Disney is Ruining My Life

I recently watched Disney’s latest fairytale, Tangled. I had no plans to see Tangled because, seriously, Rapunzel? How boring. And computer animated? That’s cheating. And, if I’m perfectly honest, I saw The Princess and the Frog and while it was enjoyable, it didn’t give me that childlike (childish?) feeling that sent me into a romantic whirlwind of dancing and singing and crying and dreaming. I thought maybe I was too old to appreciate the newer Disney movies and figured that the old classics – Beauty and the BeastAladdin, The Little Mermaid (and all the others of my childhood)could never be replicated and Disney was done in the ways of fairytales.

Truth be told, a lot has changed in my life. When I was a kid, I could curl up in the corner of the couch and watch Ariel, Belle and Jasmine with wide eyes and believe you met someone and that was that. Hah! Relationships have come and gone, stability has been rocked, Reese and Ryan broke up, for crying out loud! How could I possibly fall for the silly romanticism of Disney ever again? There’s no way that after things I’ve been through and seen and experienced that I could allow myself to get so giddy over a silly love story ever again. Not even a more adult story like The Notebook could get me to believe in love like I used to. Seriously, I hate The Notebook.

Then I saw Tangled and I’ve watched it five times in a week (so far) and I cannot stop dancing and singing and crying and dreaming.

And now I’m so confused. I’m in my first Big Girl relationship. He and I have been together for a year and a half and it’s all very Grown Up and Serious, with keys exchanged and food shared and there is very little time for romance and all that silliness. Honestly, I think romance is pointless. Kissing in movies makes me feel awkward. Don’t tell me I’m pretty, it’s not going to win me over. I’ll allow you to hold a door open for me but that’s about it.

So why in the world am I so crazy in love with stupid Flynn Rider?! And why do I want to rewatch all those Disney movies again and feel those stupid feelings I felt as a kid? I know it’s not real. I know it doesn’t exist. I am a logical, smart, independent woman. Am I alone in feeling like despite that, I deserve a Prince who can rescue me? Or at least a super-hot thief who goes gooey for me? Relationship treats me like a princess, that’s for sure, but I don’t need to be a princess, I just want a prince.

It’s ridiculous, right? That I am 23 and finding flaws in a relationship because it’s not Disney enough? It makes me hate myself. I feel so guilty. What about Mr. Right-Some-Of-The-Time? Is he really so bad? He’s got the attitude but not the royal wealth. Or he has the heart but not the looks. Why do I find it so hard to compromise what I once believed was perfection? And I know I’m not the only girl who does it, either. Why do we skip over the stable boys to get straight to the Knights in Shining Armour?

Is there some sort of group therapy I can join? Do I need to experience more relationships to understand how good I have it? It drives me crazy to know that I am doubting something that is so good for me and any doubts I ever had are multiplied and compounded by watching Tangled. This movie is perfect, by the way, if you hadn’t figured that out. It may not be hand-drawn, but it is classic Disney perfection. Not to be a complete advert but yeah, you need to watch it. It’s on Instant Netflix.

It’s weird because I’m sort of okay with being jaded when it comes to love. Even in this relationship, I have moments when I think it’s all a waste and it’s not as if it’s going to work out anyway. Come on, just as I’m writing this, I hear the rumor that Will and Jada are breaking up, which only makes me believe in love even less. But when I watch these stupid Disney movies, I feel so warm inside and I laugh so hard and I cry like crazy and all I want is for that to be my life. Maybe it makes me feel a little innocent again, as if I can forget everything that real life has shown me and I can curl up in the corner of the couch again and feel like princes and magic are real.

I wish it was real, but it’s not. Even at 23, I’m still trying to figure out how to accept that just because a guy isn’t a prince doesn’t mean I’m settling for, but rather, I’m settling in. Disney has completely destroyed any logic I once had. Maybe they should put a disclaimer in the beginning and end of these movies, reminding us that this is based completely on fiction and any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. My generation and I are lost causes, we’re victims of the Disney Fever and we will never recover, but maybe future little girls (and boys) can avoid the frustration I’m feeling right now.

