Why Disney Movies Should All Be Like Maleficent #Discussion #Review #DisneyPrincesses #Disney

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Why oh why can’t all Disney films take after this beautiful retelling of one of Disney’s many misogynistic princess movies?

I am going to try to keep this a thoughtful discussion and not a rant on why Disney Princesses make me want to puke! Well, I will try.

I’m sure when I was little, I watched all of the classic Disney films, eyes glittering and filled with wonder. But, I wonder how much of those stories were absorbed into my psyche? Did they help shape the kind of woman, no person I am today? As a mother to a young, impressionable girl, I have revisited many of my childhood favourites to see if they are appropriate to share with my daughter and the answer is a resounding NO!

Don’t get me wrong, there are wonderful Disney classics that I still love to this day. Remember Bedknobs and Broomsticks? But, there are so many more that I absolute abhor and my kid will never set eyes on them. Not if I can help it!

But first, a mini review of Maleficent. (I watched it for a third time last night)

Maleficent

I’m pretty sure we all know the story of the little princess Aurora, cursed by an evil sorceress to prick her finger on a spindle on her 16th birthday, and fall into a death-like sleep. That is, until Prince Charming rolls up on his white steed and gives her a kiss. That’s all it takes to break this horrific curse! A kiss from some dude. But, no one ever wonders why this evil witch cursed a baby with this fate. Until, Maleficent.

Maleficent is a visually stunning film, starring Angelina Jolie. It gives us her account of what happened, what made her curse a baby. She was betrayed by a human boy whom she loved very much. Instead of dealing with it, she wallows in her sorrow until she becomes a frigid, heartless (broken-hearted) tyrant.

I don’t want to ruin the movie for those who haven’t seen it, but lets just say, it isn’t a prince who breaks the curse but a “mother’s love”. I just adore this movie. Jolie is fantastic (I just wish the poor woman would eat) and the cinematics are beautiful. Watch it! It’s an A+ movie.

And now my rant…er discussion.

 

The Worst of the Worst

Above are some of the worst offenders. Classic fairy tales, dark and totally inappropriate for children, revamped by Disney into animated features. Granted, at the time of release (particularly the old ones) these movies gelled with the values of that generation. Not that they were right but that is what every little girl wanted to see. However harmless they may seem, the underlying theme of Disney Princess films is, that no matter how horrible everything seems now “One day my prince will come” and rescue me. Not “I should really do …. and … to help myself out of my current predicament” or “Try and do …. to make my life better.” The whole notion of waiting around for someone to save you and make your life better is not doing anyone any favors. Boys and girls alike, are watching these films, and they are taught that being helpless is okay.

Snow White is THE WORST! Disney’s first beloved princess, is this simpering, hapless idiot whose only contribution, is to clean up after the dwarves. Ugh! I can go on forever but I promise I won’t.

Disney is Making Some Changes

Yes, Disney is making a lot of really great changes, and it’s about time! With movies like Moana being made, Disney is finally making films that I will happily let my daughter, who likes to be Batman as much as she likes to be Elsa, watch and enjoy. Now if only they were more proactive where diversity is concerned, but that is another post in itself.

My daughter has watched the above movies and the TV show, Elena of Avalor, which I heartily endorse. Especially, Brave and Elena of Avalor. From these, girls and boys will learn that they get to decide for themselves what to do with their lives and who to be. They learn that princesses are brave and can fight pirates and go exploring. In Frozen, Elsa’s sister Anna saves the day! There is no limit to what you can do! And that, is exactly the message kids should be taking away from their entertainment.

Hey maybe I’m completely nuts and am taking this far too seriously. But, as a mother and responsible human being, I feel it’s my duty to make sure my kid watches and plays with things that will help her to become a good person. We have enough assholes roaming the planet.

This was just as small sample of Disney’s past and current works and I think we can all agree that Disney will always be a huge part of our landscape. I for one, am happy they are moving in a positive direction.

Oh, and again, watch Maleficent if you haven’t already. It’s on Netflix.

