Wednesday, January 25, 2012
"The Little Mermaid" and Other Evil Deeds of the Disney Empire
Steven and I watched “The Little Mermaid” this past week in a moment of nostalgia. The last time I watched this movie was through roughly 16 year-old eyes, but this time around I realized something that I never would have caught onto in the flower of youth: This movie might be single-handedly responsible for the misery of my generation.
Ok, gross dramatics aside, I do still love this movie in spite of its inherently evil nature. I admit it freely and I’m even STILL walking around belting “Part of Your World” at the top of my lungs (much to the dismay of anyone in earshot). I dare anyone to watch this movie and try to keep the tunes from taking root in that spot in your subconscious just between the brain and the vocal chords. It can’t be done.
So where does the evil come in, you ask?
“The Little Mermaid” premiered in 1989 when my generation was around the 8-12 year-old mark; in other words, the age of spongehood when we soak up every little input around us and hardwire it into our emerging picture of “The World and How Things Work.” Now let’s take a look at some of the lessons we would have taken from this legacy of Disney and see why things probably didn’t work out quite right for us in the long run.
1. Fathers always favor the prettiest daughter and give her everything she wants. That’s a recipe for some violent sibling rivalry, alright.
2. Hotness is the primary requirement for marriage. Not a new misconception, but for some reason it’s easier to believe Disney about love than it is to accept the fact that the sky-rocketing divorce rate just knocked Cupid out of orbit.
3. Money, especially title and/or royalty, is the secondary requirement. I think we all know how this one works...
4. See that hot 16 year-old that you know nothing about? You should make out with her. For proof, see soundtrack for “Kiss the Girl.”
5. Only the beautiful people get to fall in love and be happy. Seriously? When I think of some of the 'beautiful' people I've known I'm pretty sure their happiest relationship is the one they have with the mirror.
Now, with this in mind, take a look at the romantic history of all of us Generation Y-ers. You’re nodding your head with empathetic understanding now, aren’t you? I have to wonder... Did Disney intend to litter our lives with broken hearts, false hopes, and completely skewed concepts of what a successful relationship really entails? Unless the magical corporation was investing in tissue and ice cream ventures all along, well, probably not.
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