- Professional filmmaker Lee Loechler knew that his girlfriend, Dr. Sthuthi David, loved the animated movie “Sleeping Beauty,” so he decided to incorporate the film into his proposal.
- Loechler worked with an animator for six months to edit himself and David into the Disney film.
- He then rented out a movie theatre for David and their loved ones, and played the altered version of the film to pop the question.
- “Will you live happily ever after with me?” Loechler asked David.
- A YouTube video of the proposal had over two million views at the time of writing, less than a day after Loechler posted it.
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All proposals are magical, but one man took his to the next level.
Filmmaker Lee Loechler knew that his girlfriend, Dr. Sthuthi David, loved the animated movie “Sleeping Beauty,” so he decided to bring the film to life for her.
Loechler worked with animator Kayla Coombs for six months to edit himself and David into the classic film.
He then rented out a movie theatre and invited the couple’s family and friends to watch him pop the question.
Loechler came up with the idea for the proposal a few years ago
“A few years back a friend of mine told me he was planning to propose to his then-girlfriend, and I suggested he should ‘Forrest Gump’ himself into her favourite movie, and then have his on-screen character ‘toss’ the ring to his real-life self,” Loechler told Insider.
“I don’t know where that idea came from, but it felt fun and magical, and it played into my skill set as a filmmaker,” he said.
“He didn’t think it was right for him, so I filed it away for later use,” he added of his friend.
Loechler still liked the idea for his proposal to David a few years later, but he was unsure of how to make it work because he only works on live-action films.
“I went on Instagram and started following various Disney art hashtags, hoping to find an illustrator who was up to the task,” Loechler said. “It wasn’t until I stumbled on Kayla’s work that the first inkling set in that ‘this might be possible after all.'”
Loechler employed David’s mother to help pull off the surprise
“I doctored an email blast from the theatre (with their permission) and changed the movie it advertised to instead say ‘Sleeping Beauty,'” he said.
“I sent the doctored email to her mum, and asked her to send it to Sthuthi along with the message: ‘I saw the Coolidge is screening your favourite movie, so I got tickets for the whole family, and one for Lee if he can come.'”
“So not only did Sthuthi not suspect a thing, it was a proud moment when she called me a few days later and invited me to her own surprise proposal,” he said.
He also worked with the theatre to ensure David wouldn’t notice her friends sitting behind her in the theatre.
“We had everyone show up early, and anyone she might recognise was seated in the back few rows,” he said. The couple also didn’t arrive until the trailers had already started playing.
“When we walked into the room together, it was nice and dark as we found our seats,” Loechler told Insider.
The movie changes to the altered version during the scene in “Sleeping Beauty” in which Prince Phillip comes to wake Aurora from her enchanted slumber
Loechler had to wait for almost the entire movie to play before it was time for him to propose, which he said made him nervous.
“I was absolutely losing my mind! When you watch the hidden camera footage from earlier parts of the movie, you can see me fidgeting endlessly and mouthing to myself the words I was planning to say,” he said.
But he and David had discussed their future, so he was less worried.
“One of the things I love and admire most about her is that she is very up-front,” Loechler said of David. “As a partner, it helps me be there for her, rather than having to guess what she’s thinking. She had made it known she was ready to take the next step. Otherwise, no way would I have had the cojones to do something like this.”
“Big public proposals can be sweet, but I could never imagine putting someone on the spot like that if you’re not 100% sure they will say yes,” he added.
In the video clip, David is clearly confused when she notices the difference in the movie
But it comes together when she sees the animated version of herself getting proposed to.
The animated Loechler then appears to toss the ring to the real version of him, giving him his cue to get down on one knee.
“It’s not every day you get to propose to your high school sweetheart,” Loechler says in a recording of the proposal.
He timed the film to coordinate with his speech, with the animated versions of the couple watching on as their real-life counterparts get engaged.
“I love you with my whole heart,” Loechler went on to say. “Will you live happily ever after with me?”
David says yes, and the audience of loved ones behind them erupt in cheers.
The video ends with the screen reading, “The Beginning,” as it’s just the start of the couple’s life together.
Loechler had even arranged for the marquee outside of the theatre to read “Sthuthi & Lee” when the couple exited the building.
You can follow Loechler on Instagram here.
- Read more:
- A man proposed to his girlfriend on a plane a year after they met in the air
- A couple got engaged as an intense storm brewed on the Jersey Shore and a news team was there to capture it
- 15 ways to propose at a Disney park that are actually super romantic
- The 12 most romantic Disney-themed proposals ever
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