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BK007

Disney Princess Movies

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I'm watching through Disney's animated canon, and wanted to discuss these because of my reactions. Now, I haven't seen all of them yet, but the three that do qualify; Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Little Mermaid, perhaps Mulan, I had differing reactions to.

 

I'm going to preface by saying I dislike the whole "true love" trope. If you can't sell me on a love story, there should be none. If your story is about "love" then sell it to me, not "love at first sight" crap that goes on in these movies.

 

So, in my mind, I pretty much disliked Sleeping Beauty, thought I liked Cinderella and had not much recollection of either Little Mermaid or Mulan. Then, I rewatched them.

 

Cinderella was first, and I disliked it. A lot. Cinderella falls in love with the prince after one dance. She simply dreams of going to a ball and being the princess. It's just rather awful. They get married immediately as well. No. Couldn't stand it and the movie had nothing else going for it. Focusing on side characters which were all too cutesy or annoying.

 

Then Mulan, which wasn't really a princess movie but had the same archetype. This is probably the strongest because Mulan and that guy aren't royalty for one, and they spend an extended amount of time together and end up "dating". But this movie was brought down by other factors including Mushu, the unrealistic fight sequences and the mediocre ending with the villain.

 

Little Mermaid came next and I unfortunately, quite disliked it also. I hoped to like it because I grew up during the 1990s, so my Disney childhood would or should have been these movies. I either did not have it on VHS or didn't like it enough to watch it, but I don't remember much of it. To me, it just doesn't do very well. It's 1989 and the "love" story hasn't moved an inch. By the numbers painting of all girls and whatever. The songs are catchy and the strongest of this entire group but the animation isn't very good and I find it quite stupid that Ariel constantly goes against her father's wishes for no reason. She knows she shouldn't see Ursula but goes, shouldn't make a bargain, but goes. I couldn't stand it, especially when she "falls in love" without even speaking to Eric. Even Cinderella has danced with the Prince. I couldn't let that slide so the movie just didn't get to me.

 

And so here I was having to watch Sleeping Beauty and dreading it slightly. But, confounding myself, I found it the best of all these movies and I am wondering why. Aurora and Philip do almost exactly the same dance. Why am I forgiving? Is it because the animation is exquisite? Is it because Maleficent is proper evil? Somehow I have justified this "true love" bit in my mind. The interaction between them felt more real than Cinderella and perhaps I felt, despite Aurora's song and dream, she wasn't still fawning over the first guy she met...I mean she kind of does actually, but she was heartbroken when she was betrothed to the Prince, so at least that implied some sort of choice. Unlike Ariel who basically gives up her life, completely idiotic, Aurora seems more grounded. Also maybe the fact they were supposed to be married anyway gives the "meant to be" aspect more weight, plus that little trick with "true love's kiss" can be fooled because, technically anyone can be your true love, so it seems akin to pulling the sword out of the stone. You will or can eventually fall in love with this person because it is fated. In the case of Mermaid, Ariel falls in love before the kiss aspect is even brought up. She's relying on the first guy she has laid on of the opposite species, not even just gender, to be the one whereas here it seems like, despite Philip being the boy in the forest, there is an element of numbers. Also, it is not her that knowingly accepts such a spell, for all we know, though being a Disney movie obviously not, the Prince could kiss her and nothing would have happened. 

 

Just thought it was interesting of how basically the same story can affect me differently just because of a few perceived semantics or trivialities in details. I think there is some sort of psychological thing also at play, like how we as people respond to certain events, stories etc. Of course if there was a formula it would be known by now, but I'm sure there are little things that can break or make your movie, character, perhaps even persona. Subconscious responding. I know there's a lot written about that, how the subconscious mind attracts us to certain things or makes us resist certain influences.

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Little Mermaid came next and I unfortunately, quite disliked it also. I hoped to like it because I grew up during the 1990s, so my Disney childhood would or should have been these movies. I either did not have it on VHS or didn't like it enough to watch it, but I don't remember much of it. To me, it just doesn't do very well. It's 1989 and the "love" story hasn't moved an inch. By the numbers painting of all girls and whatever. The songs are catchy and the strongest of this entire group but the animation isn't very good and I find it quite stupid that Ariel constantly goes against her father's wishes for no reason. She knows she shouldn't see Ursula but goes, shouldn't make a bargain, but goes. I couldn't stand it, especially when she "falls in love" without even speaking to Eric. Even Cinderella has danced with the Prince. I couldn't let that slide so the movie just didn't get to me.

Or you could look at it like this: she makes her own decision to disobey her father and do what she wants, she makes her own decision to see Ursula and makes her own decision to sign the contract. Maybe they were mistakes, but the decision were her own. She drives her own story. No giving up there.
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Or you could look at it like this: she makes her own decision to disobey her father and do what she wants, she makes her own decision to see Ursula and makes her own decision to sign the contract. Maybe they were mistakes, but the decision were her own. She drives her own story. No giving up there.

 

 

Yeah but they are all precipitated by her stalking/obsession with Eric. If she was a guy, she'd be thrown in jail. Disney doesn't get a pass for such a poorly thought out motivation.

