aladdin

Did Jasmine have an authority complex?

So I know in my last post I said I only had one more, but looking back I realized I had counted wrong. If I had only done one more post I would have finished my blog with 49 posts and that just wouldn’t do. Besides, Just a Dad with 50 Disney Questions sounds like a better name for my complete blog anyway. So here is a quickie.

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We all know that Jasmine liked to break the mold. An age old tradition of marrying for the good of the country is thrown out the window so that she can marry her true love. But I have to question why she falls in love with Aladdin. Sure, they both feel trapped in their current life situations and he saves her from getting her hand cut off, but is that the foundation of a long lasting romance? Eh…maybe. You can play the ‘they are meant to be’ card but that is the easy way out. I think one of the reasons Jasmine loves Aladdin has more to do with his station in life that she realizes.

Let’s look at the way Jasmine responds to authority. First, she consistently goes against her father’s wishes. I know he doesn’t seem to make the best choices, but I don’t remember her doing what he says once in the movie. Whether we think they are wrong or not, she does everything in her power to screw up the various courtships arranged by her dad and even chooses to run away instead of trying to make it work. I know it’s difficult, but look at it from the implications to the kingdom, not from the lens of America today. Her choices affect way more than just herself. And then there is Aladdin. When he is a street rat, she falls for him immediately but the minute he shows up as a Prince she won’t give him the time of day. Sure he is being a bit arrogant, but is it that or is his title getting in the way? I mean, she won’t even have a conversation with him until he offers, ‘You’re right.’ ceding the floor to her. Could it be that Jasmine chooses Aladdin as a way to both assert her independence from her father, as well as, create a situation in which she would be the one who would forever be in position of authority in the relationship?  Could it be that she didn’t finish her thought when she was talking to her dad in the opening palace scene of the film? Instead of just saying ‘Well, then maybe I don’t want to be a princess…’ maybe she wanted to also add…’maybe I want to be Sultan!’ That truly would have been a whole new world.

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image credit —> fanpop.com

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How Bad is Aladdin’s Memory?

Remember the opening scene of Aladdin where he is chased mercilessly by the palace guards for stealing a loaf of bread? Or when he is arrested by the same guards who also brazenly disobey direct orders from the Princess? Or the time they grab the foreign dignitary & potential suitor visiting the palace and try to drown him? What about when the Sultan & the Princess are enslaved by a former adviser and they are conspicuously absent from the rescue party? I bet you remember. I bet someone else probably remembers too: Aladdin. Yet he allows each and everyone of this seedy bunch to remain the primary protectors of the kingdom. How could you trust this group? I’m sure he probably tells himself they were just ‘following orders,’ but that brings into question where their loyalty lies. If it were me, I would have seen if there was any room for a few more guests in Jafar’s lamp before the Genie chucked it into the Cave of Wonders. It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s atonement.

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Non-Definitive, Completely Biased Ranking of Disney Dads

This post is going to be a little different format from my typical pointless questioning. With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s got me thinking about being a dad a little more than usual. When it comes to Disney, most of the father examples provided to us are what I would consider lacking. The ones that tend to be the best are often killed off as fast as they are introduced. So when I think about the question of who is the best Disney Dad, I decided it was only best to create a list of 15 Dads and rank them. Why 15? Because Father’s Day is on June 15th this year. (that’s not true…just a happy coincidence.)

(15 Disney Dads ranked Best to Worst)

1. James – The Princess & the Frog
This father is the perfect example of a good dad that is gone too quickly. He pops in, gives some good fatherly advice and then dies a hero. This guy is my number 1 because he doesn’t just talk a good game, the way he lived his life instilled values in his daughter that made her strong & self-sufficient.

Marlin - finding nemo2. Marlin – Nemo’s Dad in Finding Nemo
Sure he is over protective but after the loss of his wife and other kids, you can’t blame the guy. Stopping at nothing and facing his fears to find his kid across a whole ocean is definitely commendable. Rapunzel’s dad should’ve watched this movie on how to respond to a lost kid…Oh, and his jokes are terrible. That’s a prerequisite for an awesome dad!

Pongo

 

3. Pongo – 101 Dalmations
I have to say that Pongo is along the same caliber of dad-ness as Marlin. When his kids are taken, he and his wife do everything in their power to save them. He also is willing to adopt 84 other puppies and raise them as his own. He is dad to the bone. (sorry for that)

 

Mufasa4. Mufasa – Simba’s Dad in The Lion King
James Earl Jones’s voice can make anything sound more grand than it is.  This fact leads us to believe that Mufasa has this thing parenting down. Most think this dad should be number 1, but I have to disagree. Unfortunately we can see from Simba’s ‘Can’t wait to be King’ song, that he is learning more from Mufasa’s actions than his words.

5. King – Elsa & Anna’s Dad in Frozen
This dad has gotten a lot of slack for isolating Elsa but as I discussed in my previous post, that might not have been the worst idea for the Kingdom’s sake. That said, his isolation actions punish Anna as well and create lots of ‘daddy issues’ that result in an engagement to a scoundrel and the freezing of a kingdom.

6. King Triton – Ariel’s Dad in The Little Mermaid
Not only is he running a Kingdom but also raising six girls on his own. This would be a hilarious 80’s sitcom come to think of it. Triton gets grief for being prejudice against humans but I think we can assume this is well founded. His harsh treatment of his daughter’s fondness of the dark side is a little misguided but can’t fault him too much for it. However, I don’t understand him giving up so easily against Ursula (see post) nor changing his whole belief system regarding humans because of one good encounter with Eric.

