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  1. #46

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    Re: Why are a lot of the Disney Princes such Creeps?

    Quote Originally Posted by gatheringrosebuds View Post

    I would definitely disagree that Mor'du is the villain. Through most of the movie, he's non-existent. A villain does something to oppose the protagonists of the film to create conflict, and quite frankly, Mor'du doesn't do that until the very end of the film (besides a few extremely brief seconds in the middle), and even then, it's not really something "villainous"--he has no immoral intentions or schemes, he's purely an animal bear acting on his brutal instincts.
    I don't think that screen time defines the villain. Saron in LOTR isn't a big screen presence, but his evil presence is known to the audience. Similarly in Brave, you have Mordu watching the young Merida, which is implied, and Mordu eats Fergus's leg. So, yeah, he's an evil presence in the back of the audiences mind from the start of the film. Even if he is a monster because he is a bear, he is still a monster and in the film he seemed to go out of his way to attack people. Bears who haven't been around people are generally afraid of them and only rarely attack people. Mordu is a sort of Jaws with four fury paws.

    The witch lives in a grey area, though I would call her a villain as she is instrumental in creating Mordu, a monster who kills innocents, and eats Fergus's leg. I can see her tricking this guy to make him learn a lesson, a la the beast, but it would be as if the beast kills a couple dozen villagers and the hag comes back and tells him, "hope you learned a lesson sonny, a lot of people died so you can get in touch with your feelings."

  2. #47

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    Re: Why are a lot of the Disney Princes such Creeps?

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    If you define intelligence as being able to adapt and successfully navigate everyday circumstances, then I wouldn't define Merida as being very intelligent. There's an aspect of intelligence that is emergent, irregardless of whether or not education is emphasized. We also don't have any reason to believe that Merida's education hasn't been neglected, she is a princess after all, and as the king's daughter we might assume she had private tutors available to her. Whether she avails herself of said opportunities is another question.
    Sure we do. Historically, in the early Middle Ages, most royalty and nobles couldn't even read or write more than their own names. Education was absolutely not a priority, it was mostly intended for those entering the church, and for girls, there weren't really any schools until the late 1400s. Even then, only just over half of all male nobles were literate. No word on the women. Considering all of the above and that their plans for Merida simply involved marrying her off, there's absolutely no reason to believe she would have had any schooling at all.

    Plus, frankly, half of the people I met in Mensa were totally socially inept, had no sensitivity toward social cues and would have died in about two hours if they'd been left in the woods - so again, I don't think it's fair to say Merida's not intelligent. She's smart enough not to go along with the status quo, to stand up for herself and to try to find a way out of her situation and that alone shows some individuality, sense of self and ability to think outside the box.

    While Snow White doesn't have much moxie, she also is quite young and inexperienced in the ways of the world. And while the prince wakes her up, he's also a sort of just a two-dimensional character. The heart of Snow White, in my opinion, is Snow White's interaction with the dwarfs and the nuttiness of that. Without an innocent and kinda clueless Snow White, some of the scenes wouldn't have worked. Snow White is really a fish out of water sort of story, and I think because Snow White isn't involved in the action of hunting down the witch (she's unconscious, good excuse) people think the movie is dated.
    Snow White's signature song is "Someday my Prince Will Come." Not "Someday I'll Escape;" "Someday I'll Be Free," no...it's all "someday someone will come rescue me!" In her scenes with the dwarfs she's simply being domestic - which is what she's spent her whole life doing. She goes from mopping floors at the castle to mopping floors at the cottage. And honestly, most girls watching the film in 1937 were going to grow up to be domestic housewives, although WWII and the women's rights movement did change that.

    I really loved Brave, and I fully expect to love Frozen . . . but I think that princess movies are becoming more like animated Die Hard films where there is a lot of thick drama, personality conflicts and action. I think that in order to draw in boys, who are exposed to a lot more action in films, Disney sprinkles on the warrior princess angle, Merida has her bows, Rapunzel seemed like she was trained in martial arts in some scenes. Of course, many girls will like the Xena princess warrior vibe too.
    I think it's a paradigm shift. The addition of action princesses does attract boys who like action films, as well as girls who hate the whole frilly dainty princess bit - but I think it's doing something more positive, which is to give female characters more agency overall. It's giving them an active role in their own stories and that lets girls know that they do have the power to change their destinies. I really liked that Merida remained single at the end of Brave, as well. It was showing that a "happy ending" did not have to involve getting married or matched up with someone, and that it could very well involve becoming happy in one's own life.
    Last edited by Malina; 05-05-2013 at 08:05 AM.

  3. #48

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    Re: Why are a lot of the Disney Princes such Creeps?

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    While Snow White doesn't have much moxie, she also is quite young and inexperienced in the ways of the world.
    It depends on what you mean by moxie. Snow White sure knew how to whip the Dwarfs into shape and run a household, and the fact that this and things like her cooking/baking skills are considered traditional (some would say/think outdated, but no useful skills are ever outdated) "women's work" doesn't change that. I like how she totally sees through Grumpy's tough-guy front and "owns" him in their interactions.