Now, can someone please lend me their Aladdin DVD? I’d go buy it but it’s in Disney’s stupid vault. Hmph.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cassiev Cassie Varian

    You are not alone! However I was very excited to see Tangled, as in my disney love-affair state I knew it would be one of their last cartoons for a while. And even though you can’t get Aladdin, The Lion King is be re-released very soon in cinemas! Also, make sure to stock up on the disney movies that are currently out of the vault. (I think its like, Alice and Wonderland, Pinocchio and Snow White atm

  • http://www.facebook.com/shannon.remanda Shannon Remanda

    That’s why I love “Enchanted”. It shows the differences between “Happily Ever After” and real life romance. The person that you may think is perfect a first may not always be as great as you think. Sometimes you stumble onto someone you wouldn’t have taken a second glance at & that’s just how love works. One thing I do know is that you have to always keep your heart open, give people the benefit of the doubt and they my just surprise you:-) I think if Disney is good at anything its giving hope and laughter & maybe just letting you dream for a few hours. What’s so bad about that?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1638626197 Kimberly ‘Roddy’ Jimenez

    Your prince is out there… I found mine. I have always compared our relationship to Jack and Rose from Titanic. It’s been 12 years and we are 3,500 miles apart. although visits can be anywhere between 2 and 4 years apart, he is the best thing that has ever happened to me (next to my daughter of course). When it comes to him I feel like the smartest, sexiest, most beautiful woman in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to wake up from this amazing dream and find out he’s not real. I write a blog about us which helps us make the miles seem shorter and it is a good outlet for me when I’m having a tough time being so far from him. Good luck with your relationship! hugs.
    http://www.kimberlyandvernon.blogspot.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=724247031 Julia Hogg

    First of all, I totally agree about Disney, and how there’s that juxtaposition (douchey big word alert!) between the Disney dream and the reality of it all. And it’s like, even if you try to be A Sensible Adult and give up on the Disney dream, there’s always that voice in the back of your head going “but maybe the dream is possible in a less idealistic way and by giving up on it I’m going to end up miserable”. I dunno, I’m hardly a seasoned relationshipper myself, so what do I know, but I think you just have to find someone stable and loving and that’s the priority, but if the ability to sometimes indulge in slightly silly Disney moments (even though you KNOW they’re kinda silly) is something you need, then I guess you have to make that a pre-requisite for whoever you choose.

    Second of all, in this case I really think you are also a victim of the Zac Levi effect, because he is FRIGGIN ADORABLE and makes everything seem dorky and lovely and WHY WON’T HE LET ME BEAR HIS CHILDREN?! But yeah, I’m not ashamed (okay, slightly ashamed) to admit that at 27 years old, I bought the Flynn Rider doll because of him. Not in a creepy way…just in the way that he’s way better than I ever thought Ken was when I was at an appropriate age to be playing with Ken.

    • Becca Sands

      I read your comment nodding along like, “Yes, yes, makes sense, very adult, yes,” and then got to the second paragraph and DIED LAUGHING. That darn Levi boy. He is way too adorable and it’s driving me CRAZY! Also: not in a creepy way. Suuuuure. 😉

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=724247031 Julia Hogg

      Hahah, I know it’s not the most believable of stories, but I swear I’m not a creeper! I may just have the urge to buy the Rapunzel doll too and then dress her up as Sarah Walker, so I can have a little Bartowski family. ( <- will make no sense to you if you don't watch Chuck).

  • http://www.facebook.com/carlynn.lane Carly Lane

    They totally need to do a movie about what happens after the happily ever after. Although I agree with the above commenter about Enchanted – part of the reason I love that movie is that it totally sets Happily Ever After against the real world to see how it all turns out – which, in my opinion, is pretty true to the way real life is – even though things aren’t completely fairy-tale perfect, everyone gets something of a happy ending when they find the person they’re meant to be with.

