What would a childhood be without Disney?
There is a saying, ‘Everyone knows where they were the first time they saw Mufasa die’. I was on the floor of a cinema with a bunch of other kids – completely traumatised… I remember actually being angry with my mom for bringing me to such a horrific thing. But Hakuna Matata made up for it a few minutes later.
The imagination of good old Uncle Walt has brought us the classics and so much more. From Mickey to Toulouse, Ariel to Mulan, Prince Charming to Tarzan, and Belle to Elsa, Disney has spanned fantasy and reality, history and mystery to bring us some of the most memorable and loveable characters.
But if you take a step back and actually analyse some of these stories, there are some very serious concerns that probably will arise… As well as a few revealing qualities of why you probably identified with the characters.
Snow White – The Desperate Victim
The evil stepmother is jealous of Snow White’s beauty and tries to kill her once her father has died. Snow White escapes and finds seven moody dwarf men whom she cooks and cleans for. She bites into a poisoned apple and dies. A prince arrives and kisses her and she is revived.
- The role of men in this story is very crude. Whether it is the absent father, the needy and pitiful dwarves or the heroic prince, all do not represent what a man should truly be in any relationship.
- Snow White’s story is so endearing because she is a victim. All the way through, she takes the punches and never actually stands up for herself. If you identify with this mind-set, it may be time to evaluate how you live your life.
- Kissing dead people is disgusting.
The Little Mermaid – The Stubborn Rebel
A princess mermaid, against her fathers’ wishes, goes to the surface of the sea and rescues a prince from drowning. She falls in love with him and makes a deal with a witch to get legs. The deal works, but it goes sour when the witch steals her voice. The witch tries to attack the prince and Ariel. The prince kills the witch. They live happily ever after away from her family.
- Rebelling against authority is considered brave.
- Ariel’s belief that she is doing the right thing – even when dealing with the witch communicates that sometimes evil is necessary for you to be happy.
- She hasn’t even spoken to the prince, but knows he is her soul mate and sacrifices family, her home and her physical appearance to get him.
Cinderella – The Helpless Saint
An evil stepmother enslaves her innocent daughter (sound familiar?). She suffers in silence for years until a fairy godmother gives her a dress and a carriage for a few hours. After the magic wears off, she returns to her hard life. The prince she met comes looking for her. He finds her because of her unique shoe size. They live happily ever after.
- This story is absolutely depressing. The only way to get out of your situation is a ‘lucky break’ or magic.
- The world is unfair. There is nothing wrong with you. It’s everyone else’s fault.
- It’s up to others to make your life better.
- Escaping seems like the only option.
The Lion King – The Reluctant Saviour
Simba is held dangerously over the edge of a cliff by an arguably crazy baboon. “Everything the light touches” is his. He disobeys his father and goes to the shadow lands. His evil uncle tries to kill him. Mufasa, his father, saves Simba but dies in the process. Simba runs away because he believes it’s his fault. He meets a colourful pair of friends. A girl finds him hiding and tries to bring him back. He refuses, then goes back after seeing his father in the clouds. He fights the evil lions and hyenas. He takes back his destroyed ‘pridelands’.
- This story has extreme biblical references. Moses’ exodus, the fall of Lucifer and the story of the Messiah come to mind.
- Hiding from reality seems to be justifiable, however. It’s only when a woman/lioness enters the picture that he gets serious about life.
- He allows shame to affect him for a huge part of the movie.
- Having fun means ignoring your issues.
You might think I am being a bit facetious, but these observations about the films we like could actually highlight how we see ourselves… If anything, I hope that this little analysis provokes you to think about what shaped your childhood.
It doesn’t all have to be bad. The wild, untamed nature of Tarzan and the courage portrayed in Mulan deeply affected who I have grown to be.
It’s human nature to identify with others’ weaknesses. But I believe there is a whole lot more to gain from recognising our own strengths. One of the greatest strengths we have is our connection to God. The only way you will find out what you were made for is to get to know the one who designed you… If you are serious about finding out more about who you are, click on the link below.