Monday, June 6, 2011
hmmmm yeah my brain is mush, so here's a random post
I decided to write a post dedicated to the older Disney cartoon movies (not the new ones or Pixar which are radically different).
It’s been very popular nowadays to get into the Disney bashing parade. You know what I’m talking about. Girls are duped into thinking they will live “happily ever after”, the “princess phenomenon” and that it’s all a “marketing ploy”. While I can see some of that, I have to say, I see a much bigger picture going on. And that is what I’d like to share.
Have you noticed that we live in a “everyone wins” society lately? I mean seriously when sports get into ‘all kids are winners’ and there are ‘no losers’, and cartoon movies are very shallow or rude and condescending, I have to say I appreciate the old Disney cartoon movies. Why? Ok here’s my reason:
In a cartoon kid friendly way, these movies spin the very notion that life is NOT fair and that we have to deal. My parents put on “The Fox and The Hound” for me on Sunday (no jokes please, I’m serious…plus they let my Tigger cuddle with me and they watched too) and I guess I had forgotten how sad these cartoons are. Yes my mom and I bawled like crazy on Sunday ha ha ha. Anyways you remember the movie, little pup and little fox become friends, but they are different and life gets in the way. What should be a happy ending really isn’t, and the slogan “and we’ll always be friends forever, yeah forever” doesn’t ring true even if the cartoon didn’t end in a complete tragedy. Point of the story (aside from I think the anti-hunting theme) is that while life “should” be one way, it doesn’t always end up that way.
You see in “The Jungle Book” the story of a boy that is being taken care of by the panther and bear….but in the end although the Bear wants him to stay, the panther in his infinite wisdom tells the bear he needs to let him go back to where he was originally from, that the village would take care of him. Sometimes the best intentions isn’t enough.
Ok let’s tackle some of the princess movies. In my eyes and the way I viewed it, the cartoon “The little Mermaid” was more about the father “letting go” and realizing that his girl won’t stay little forever more than it is about her finding love…which is true. How many families have issues with co-dependency (and I laugh because I know my parents live down the street, but we have a relationship that is normal culturally and we each have our own lives and my parents help but don’t bail me out of messes) or take it personally when their child grows up and doesn’t “do what they think their child should do?”
Cinderella? Yep she ended up with a prince and a ‘happily ever after’ moment but seriously I would not have wanted her life…..mom dies, dad seems loving enough but dies as well, leaving her with an evil stepmother (and yes evil stepparents exist) so goodness, the poor girl had to have some hope for her life don’t you think? There’s a quote from a parent on an adoption forum I frequent that raises older boys and she says “life without hope is walking death”. I think that’s pretty accurate so let Cinderella have some hope and some dreams in her life….goodness, she deserves it! And let’s face it, it IS a cartoon so of course Cinderella will get a “happily ever after” moment, but not without angst.
Now my parents were pretty rigid on what I could watch so I’m not too familiar with “Snow White” or “Sleeping Beauty” as the evil witch was darker than my parents liked…so no comment on those on whether there is an overall theme or if they are indeed brainless princess movies but here’s the thing,
I’m not on the “hate Disney princess/happily ever after” bandwagon. I think as a society, including children’s TV, we have lost the ability to tell kids that sometimes life sucks and now new kids/young adults just don’t know how to deal with life. I think the older Disney cartoons had some good life lessons that had to do with life in general.
I guess I had Disney on the mind and life on the mind, and I know my child and I will have talks about how life isn’t fair and how it isn’t all sunshine, roses, and butterflies. So my random thought for the day….Ha! What about you? Are you on the ‘hate’ Disney bandwagon, not, or indifferent?