Disney is Ruining My LifeBecca Sands

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/nati.ramosg Natalia Ramos Gaete

    Because of Disney and musicals in general, I’m still hoping for the moment when everyone starts singing and dancing with me in the subway or supermarket.
    But I guess thats never gonna happen…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=23312134 Bart Sullivan

    For all of my teenage years through now as I’m 27, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s Disney’s fault that I’m single because they gave me an unrealistic view of relationships and love. As Disney movies changed recently (Toy Story, the 20 billion sequals to Cinderella, etc and started getting worse (I still like Toy Story, but it doesn’t fit in with my point), I thought maybe the dying away of great Disney movies was brining to light this problem and that was why they were so bad. Yet now, watching Tangled, I fall back into that mindset. Tangled it so great, and I also cannot stop watching it, feeling the way I did when I was a kid watching The Little Mermaid (except as an adult I have the love of this movie with a slight crush on Rapunzell because of how cool she’s being)

  • http://www.facebook.com/marykatevadala MaryKate Vadala

    FYI, Tangled is better than Princess and The Frog because Alan Menken wrote the music. He also wrote the music for Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, etc. Randy Newman who wrote the music for the Toy Story movies did Princess and The Frog. He’s good but not the right composer for a musical movie.

    OK also: I am the same way with the being a normal well adjusted girl who sometimes wishes prince charming exists. The trick is to really imagine yourself IN REAL LIFE experiencing your version of a Disney Movie. First of all be grateful you are not in any of the terrible situations that the characters in these movies get themselves into. Then imagine some guy confessing his love to you and reciting all the things he loves about you in a really showy, dramatic way. To me, this make me want to puke. Whenever guys really like me and want to treat me like a princess I get annoyed. Maybe it’s just me. But I’m just saying.

    • Becca Sands

      I LOVE that, MaryKate, that’s a great idea. You’re right, it makes me squeamish and feel super gross. Holla at you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kstings Kate Hastings

    Omigod I love this. Eugene Fitzherbert.. What a stud. Tangled, Anastasia, and Beauty and the Beast are the only three that have me believing in it all. But even then, I’m a bit skeptical.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anwalters Anna Walters

    Bex- what if the stable boy IS your knight in shining armor? Let’s be real, look at Flynn. The reason that we love him is because he’s not a prince, he’s sarcastic and witty and yet turns out to be completely head over heals for this crazy, emotionally unstable, girl with hair that glows. Maybe “relationship” is your Flynn Rider and you just don’t know it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=736554323 Davina Henskens

    Love this article! Ofcourse, after reading it all I could think about was watching “Tangled”. So yesterday I rushed to the store and bought the DVD. You were right: it’s just beautiful!! And now I’m already daydreaming about meeting my own Eugene Fitzherbert/Flynn Rider. Or, what a Disney movie can do to you…

  • http://www.facebook.com/rozzie.hoseth Rozzie Hoseth

    Oh my goodness, I saw Tangled in theatres 4 times! Eugene is soooo dreamy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yajaira.n.calderon Yajaira Nuribeth Calderon

    Does anyone else feel like all these Disney Princes need a haircut?

  • http://www.facebook.com/hipybohemiannerd Jenny Zimmerman
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=71600201 Jess Liberati

    I have had a crush on Zachary Levi since the pilot episode of Chuck-he just seems like a nice guy and decent human being. Tangled just increased my celebrity crush. Have you seen this? It’s him and Mandy Moore (Rapunzel) singing live at the Oscars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnUImIi7QUU AND apparently there’s going to be a short sequel-not full feature length but it sounds like it’ll be pretty decently long. It’s to be called “Tangled Ever After” and has a picture of Rapunzel in what appears to be a wedding dress on the poster (also it has the other characters on it as well). http://www.hypable.com/disney/2011/08/25/disney-to-release-a-short-tangled-sequel-tangled-ever-after/

  • 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!

  • 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/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/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/ashleybeans Ashley Boyne

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

  • 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/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/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/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=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.

    • 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!

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