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    The heart of Snow White, in my opinion, is Snow White's interaction with the dwarfs and the nuttiness of that. Without an innocent and kinda clueless Snow White, some of the scenes wouldn't have worked.
    What is Snow White so clueless about? For comparison, the Dwarfs don't even know how to wash up properly. If this story were real, I could only imagine the ripe stench that must have hung over the place before she arrived.

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    Newer princess movies such as Brave seem to be a lot more serious, we wouldn't see Merida playing with, say her brothers after they are transformed into bears, but rather the feel of the whole movie is of an action movie.
    The main difference is that the newer movies are more like action movies, as you say, not that they are more serious, in my opinion, or better overall, for that matter. The comedy is also more like stand-up now--different, not necessarily better or worse.

  4. #49

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    Re: Why are a lot of the Disney Princes such Creeps?

    Quote Originally Posted by WildeNight View Post
    I love me some villians as well. As for Gaston, your theory above is probably closer than you think. He gives us a hint in his song "When I was a lad I ate 4 dozen eggs every morning to help me get large. And now that I'm grown I eat 5 dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a barge!"
    I think she's way off the mark. Gaston probably wasn't a hurt little stable boy. She's making her own fairy tale. He ate the 4 dozen eggs to get large, yeah, because he knew what he wanted and he wanted to be the best. The biggest and the best. I don't think that he was hurt by being humiliated. He was pissed that he wasn't able to get what he wanted. Which was Belle. Because she was the lucky girl he was going to marry. That made her the best and didn't Gaston deserve the best?

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    Re: Why are a lot of the Disney Princes such Creeps?

    I think you're off on your assessment of Disney princes. Gaston is considered a villain, so he's not supposed to be princely. Belle's good qualities would have been apparent even without Gaston. I don't know why you feel Gaston is a new low. Do you not understand that Gaston is a villain?

    The Beast has to be a jerk in order to be turned into a beast in order for the story to be told. He isn't rehabilitated by Belle. He fell in love with her and he was able to have her fall in love with him. The Beast wasn't a patient and Belle didn't cure him.

    Prince Naveen? What do you mean by creep and creepy? None of these characters are creepy.

    Flynn Rider - nothing "creepy" about Flynn nor was he a creep. He was who he was and didn't "need to be rehabilitated".

    Aladdin was a street rat. He's gotta eat to live, gotta steal to eat. Otherwise they'd get along.

  6. #51

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    Re: Why are a lot of the Disney Princes such Creeps?

    Quote Originally Posted by sbk1234 View Post
    Sure the girls like Gaston. He's good looking. It's easy to overlook a LOT when someone is attractive. That's why I always liked Belle. She prefers the ugly guy, so I tend to think I'd have a chance with her!
    It's not that Belle prefers ugly guys. Belle fell for the Beast because of who was on the inside, not because of what he looked like. Gaston looked good, but wasn't good on the inside. If Gaston was as good on the inside as he looked on the outside, I'm sure Belle would have gone for it.

  7. #52

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    Re: Why are a lot of the Disney Princes such Creeps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    What bothers me about some of the Disney princesses is their passivity - with Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc. they wait for someone to come and save them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    Snow White's signature song is "Someday my Prince Will Come." Not "Someday I'll Escape;" "Someday I'll Be Free," no...it's all "someday someone will come rescue me!"
    Snow White and Princess Aurora weren't waiting around for a prince to come rescue them. Snow White had bitten a poison apple and was pretty much dead. Sleeping Beauty was in a deep sleep. They weren't exactly waiting to be rescued. They both didn't know what was going on around them and if their princes didn't show up, they would still be asleep. They both did what they had to do and wanted to do. So Snow White scrubbed floors? At least she had a job. Briar Rose did whatever she wanted. Dancing around, picking berries, singing. She meets a guy and she was ready to go off with him and have fun. She actually lucked out he happened to be the same guy she was supposed to marry.

    Snow White's theme song wasn't about "someone come rescue me". She never says that. She was singing about the person she imagines she eventually wants to meet and with whom she will fall in love. What's wrong with that?

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    Re: Why are a lot of the Disney Princes such Creeps?

    Quote Originally Posted by grrandram View Post
    I think she's way off the mark. Gaston probably wasn't a hurt little stable boy. She's making her own fairy tale. He ate the 4 dozen eggs to get large, yeah, because he knew what he wanted and he wanted to be the best. The biggest and the best.
    You're probably right--Gaston seemed to have always been adored, and was used to getting what he wanted. He was driven to be a winner--THE winner--at any cost, which was driven by his massive ego and narcissism. If he even had a moment where he showed some sign of introspection or any indication that he had redeeming qualities, aside from things like physical prowess or knowing how to influence others with bribes and BS, then we might be inclined to wonder what else might have motivated him and whether he was truly evil, but since there weren't any such indications, then he must have been a villain to the core.

