Humor

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

Almost 7 Questions about the 7 Dwarfs.

I love these guys. Don’t you? Together they are gruff, sarcastic and silly. Three traits I find awesome. And one of them delivers my favorite Disney line of all time. Snow White asks them ‘How do you do?’ and Grumpy answers: ‘How do you do what?’ But what is really the story with these guys? Are they friends? Are they related? I think when I first watched this movie I assumed the latter was true. Yet, Dopey is like 30 years younger than the other guys. If they were brothers, that is a pretty big age discrepancy. Not unheard of but definitely difficult in a time before modern medicine. And while it is not clear why these guys have chosen to live together, it is clear why none of them is named ‘Accounty’ since they have to work tirelessly, day after day, mining expensive jewels yet can only afford a small shack in the woods.

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Image Credit: superwallpapers.com

Scar: The Desegregationalist?

Maybe we have Scar all wrong. If you watch The Lion King, you can easily come away with the view that Simba’s uncle is a devious usurping murderer. And this would not necessarily be incorrect. Yet, I do question if we are not presented with a somewhat lopsided view of the Royal family that predisposes us against the dark-haired lion. Mufasa, King of the Pridelands, is seen presenting his heir to resounding cheers and hoof-stamping from his subjects leading one to believe that every animal supports his rule. But we obviously know this isn’t true. I’m not talking about Scar…I’m talking about the hyenas. This group, characterized for their low intellect and ravenous appetites, have been banished from the lands and forced to live in an elephant graveyard. We know nothing about why or when this happened, only that Mufasa and team do everything to make sure this segregation continues to occur. But does he really have that right?

Hyenas are carnivores and therefore a competitor to the Circle of Life story that Mufasa bases his whole worldview around. The hyenas also eat the antelope and when they die become grass that is eaten by the antelope. Yet for some reason, they are not allowed to live in the lush, gated community that is the Pridelands. Why? They are doing what comes naturally to them, yet Mufasa does not allow them to mingle with the other local residents. We see cheetah’s in the opening sequence, so this wasn’t a sentence based on their diet. So what was it? When we look for an answer here, the obvious thing one could point to would be what the pridelands look like after Mufasa dies and Scar & The Hyenas take over. But that could be more a case of poor leadership vs. the fault of the hyenas.

So with that question swirling in the clouds of your mind, let’s revisit Scar. Say what you want about him, but one positive thing that he does is reach out to a disenfranchised group of underdogs that results in them having the same access as every other animal. Sure his motives may have been purely self-serving, but what politician doesn’t have ulterior motives for good works? And does the ends justify the means? When Scar’s obituary came out after he was digested by those he helped to free, I hope that it would mention that for a brief moment, Scar brought a little equality and pride to these lands.

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Image Credit —> fanpop.com

What’s the Deal with Ursula?

Am I the only one who has an endless amount of questions about Ursula? When you first meet this octo-witch, you kind of take everything about her at face value. But when you start to dig a little deeper, the water gets more and more murky. First of all, she used to live in the palace. Did you catch her mentioning that when she was spying on Ariel? She didn’t just visit the palace, she lived there. Was she part of Triton’s council? Was she in politics? She obviously has to know something about the Oceanic legal system as she was able to best Triton with a legal document. For some reason, she ends up getting banished. I think we can all assume that her exile had something to do with her spells and general evilness. But none of that bothers me as much as the fact that she is part octopus. All the other half human creatures in Triton’s kingdom, that we see anyway, are half-fish. You don’t see any other shark-boys or seal-ladies floating around. Are we to assume that Ursula was changed into her current self by some sort of irreversible spell? Or could it be that she was an anomaly in the kingdom. A mutant of sorts. Could it be that she was looked upon differently her whole life because she had something different going on down below? Maybe she also ate her feelings which lead to her less than healthy physical state. Her appearance is definitely an issue she struggles with regardless of  if it was enchantment or genetic. She didn’t seem too keen on merpeeps who want to change something about their physical appearance.  Could it be jealousy? Remember the ugly merpeople she makes pretty only to have them become part of her living garden? I know every movie needs a villain but maybe she is not the one who is truly at fault here. What about the merparents out there that are obviously not educating their children about the direct link between the rash of local disappearances and a visit with Ursula? Maybe she is doing the ocean a favor by weeding out the stupider merfolk. I we could chalk this up to survival of the…unfittest?

