I hate seeing pictures and hearing girls’ comments about how Disney deceived them for life by telling them that every girl will get their prince charming. Disney didn’t deceive anyone, at least… Not the way you would initially think.
Upon seeing this, as a girl who was raised on these movies, who BEGGED for the VHS ( do you guys remember those? They were like black bricks and you put them in the thing. Nothing was more tragic then when your player ate the film inside?) of Sleeping Beauty, knew all the words to all the songs in The Little Mermaid.
When I saw this, my entire childhood shattered.
Until I realized how one-sided this picture is.
In the words of Walt Disney, about Cinderella to start with, “She believed in dreams all right, but she also believed in doing something about them. When Prince Charming didn’t come along, she went over to the palace and got him.”
Because more then one person needs to put in the effort for a happy ending.
Or Belle. Who doesn’t save the beast’s life with her sexual interest as the picture depicts. He is saved by her love.
Because you need to love and be loved for a happy ending.
While Ariel’s story in the picture is quite true, she had changed her appearance to win the affections of the prince, paying the price of her voice. The part about her having nothing valuable to say…Well I just don’t think that’s right.
Oh! But before we think that Ariel is totally helpless, lets remember she saved Prince Eric’s life not once, but twice. Once while he is drowning, and once more as he is about to marry Vanessa/Ursula.
Eric suspects that she’s (Ariel) is the one that saved him as he meets her on the shore, but quickly disregards said suspicion because she can’t talk.
You know, because you have to talk to be able to swim and save someone from drowning right? Right? Sorry this guy’s kinda a moron. But that’s neither here nor there.
She sacrifices her tail and voice to be with Prince Eric. And proves perfectly capable without them, so long as she has her friends, and saved him from Vanessa/Ursula’s grip.
Point being, every happy ending costs something. You can’t get there without sacrificing.
Also, you can do anything with your friends. We-as humans- were not MADE to journey alone.
Jasmine, from the get go, was angered that people were treating her like a trophy. Alladin had to win her heart, she didn’t just throw herself at him.
Sleeping Beauty and Snow White weren’t saved by their physical appearance. Snow White was saved by her compassion for others ( in her case, the Dwarves), and Sleeping Beauty had a spell casted over her where she would sleep. So what the hell was she going to do? SOMEONE had to go get her, might as well be the Prince. If he didn’t go through the thorns and slay the dragon…Well then he wouldn’t have deserved a girl like her.
Actually Sleeping Beauty and Snow White is kinda where this arguement falls short because I hadn’t cared for either of those movies when I was younger, but the point is:
You have to respect yourself to get to a happy ending.
Disney deceived no one. Stop blaming multi-billion dollar franchises for your lack of dates and focus on something other then boys. All of these girls knew that one day they would fall in love, and they didn’t toss themselves at everyone until they found Mr. Right. Cinderella cared for her friends, Belle read books, Ariel was fascinated by human life, Jasmine had a f*cking tiger so if that’s not some form entertainment I don’t know what is. Princess Tatiana even had a GOAL that didn’t involve getting married. In fact, she even cared about hygiene, she definitely didn’t want to kiss that frog.
Oh, not to mention that nothing that comes out of Disney is original, all their movies are based off of books and folk tales. But it’s easier to just point one finger, I guess. That’s a whole different playing field.
This is beautiful!!
I see so many people throwing around those opinions about how Disney movies are bad influences on kids or whoever, or are sexist, or whatever… and it’s crap. And I’m so glad to see that someone else realizes that.
Thank you so much for posting it!! ^_^
It pains me to see people being so negative towards Disney, if you look beyond the surface of any of their movies you’ll see a good positive strong message in them, one thing they aren’t about is airhead princesses prancing around palaces! xoxo
Cate recently blogged Things that make you go Oooooo (September 2011)
Thank you so much for this! :O Jasmine, for one, was no push-over. :O http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0000594/quotes
I’d also like to add that Disney didn’t come up with a single one of those princesses on their own; they simply based them on pre-existing stories. I wonder why those who are overreacting about Disney aren’t enraged with Hans Christian Anderson or the Grimm Brothers, or anyone else who ever wrote a folk tale. 😛
Alyssa recently blogged Little Things
I think you got the voice thing in the little mermaid wrong…didn’t the prince hear ariele sing this one time (don’t know wether befor or after the drowning part) and then ursula steals ariel’s voice and starts to sing and thats why he thinks it must be the girl who saved him? don’t know how the thing went down exactly but i’m very sure it made sense… 😛
love your articulation by the way…and did you notice how much more charactere the new disney girls have? like mulan or rapunzel:) favorite movies ever!!
I have one word for those people: Mulan.
Maria recently blogged Just A Quick Thing
Beauty is the Beast. If you think about it terms of Stockholm syndrome I think it’s interesting. I think the message that’s being critiqued is that you have to unconditionally love someone no matter how monsterous they are to “save” them … why is that her job? Ariel literally gives up her voice for a man, not to mention all ties to her home, what does he give up? Yes, she is capable of living without her family, but not without a man. How much more traditionally heterosexist can it get?
Brigitte recently blogged My MLP Collection Photo Project
As for the folk tale angle, these stories were changed a lot to homogenize them, Disney is responsible for those changes. Like the original Little Mermaid, she dies. Or in Snow White when the Queen is forced dance in heated iron shoes until she dies. The “Disney ripped these off so their interpretation can’t be critiqued” argument makes no sense to me. Not to be so argumentative, but you know I love your blog! and I feel like you’re okay with discussion.
