Let me start off by saying that Disney is awesome. Yay Disney! Woo! *Waves Mickey Mouse flag* Yet no matter how awesome Disney is, I can’t help but notice all the not so awesome moral lessons that sneak into my favourite, awesome Disney movies. So here is a list of questionable morals that I have picked up:
• The Hunchback of Notre Dame
This movie makes me super sad. The ending is not happy, I don’t care what uplifting tunes you play to me, I am going to be a gross, damp wreck, because it is a SAD MOVIE! Okay, here’s the moral that makes me blubber every. Single. Time: Be as sweet and kind and heroic as you want, you ain’t gonna get the girl. I’m sorry, okay? But look at Phoebus. Look at that sexy beard, the hair that you could run your fingers through, that cocky, knowing smile. He’s an animation and even I’m getting worked up, there’s no helping Esmeralda. Sorry Quasi, you’re just not my type. How sad is that? If there’s no hope for Quasimodo, who SAVED THE DAY, how is there any hope for me, with my lack of heroism and craft skills? Sniff.
Do any of you know the actual, true story of this? Like the truth facts on which this movie is based? No? Well, let me enlighten you. Pocahontas was a child when she met John Smith. Yeah, it’s generally agreed that she saved his life, by putting her head on his just as her tribe were about to beat his brains out, but there was no romance going on there, and if there had been, it would NOT be fodder for a Disney film. Also, don’t try to save someone else’s life. You will get shot and lose your chance at true love because you’ve sailed to a country with no hospitals. Heroism is dangerous, don’t try this at home.
• Beauty and the Beast
Belle is by far my favorite Disney princess, because she is smart. She reads books and everything, which is way more than any other female does in a Disney movie; they’re way too busy preening or cooking or cleaning, there’s a lot of housekeeping being done in these movies. Anyway, despite Belle being oh so awesomely smart, all the men want her babies just because she’s hot. Yeah, she’s pretty and all, but check out those brains! The way her fingers fly over the pages is hot right? Right? I guess not. Even when she finally gets the prince, *cough* Beast *cough* it’s because of the super wow moment with the yellow dress. Okay, you could argue that he goes for her because of the rose curse thing, but that’s hardly a moral high point is it? If a guy is desperate enough, he’ll want you. Throw away the literature ladies, you don’t need it if your hair is voluminous and the guy you’ve got your eye on is in serious need of a good wax.
Oh Hercules, clumsy, funny-looking Hercules. Didn’t think you were a God did you? Well you are, congrats. Oh, you wanna come home? Well tough luck. Because of those two ugly, little creatures and that delicious poison you sucked down so eagerly, you’re kinda screwed for a while. Don’t worry though. All you have to do to be accepted back into the bosom of the shiny Gods is to nearly die. Of course, we’re not gonna tell you that. We’ll just lie back and watch you work your butt off, almost getting ourselves killed in the process, but yeah. A near death experience maketh the hero. Also, don’t bother with that health and safety nonsense. Three crazy hags are the keepers of mortality, so just steal their eye and hide their scissors. Sorted.
• The Little Mermaid
No-one told Ariel how awesome she was, clearly. Her self-esteem was shattered, she just couldn’t accept who she was, scales and all. When she saw her first hot guy, she sold her soul for him, changed her appearance completely, and, voila, she got the guy. Because that’s how love works right? “Oh wow, that guy’s pretty dishy, and his dog’s adorable, I’m gonna add a few extra limbs to my body ‘cause I’ve heard he’s into that.” “Oh wow, that girl sure is perty, and she has the sort of limbs I like. She can’t speak, but that’s cool, I won’t bother to learn sign language, guessing games are a giggle and oh wow! Look at THAT girl! Now that girl has limbs AND a voice, I’m off.” Eventually Ariel and Eric are united, on the condition that Ariel keeps her new limbs and stops with all the breathing under water stuff. How’s that for confidence boosting?
• The Lion King
I had to look pretty hard for an excuse to be naughty with this one, but, Huzzah! I found it. Remember the awesome monkey? Well I do, and I also remember that he gives Simba a few pretty big smacks across the head to teach him a lesson. There’s your moral. If someone’s not listening to you, just hit ‘em over the head and they’ll get it. They will. Try it. And the lesson he wanted Simba to learn? Stars are dead people (or lions,) not big balls of burning gas, they are in fact sparkling remnants of the deceased; they can talk and everything. So yeah, all you scientists out there, sitting on your high horses, you are WRONG! The monkey said so.
• Sleeping Beauty
Can you imagine if Aurora, (Yeah, that’s her name, it’s a bit sad that I’m a legal adult and know that, right?) had woken up from her slumber, just as Prince Phillip (had to Google that one) was kissing her, only to yell at him for waking her. You should never wake a sleeping woman unless something terrible or something awesome has happened, no excuses. What if she’d gone completely mad and started screaming at him for ruining a brilliant dream, or worse, for cheating on her in her dream? I can assure you that it happens. But that’s not the point. The point is, according to Disney, that you can be a terrible person, like really bad, like glaring at puppies and ripping pages out of books bad, but as long as you’re pretty, men will battle through thorns and slay dragons just to kiss you, even if you’re unconscious, especially if you’re unconscious, and if you’re hot, he’s on it. As with everything in life, it also helps if you’re a princess.
So there you have it. Disney has been sending me subtle moral messages, and I’ve been listening, Disney, I have. It’s just so hard to do the wrong thing, when you keep telling me to be brave and nice and honest. I don’t know which side to choose. The only way to decide is with a Disney movie marathon. So if you need me I’ll be in my room, consulting my moral compass and eating popcorn.
You can read more from Tilly Vanilly on her blog.
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