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Snow White, Doing Wonders for Women’s Rights

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Let me just say that Snow White is one of my all time favorite movies. It holds serious sentimental value for me, because it was the first movie I ever saw in the theater, and it was a special outing with my mom I’ll never forget.

So, yesterday when Snow White was on the Disney channel. My daughter jumped and down a bit, extra excited to watch with me, and we snuggled up on the couch to enjoy a classic.

Then, the writer in me started analyzing the characters.

Uh Oh. That almost never ends well.

Okay, let’s start with Snow White herself. She’s pretty enough, and it’s nice to see a dark haired princess in the face of blondes everywhere. But, HOLY MOLY, is she dumb. She wanders around in the forest in her poofy sleeved dress giggling with the animals, and then somehow makes the amazing decision to go inside an empty cabin miles and miles away from everything with no one to hear her scream.

Then, when we think she can’t be any crazier… she decides the people living there MUST be children because they seem to be quite tiny–and instead of like getting help or whatever, she then proceeds to CLEAN THEIR HOUSE and make some dinner.

Yeah, because that’s what I’d do.

Then there are the dwarfs. What are they? Frat boys? Just a bunch of manly men hanging out in a shiny jewel mine all day long, and then they head back to their dirty house while singing a little ditty. Good thing Snow White was hot, or they might have kicked her out right there and then.

We can’t forget about the hero of the day, Prince Charming. Nothing like a man in tights to show up at the last minute and save the day.

But, there is a saving grace to this movie–The Queen. Her magic mirror tells her there’s someone prettier, and she isn’t having any of that. So, she does something about it. I kind of respect her for that, I mean–not the plans to kill Snow and put her heart in a box (Don’t even get me started on that inappropriate for child event) but, you know–the wanting something and going for it.

Disney doesn’t always get it wrong though, here are a couple of heroines I can get behind…

And of course, the girl who saves Hercules…

Today I want to know, What shows are totally ruined for you because you’re a writer?

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24 Comments

  1. *howls* Awesome post! I’m quite rabidly anti-princess with the notable exception of Belle, Ariel and Mulan. (Though the best Disney girl character IMHO is Lilo and that’s because she’s cracked and looks like my daughter but I digress.)

    I’d say most fairy tales are ruined for me not so much because I’m a writer but because, wow, where’s the logic. Let’s just traipse into a strange house and eat strangers’ porridge… that’s a great idea Goldilocks. Really.
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Random Observation =-.

  2. Ugh, I’ll be the first to say it: the Twilight Saga movies were ruined for me because I am a writer.

    Keep in mind, I saw the movie Twilight before I ever read the books. I loved it up to a point (just after Edward walks into the cafeteria for the first time, when I promptly melted in my seat and hubs had to give me CPR), and then I sat there alternating between loving and hating it for various writer-related reasons.

    My daughter insists I watch the movies with her and engage in the whole Twilight thing (which I admit to enjoying somewhat), and even now, I sit and rip the characters apart (in a good, writerly way), comparing and asking “what if” questions.

  3. Y’all analyze things WAY to much. I NEVER do that.

    Mulan isn’t a princess by birth, either. Her whole story was about knowing how to get things done. She and Belle are my favorites. I loved Meg, but I didn’t like the romance with Hercules because he just didn’t seem nearly smart enough for her. I knew she’d find him tiresome eventually.
    .-= Rosemary Clement-Moore´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

    1. @Rosemary Clement-Moore, I am so with you on the Meg thing. I feel like at some point she’s going to feel guilty that he didn’t go on ahead and go for the god thing… so now she’s stuck with him.

      Now her and Hades… that’s a good match!

      1. @Jamie, OMG! I thought the same thing re: her and Hades! I thought maybe I was just twisted, but two smart sarcastic people…

        Okay, he didn’t treat her so well, so maybe staying with him wouldn’t be the best feminist model, either. But other than owning her soul, they would have been a more equal match, smarts and strength of personality-wise.
        .-= Rosemary Clement-Moore´s last undefined ..Response cached until Tue 23 @ 18:10 GMT (Refreshes in 23.76 Hours) =-.

      2. @Rosemary Clement-Moore, HAHA yeah there was that whole soul owning thing, but I feel like Hades respected her because she figured out how to get around everything, ya know?

