So I’ve dropped this topic on a few recent episodes of the podcast, I’ve hinted at an upcoming episode I’d like to have where I discuss some parts of some classic Disney movies that are overlooked in the grand scheme of the story. At the time, I told you to give me a classic Disney feature animation, and I’d find at least one thing to complain about.
Well, y’all forgot to submit your entries to be a part of the show, so I’m taking matters into my own hands.
There may be more to this down the road, but these are two big issues I have with two high-profile Disney cartoons from my childhood. But they are things I didn’t really consider until recently.
In 1989’s The Little Mermaid, Ariel escapes to her cave of wonders, where her collection of human trinkets is, well, it’s massive. She has more crap that she found on the bottom of the ocean than I packed up and put in the moving truck last year when we relocated. In her song Part of That World, she sings:
Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?
Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl, The girl who has everything?
Look at this trove, treasures untold. How many wonders can one cavern hold?
Lookin’ around here you’d think ‘Sure, she’s got everything,’
I’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty.
I’ve got whooz-its and whatz-its galore.
You want thingamabobs? I got twenty.
But who cares? No big deal. I want more.
Now, I’ve never been a sea princess. I haven’t been a land princess for that matter, either. But what does it tell the young, impressionable children watching this movie? “No matter how much you have, it’s not enough.” Now that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. You can work hard to achieve your goals.
But that’s not how the movie plays out. With the help of the sea witch Ursula, she trades her voice for some legs. And then with the help of her friends, she tries to get Prince Eric to fall in love with her. It is complicated when Ursula shows up, yadda yadda, you know the story.
It just seems to me that the “I have so much, but I need more to be happy” mentality is part of this wave of entitlement that has been around out society for much of this millennium. Now I’m not blaming Disney, but it could certainly be a factor. Also…that’s very old-man of me. And I get that. And it’s not a plot hole, unlike our next venture.
The second part is this post centers on Beauty and the Beast, and is all plot hole. Recall if you will that Belle leaves the castle to go check on her father. While there, Maurice is about to be taken to the asylum. Belle pleads on behalf of her father, who had already claimed to see a beastly, monstrous creature. No one believes him. So when Belle whips out the magic mirror to prove her father isn’t crazy. They see the Beast in the viewer, and of course, it’s the wild-eyed, evil Beast. Not the calm, more sophisticated Beast that Belle grew to love. What happens next?
Gaston whips the mob into a frenzy, saying the Beast needs to be killed before he wreaks havoc on the village.
That spell has been on the castle for a decade, and the villagers didn’t even know about it. They had no idea there was a Beast. They go from clueless to concerned in just a few seconds. Aside from a couple images of a creature on the magic mirror, there has been no proof that the Beast is dangerous. Furthermore, the Beast has no history of attacking the village.
Seriously…with absolutely no cause other than to puff his chest out and add a trophy to his wall, Gaston incites a riot and marches on the castle, and his undoing.
It’s just a problem I’ve encountered with Beauty and the Beast. It unnerves me more than the Stockholm Syndrome aspect.
So that’s what I wanted to talk about today.
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