Friday, August 6, 2010

What Walt May Have Forgotten To Mention In THE END

I have been known to get worked up about things from time to time. I can even be a bit uptight sometimes. My online persona is calm, cool, collected and well balanced. But that is because we can be anything we want to be in this world where there is time to think through each sentence and edit. In my real life I do not have this advantage and sometimes my passion, opinions and temper get the better of me. I must have done this at least once with a good friend of mine, because she suggested a topic for me to blah blah blahg about. I must be loosening up in my old age, because I just ended that sentence in a preposition and I am going to leave it. See, I am not uptight...anymore.

ANYway, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself...The topic? Princesses. Specifically “How Walt and his Princesses Didn’t Do Us Any Favors” or “What the Heck!?” Ok, I know. That needs a little explanation.

First of all. Name a princess who has a mother. Anyone? Nope, that is a step mother and she is awful. Yep, that one too. Anyone else? Ok. So, no one has a mother. Why you ask? Well, first of all it is a cheap literary/film device used to create instant sympathy for our young female protagonists. You do not know her well enough to like her, but you feel sorry for her because she hasn’t got a Mum. Cheap trick, but effective. Plus, being motherless allows said protagonist to get into all kinds of trouble that would otherwise be avoided had someone been there at home to ground her till she came to her senses. And in case you are thinking of trying it, apparently locking her in a tower just creates more problems.

So, the real problem I have comes in the message that these headstrong teens are sending to the audience. For instance, the beautiful redheaded siren who utters the infamous “But, Daddy, I love him!” Love? Seriously? She had never even MET him. Yet, as you may recall, was willing to put life on the line and give up home, family and the ability to breath underwater for the strapping lad with nice hair. Sheesh, Navy guys! Or how about the well-read adventurous lass who dreams of leaving the provincial town that is holding her down in search of something more! Was the “more” really a man who constantly yells at her and then locks her in her room without food until she complies with his wishes? Hmmm? Message: “If I am just sweet enough and love him well enough he will turn from a beast into a handsome Prince.” Sorry to ruin it for you.

Don’t get me wrong. My girls watch(ed) these movies. One of them loves all things Princess, and I did illustrate the worst examples. The point is...the point is...well I don’t know really. I guess I want my girls to have a bit better role models when it comes to love and marriage. I certainly do not think they are ruined by watching these. Perhaps it even gives us something to talk about with our daughters. But those dang Princesses make it look too easy. Handsome? Check. Good Kisser? Check. Sign me up! Too easy.

Truth. It is hard work to have a good, happy and successful marriage. Fun work. Interesting work. Amazing work. But work, ya know, everyday, forever. By definition work is: “Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.” I love that when we think of it in terms of relationships. Do we as mothers and fathers have a clear purpose or result in mind? Yes! We want to live happily ever after. I guess I just wish a few of those fairy tales would end “And they lived happily ever after, always putting considerable effort into their partners’ well-being and focusing their attention on service to God and one another, by being unselfish and considerate, praying together often and treating each other better than when they were dating, all while keeping the big picture in mind. The end.

Quote of the Day: "A successful marriage requires falling in love many times...always with the same person."

--Mignon McLaughlin author


  1. Standing ovation!

    I would like to add, "and eventually the beautiful princess and handsome prince became flabby and middle-aged, but fortunately they had learned that they loved each other for their intelligence, humor, wit, and kindess, which is far more important in the long run."

  2. Great, I love it! I have always wondered why they didn't have a mother and I always hated the easy "happily ever after" too. Now I don't feel too cynical, thanks! ;)

  3. Thanks for the blog comment! And you know Princess Tiana from Princess and the Frog had a mother! Maybe Disney saw the error of their ways? Princess Fiona (Shrek) had a mother too. And what about sleeping beauty? She had three fairy god mothers ANd a real mother. Just sayin'!

  4. Also? Have you seen the movie Enchanted? Great movie! It pokes fun at all of that.

  5. There's a lot worse things about Disney, but yes, I agree with the observation that the girls tend do give up everything, even their identity for a man. Princess Fiona did have a mother, a controlling one if I remember right.

    and then there are the princes who kiss dead girls (Snow White and Sleeping Beauty) and most of it is Love at First Sight anyway, which we all know is infatuation.

    And if you put their dresses on a real woman...well, I wouldn't let my daughter wear most of those to prom! What exactly is the prince attracted to? Not her brains, personality, talents....!

    All that said, I have to admit to a childhood fascination with the Wizard of Oz, (and Dorothy also doesn't have a mother!)

  6. Love your blog. The Disney princess thing always got to me too. Have you ever read the children book the Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. It's hilarious - check it out. I also like the movie Ever After with Drew Barrymore. She wasn't a princess really but I like how she rescues herself in the end. I'm so glad to have found your blog.

  7. Where are their mothers? And what kind of fathers did they have for that matter? The stories say that they loved their daughters so much but when they remarried, took no thought to how this woman would be treating my daughter. Seriously!
    I loved this post.