As a child, I got to experience the wonderful world of Arabia, the animal kingdom of Africa, the life of mermaids under the sea, the royal family in Russia, and the magic of a castle in France. Disney movies like Aladdin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Anastasia, and The Beauty and the Beast opened up 'a whole new world' to me. Everything was new and exciting, the princesses were beautiful, and the princes swept them off their feet, with everything always ending happily ever after.
I cherish these movies, they present a world unlike our own, where good always triumphs over evil and love makes everyone happy.
But, rather than recommending these movies for you or your children, I question whether these are the type of images that we should be encouraging children, or anyone to be watching. Does the 'happily ever after' notion set young girls up for a lifetime of dissatisfaction? Do we unknowingly set our hearts on finding our prince? With divorce rates so high I wonder if indeed this is the case. Rather than choosing to love someone no matter what, for better or worse, we pull out when we're not feeling 'happy'. I by no means want to generalise, and I'm sure many people have other reasons for divorcing their spouse, but it makes me question what love has become in our society. Romance movies reflect the exact same picture- that once you find your man everything will be fine. But isn't love so much more than this? Isn't it about loving someone through all situations- the good and bad? And loving them despite the fact that they might not be a flawless disney prince?
I think that we should be careful what we fill our children's, and our own minds with. (Not that Disney movies shouldn't be watched, I of all people love them and think they still hold something special). Movies like Shrek and perhaps Enchanted make fun of the stereotypical disney story with humour, and present a more realistic version of love and life. Of course there are some disney movies that defy conventionality and have unique storylines, like Mulan, and the Jungle Book. Cars, Finding Nemo, Kung Fu Panda and Toy Story also have humour, great stories and fun without needing a dashing prince and stunning princess to have a happy ever after. Pixar has a great range of hilarious movies with creative storylines, such as UP, Ratatouille, Monsters. Inc, and Wall-e. Regardless of whether it's a disney movie with a typical fairytale ending, or a pixar movie, family movies are great to watch on the weekend, and contain a subtelty of humour and creativity that can entertain kids and adults alike.
i believe that every girl deserves a prince and that she should be able to expect that and not settle for second best. Without dreams there is no hope for the future and people without a future your not really very alive. I still a good disney princess movie and my partner has shown me that happy endings can be real too.
By Gebbie Smith - senior reviewer Thursday, 21st of July @ 07:36 am