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Image Credit: disney.wikia.com

Who hired these guys?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about the lack of accountability for the castle guards in the movie Aladdin. While they were severely lacking in morals & loyalty, they are not the only protectors of the realm that need some serious additional training. If you’ve watched Tangled, you will know what I mean. I don’t think I have ever seen more consistent incompetence among a group of men then I do from this squad. It seems that the only thing they are good at is not protecting the kingdom or the royal family. Let’s review their track record. First, they allow an elderly woman to scale the castle walls and kidnap the baby Princess. While I am not sure how Mother Gothel would have made it up to the balcony in the first place due to her advanced state, someone should have seen her performing this feat from one of their guard-posts. But no one did. Then after the crime is committed, these geniuses are somehow unable to find a tower housing the child in the middle of the woods within walking distance of the castle. Surely they would have scoured every inch of the countryside, right? I guess not. Later on, this same band of merry men allow Flynn and the Dynamic Duo to steal the most treasured royal possession, the lost princess’s crown, right from under their noses…literally. But they end up redeeming themselves right? Nope. They are comically thwarted by a band of thugs who not only break Flynn out of prison but elude capture themselves in the process. It almost makes me wish that Rapunzel wouldn’t have been returned to the King & Queen. If the King is willing to allow such shabby work from those sworn to protect him and his family, I’m not sure what type of strong parental figure he really is. Maybe she is better off without them. I’m serious…I mean, he ends up putting a horse in charge of his entire royal force at the end of the movie and arms them all with frying pans….

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Image Credit: disney.wikia.com

Does Hakuna Matata also mean ‘No Acuity?’

Ok. Let’s go over the plan again. There is a large number predators that are big and strong and will stop at nothing to devour you both if you’re discovered. They are holding another group captive and we are going to save them. These prisoners are a group of ladies that I knew a long time ago and based on the actions of my recent one night stand, they’re probably starving as well and will also want to consume you if they catch your scent. But don’t worry about that, they’ll be too focused on gaining freedom to be thinking about food. Once we oust the evil dictator I will reclaim my throne and reestablish the Circle of Life in the Pride Lands. What’s the Circle of Life? Oh, it’s just a little thing that my dad taught me. Basically it means that my kind can kill and eat whatever we want because when we die we become grass and others like you and your kind can ‘eat’ us. It’s not exactly the same thing, I agree, but is sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? You’re right…it isn’t really a circle either…more like a pyramid. Guess I never really thought about it too much. No, I haven’t considered establishing a strict vegetarian lifestyle when I am King, why? Oh, right. Because you and Pumbaa would be a the perfect victory feast for a band of hungry, battle-weary lionesses….hadn’t thought of that either. Oh well, too late now. Hakuna Matata!

I can appreciate that they are doing it to help their friend. It is a very valiant thing after all. The only problem that that this is a lose-lose proposition for these two. Sure they get rid of one group of meat-eaters, only to have another group of carnivores take their place? Wasn’t Nala trying to kill & eat Pumbaa before Simba stopped her? Her shock of seeing him abated her hunger for a bit but I am sure there wasn’t time for Simba to share and get Nala on board with the whole ‘I only eat bugs’ thing. Disney has a way of having couples not discuss those important types of things before they make life altering decisions. (see my Little Mermaid post). I don’t think Timon really saw what was happening. He was the one who didn’t have a clue. When Simba fell in love, the real bottom line is that it would have been better for Timon & Pumbaa if their trio had gone down to two.

(Special Thanks to Abigail for drawing this scene from a Lion King Screenshot! She does a great job and shows her step by step process on her blog. Take a look: http://www.drawingdisney.wordpress.com)

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Image Credit: drawingdisney.wordpress.com

How come only the mice talk?

