The Unsolved Mysteries of Disney

I grew up in Orlando and grew up in the 90s. If there is anything that could come from this combination, it is a mild infatuation with Disney. But as I have grown up I have learned that there is a lot in Disney movies that went right over my young, little bowl-cut head. I have decided to pick my favorite awkward, unsettling, and incongruous moments from Disney films to share with all of you.

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Who is the prince in “Beauty and the Beast”? I mean the opening says that he is a prince and is punished for not being nice to some fairy or whatever. But does no one seem to notice that the apparent heir to the throne disappears and a terrifying monster occupies the castle? Also where were his parents? They truly seem to be the ones at fault here. And what if Belle touches the rose? I realize that the rose is a pivotal plot point, however he freaks out when she almost touches it. He is already a monster. What terrible fate will fall upon him when she touches it? Will Belle suddenly break free of her Stockholm Syndrome?

In “The Little Mermaid” Ariel is completely infatuated with her forks that she uses to brush her hair. Does Atlantis not have anything similar to a fork? Anyone who has been a patron at a Red Lobster will tell you the importance of a fork when digging into a plate of seafood. Even if they don’t eat seafood, since Ariel’s best friends are prime selling items at seafood establishments, anyone who has eaten seaweed salad at a sushi place will tell you the importance of a fork.

Has anyone noticed how Disney is teaching the children of the world to use words that don’t exist. “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” is a prime example. The lyrics quite literally say “put it together and what have you got”. What have you got? You’ve got a word that doesn’t exist in the English language. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” falls in the same category. The song actually mentions that it is something to say when you have nothing to say. How about you not feel the need to fill every second of open air space with double-talk?

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Disguises are one of the most insane details of Disney movies. They are still the same person just in a fancier dress. How did they not recognize Cinderella? Apparently a good up-do, a pair of terribly unsensible heels, and a sparkly dress will get you out of every problem. Who needs Witness Protection when we have “What Not To Wear”?

Agrabah

What country does Aladdin take place in? In general it is in the country of Foreign. There’s a splash of India in there, a little bit or Saudi Arabia, a dash of Egypt, and maybe even some China. No wonder the conflict in the Middle East is difficult for people to wrap their heads around. They are still trying to work through Aladdin.

This summer I worked in a child care program with a class full of 5 year-olds. I think this makes me uniquely eligible to discuss the pain one can incur from your hair being pulled. But apparently Rapunzel either has a scalp made out of galvanized steel or is the perfect spokesperson for Tresemme. If you’re into rock climbing maybe you should just pick up some of Rapunzel’s weave at your closest Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Can I just say: how macabre is Pinocchio? They are turned into donkeys for no reason. Literally, it is a child slavery ring that involves turning children into donkeys. I think that this was intended to be a learning moment for everyone. I, as a small child, was supposed to learn that if I don’t appreciate all my parents do for me then I will turn into a donkey for an evil circus? Where are they shipping these donkeys off to? Is there some giant need for donkeys that I am unaware of?

Fantasia - Night on Bald Mountain

Fantasia. Oh Fantasia. I actually really like the fact that this film was designed to bring classical music to a younger audience. It’s like a fancy Mozart for Babies. But all I remember about it is that it is 98% terrifying. The demon guy from Night on Bald Mountain has been a recurring character in nightmares… and I mean recently. There was something about unicorns and I remember the hippos (mostly from them recently being referenced on Big Bang Theory). But for the most part it genuinely scared me.

One of the biggest themes I learned from Disney was that the weather directly relates to the mood of what’s going on in your life. I grew up to expect that if I had a good day, the sun should be shining, the birds should be singing, and there should be a wide open space for me to do a dance number. If this isn’t an option I at least need a tree or lamppost that I can swing around in a frivolous and exciting manner. If it is sad then I expect rain. Lots of rain. Possibly a torrential downpour that could wipe out the planet. If I get broken up with you all better start building an ark.

Feel free to add more to this list and subscribe for more musings.

…gm

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