Why Disney is dark

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Why Disney is dark

Because we want girls to expose as much skin as pos­si­ble to men they know noth­ing about…sounds like a strip club to me! (Image from IMDB)

Disney’s stock price has jumped up, largely based on the announce­ment that it would launch its new stream­ing ser­vice. While par­ents every­where are prob­a­bly rejoic­ing, we should take a minute to think about whether expos­ing our kids to 247 Dis­ney access is a good idea. Because, after all, Disney’s movies are fairly dark. Not quite Batman-​level dark, but get­ting up there.

Doubt­ful you say? Let’s look at just one of the Dis­ney clas­sic films, The Lit­tle Mermaid.

Warn­ing: spoil­ers ahead

The Lit­tle Mer­maid starts off with a typ­i­cal father-​daughter dis­agree­ment. King Tri­ton is busy doing impor­tant things, like run­ning the ocean empire to pro­vide safety and secu­rity for his mil­lions of sub­jects. His daugh­ter, Ariel, is busy…thinking about forks? Swim­ming around day dream­ing? Not attend­ing choir prac­tice? The list goes on, but essen­tially Ariel is being a jerk and blow­ing off the few basic things her dad asks of her.

Heck with pro­vid­ing for my dad’s peo­ple, I need to engage in fruit­less trea­sure hunt­ing! (Image from wikia)

And she’s the hero­ine, mind you, the per­son lit­tle girls are sup­posed to aspire to.

Any­way, when King Tri­ton has finally had enough, Ariel, instead of real­iz­ing the errors in her ways, turns to Ursula for help. Ursula is a witch prac­tic­ing some old hokie reli­gion, and casts some sort of dark magic spell giv­ing Ariel legs while also steal­ing her voice.

Hey girl, I’ve got your yoga and essen­tial oils solu­tion to your prob­lem right over here! (Image from IMDB)

So we aren’t even half-​way through the movie and we have a 16 year old daugh­ter reject­ing reli­gion to go against her father’s wishes. Heck with what your older, wiser dad knows is right and what beliefs keep you safe. Ariel turns to some dark magic to get what she wants.

Any­how, Ariel uses her legs to try and hook up with a guy, a prince no less. Never mind that she lit­er­ally knows NOTH­ING about Prince Eric except that she saw him once on a ship and he looks dreamy. Because, you know, looks are every­thing in a rela­tion­ship, and that is exactly what we should teach lit­tle girls about dating.

Don’t for­get, Ariel is the hero­ine in this movie.

So Ariel moves in with Prince Eric. She has no voice and has to score true love in 3 days or else she will turn into a nasty lit­tle crab-​like plant. Any­one who has had to sit through trafficking-​in-​persons train­ing knows that this sit­u­a­tion is 100% ripe for abuse. Why are we teach­ing girls that mov­ing in with some guy they just met is a good idea?

Got a girl that can’t talk and take her on a date with no other humans present? Can you say, sit­u­a­tion ripe for dat­ing vio­lence? (Image from IMDB)

Mirac­u­lously, Ariel is on the brink of scor­ing her true love, when Ursula decides to strike. She uses Ariel’s voice to mimic Ariel in appear­ance and try to get Prince Eric to marry her instead. Again, it’s all about get­ting some hot, rich guy to marry you, even if you are an all-​powerful witch prac­tic­ing some hokie religion.

At some point, King Tri­ton sac­ri­fices him­self to save his daugh­ter from her ill-​advised con­tract that she signed. So not only has Ariel blown off every­thing that her father told her, but in the end she lit­er­ally almost con­demns him to being a tiny wrin­kled crustaceon-​shaped plant on the sea floor.

I’d make the same face about my daugh­ters poor choices. (Image from IMDB)

In the end, every­thing works out. Ariel gets her voice back and the mar­riage she wants, King Tri­ton is restored to his non-​crab like look, and Ursula is defeated. But the life lessons taught are terrible:

  1. It’s totally cool to dis­obey your much older and wiser father.
  2. When you have a prob­lem with what your beliefs tell you, turn to a witch that will offer you what­ever you want.
  3. Don’t actu­ally pay atten­tion to the true costs of a con­tract. If some­thing goes bad, blame the con­tract owner, and make your cosigner suffer.
  4. Fall in love and get mar­ried quickly based on looks, rather than actual long term interests.
  5. Mov­ing in with the hot dreamy guy you just met is totally cool and doesn’t have long-​term costs.