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Yeah but they are all precipitated by her stalking/obsession with Eric. If she was a guy, she'd be thrown in jail. Disney doesn't get a pass for such a poorly thought out motivation.

That's part of it, but you're forgetting this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ex3n6nFJbSoSo she's got a crush, so does Aladdin.
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I love that song.

 

In fact, that bit, is the best bit in the movie.

 

I wish they made a different movie, lol.

 

Haven't seen Aladdin.

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Ariel = trans youth not comfortable in her own body and longing for another form. Triton = conservative father forcing her to remain in her own body and world as he cannot relate. And he is especially against the idea of her hooking up with a human (think of parents opposing LGBT relationships of their children, to "protect" them). The movie takes another dynamic altogether when viewed from that angle. The interpretation is legit as both the original writer of the story, Hans Christian Andersen, and the lyricist/co-writer/producer of the movie, Howard Ashman, were LGBT. So there were always themes of acceptance, identity and body image right from the beginning. Ashman and co. created a beautifully touching father-daughter relationship to be the heart of the tale.

 

Posted Image

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Then it's rather trivializing LGBT relationships with "love".

 

Yeah, I'm just not a big fan of TLM.

 

Frozen's "Let It Go" was embraced by that community but I think it was also a very universal song. I related to it, even moreso after my own relationship ended bitterly. For that reason, Frozen or the song will always mean something more to me.

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TLM is more specifically about trans themes. Hans Christian Andersen was bi and had feelings for straight men that were never requited. So apparently his desire to be a woman and be with the one he loved was translated as the mermaid's desire to be human and be with the prince. The writers of Disney's movie put in themes of parental acceptance and a father finally respecting his daughter's choices and setting her free as well. That's why it clicks so well with young girls so much. Also, Ariel ALWAYS wanted to be a part of the human world, out of the waters, on the warm sand and collecting thingamajigs out of wreckages even before she met Eric. Meeting him was just a catalyst for her desires to be a part of that world. There are full portions where she is human and exploring all the joys and wonders of Eric's human kingdom and castle, like she always wanted to. It was just not a love thing, though love was definitely the driving force for the latter half of the movie.And nobody is forcing you to love TLM more than Frozen lol. Just pointing out how it can appeal to other people. Also, the songs and Sebastian are magnificent and Ursula is delicious. :wub:

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I'm not sure if I said it here, but if the movie had focused more on Ariel's desire to be human than her love for Eric it would've been a much better movie. They would probably make that movie today, but that was 1989 so of course they were safer, relatively speaking.

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Yeah, it would have been like that if it released a little later. When some feminists complained about Ariel, Disney promised to make the next heroine (Belle of Beauty and the Beast) more independent and less focused on being with dudes. The princesses have gradually been getting more empowered since Ariel but there is still plenty to love about her and her movie, IMO.

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I feel like Ariel is as spoiled, bratty, and immature as she can be. I mean, she got the whole world around her and still rebel against her father? Oh please. But the thing I really applaud about the filmmakers is how they gave a 360 degree perspective on Ariel. The movie made her look sympathetic, and you really root for her. The movie's delivery made you be convinced on Ariel and her dreams, instead of looking at her as this spoiled brat. You feel her emotions very much. I really applaud Disney for that.

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I feel like Ariel is as spoiled, bratty, and immature as she can be. I mean, she got the whole world around her and still rebel against her father? 

 

Maybe because she feels trapped in the body of a mermaid and in her world like a trans person?? What do her material possessions and standing as a sea princess matter if she is unhappy and feels nobody understands her? "Wouldn't you think I'm the girl who has everything?" signifies her plight perfectly. Triton destroying her human treasure trove = a parent throwing a fit over discovering his trans son's stash of dresses and all things girly and wrecking it, right in front of his horrified and pleading child. If the movie had been made now, these themes would have been more obvious and slightly more on the nose like "Let It Go".

 

Anyways, there is one other reason why Ariel is highly underrated and an aspect nobody talks about much:

 

(Click)

Posted Image

 

Make it TWICE actually! :)

Edited by Spidey Freak

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Maybe because she feels trapped in the body of a mermaid and in her world like a trans person?? What do her material possessions and standing as a sea princess matter if she is unhappy and feels nobody understands her? "Wouldn't you think I'm the girl who has everything?" signifies her plight perfectly. Triton destroying her human treasure trove = a parent throwing a fit over discovering his trans son's stash of dresses and all things girly and wrecking it, right in front of his horrified and pleading child. If the movie had been made now, these themes would have been more obvious and slightly more on the nose like "Let It Go".

 

Anyways, there is one other reason why Ariel is highly underrated and an aspect nobody talks about much:

 

(Click)

Posted Image

 

Make it TWICE actually! :)

Lol, I saw that before on Pintrest. XD

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Lol, I saw that before on Pintrest. XD

 

That's where I first sighted it too. So I HAD to steal it!  :P

 

Posted Image

Edited by Spidey Freak

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