choose to see the wonder of our personal heroes and give in completely to their inspiration. If we take that advice to catch people doing something right, we can start to see more heroes popping up all over the place.

    Who are my heroes? They differ, ebbing and flowing onto my radar depending on the inspiration I am looking for at any given time. Often they are those people who are unafraid to grow and stretch, even when they look very awkward in their growth; they are good experimenters, and hence they encourage me to take more risks than I do, and be braver. Right now my heroes happen to be people I know to be exceptional at showing up, getting involved and taking part, even in the toughest times. They are those who are really, really great at following-up too, and I am trying to learn from them, so I can be far better at showing up and following-up too.

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  6. @Rosa Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your insight into what makes a hero, Rosa. Showing up is 99% of what it takes to be a hero in my opinion. Just being there and being willing to jump into the action. This is what makes a difference.

  7. He really should be more transparent about the goings on @ Misfit Toy Island. I figure he has a thriving E-Bay Business in the castle .

  8. I just googled King Moonracer on a whim and came upon this page. I laughed so hard I fell between two halves of a couch and kept laughing on the floor for a good minute or two. I was very inspired by this post.

  9. I have some questions about King Moonracer’s leadership and judgement. Moonracer (who, as we are informed, flies around the whole world every night) has a critical message to get to Santa…. a message of extreme importance to all the toys under his care. Instead of using his incredible speed and mobility to take it himself, he entrusts it to Rudolph, Hermie and Corneilus…three who are on foot in the arctic, inadequately clothed and provisioned, and quite frankly are clearly confused and incompetent.

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