I went on a date a couple months ago with a guy who’s parents never let him watch Disney movies growing up because of the way they portrayed women- as helpless without their male counterparts, supposedly. This, in theory, sounds like good parenting, I guess. But in all honesty, that was the last thing to cross my little girly mind as I grew up watching the princesses and their talking/ helpful/ singing animal friends. The princes never even really struck me as being that desirable or remember-able. They lacked all the character that the princesses had, and they rarely, if ever, got to sing. I think the only exception to this was Aladdin, who I though was great because he had a certain spark that pretty much all the princes up to Navin from The Princess and The Frog were missing. Now, keep in mind that from the time I can remember, my dream guy was one of the politically-minded student soldiers from Les Miserables, so I was not an ordinary little girl. At seven, I was little Cossette for Halloween. (Again, it was the music. Are you seeing a theme here?) What did I actually get from the princess movies as a little kid? Let me tell you…
*The following are actual thoughts I had as a child watching these movies, proving that no psychological and/ or developmental damage can be done by letting your daughter watch cartoons, you know, when she’s a child who should watch cartoons, made for children. *
- Snow White: Don’t go to a stranger’s house because you’ll have to clean for them. Also, probably shouldn’t eat apples given to you by random ugly old ladies.
- Cinderalla- Glass slippers won’t break? That sounds dangerous! Pumpkin probably won’t get on you, even if you car turns back early.
- Aurora- Maybe if you fall asleep with your lips in kissy position, you’ll get kissed and fall in love in the middle of the night! She also had a pink dress. Winning.
- Ariel- If you want to rebel against your father, at least have a fun song to sing about it! Sing it loudly, as often as possible. (BETCHA ON LAND- THEY UNDERSTAND, BET THEY DON’T RE-PRE-MAND THEIR DAAAUGHTERS!)
- Belle- Gaston TERRIFIED me as a little kid. He was just so mean! I remember very vividly not being able to sleep at my grandma’s house because I was having Gaston nightmares. And I also really wanted to try all of the “Be Our Guest” food.
- Jasmine- Cool belly shirt, coolest prince, awesome pet. No wonder this was my little sister’s favorite princess.
- Pocohontas- I want a raccoon and a tattoo. And why are John Smiths lips like that? Can I do a cartwheel in some sunflowers now?
- Mulan- LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS. TO DEFEAT. THE HUNS.
- Alice- Not a princess. Don’t care. She’s my favorite and probably the only one I got a life lesson from- it’s ok to fall down holes because you might end up somewhere totally cool and learn a lesson along the way.
Now, if I’m being completely honest with myself, I much preferred the movies with the animals. The Emperor’s New Groove was fantastic, of course, because I adore llamas and David Spade, but I had a certain fondness for any of the movies featuring cats. When Tabbers died (bless her furry soul) I watched this scene from Oliver and Company and cried on my floor for hours (and I’m not ashamed to admit it):
And who could forget Aristocats? Doesn’t everybody want to be a cat after all? That little Marie was probably my first introduction to sass, plus homekitty rocked a bow. And Lion King… I still refuse to see Frozen because they were comparing it to one of the most beautifully made and scored Disney movies of all time, in my humble opinion. And since I have a certain fondness of lions, as CaroLION, that is one that just cannot be beat.
Tip: If you’re going to propose to me ever, I would like it to be a Lion King themed flash mob at the national zoo in front of the lion habitat that goes viral on youtube. That’s all I ask. I’m a girl with simple wants, I swear!
Last but not least, I feel like I MUST mention A Goofy Movie. I still remember being on the edge of my seat when Daddy D took Candace and I to go see it. Pre-having any logic whatsoever, I developed quite the crush on poor Max. He just wanted to be cool and get the girl! Didn’t we all just want to be cool? And he was finally cool once he could be himself! That’s a wonderful life lesson! And that music was great too:
Whatever. I guess my point here is, let your kids watch these movies. I have some great family memories of going to see them and if nothing else, the music is great. Also, it looks like I may have forgotten everything I learned in that children’s lit elective I took junior year, which is probably good because it was basically, “all fairy tales are about rape and murder,” and who can sing about that?!