Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Disney Life Lessons
Last night, Wetsoks, Fleetch and I watched a range of Disney films. As a sidenote, the Fleetch came over to see if I still had a power drill she thought she left with me (like I'd know where any of the DIY things are) and then got suckered in. No one can resist the power of the first film we watched, my ultimate favourite Disney film of all time, Hercules.
That might surprise some of you, given how often I make terrible Lion King quotes, but I have always adored Hercules. It's genuinely funny, has excellent characters including the snarky-but-with-a-heart-of-gold Megara, and intertwines classic Disney storytelling with Greek mythology (albeit a bit sporadically and with some artistic license) without it being such a forceful propaganda piece for marriage. Not like the next films we watched - The Little Mermaid, and then Aladdin. Now, I don't know if you've recently watched either of those, but the life lessons they teach are pretty appalling:
1. If You're Unattractive, You Can't Be Happy
During her busty rendition of Poor Unfortunate Souls, Ursula - you can tell she's the villain because she's mainly black and purpley, which is classic Disney stereotyping - tells Ariel a story of a girl who wanted to be thin, and a homely boy who wanted to find a girl. They came to her for a magical remedy, which fixed everything and presto! Love! She sort of sweeps over the fact that they couldn't pay the price afterwards and ended up being one of those wormy things attached to the floor of her lair in favour of touting her magical wares, as expected of a villain, and points out that Ariel won't need a voice to secure a man because she has her looks. Yes... men don't want you to talk. Ever. You won't need to have an opinion or a personality, as long as you're pretty!
Fleetch: Oh no, I'm a beautiful mermaid princess! My life is hell!
Me: Girl, please. First ocean problems.
Fleetch: Listen to to the lyrics "the girl who has everything" - yes. You have everything you could possibly want, and you're still whining.
Wetsoks: The seaweed is always greener.
Me: True dat. Incidentally, someone should be concerned about her obsession with collecting shiny things. The lyric is "but who cares, no big deal, I want more". Hoarder much?
Westoks: There's a show about people like her.
2. If You Wait, The Universe Will Hand You Stuff
One of the things Aladdin says in the first few minutes is "some day, Abu, things are going to change." Are they? How? You are not even trying to better your situation. The universe owes you squat, street rat.
Fleetch: You know what would solve a lot of Aladdin's problems? Getting a job. Does he think those bakers and fruit vendors can afford his constant theft? I bet they have starving families to feed.
Me: Good point. And sure, I can believe she's a princess, but I refuse to believe that she doesn't understand what 'payment' is. Oh Disney, trying to convince us women need help for even the simplest things.
There was silence for a few minutes while we watched Aladdin descend into the sand tiger cave, and get the lamp. And spoiler alert, Abu the greedy monkey can't help touching the largest jewel even after they've both been warned not to touch anything but the lamp. The flying carpet grabs Aladdin and they sweep towards Abu who is about to be melted into the lava lake created by his own greed and stupidity.
Me: I know this isn't going to be a popular opinion, but... look. The monkey got you into this mess. Leave him there. Who's going to know?
Wetsoks: Wow, dude. That is cold.
Me: I'm just saying. If we're ever in a situation where we're told "touch nothing but this one item and come right back" and you then touch something that endangers all our lives, I won't hesitate to leave you at the lava lake. Consequences. Face them.