Disney films gave me unrealistic expectations about life

June 14, 2013

If you grew up watching Disney movies then, like me, you have probably learned by now that life isn’t at all like the pretty picture we had painted for us as kids.

I’m not saying I expected life to be like a fairytale when I grew up (which I’m hoping will happen any day now), but watching classic Disney tales as a kid instilled certain messages in me that I just can’t shake off.

Here’s what Disney taught me…

Someday your prince will come

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your situation is, there is a Prince Charming out there for you. If you only meet this potential partner briefly it won’t matter because you don’t really need to date the guy or even speak to him and he’ll still fall in love with you, because love at first sight is absolutely a reason to get married. Even if you’re not a member of the royal family or partying at balls with other beautiful people you can still meet a Prince because he will rescue you from whatever your situation is. In fact, you don’t have to worry too much about being concious either, because Prince Charming knows it’s cool to kiss chicks without their consent. What a guy. One thing to remember is that if a man turns up to save you then you should absolutely marry him for his trouble… unless he’s ugly, in which case you let him save you and then go off with a much better looking man. Don’t worry if he’s a tramp or an abusive douche bag with too much body hair, men are easily changed.

Talk to the animals

Most children understand that inanimate objects and animals cannot talk, so while our favourite Disney characters may have been best friends with cutlery and critters, I knew that I was never going to perform a music number with a meerkat and warthog. That said, Disney do have a way of making even the most dangerous animals seem loveable. It’s just common knowledge that bears love to dance, right? And cats certainly do, that’s why everybody wants to be a cat. Lions are like people, some are good and some are bad, but there’s a tried and tested way to distinguish between the two (we’ll get to that later). The truth is that animals want to be just like us, and if you were to jump into the orangoutang enclosure at the zoo – as long as you have a stereo with you – they will dance with you and absolutely not bash your skull in with a rock.

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down

A magical nanny will make your already cushy life even better. Tidying your bedroom sucks, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be great if someone could take the “hard” and the “work” parts out of “hard work,” and tidying things up could be as simple as clicking your fingers. You see, you don’t really need to work hard to get stuff done if you can do it without putting in the effort.

It’s ok to disobey your parents

Parents, pah, what do they know? They don’t know shit. In fact, if you’re sixteen you’re basically an adult and you should do what the hell you like. Mothers are few and far between in Disney flicks but dads are a real drag. They get cross at you because you don’t turn up to family parties and then they get even madder because it turns out you were somewhere dangerous, somewhere they forbid you from going. Yep, you should absolutely disobey your parents, especially for love. Oh, and if they really won’t let you have your own way the only solution is to run away. It’s tried and tested, 100% success rate.

Good people are the fairest of them all

It’s very easy to tell who is good and who is bad in the world. If you’re a good person then you are beautiful. If you are a bad person you are old, ugly, fat or all of the above. Let’s test this theory with Disney characters. Disney princesses are all beautiful, the princes are handsome and all the people we’re supposed to like are generally nice to look at. But the baddies… Ursula is old, ugly and fat, Cruella de Vil is old and ugly, Jafar is ugly… prominent eyebrows seem to be a bit of an ongoing theme with the bad guys, so probably don’t trust anyone who hasn’t been on a plucking spree. Yep, attractiveness is synonymous with being a good person, and we can extend this rule to animals too… the darker animals with pointer features and crazy eyes are the evil ones – you mustn’t dance with them.

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, off to work girls do not go

Women do not go to work. If you’re a princess then you don’t do anything but sit around and stroke your tiger, and if you’re not lucky enough to be a princess then you already have a job… doing woman stuff, like cooking and cleaning. The seven dwarfs were living in an absolute mess – there are seven of them and not one of them ever swept the floor because they are men and men do not sweep – then Snow White comes along and she gets that little house into shape in no time at all. Cinderella is a brilliant example of both because to start with she cooks, cleans and generally runs around after her stepmother and stepsisters (and we know they’re evil because they’re ugly) but ultimately a prince rescues her and she becomes a princess, so no more feeding the chickens for her.

Flaunting your sexuality will always get you what you want

All good women have to be beautiful. If you’re a Disney princess then your hair will always be perfect, you’ll wear pretty dresses and you’ll be young and wonderfully thin. Let’s face it, if you’re not young, thin and beautiful then how are you ever going to get a husband? As women we’re never going to get anywhere using our brains, are we? The only time we’re useful in dangerous situations is when we can use our sexuality to manipulate men – like Meg in Hercules and Jasmine in Aladdin. So bat those lengthy eyelashes, pout your lips, wiggle your tiny hips and plant a big old kiss on the lips of that ugly old man who is going to kill your prince. Now apply this technique to all areas of your life – parking tickets will be a thing of the past.

Sing what you feel – everyone will join in

You’re feeling happy, you’re feeling sad, you’re feeling indifferent – it doesn’t matter how you’re feeling, you should sing about it. In fact, just sing about whatever it is you’re doing because not only will everyone join in, but everyone knows the words and everyone knows the choreography. Life is a musical number waiting to happen, so when your boyfriend dumps you don’t sit around sobbing and shovelling Häagen-Dazs into your mouth, sing a song about it – you can do it alone, get the village to join in or if you’re lucky a gospel choir will appear out of nowhere. It’s also worth mentioning that if you are having trouble expressing yourself or explaining something to someone, then a song will almost certainly provide clarity on the matter.

Everyone gets a happy ending

It doesn’t matter who your are or what your situation is, if you’re a good person then you will get a happy ending. The best thing of all is that you don’t even have to do anything to get this happy ever after, it will just fall into your lap. Cinderella was slaving away her days when a fairy-godmother appeared out of nowhere to fix her problems and ultimately bag her a prince because good things just come to those who wait. While it’s probably best to do nothing and just wait for life to hand you happiness, if you want to speed up the process of finding a man just have a friend lock you in a tower or put you in some kind of mortal danger… that sounds like a lot of work though and as previously mentioned, why work hard to achieve something when you can sit back and just wait for it all to happen? If you get really desperate though, you can always make a deal with the devil and give up something silly that you don’t need (like your voice) in exchange for over-all body perfection because that will bag you a prince without question – men would much rather have a perfect looking woman who cannot talk than a half-fish freak who constantly sings songs about her hoarding.

Disney may have given us unrealistic expectations about life, but movies like Aladdin, Cinderella, Snow White and Hercules were a huge part our childhoods and we wouldn’t change a thing. The brilliant thing about Disney is that they haven’t lost their magic – just check out the the first image of a model of the Shanghai Disney Resort (above).

About Frankie Genchi

Full-time writer, reformed groupie, geek chic gamer and Henry Cavill enthusiast. Showbiz: www.fleckingrecords.co.uk | Girly: www.girlpanion.co.uk

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