Saturday, November 27, 2010

Damnit Disney!

I was impressed with The Princess and the Frog, with its message that you have to work to make your dreams come true, but we haven't let the kids see it because we thought the voodoo stuff was too scary for them.

Mary Grace had to miss going to see Lucy and Jane when she had strep/scarlet fever, so we promised her that we'd take the four of them to see Tangled this weekend, instead.

Apparently Disney has been listening to my complaints about the princesses all these years, because this movie fixed so many of my previous princess beefs...  There may be spoilers ahead, so if you don't want the movie spoiled, you may want to save this post to read later.

1)  Ariel beef - Ariel has to give up everything she knows - her home, her family, even her voice! - to be with her beloved Eric, even though she's never even spoken to him.

Tangled Fix - not only do Rapunzel and Flynn actually get to know each other before they fall in love (gasp!), but instead of closing her off from her world and making her give up everything she knows, Flynn actually helps open the world up for Rapunzel.

2)  Sleeping Beauty beef - Aurora sits around in a coma waiting for someone to come save her.

Tangled Fix - Rapunzel kicks ass and saves herself.  And then she saves the guy.

3)  Jasmine beef - Jasmine's worth is measured by her marriageability.

Tangled Fix - No one even talks about marriage until the very, very end of the movie. 

4)  Snow White beef - Snow White's worth is measured by her beauty.

Tangled Fix - While Rapunzel is beautiful, it's not the main focus of her character.  There's a lot more to her than looks.  In the beginning there's a whole song about all the things she can do.  A princess who does things?  Woah.

Mary Grace did get scared at the end (I don't want to spoil it too much, so I won't tell you which scene, but it was brief.  Not brief enough that she didn't demand to leave the theater, but it was brief), but she's particularly sensitive to scary stories and images.  I think that Tangled would be fine for your average 5 year old.  Claire did fine.

Of course, it's Disney, so there are still Mommy issues...  But Rapunzel's real parents are kind and loving and alive.  Actually, much of the movie can be interpreted as an indictment of helicopter parents, which gives the movie another layer to like and appreciate.

I've been lying to my kids since birth, telling them that princesses get to be princesses because they're good at math and science (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?), but for a change, I don't feel like I need to lie about a princess.  Rapunzel can stand on her own.  It's a great movie with a great message, and just one scary part.  I can't believe that Disney is abandoning the princess thing, just when they've finally gotten it right.

And now we're going to go build the girlies castle loft beds.  Stay tuned for pictures, it's going to be awesome!


Stacey says... said...

Couldn't agree more! We took our girls to see Tangled today and I was so impressed at how Disney handled the princess thing this time around!

Mrs4444 said...

This is great! I love that you're the type of person to notice this stuff, and I'm glad to know this movie will empower girls :)

Cate said...

Amy, if you have a chance, could you email me what the scary part is? I don't care about spoilers. It sounds like something I could take Esther to see and be happy about it. But I want to know exactly what is entailed. :)