    And at the very least, you are so not alone in singing along to those darned Disney movies. I’m STILL humming the songs from Tangled at work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/melissaraeb Melissa Rae Brown

    i have been dying to see Tangled, even though I am not a huge fan of Disney movies. I watched them when I was little, but I never fantasized about my prince coming along. I was too busy pretending I had a mermaid tail, or pretending all of the animals in the forest would come out for a snuggle if I sang really loud.

    I think 23 is really, really young to worry about finding the perfect man and settling down, even though i was madly in love with someone at 23. is that a sign that i am getting old?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1928850 Kristy Thomas

    I just watched “Tangled” earlier this week on Netflix and had a similar experience. I’m a grown (engaged!) woman, yet I’m completely losing my sh*t over the love of animated characters. I’m a total Disney nerd, so I’ve always been kind of giddy when watching their movies, but “Tangled” took it to a whole new level.

    For me at least, though, the reason Disney movies get to me so much isn’t because of the “fairy tale” aspects like castles, magic, chivalry, perfect endings. Sure those are fun, and those are the parts of these movies that stood out to me when I was a kid, but now Disney movies kind of hit me on a deeper level. (Okay, now I’m starting to sound a little crazy.) What I loved most about “Tangled” wasn’t its fairy-tale-ness, but how it perfectly captured the rush you get when you’re falling in love and how sweet and innocent the start of a relationship can be (that dancing-in-the-square montage? I totally died for that). Maybe it’s too easy for us to get caught up in all the imagination and the details in Disney movies, but they don’t have to make us feel like real-life love is somehow less than perfect. My happily ever after sure isn’t anything close to a Disney movie, but it’s the best thing I could ever dream of and, really, isn’t that a bit what Disney fairy tales are all about?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Wicketthecanuck Krista Lynn Shepley

    I just IMDB’d Zac Levi and was stunned into silence. Good grief is he ever gorgeous. It’s nice that it’s up to par with the rest.. They should be releasing Alladdin again soon on dvd.. it hasn’t had a release since the original “special” edition which i believe is like $200 in ebay for a mint condition one.. (and really?who wants to buy dvds that someone’s probably scratched?? :S ) I agreed with all. I’m still looking for my beast. 😛 All I seem to be coming accross is Gaston though *sigh*

  • http://www.facebook.com/BookWyrm1025 Sonya Smith

    From a young age, I grew up reading the real fairy tales Disney later adapted for children. So I never really fell into the ‘fairy tale’ children’s trap. Fairy tales were originally for adult entertainment and were a lot darker than Disney has made them and as a result, I have a slightly different view of them. The Little Mermaid dies, in Red Riding Hood grandma dies and the wolf gets chopped to pieces, Hansel and Gretel the witch eats kids. Do we forget about all of these things? As some earlier posters have said, Disney movies are all about that first rush of infatuation in a relationship and do not go further in to the day to day everyone irl must go through. IRL relationships take work and the good ones are with two people who really want to be together and put in that time to build the relationship. Respect, love, like, friendship, gratitude, willingness to work through issues together, remembering to surprise each other with little touches, and really paying attention to the other person.
    I know some will probably hate to hear this but at 23 there is still so much to explore and see and do. Breathe, relax and enjoy what you have. Dream big and go and do, the right person will be right there with you helping to carve that trail. Oh. My. God. ok done with the sermon :) Enjoy your life for you and everyone in your life will enjoy it with you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joey.casale Joey Casale

    You’re 23! In 10 years (which will fly by in a Snap!) you’ll have a completely different understanding of Disney movies and probably still be confused.
    I’m 31 and have yet found my Prince Charming, but believe me I’m still looking. And I’m not settling for any “frogs” in the mean time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=196002065 Theresa Petty