Brigitte recently blogged Kokeshi 76 Genelle
Hey, Brigitte: 😉 I’m not sure exactly where I stand but your argument makes complete sense to me. This isn’t my article but, you’re right, I am ok with discussion! <3
I had to read the article again because I missed the last paragraph, oops. ^_^;;
Regarding Brigitte’s comments, I do have a couple of things I’d like to contribute~. I feel like I’m waffling a bit. 😛
I haven’t read any of the traditional tales of Beauty and the Beast for a while — I do recall that in one of the versions, the main character was forced to live with the Beast, else her family would be poverty-stricken or killed or something, but I don’t remember all of it.
Regarding the Disney version, I both agree and disagree with the Stockholm Syndrome theory; it could have possibly started out that way. The Beast became the way he was because he was a terribly vain person; his punishment left him hating himself, and he was shunned by society and became a recluse because of it. Belle pitied him, at first, but it was the first time that someone had been so open with the Beast, and he became a better person because of her. And so, in the end, Belle was in love with a good person.
I don’t think it should take so much as unconditional love for someone to justify saving another person, however. I’m confused about that and the statement of it being Belle’s “job”.
In the case of The Little Mermaid, not only does the mermaid perish, but it was due to her failure of capturing the prince’s heart; he chose the wicked sea queen in the end. From this, we can learn that there is such a thing as giving up too much for someone, especially when that other person doesn’t understand or value the sacrifices made.
I’ll probably have to go watch the Disney version again, ahaha. 😀 From what I recall, I do agree with Brigitte that Prince Eric didn’t have to give up anything, but he *was* in a very convenient position. I’m not sure if it was necessary for him to give something up, as well…. Well, unless he went to Ursula and tried to get Ariel’s voice back or something, but that’s a debt upon an ideally-temporary debt, and that starts to sound a bit complicated and impractical, albeit an even trade.
I agree with the statement “Disney ripped these off so their interpretation can’t be critiqued”; I think that, in this case, it would be only reasonable that the Disney versions and the originals both be critiqued.
Alyssa recently blogged Little Things
All of them are beautiful and I think most people especially kids like the fairytales here…
Thank you Brigitte. While I adore these Disney movies and ALWAYS have fun watching them, and while they make me laugh and smile, the critique is not entirely off-base. Try reversing the hero and heroine’s positions for example. Say Belle were the ugly one in BatB, or Esmerelda (an oft forgotten ‘princess’) the deformed hunchback. Would they still be as well received? After all, Disney loves taking fairy tales and changing them up. What makes these movies work is that each princess is stereotypically beautiful, thin, and always, within an unrealistically short amount of time and based initially on shallow observation, ends up with a guy. Even the most independent of our princesses fall into the “love at first sight” trap where witty banter is mistaken for destiny. One of the things I loved about the satirical Enchanted was how Giselle’s relationship played out and how in the end, she was the one who conquered the “final boss”.
But those issues aren’t the only problems. The vast majority of these films are stuck on the young, pretty, kind girl archetype VS the old (and thererfor “ugly”), vengeful, and evil woman. The elder of the two is vengeful and MUST be the villan because she’s past her prime, whereas the youthfully sexual maiden can only be seen as pure and ultimately good in nature. The line between love and sex is thin when a character’s sex appeal and attractieness plays a major role in characterization
(I’ve always wondered what was up with Disney’s obsession with protagonists having lost their mothers and/or facing devious older women. Is every husband in fantasyland a widower?!)
Whatever else the hero sees in his princess, it’s the main heroine’s beauty that the male lead is fighting for. Her sexuality. And rarely do we see anything of the prince’s personality. He’s handsome and he’s male. Cool. But what exactly does the princess see in him? Later Disney movies have fixed this error, but Sleeping Beauty still has a lot to answer for! And Eric? Idk if his criterion for a wife were exactly legit. Beast is fairly developed, but John Smith and Prince Charming (both of them) and even Simba!! What was it about these guys that attracted our (sometimes) badass heroines to them in the first place? ❓
Of course, there are good intentions and wonderfully empowering messages in these movies, as well. I was named after my favorite Disney princess and although I prefer the original fairy tales, I’m damn proud of it, But you can’t deny the patriarchal, heteronormative lean in them either. It is totally possible to love and hate something at once. Trust me. I do.
Disney the coorporation, however, gets nothing but malice from me. 😕 Now that they’re all about profit over quality, I am indeed going to blame a multibillion dollar coorporation for, not a lack of romance (I have a perfectly wonderful love life), but for bastardizing my childhood belief in them. 🙁
Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!
Vickie recently blogged lower your electric bill
This post really hit home because im on tumblr and most people seem to think that disney ruined there life by giving them unrealistic values on life. I honestly think disney is what you make it. if your going to watch the movie and be like wow, why would they teach kids this then o be it ya know? but if you honestly watch disney for disney and see how amazing it was it shouldnt matter how they were saved or what they do or dont have =]
I have been reading about Belle for the past time. People say she married Beast just for the money and now that she saved him with just her sexuality. But I disagree for a few different reasons :
1. Belle didn’t want to stay in the castle, it was just to save her father
2. The fact that she returned, wasn’t Stockholm syndrome, people seem to forget that in the second part the Beast starts treating her well and becomes her friend. When Gaston came to kill the Beast. She saw him in the mirror, and she saw he needed help and rushed over to help him.
3. The sexuality thing, I find it ridiculous. That way when the Beast saw her it would be like ” Hey you are sexy.” Poof! He is a prince, just like that. No it took her LOVE!
This is just my opinion and I thought I’d share it! <3