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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

How is Alice in Wonderland a movie for kids?

I’m not what you would call a prudish parent. I definitely wouldn’t fall too much on the liberal side either. But when I was watching Alice in Wonderland yesterday, I kept thinking to myself ‘how is this a kids movie?!?’ First of all, the heroine is a young girl who is more focused on dreaming of a world of absurdity than paying attention to her studies. Ok. That’s pretty normal. She then chooses to venture deep, deep into a hole underground by herself. I am all for adventure, but she even states out loud that she is choosing to do something she knows she shouldn’t. When she gets to Wonderland…all bets are off. She eats things that say ‘eat me’ and drinks things that say ‘drink me’ having no idea who or what put them there or wrote those signs. There are an untold number of strangers she encounters and seems to have no problem both talking to or following their advice. One is a hooka-smoking caterpillar who blows smoke letters into her face as they converse. Then she goes to a party with a pair of crazy dudes completely unchaperoned and allows them to make her drinks. Definitely not safe. All in all, she pretty much goes against everything that I have and probably will eventually ever teach my daughter. And in the end, there are no consequences for Alice. Not even a cheesy, ‘love is the answer’ to wrap it in a nice package.

Then there is the Queen of Hearts. This woman is different than the majority of other Disney villains as she has numerous people murdered over the course of the film. She just doesn’t only try to kill Alice, she flippantly sends many people to get their heads cut off. There is one scene before she even appears on screen where characters are discussing her predilection for decapitation and graphically use red paint to drive the point home. Huh? Queue the nightmares for my little dreamers…

Ok, so I get that all of this is in the book the movie is based on. But that doesn’t make it any better, does it? If we used that logic then we shouldn’t be upset or surprised if we don’t soon see Disney’s 101 Shades of Grey coming to a theatre near you!

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Image Credit —> nerdlikeyou.com

So, how did the Beast learn his lesson?

I’ve already discussed how I think the punishment did not fit the crime in regards to the curse placed upon The Beast and his servants. So I won’t go into that again here. (If you want a refresher, read my Enchantress: Beautiful or Terrible post). However, regardless of the fairness of the sentence, the real question is did the Beast learn his lesson? I offer that he couldn’t have. And here is why…first we need to go back one more time to the stained glass prologue that opens the movie. The Beautiful Enchantress disguises herself as a haggard, old woman to perform her test upon the Young Prince. There are two really important adjectives about her that inform us as to the the nature of experiment being conducted: OLD & HAGGARD. From these critical descriptions we must believe that the appearance of the enchantress is of the utmost significance in understanding the nature of the Beast’s heart. He was ‘repulsed’ by her appearance and is even warned by the woman right before he fails that beauty is found ‘within.’ When this doesn’t sway him to see through her unattractiveness, he is cursed with becoming the thing he despises–ugliness. So it would make sense if he is cursed because he can only see beauty on the outside, the way to undo that curse is to be able to look past something that repulses him and see inner beauty, right? Wrong. He simply needs to find someone who is both beautiful on the outside AND the inside and get her to look past HIS ugliness. WHAT? So the the main character flaw that the Beast was being punished for has no bearing on how he finds redemption?Beauty & the BeastNow, don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to say that both lifting the curse and not learning his lesson at the same time would be easy. He may have had to break a few laws like kidnapping and imprisonment and maybe even need to feign innocence by pretending he didn’t remember how to use a spoon. But surely by the time Belle fell for him and lifted the curse, he would be able to see from her shining example how he should treat others? Unfortunately, that makes no sense. I am sure that the Young Prince was a beast to everyone around him long before he was physically turned into one. There were probably numerous people who were able to look past his horrible nature to love him and that never changed his heart back then. So why would this time be any different? Maybe if the Enchantress would have just appeared in her natural blonde-bombshell state and seen past his human-beastliness it would have saved everyone 10 years of pointless cursedness….

 

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Image Credit: disney.wikia.com