Thursday, December 15, 2011

Disney movies and viewer perception: Part 2

I had so much fun talking about Disney movies a few months back that I decided to do a part 2. I may even do a part 3, and just keep going until I've talked about every Disney movie there is.

It would be so easy to write an entire dissertation on Disney movies. As I watched my next batch, Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, and The Lion King, I may have gotten a little carried away with my newfound scholarly perspectives and neglected to ponder on my childhood memories.

Sleeping Beauty

Younger self: This movie always has been, and always will be.
Older self: Wow this movie is old. Just look at that animation! And I'm watching the DVD version that's 12,000 times clearer than the beat-up VHS back home.

Younger self: King Stephen--my sister has a friend named Stephen! He's famous!
Older self: "Good king Stephen and his queen--" wait a minute. Why doesn't the queen get a name? Now you've gone and pushed my "annoyance twitch" button.

Younger self:  . . .
Older self: You know, this movie isn't very original. Tangled, Enchanted, and Snow White all have similar storylines, the witch (whose name, apparently, is Maleficent, which is news to me) has minions that look exactly like the emporer's guard in The Emporer's New Groove (after they get turned into cows and stuff), the prince looks like Peter Pan, and his dad looks exactly like the king in Cinderella.

Younger self: The fairies must get their powers from Outer Space because it shows Outer Space when they give the princess her gifts.
Older self: Of course they give her the gifts of beauty and song first. It's not like she'll need anything like, I don't know, intelligence.

Younger self: What is a spinning wheel?
Older self: My 90s upbringing fails to understand how anyone could accidentally prick their finger on a spinning wheel. Who uses those, anyway?

Younger self: Why did the fairies kidnap the princess?
Older self: The king and queen actually agreed to letting three strange fairies raise their child? How--what--I don't understand how that solves the problem.

Younger self: You're supposed to crack the eggs first, silly!
Older self: How is it that the fairies still don't know how to cook? Am I really supposed to believe that they haven't used magic in 16 years?

Younger self: Maybe if I wish it hard enough, the mop and broom will come to life and do my jobs for me.
Older self: Maybe if I sit here long enough, someone else will do my jobs for me.

Younger self: Aurora's voice is too operatic (or whatever the 5-year-old word equivalent of "operatic" is. Vibrate-y?)
Older self: Aurora does have a lovely voice. Better than Snow White's, for sure.

Younger self: "Once Upon a Dream"--this song is the reason I love this movie.
Older self: Classic Disney courtship: prince and princess sing to each other, dance, and fall in love. Then the prince says, "Who are you? What's your name?" AWESOME. Apparently the fairies forgot to give the prince brains too.

Younger self: Why isn't Aurora happy to be a princess?
Older self: Stupid boys. They ruin everything.

Younger self: I want to drink juice out of a guitar!
Older self: There sure is a lot of drinking in this movie.

Younger self: Why can't the kings stop talking? I want to get back to the good stuff.
Older self: Apparently my parents aren't the only ones who talk about their grandchildren before they're even born . . .

Older self: Of course I didn't recognize this when I was little, but it's interesting that the fairies give the prince a shield of righteousness and a sword of truth.

Younger self: I want a dress that changes colors.
Older self: Actually, I would still love to have a dress that changes colors. Only if I can control it, though.


Older self: Hmm, for some reason I don't remember the very beginning of this movie at all.

Younger self: Who the heck is Little Brother? Why doesn't she ever find her little brother?
Older self: Easy way to confuse a 4th grader--just name your dog Little Brother.

Younger self: "Reflection"--this song is the story of my life.
Older self: Actually, my problem isn't that the real me is unacceptable--my problem is letting the real me out.

Younger self: Climbing on the roof to spy on people . . . what a great idea!
Older self: If I thought I could do this inconspicuously, I would totally do it.

Younger self: Now Mulan's just being a bully. There was no reason for her to slap Mushu.
Older self: "My eyes can see straight through your armor." Now I understand why Mulan slaps Mushu.

Younger self: I sure hope Mulan never has to take her shirt off . . .
Older self: Forget that--my biggest problem would be hiding my attraction to Shang . . .

Younger self: I don't care how dirty I am or how late at night it is; I would not go bathing in the lake in the middle of a camp full of dirty men.
Older self: Ditto.

Younger self: Guys are gross.
Older self: The whole lake scene is just . . . awkward.

Younger self: "A girl worth fighting--" Come on, just finish the phrase!
Older self: Please?

Younger self: Poor doll--it will never be reunited with its mommy.
Older self: Who the heck cares about the freakin' doll? It's the little girl and her family we should be worried about.

Younger self: Wow. The fat guy's really strong.
Older self: It's not at all unrealistic that the fat guy can pick up 4 soldiers, and by extension a horse, 2 more people, a lizard (I mean, dragon), and a cricket without making that arrow snap in half.

The Lion King

Younger self: Brace yourself for the opening song . . . AAUGH!!! That first note scares me every time.
Older self: Yep, still takes me by surprise. And I still have to make up gibberish if I want to sing along. (That is, until the English starts.)

Younger self: "Didn't your mother ever teach you not to play with your food?" I thought my mom made that up.
Older self: That part still reminds me of my mom.

Younger self: Mufasa's voice is probably what God's voice sounds like.
Older self: "Remember who you are."

Younger self: Why does Rafiki have a blue butt?
Older self: That is a bit distracting.

Younger self: Circle of Life--pretty song. In fact, all the music is great in this movie.
Older self: So, I read an article awhile back written by some overprotective Christian that talked about the evils of The Lion King (particularly the circle of life and Hakuna Matata concepts) and that if you let your kids watch this atrocious movie, be sure to explain these delicate issues so that they won't turn into demons later in life. See the next comment . . .

Younger self: It's so sad that Simba's dad dies.
Older self: And this is the part the scarred me, not the anti-Christian stuff. I haven't watched The Lion King for probably a decade because Mufasa's death is just too upsetting. In a lot of ways, this movie is geared toward a more mature audience than the princess movies. It's not about overcoming female stereotypes or finding your one true love; it's about learning from your mistakes and accepting responsibilities.

Younger self: Do bugs really taste like chicken? Maybe I'll try it . . .
Older self: I am 99.9% sure that this is a lie.

Younger self: "Hyenas. I hate hyenas." --Timon. Why doesn't Timon like hyenas? Isn't he like a baby hyena?
Older self: I'm still not sure what sort of animal Timon is.

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