You’re wondering, “Why would anybody say anything negative about Disney?” If you are thinking this, stop drinking the Kool Aid and pay attention. Once again, don’t get us wrong. We love Disney. We love the movies and the parks. As parents, we have tithed the requisite 20% of our yearly income to all things Disney. But, at some point, we have to acknowledge that they have hijacked our culture. This smack-down is less about celebrity and more about how fame has given them the power to change the social fabric of our country. “Don’t fuck with the mouse?” Heh… Lube up Mickey. Here we go….
Lee’s comments: Let us begin with the Disney films. These were the only animated films we watched. These are all classics in their own right even without the Disney moniker plastered on them. Most of these stories were taken by classic tales already widely circulated and run through the imagination of the Disney machine. So what’s the big deal?
1. Disney films only portray women as hapless fools who can only depend on men or evil bitches. Go through your Disney film catalogue and start naming off the main characters of each film. You will find that there is a preponderance of female leads. If you investigate further, you will find most of them have no mothers. Case in point: Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine. All of these characters are either raised by their fathers or evil stepmothers. The point of all of their films is how the girls are not complete until they find the right man.
I’ll be honest. I know that I became a better woman when I married Paul but I can assure you I never sat next to my window singing for some guy to find me. The first time I saw my daughter singing that song from Snow White, I almost had a feminist conniption. What shit! The newer females are not much better. Sure they seem a little tougher but ultimately they need the man to take control of them to tame their shrew.
But what can you expect from girls raised in castles by bumbling men? All of these girls have no mommy. They aren’t even mentioned as if it’s been so long that the mother is a non entity. Of course a man can raise a child as well as a woman but I think this trend is more an indication of Disney’s issues with mothers and women in general than a social commentary. And let’s face it, when he does portray a mother, albeit a step mom, he creates this heinous creature and some of the scariest shit any of his movies have. You try watching the scene in Snow White where the step mother witch transforms into a hag and makes the apple. Just thinking about it makes me shiver! I know many step mothers and most of them don’t scare me or request the heart of their stepchild in a box.
I am the mother of a teenage girl and as such feel obligated to set her straight and teach her how the world works for smart women. I teach her she doesn’t need a man to be complete. I teach her that if she goes into a house with little furniture to run. Dwarves are not your friend! I teach her that some men will feel the need to rescue her. Those guys can pay your rent and utilities once but then move on. I teach her never to accept an apple from an old woman. It’s just creepy. But mostly I teach her to follow her heart, speak her mind and be fearless. Let’s face it, it worked for Belle.
Paul’s comments: Whereas the women are missing a piece of themselves, the male leads of the movies are all studs. (With the exception of Aladdin. I think he was pussy whipped.) With the guy’s, you can see a difference between the classic movies, the ones when Walt was alive or a direct influence, and the modern films. The movies with Walt’s touch had a certain old-school male wisdom wound through them. In one sense, they promoted a chivalrous male stereotype, which I do appreciate, but there was always an underlying chauvinism that still promotes that ‘Come on son. You’re 14 now. Let’s go get you laid’ male-female separatism.
One example is the Jungle Book. This is my favorite Disney movie, by the way, mainly because of the King Louie song. In the Jungle Book, Mowgli spends most of the movie in male heaven – finding the bare necessities, fighting, sleeping, eating, and scratching his ass with a tree. At the end, he sees a young woman who shows him her big eyes. Eyes are a Disney boob metaphor. Let’s not pretend otherwise. And, without a word, he was in love. He wandered out of his all male jungle and into the ‘big eyes’ of the girl.
Thus the 1950 paradigm of the ineffectual male drone and the wily women leading him by his manhood is perpetuated. Some fifty years later, I’m showing it to my boys. What else can I do? I like the music.
Lee responds: I’m batting my eyes at you honey just like Sebastian told Ariel. Are you sure it was a boob metaphor or a hoo hoo metaphor? In the Haitian culture they refer to a woman having her “eyes too open” as a euphemism for a woman who is evolved (euphemism for a chick who won’t let the guy just mess around without getting a little pissy). I see the eyes as an easier woman especially that little girl in “Jungle Book” who was seducing him with those huge alien eyes. That’s it! I figured out. Walt’s Mom was an alien!
…to be continued because there’s just too much Disney stuff for one blog. We still have the parks, legal team, the new crop of Disney “stars” and Pixar to write about.