Hey Overthinkers! Welcome to the HAPPIEST WEEK ON EARTH!
For no particular reason, we’re declaring this Disney Week! Expect a slew of posts regarding the pop culture monolith and children’s dream factory.
If you have any favorite memories or off-the-cuff observations about Disney works, leave them in the comments here! Otherwise, check back all week under the Disney Week tag as we churn out post after post.
(P.S. Check our prior Disney-themed posts, too!)
I find it funny that I log on to see this is Disney week when I found myself involved in two Disney-related conversations just last night.
The first was about how Disney dominated the box office for two consecutive weeks with the re-release of the 1994 Lion King film, which will now be available on blu-ray this week. I can understand the blu-ray release but I wonder how many people will spend money on it both in theater, and on bluray. I’m sure they may be parents exposing a new generation of kids to it or nostalgic film fans, or both.
The other Disney conversation involved Kingdom Hearts and how much I loved the first game. The merging of Squaresoft and Disney combined to be one of my favorite games of all time but the KH series, much like many straight to DVD Disney films, has produced half-hearted sequels.
I look forward to this week’s posts and will be reading before Wrather puts them “into the vault forever.”
Oh boy. Best theme ever.
As a parent of a five-year-old girl, I am deeply immersed in the Disney universe (as hard as I have fought to hold it off). In the past few years I have spent many hours in repeated viewings of the same titles, priming me for Overthinking.
Mulan is a very unusual children’s film in that it depends upon many layers of densely-coded irony. My daughter and I spend a lot of time unpacking what it means for the male characters to say/sing what they’re saying about men and women to Mulan when they don’t know she’s female, and what it means for the film to “celebrate” values that it ultimately intends to challenge.
I think that mainstream audiences’ discomfort with irony is why the film was less successful than the other Disney films of the period. Ariel and Belle’s motivations are much easier for small kids to understand and process.
Interesting, because I think Ariel and Belle’s motivations are left annoyingly ambiguous. Both characters seem to be motivated solely by a general state of garden variety dissatisfaction. It’s not really the desire to become a princess, but it’s a desire that can be most easily satisfied by becoming a princess.
But that’s the point, right? Little girls don’t know exactly what they want, aside from being pretty and happy. But that’s why the movie is about the quest, not about it’s fulfillment. Princesses only have perfect lives in caricature.
But of course, it’s also issue will all narratives (Dante excluded, natch). No-one cares about the happily ever after of Mario and the Princess, or King Strider, or even Pierre Bolkonsky – unless they become unhappy, in which case another narrative cycle begins, the story ends as soon as the quest is over. Why they want the practical thing that they are chasing seems like it tends to boil down to “who they are”. Am I overstating the case?
Oh, I thought you were going to talk about the borderline racist depictions of the non-main characters. As in Aladdin and The Lion King the main characteres seem a bit less “ethnic” and have fewer affectations and in particular the villains are more “ethnic” and “darker”.
Did you know… The Lion King was almost called “King of the Jungle”- until someone had the smarts to point out lions do not, in fact, live in jungles.
You know how much I want to give all of you a hug right now, right? Ah, favorite topic right after gender issues. :)
Man, I wish I’d done my one about Mulan and the history of the waves of feminism/gender identity. I really must get around to that someday.
Yeah, I have one about The Lion King 1 1/2 archived in the queue of “stuff I submitted and never got around to adequately fixing” of my own.
Oh, it never got that far. But I will write it one day.
Would you accept a guest-written article about the nature of Djinni magic in the world of Aladdin?
What about Peter Pan being a stalker/kidnapper/drug dealer?
He watchs Wendy through the window of her house night after night while saying that he’s interested in her stories and if she’d just come with him to Never Never Land (getting there requires the use of a drug named fairy dust which produces happy thoughts) then she could tell stories all day long.
The fact that all three children go with him willingly shows that their home life is far from ideal that they’d rather go off with a complete stranger than stay at home with parents that seem to care very little about them.
You know, for a second there, I thought doing a comparison of Peter Pan to Edward Cullen from the Twilight series would be awesome. But the big difference there is Edward at least puts on airs that he’s against Bella following him into the sparkly world of sexxy-sexxy vampirism. Although that could be the point of divergence and why, ultimately, Bella succumbs and the Darling children return home. Hmm…
‘An example of subtraction can be found in Disney’s The Lion King series. After the success of the first movie, Disney released a group of books titled The Lion King: Six New Adventures in which Simba is said to have a son named Kopa. It is also mentioned in the storybook version of the film that he has a son. However, in the film sequel The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, Simba only has a daughter named Kiara. Kopa is non-existent and no mention is made of him. Kiara also has a different coloring and more feminine features than the cub shown at the end of the first movie.’
From the Wikipedia page on Retcons. Does this suggest to you, as it does to me, that Simba and Nala’s son died in infancy?