    Becca, I feel like you somehow shrunk yourself and somehow made a little nesting place in my brain, and with your itty bitty type writer wrote out exactly what I have been thinking and feeling lately. You are obviously not alone, and I think maybe creating a therepy group would be best for us all. However, I think the hold of Disney is unbreakable. I had no desire to see Tangled either because I didn’t want to be dissapointed, but it completely enchanted me. For those 2 hours I was captivated and left feeling love is real and perfect like I’ve always believed. Thanks for the words. I enjoyed relating.
    Theresa

    • Becca Sands

      Thanks so much, Theresa! I’m sort of blown away with how many people have contacted me here, on tumblr, and on twitter saying they know exactly how I feel. We definitely need a therapy group! I’ll get crackin’ on that. 😉 Thanks girl!

  • http://www.facebook.com/amyamyamy17 Amy Danielle

    princess and the frog was awful. TANGLED WAS SO GOOD.
    when i first decided i had a crush on my now-boyfriend, it was when he told me he had taken his two older brothers to see tangled in theaters and they all thought it was magical. i own it and i cry every time. we pre-ordered it when it came to dvd and both got full size posters that we both have hung up. the duet was the first song we ever sang together and it’s so beautiful!
    no, it’s not real life. but it gives us something to believe in and it’s SO freakin’ cute!
    plus. flynn’s smolder? oh my god!

    • Becca Sands

      You broke my smolder!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=38704256 Mandy McDonald

    Someone may have already said this, but I’m not in the comment reading mood so here goes!
    Aladdin: Ebay that ho!
    I wanted Fantasia to show my music classes two years ago and had to go there to get it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thelonelytourist Jonna Isaac

    Totally agree. Tangled is the first Disney movie since Aladdin that had that REAL Disney magic. It was amazing, and I wish we could all live inside of it. Disney has clearly messed up my perception of everything… or was it just plain old fairy tales in the first place? Either way, love this article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.l.lester Rebecca Lester

    It took me forever to realize that the second picture in the second row was Esmeralda. I feel ashamed. I’ve been meaning to watch Tangled since it came out. Now that I know it’s on Netflix instant watch…yeah..I know what I’ll be doing tonight. I can’t wait until I graduate from college. As a gift to myself, I’m taking vacation to Disney World. I think reliving the magic will be even better at twenty three than it was at eleven.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashleybeans Ashley Boyne

    I just want you to know…you are my soul sister!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/girleastlikely2 Myrna Valadez

    THIS is why you’re my BFF. OMG, we have to watch Tangled together and live-tweet at the same time (I need a life)!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennyl1 Jenny Lynn

    I need to just buy Tangled. It’s my favorite Disney film to date (following Alice in Wonderland and Little Mermaid…) I work with a guy who we all swear was the model for Flynn Rider – and he was the one who encouraged me to watch Tangled in the first place. There are some nights where we just have a running repertoire of Tangled lines and jokes. Everybody thinks we’re nuts. So, thanks Disney – now I’m going to think it’s all going to turn out like it does in the movies, right?

    • Becca Sands

      Now wait just a darn tootin’ minute. You’re telling me you know a real life Flynn Rider? Contact me on Tumblr or Twitter with his full name, address, phone number, and work schedule. For, uh, research. Yep. Research.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=532934909 Emmy Akers

    Tangled is fuffin’ amazing. There is no doubt that it’s one of my favorites now. Maybe we’re so attracted to Eugene (lol i watch this movie way too often) because he has the Flynn Rider and Eugene side? He has his flaws, but the flaws are a little boy trying to follow his dreams but in the wrong way, so it’s kind of cute? but then he’s all eugene and gah. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. and would like a eugene/flynn please.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pinkgrapefruits87 Lauren Nespoli

    I watched Tangled the other day after you told me it was on Netflix Instant and it was really cute! So far I like the music from Enchanted better, but I think I just need to hear these songs more. I totally agree with your Big Girl view of romance and how holding doors open is acceptable, but not much more than that! Yet those Disney princes just make romance seem so appealing. *sigh* I think I’m a victim of Disney Fever too!

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