I am a huge fan of Disney. HUGE fan! I grew up watching all the cartoons and shows, from Donald Duck and Goofy, to Mickey Mouse, to DuckTales and The Mickey Mouse Club, plus the animated classics, like The Jungle Book and Peter Pan, plus the adventures and comedies, like The Apple Dumpling Gang and Herbie, plus the family movies, like Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
To put it simply, I was totally engrossed by the Disney studio releases and am forever indebted to their talent for the magic and wonderment they have provided me throughout my childhood.
To be honest, I never really grew out of my Disney fascination. As an adult, I relished in — and still relish in — the magic inherent in its various features, dancing to the tunes ofThe Lion King, crying to the songs of Beauty and the Beast, splitting stitches with The Emperor’s New Groove and Monsters, Inc. I was blown away by Finding Nemo the first time round and am still blown away by it every time I revisit it. I can’t stop egging on Bolt the superdog during his epic journey through the States and don’t have a bad word to say against Wreck-It Ralph, the good bad guy in search of a little recognition in a world of interconnected game characters. I love Pirates of the Caribbean and can’t get enough ofTron: Legacy and its mind-blowing extravaganza.
Having said that, I’m willing to acknowledge that Disney has done great damage to society through its various stereotypes and misrepresentations of humanity, which it constantly features in its animated and other features to the point of abuse, starting with the all-annoying notion of happily-ever-after endings, where everything always ends super-duper dandy and ok, a notion as sickly as caramel syrup in caramel-syrup vomit, followed by the deeply annoying dear-sweet-princess-meets-prince-charming-wonder-rug scenario, which seems to have been swallowed hook, line and sinker by men and women around the world, crafting people’s ‘romantic’ relationships around an unsustainable concept of skewed romance, which makes people wonder why the fuck they’re totally unhappy spending their lives seeking life partners — and committing to life relationships — on grounds based solely on ideologically-driven notions of love, the majority of which end up with all parties involved wondering why the hell they feel totally spent and frustrated after having spent a lifetime trying to put up with rules that don’t work, placing emotion above common sense in the name of (Disney) love — a concept as ridiculous as it is irresponsible — which, to top it all off, is supposed to underscore the ideal state of human emotionality, at least in terms of fairytale scripture, bringing up the rear with an endless recycling of classic and all-too-familiar Disney motifs that involve the do-gooder loser hero winning against all odds, the accented villain who, despite not being so bad when you think about it, always gets trashed, the charming idiot who’s there to make the loser hero look more appealing and the complex villain more evil, the idiot’s idiot friends who get rewarded for being simple-minded idiots, the winning song that makes everything even simpler, the prevalence of floating red hearts that raises the cheer factor, and a complete disregard for the complexities of life that once adorned children’s fairy tales, helping both kids and adults encapsulate the reality of life in ways that actually helped them deal with it down the line.
There are of course various spins and alterations to the classic stereotypes and motifs, revamping the basic storyline. Same process, different roles, same old fluff.
We have to criticize what we love in order to do it justice. Otherwise it becomes corrupted. It slips into the terrain of mindless propaganda, ending up as secular scripture.
I hate doing this to Disney, but somebody has to. Like a wise man once said, we have to criticize what we love in order to do it justice. Otherwise it becomes corrupted. It slips into the terrain of mindless propaganda, ending up as secular scripture.
With that in mind, and with a healthy dose of forward-looking realism in my venom, let me kick off an Honest Trailers mini-series, starting with Frozen, the latest Walt Disney animated feature to capture our hearts. Here’s the flip side to an extremely enjoyable movie, which, despite my initial misgivings — did I mention how much I love Disney? — I have plunged in warm water, sprinkled with bath salts and hung out to dry, for maximum thawing effects.
From your glaring Spin Doctor,