Do we really need Dis­ney spread­ing this sort of mes­sage to our children?

This post rep­re­sents the views of the author and not those of the Dis­ney, Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, or any other gov­ern­ment agency.

Because we want girls to expose as much skin as possible to men they know nothing about…sounds like a strip club to me! (Image from IMDB)

Disney’s stock price has jumped up, largely based on the announcement that it would launch its new streaming service. While parents everywhere are probably rejoicing, we should take a minute to think about whether exposing our kids to 24-7 Disney access is a good idea. Because, after all, Disney’s movies are fairly dark. Not quite Batman-level dark, but getting up there.

Doubtful you say? Let’s look at just one of the Disney classic films, The Little Mermaid.

Warning: spoilers ahead

The Little Mermaid starts off with a typical father-daughter disagreement. King Triton is busy doing important things, like running the ocean empire to provide safety and security for his millions of subjects. His daughter, Ariel, is busy…thinking about forks? Swimming around day dreaming? Not attending choir practice? The list goes on, but essentially Ariel is being a jerk and blowing off the few basic things her dad asks of her.

Heck with providing for my dad’s people, I need to engage in fruitless treasure hunting! (Image from wikia)

And she’s the heroine, mind you, the person little girls are supposed to aspire to.

Anyway, when King Triton has finally had enough, Ariel, instead of realizing the errors in her ways, turns to Ursula for help. Ursula is a witch practicing some old hokie religion, and casts some sort of dark magic spell giving Ariel legs while also stealing her voice.

Hey girl, I’ve got your yoga and essential oils solution to your problem right over here! (Image from IMDB)

So we aren’t even half-way through the movie and we have a 16 year old daughter rejecting religion to go against her father’s wishes. Heck with what your older, wiser dad knows is right and what beliefs keep you safe. Ariel turns to some dark magic to get what she wants.

Anyhow, Ariel uses her legs to try and hook up with a guy, a prince no less. Never mind that she literally knows NOTHING about Prince Eric except that she saw him once on a ship and he looks dreamy. Because, you know, looks are everything in a relationship, and that is exactly what we should teach little girls about dating.

Don’t forget, Ariel is the heroine in this movie.

So Ariel moves in with Prince Eric. She has no voice and has to score true love in 3 days or else she will turn into a nasty little crab-like plant. Anyone who has had to sit through trafficking-in-persons training knows that this situation is 100% ripe for abuse. Why are we teaching girls that moving in with some guy they just met is a good idea?

Got a girl that can’t talk and take her on a date with no other humans present? Can you say, situation ripe for dating violence? (Image from IMDB)

Miraculously, Ariel is on the brink of scoring her true love, when Ursula decides to strike. She uses Ariel’s voice to mimic Ariel in appearance and try to get Prince Eric to marry her instead. Again, it’s all about getting some hot, rich guy to marry you, even if you are an all-powerful witch practicing some hokie religion.

At some point, King Triton sacrifices himself to save his daughter from her ill-advised contract that she signed. So not only has Ariel blown off everything that her father told her, but in the end she literally almost condemns him to being a tiny wrinkled crustaceon-shaped plant on the sea floor.

I’d make the same face about my daughters poor choices. (Image from IMDB)

In the end, everything works out. Ariel gets her voice back and the marriage she wants, King Triton is restored to his non-crab like look, and Ursula is defeated. But the life lessons taught are terrible:

  1. It’s totally cool to disobey your much older and wiser father.
  2. When you have a problem with what your beliefs tell you, turn to a witch that will offer you whatever you want.
  3. Don’t actually pay attention to the true costs of a contract. If something goes bad, blame the contract owner, and make your cosigner suffer.
  4. Fall in love and get married quickly based on looks, rather than actual long term interests.
  5. Moving in with the hot dreamy guy you just met is totally cool and doesn’t have long-term costs.

Do we really need Disney spreading this sort of message to our children?

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Disney, Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.