I've come to the conclusion (again) that growing up is really hard. In the attempt to navigate life's treacherous waters while staying afloat and not getting the awesome metaphorical pirate hat that I'm probably wearing wet, I have succeeded and failed and succeeded again multiple times already. One thing I'm slowly learning to accept though is the fact that sometimes life throws you a huge storm and sometimes you just gotta ride it out. The best way to ride out a storm? Movies. What better way to relive your childhood than with a good old Disney movie?
Anyone who knows me in real life will know that I will always to my grave argue that The Lion King is the best damn movie ever created, and of course, with the new Frozen craze, I have pissed off (and by pissed off, I mean mildly annoyed people who proceeded to not listen to me anyway) many good folk. However, it came to me (in the shower, as many good moments of genius often do) that some of the Disney movies that I watched growing up have TERRIBLE messages.
*DISCLAIMER: I absolutely do not advocate never watching the following movies again. You probably learned worse things in public school anyway. This is purely for the purpose of me being a jerk and ruining your favourite movies for you :P
POCAHONTAS: Someone strange walks into your village from a different country? By all means, be totally naive to their ulterior motives. Odds are they probably won't try to kill you with smallpox blankets (what they never show you in the sequel is that the reason she went off to England is actually because they destroyed her village with smallpox blankets.)
CINDERELLA: I'm pretty sure my cousin inspired this one. If a guy you danced with was too drunk to remember what your face looked like and therefore tried to cover his tracks by making every girl in the village try on a shoe, you should definitely marry that guy because he's rich and you don't care anyway. I laugh because when she got married, she probably though she was done cleaning up after people lolololololol
THE LITTLE MERMAID: If you meet a really hot guy on the beach, change everything you are to be with him. Seriously, even your species.
SLEEPING BEAUTY: Meet a hot stranger in the woods? Dance with him. Find out that he was totally fondling you in your sleep? Marry him.
SNOW WHITE: I seriously don't know what this gullible bitch was thinking. If a strange old lady randomly gives you an apple, and then cackles as you take and eat it, you are just asking for trouble. She probably left her drink unattended in bars too and just ignored the funny taste it had when she came back or the strange guy lurking dangerously close.
I'm not even going near the movie Frozen, since I'm pretty sure that Elsa was just paid off by climate change deniers to cause an eternal winter. And also, if you have freaky uncontrollable ice powers, try seeing a doctor. At the very least, maybe a shrink so you can at least make an attempt to control them.
I just love The Lion King because it is the perfect coming of age tale. First of all, it is Hamlet with lions. How is that not cool? Let's take one of the greatest playwrights in history and use one of his stories as our next movie! Sounds good to me.
Also, I have no clue if maybe it's just because gender roles don't really apply to lions, since they are basically backwards anyway, but the lionesses literally don't take shit from anyone. Most Disney princesses live on the premise that as long as they do their daily pilates, there will always be someone to take care of the rest. Nala, however, is a self sufficient lioness who isn't afraid to get what she wants.
Most of all, it's so realistic. It literally goes through everything that a typical young adult would go through. Seriously who doesn't have at least one evil uncle? Just kidding. Actually I'm pretty sure I do.... But I can safely say that he's never tried to kill my father and blame me for it.
Anyway, aside from all of that, it really is realistic. What young adult doesn't see themselves in Simba? When you're little, you think you're invincible, right? And I like that simba is a cocky little shit in the beginning, because you know what? We all were. You were bullied in school because as a kid, you think that you can literally do and say anything you want to anyone and there are no consequences. Simba is the perfect comparison to a child's free, optimistic, "rose coloured glasses" spirit.
And then guess what, his dad dies. Mufasa, literally the most badass lion father who ever lived, it turns out is actually just mortal. We have all had our "mufasa dies" moment. Whether it is puberty, or simply the lesson that you can't get what you want in life all the time, or maybe someone actually died, we've all been there. I have a firm belief that in order to be a good person, life has to bitch slap you in the face at least once. At LEAST once.
This is getting long winded, so to wrap it up, we all know how it ends. Simba runs away with some vagabond hippies, smokes some grass, sees his father's ghost and realizes that he can't change the past, but he must learn from it. It's a tough pill to swallow, but he literally ran back towards his problems, beat the shit out of them, and reaped the sweet lion rewards.
So for the record, if life knocks you down and steals your crown, get up, put that shit behind you and go reclaim your rightful place in the universe. That's a life lesson that I can get behind.