I’m not going to rule out that she is crazy. There is a strong possibility that our heroine has had ‘one too many hits with the snake.’ I wouldn’t blame her though. She loses her father and immediately becomes enslaved by her step-mother and step-sisters. Her only friends are the wildlife that come in through her open windows and doors. I mean, she wakes up in the morning singing so there has to be something amiss. But it still doesn’t make sense why only Jacques, Gus Gus and the other mice can speak, yet this skill alludes all of the other animals…even Lucifer! Or maybe they can talk and choose not to because she only makes outfits for those little rodents. I mean, Cinderella gets a whole dress meticulously designed by the local aviary residents and what do they get? A handkerchief on the head? I wouldn’t talk to her either…

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Image Credit: wikia.disney.com

What if it was all the Trolls’ fault? [a theory]

I’ve been letting this one solidify in my brain for a while. Frozen is still on a decent rotation in my household so I’ve been able to watch this movie enough times to believe that this theory has some decent foundations. There are no shortages of posts floating around the internet about the plot holes in this movie. I’ve posted a few of my own on this blog. However, I think that the theory I am about to lay out might solve almost all of them. And it all starts with the question: what if the trolls were behind….everything?

Let’s start at the beginning of the movie. Elsa has just nearly iced Anna and the King & Queen rush to trolls for help. This signals a previous relationship between the royals of Arendelle and the trolls. What kind of relationship isn’t clear but we know that the King only turns to this group because the trolls are fluent in the workings of magic. Not only does the Troll King understand Elsa’s powers completely, he is even able to heal Anna & even change her memories. The day is saved! Trolls Rule! But then, the Troll King has a chat with Elsa. He shares with her that her magic has the potential for great beauty and great danger which further exacerbates the situation engendering fear in both Elsa and her father.  So why didn’t the Troll King just tell them then that ‘Love’ was the answer? Instead he gives a vague command to the King that he must help her learn to ‘control it.’ Could it be that the trolls didn’t actually want Elsa to master her abilities? Is it possible that the Troll King not only knew this advice would not help, but also that his words would put the royal family on a path to destruction? Impossible!…yet….

Let’s look a little more at the character of the trolls. We see early on that Kristoff is ‘adopted’  by one of the female rock trolls. She surprises him and Sven and states that she is going to keep them. While cute and endearing, we only seem to accept this because it appears young Kristoff is without a family. But that can’t be true. How is he working with the ice-farmers or feeding/clothing himself and his reindeer? Whatever his situation, I can’t believe that living in the hot springs with a bunch of trolls that turn into rocks when no one is around could be the best environment for a young boy. The trolls take what they want regardless of the kingdom’s laws. Then later when Anna and Kristoff visit the camp for help, the trolls ignore the urgent need and instead join in the song that culminates with a wedding being performed on the two helpless humans. Kristoff informs them during the song that she is engaged and their response speaks volumes. They scheme: ‘So she’s a bit of a fixer upper. Her brain’s a bit betwixt. Get the fiance out of the way and the whole thing will be fixed!‘ They couldn’t care less about what Anna wants or even what she needs as she slowly freezes to death right in front of their eyes. They are solely focused on their own agenda.

The trollsBut here is where it all crystallized for me. Up until the point of the movie when Anna returns home half frozen, Prince Hans has been nothing but a gentleman. He is helpful, caring and heroic. Yet when Anna asks for him to save her with a kiss, he reveals that he has been evil all along…but what if that wasn’t him talking? What if the trolls got to him first? Instead of going back to sleep after Kristoff & Anna left, what if they went to ‘fix’ the situation? We know that they could perform magic on the brain and we know that they have a way of taking what they want. So would it be too shocking if they beat Anna back to Hans, cast a spell on him turning him evil just to get him out of the way? Once Hans was removed, there would be no reason Anna & Kristoff couldn’t be together. But why was that so important?

Theory: What if all along they were waiting for their opportunity to retake Arendelle, a land stolen from them by Elsa & Anna’s ancestors hundreds of years before? Could there have been a troll plot put into motion long ago that caused Elsa to be endowed with nearly uncontrollable magic abilities they hoped to exploit to destroy the human invaders? But then when Elsa was seemingly out of the picture, the trolls had to pivot quickly on the opportunity to insert their brain-washed, human pawn Kristoff as the husband to the next in line for Queen.

Yes, this is a little far-fetched, but if we can believe that Hans can do a complete 180…why not the trolls?

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Image Credit: disney.wikia.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