Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fairy tales

Fairy tales have ruined me for any man. I am a shameless lover of Disney and Pixar films concerning princes and princesses. The plots are thin, the antagonist is one-sided, but I absolutely adore them. Perhaps it's because it reminds me of a time when I believed in gallant princes. Oh, and of course because of the awesome music.

I never wanted to be the damsel in distress though. It bothered me, as I got older, that Aurora did nothing but fall in love and fall asleep. She had no way of breaking the curse itself. My favorite was Ariel, who went after what she wanted, and helped to bring down the monstrosity that threatened her world.

Why do we love these tales? We writers, who are constantly preaching that characters must have layers, even the villains, and stereotypes make for worse stories.

I think it's because of the possibility. What person, at one point in their life, hasn't dreamed of finding their soul mate, and riding off into a happy sunset, preferably with some cheery woodland creature bounding nearby?

What all these stories have in common is freedom.

Cinderella - freed from her evil stepmother
Aurora - freed from a curse that's dogged her since birth
Ariel - freed from a life where she was expected to fit in rather than make her own splash
Mulan - freed from the necessity of finding a husband to bring her family honor
Snow White - freed from a stepmother who envied her beauty
Rapunzel - freed from a tower and an oppressive "mother"
Tiana - freed from her own all encompassing work ethic to find love
Jasmine - freed from her oppressive life inside the castle where all that was expected of her was to marry

Now, my personal favorite is the Swan Princess. I could watch it over and over again without getting tired of it. I adore Derek, who risks his life to find the woman he loves. And Odette, who is kind and brave, and never gives in to Rothbart.

We all dream of our savior, of being brave, of love, of spreading our wings (quite literally in Odette's case) and flying free. What child wouldn't love these stories?


  1. OMG - YES to all of it! I was posting on the Bransforums and HAD to jump here because the Disney title sucked me in. :) I feel the same way with the gallant stories, and fighting the good fight, and the love and music!

    My favorite is definitely Ariel as well. I never quite got the old school princesses like Aurora and Snow White, but I love Mulan and Rapunzel from Tangled. Simba is fantastic too - that story is so powerful! Also, it's technically not Disney, but if you haven't checked out Anastasia yet...well, let's just say you should!

  2. I love Anastasia! It wasn't until recently that I realized the star cast it had! Meg Ryan, John Cussack, Hank Azeria. I was actually singing one of the songs from that movie today :) Still a kid at heart