 

20 thoughts on “Why Disney Movies Should All Be Like Maleficent #Discussion #Review #DisneyPrincesses #Disney

  1. I loved this film. It’s an inventive twist on the old story. And I loved, LOVED Angelina Jolie as Maleficent. I couldn’t imagine anyone else in this role.

    You’ve made me want to see this again. I didn’t realize it was on Netflix – thanks for the tip!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You sound like such an awesome mom. 🙂 I think it’s great that you put thought into what your child watches and what sort of impression it will leave. I grew up liking Disney’s animal movies rather than the princess ones mostly, but it’s nice to see that they’ve come a long way with their female characters. I’ve yet to see Maleficent, so it sounds like I’ll have to change that soon! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a nice thing to say! Thank you 😊. I liked the animal movies too. I haven’t watched a classic one in years but she did watch Dory and liked it enough. The classics are such tear jerkers with moms dying etc… I’ll probably wait on those lol.

      Oh I can’t wait for you to see Maleficent! It so good. It actually deserves a full review but I was in rant mode lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. AMEN! I absolutely adore ‘Maleficent.’ I went in intrigued and came out thinking it was one of the most important movies Disney has ever made. I use it in class too. I teach a unit on the objectification of women in American culture and we watch ‘Maleficent’ as an example of a film that challenges and inverts a lot of the tropes often used to marginalize women in film. My students always respond to the film really well too and are surprised the hadn’t heard of it before. The whole thing is so intelligent and so powerfully rendered. I love it!

    Thank you for shining a light on such a well made, important film. Go Maleficent!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Thanks for such enthusiastic feedback! It’s brilliant for so many reasons and it makes me so happy to hear that you use it in your class to reinforce such important and positive themes. I’m glad you liked my post 🙂

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  4. Bravo!!! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
    Maleficent is actually the only Disney film I own (other than Star Wars but I feel they don’t count as Disney!)
    Growing up I hated Disney, even as a little girl I couldn’t get my head around the concept of princesses who needed saving by princes. The fairy tales I loved were my book of original Brothers Grim so Disney didn’t stick with me at all. I was 7 the first time I watched Wonder Woman and I know I know there are plenty of things wrong with that show compared with what we see as right now but back in the 80s a woman kicking butt and taking names made her my hero and I would watch hours of that over Disney every time.
    My 5yr old Niece is now very into Disney films and I hope she’s picking up on the important messages from these newer films.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! Wonder Woman was the only role model we had and it just isn’t on! No woman needs a man to live! I am so glad that the kids are now seeing this. I know we have to look back to how the first Disney film was Snow White in the 1930s and they tried to go along with the same style but come on THE LITTLE MERMAID IS MENNA DIE! I read the originals to my daughter and taught her that Disney just made them happy endings. I can go on about this for so long!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. My daughter adore Wonder Woman! I grew up watching that show too. Right now as my kid is only she watches all the lego superhero stuff and she has all of the DC Super Girls. We took her to fan expo last year dressed as Rey! She’s got great taste but she discovered Frozen which I think is one of the first princess movies that deviated from the prince rescues the princess crap, so I’ve had to navigate the world of Disney Princesses very carefully recently. She loved Maleficent which she watched curled up next to me (the tree guys were a bit scary for her) and I don’t think there is a reason for her to ever see the “other” one. She also loves Through the Looking Glass (the one with Time) because Alice captains a ship!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Listen, there will never be another Maleficent! I don’t think they can ever replicate the perfection of this film. They are getting away from the namby-pamby, frilly, girly crap and showing women as stronger and independent but I just adored this one for the angle they took. How they showed WHY she did what she did and how she evolved as a person. I would be wonderful to find out the back stories of other Disney villains. I agree with you big time on this topic, I want my daughter to grow up seeing how women really should be not daft bimbos that need men to justify themselves! I love how in Tangled Eugine just happens to be part of the story. They could actually both have very strong stories separately. Ok, Lisa…time to shut up!

    Liked by 1 person

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