    Quote Originally Posted by grrandram View Post
    I don't think that he was hurt by being humiliated. He was pissed that he wasn't able to get what he wanted. Which was Belle. Because she was the lucky girl he was going to marry. That made her the best and didn't Gaston deserve the best?
    I'd have to partially disagree here, actually--not getting what he wanted played a part, but the public humiliation of Belle's emphatic rejection (topped off with ending up in the mud) was what hurt him the most (deservedly). Gaston said that he wanted Belle because she was "the most beautiful girl in town," but when we examine his relationship to the townsfolk and his reaction to being rejected, it may well be that he also desired Belle in part because she wasn't so impressed by him; his self-image as the guy that absolutely everybody admired was threatened by this. Belle could see his inner ugliness (although she didn't realize at first just how extreme it was), and Gaston could not accept this and did not want anybody else to find out. At this point he was still certain that Belle would be overwhelmed and overjoyed at his magnanimous gesture of asking an odd and somewhat outcast, albeit beautiful, girl to marry such a magnificent and popular specimen as himself, which of course inadvertently led him to set himself up for public humiliation.

    Gaston took the humiliation pretty hard, as we saw in the tavern scene when he said "Who does she think she is? That girl has tangled with the wrong man! No one says 'no' to Gaston!" As we can see, this was a matter of identity and therefore image for him--he was Gaston (referred to himself in the third-person), while she was a nobody. His image was hurt, along with his pride--he went from joking with guys about the inevitability that she would accept his proposal to wallowing in the mud with a pig (both of which are literal and shown in the movie). Then he said "Dismissed! Rejected! Publicly humiliated! Why, it's more than I can bear...I'm disgraced"--there was no reason for him to lie about how he felt at that point, and it doesn't get any clearer than that. The only way for Gaston to save face, in his view, was to force Belle to marry him against her will, which obviously was what he tried to do next.

    Quote Originally Posted by grrandram View Post
    The Beast has to be a jerk in order to be turned into a beast in order for the story to be told.
    Well, it's also a thematic and dramatic element. The Beast did not necessarily have to start out as a selfish jerk--he could simply have been an innocent victim of an evil enchantment instead, but the artistic choice to give him the issue of never having felt love for others gave him room to develop, and really made him the main protagonist, which differentiates this version of the basic story from most, if not all, of the others. Belle, in turn, was challenged more than any other incarnation of the Beauty character to see what kind of a person the Beast really could be.

    Quote Originally Posted by grrandram View Post
    He isn't rehabilitated by Belle. He fell in love with her and he was able to have her fall in love with him. The Beast wasn't a patient and Belle didn't cure him.
    You are correct that Belle did not (actively) rehabilitate him, but I would argue that he did need her help. Although his outward behavior at first was as, well, beastly as Gaston's was later on, it wasn't because of extreme vanity or envy or malice. The point was that he had to learn to love--to feel and care for somebody other than himself. Gaston presumably had no room or potential in his heart for such a thing, but as we found out the Beast did, falling in love with Belle because of the kind of person she was. He wasn't so charmed by her appearance, as far as I can tell--it just made his situation feel more hopeless than ever, because he apparently assumed that she could only fall in love with somebody as attractive as herself: "Oh, it's no use. She's so beautiful, and I'm...well, look at me!" He had to see past this himself, and he did. Belle did not try to rehabilitate him, but she provided an example and inspiration for him in several ways--without trying (just being herself), she gave his heart a reason to finally assert itself in a selfless way.

    By the way, Belle's good looks consistently caused problems for herself and others in this movie, and this is one of the reasons that I'm partial to this version of the basic story vis--vis other versions, as there usually isn't much of a reason for it (aside from contrast with the Beast, I suppose, or various Freudian-type thematic interpretations).

    Quote Originally Posted by grrandram View Post
    Flynn Rider - nothing "creepy" about Flynn nor was he a creep. He was who he was and didn't "need to be rehabilitated".
    Well, Flynn had to reform from his self-centered, thieving ways. He didn't need as much help as the Beast, but it could be argued that a similar process took place when he found a better dream in Rapunzel.

    Quote Originally Posted by grrandram View Post
    Aladdin was a street rat. He's gotta eat to live, gotta steal to eat. Otherwise they'd get along.
    But there are other ways to earn a living, or so I've been told. Of course, we're supposed to give Aladdin the benefit of the doubt, as maybe he couldn't get a job or start a business because he was considered a "street rat," due to his unexplained longtime orphan status.

    Quote Originally Posted by grrandram View Post
    Snow White's theme song wasn't about "someone come rescue me". She never says that. She was singing about the person she imagines she eventually wants to meet and with whom she will fall in love. What's wrong with that?
    Nothing is wrong with that, except that wanting to meet somebody, fall in love, get married, and raise a family is so yesterday. Today we have online social networks and sperm banks to take care of that crap, so women can concentrate on all the important things, like being "strong," making men look dumb while blowing them off, and fighting like a martial arts warrior.
    Last edited by Robert Cook; 05-09-2013 at 07:23 AM.

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