7. Fa Zhou – Mulan’s Dad
At the end of the day, this guy is a product of the culture. His treatment of his daughter is based on societal norms. We find it limiting and wrong but that’s because we are looking at it from a western, twenty-first century perspective. So, let’s calm down. Plus, he is the coolest looking bald guy in all Disney movies for sure!

 

8. King Stefan – Sleeping Beauty’s Dad
So he’s willing to not see his daughter for 18 years in order to hide her and keep her safe. Then he has her brought back to the palace the last day BEFORE the curse ends? That’s a mix of amazing fortitude and poor planning. Couldn’t he have had the celebration the next day?

 

 

9. The Great Prince of the Forest – Bambi’s Father
If people don’t even realize that you are Bambi’s father until his mom dies, maybe you are being a little too aloof. This buck’s cold attitude toward Bambi can be seen by many as helping Bambi into manhood…but I think there could be a better way to do it.

 

10. King – Rapunzel’s Dad in Tangled
I give this guy a lot of credit for honoring his lost daughter for 16 years but the rampant security issues in his castle are one of the main contributing factors to his daughter’s kidnapping in the first place. Also, you would hope that if his guards scoured every inch of the countryside they would have come across the tower that held Rapunzel. He really needs to shore up his ship.

Cinderellas dad11. Aristocrat Widower – Cinderella’s Dad
Points to this guy for understanding the importance of a mother in a young girl’s life. But even more demerits for both being duped by and willingly marrying Lady Tremaine.

12. King – Snow White’s Dad (not pictured)
This guy apparently read from the same playbook as Cinderella’s dad. He’s not even technically in the story, but we know that he was married to Snow White’s mother and then after her death, remarried a smoking hot queen who was evil. If you have kids, you might want to take them into account when choosing a step-mom…

13. Mr Incredible – The Incredibles
For being a super hero, I can’t say that this guy is very extraordinary when it comes to fatherhood. I get that he is in a rut for having to hide his powers, but becoming a father mean sacrificing…it’s just part of the gig. And he doesn’t really get this even at the end. He has his happy ending because he gets to go back to crime fighting. I think it is just icing on the cake that his family is with him.

George Darline14. George Darling – Wendy, Michael & John’s Dad in Peter Pan
I don’t think you could consider George a very ‘present’ father. Letting his pre-teen daughter live in a nursery with two younger brothers while a dog serves as nursemaid wouldn’t win him any parenting awards by today’s standards. But what can you expect from a former lost boy right?

And the worst father award goes too……

The sultan15. Sultan – Jasmine’s Dad in Aladdin
If you read my previous post on this guy, you probably saw this one coming. Only thing left to say is that while he does choose to allow his daughter to marry for love, he does the opposite of the King in Frozen and potentially sets up his kingdom for ruin. A street rat does not a great ruler make.

I know I haven’t exhausted the Disney dads with this post…that’s why I called it ‘non-definitive’. I may do another one…who did I miss that should have definitely been included in the next 15?

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Aren’t their dreams the same?

So why is one more valid than the other? Aladdin sits in his street rat villa with an amazing view regarding the Sultan’s palace and opines: ‘Someday, Abu, things are gonna change. We’ll be rich, live in a palace, and never have any problems at all.’ We wipe a tear from our collective cheeks and nod our approval. Flynn Ryder (aka Eugene Fitzherbert) jumps on top of a bar and croons his dream consists of ‘an island that I own, tanned & rested and alone surrounded by enormous piles of money.’ But we cross our arms and assent when the hook-handed ruffian responds ‘your dream sucks.’ But why? Aren’t they the same dream after all?

Aladdin & Flynn

Aladdin and Flynn have a lot in common. Both come from poor, orphan backgrounds that led them to thievery as a means for survival. They both deceive the princess that they will later marry. They both even wear vests for goodness sakes! And both have dreams that center on a lavish lifestyle that has absolutely nothing to do with love of any other human but themselves. Sure, Flynn’s dream specifically has him on an island by himself, but there are no others mentioned in Aladdin’s fantasy either…besides his monkey.

Now, Aladdin does come around quicker to add love of an attractive lady into his happy ending so that is a definite plus for him. But Eugene sacrifices his life to free Rapunzel from the grips of Mother Gothel. That should put ole’ Eugene in lead, right? Then why do I still feel that Rapunzel could have done better if she just wouldn’t have latched on to the first man she met?  And why do I have a less unsettling feeling about Aladdin becoming Sultan than I do about Eugene becoming King…even if he had limited power under Rapunzel’s rule. Why is that? Is it just me?

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More to come. Follow me here —-> @DadsQuestions

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Is the Sultan Good at Anything?

I think we can all agree that the Sultan just might be the worst father ever. It’s obvious that he is a terrible judge of character (ie. Top Advisor = Jafar), but did you notice how quickly he gives away his daughter to a complete stranger? Granted he has been frustrated by her inability to choose a mate thus far yet does that make his decision any less terrible? I mean, a guy comes in on an elephant from who knows where and he is ready to pawn off his daughter for a magic carpet ride? Come on man!

aladdin-jafar-et-sultan

And Jafar is the one who questions Prince Ali’s credentials…of course he had ulterior motives but shouldn’t Jasmine’s father be the one doing the detective work? Who knows who this ‘prince’ really is after all…he could not be a prince at all…he could be a homeless guy pulling off an elaborate hoax with the help of a half naked blue man…far stranger things have happened right? For shame Sultan. Maybe Allah should have forbid you should have any daughters. Sheesh.

And don’t get me started on having a full grown tiger as a pet. Why don’t we ask Roy how that worked out? Too soon?

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