        That Hades is actually one of my fave all time Hades, it’s actually how I pictured the Percy Jackson one… or at least had hoped. 🙂

      3. @Jamie, I always had a soft spot/hot spot for Hades because I played Persephone in a play, and the story was written to be quite romantic. Another one of those tales that can be squidgy on the surface (that whole abduction thing) but lovely when the characterization is right… that is, he lets her go because he loves her so much, she would stay (half the time) even if she didn’t have to.

        Well, it’s the Beauty and the Beast tale, essentially, and that is probably my all time favorite fairy tales.
        .-= Rosemary Clement-Moore´s last undefined ..Response cached until Tue 23 @ 18:10 GMT (Refreshes in 23.60 Hours) =-.

  4. Isn’t it so strange how differently things look as a parent (and as a writer). My son is in love with Tom and Jerry (so was I as a child) and it really is so violent by today’s standards–LOL!
    .-= write-brained´s last blog ..Art PEE-ces =-.

    1. @write-brained, ohmigosh! My daughter is in love with that show too, but holy crap you are so so SO right. It’s horribly violent! Now I get that whole itchy and scratchy thing they do on the Simpsons!

  5. I LOVE The Last Unicorn! Also The Black Cauldron and The Dark Crystal.

    A while ago I was trying to find the narrative arc of my novel. I was discussing it with my husband, the super genius. Later on he was reading a story to our daughter and he turns to me and says, “This story has no narrative arc. None. It’s all, “The hat is red. The mittens are blue. Lame.” I laughed so hard! We’re not the only ones ruined by writing. 😉
    .-= Mercedes´s last blog ..I WIN I WIN I WIN! So Here’s A Tattoo. =-.

    1. @Mercedes, HAHAHA

      I think I KNOW the story you’re talking about.

      Man, that is like the fourth time in three days someone has mentioned The Dark Crystal. I think I’m going to watch it later today.

  6. Ok, I’ll bite. Almost all of the Disney cartoon movies are dead for me–Lion King was kinda gross with the incest, Sleeping Beauty with the nap-rophilia. Yeah, there’s something to be said for fairy tales, but I gotta have something more believable…Now, The Last Unicorn…I’d watch that every day…
    .-= Chantal Kirkland´s last blog ..What’s Everybody’s Problem with the Word ‘Moist’? =-.

  7. My two year old adores Lady and the Tramp because she loves puppies. I think this show is absolutely charming except for the fact that the characters say “You idiot!” about five or six times. The day that my daughter calls me an idiot is the day that Lady and the Tramp is burned out in the backyard.

    I love Belle. I LOVE sarcastic Meg! (Finally, a woman with some bite.) But everything is ruined for me as a writer. “Is that believable? You think she’d fall in love just like that? You think she’d rush into his arms without a second thought?” I find characters to be flat. I find their responses cliche. But I tell myself that this simply helps me to be on the lookout for the same problems in my own writing.

    Must. Watch. More. Disney.

    1. @Mercedes, haha I’m with you. I do that, “WHERE’S the MOTIVATION HERE?!?”

      But, I do love all things Disney… and so I am willing to just let them be awesome 🙂

  8. LOL my hubs and I watched Princess and the Frog this weekend and talked about the princess problem. My hubs makes the point that it’s the not-born-into-royalty princesses (Belle and Cindy) who are at all responsible (Cindy’s kinda a pushover, sure, but you can’t argue she didn’t know how to get a thing done. Prince Charming saves her, but did she really need it? That was more about missing out on her true love than being saved from anything. And now, Tiana, too.)

    I had this problem with Sleeping Beauty. I remembered it, but not well, & when I watched it again a couple months ago, I kept waiting for the plot to show up.
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..Contest Roundup! =-.

    1. @Jess, haha the princess problem! I love it, and I think you officially just gave it a name!

  9. Actually, being an editor ruins more for me than being a writer. For some reason, I’m still able to go into “suspension of disbelief” mode when I’m reading or watching a movie. But the VERY MOMENT I see any kind of typing or formatting error on a page, it’s all I can see.

    I sometimes have to pencil in the edit just to keep going.

    And restaurant menus are THE. WORST.

    I only wish I had such a detailed eye when reading my own work.
    .-= HWPetty´s last blog ..Are you looking for a role-model? =-.

    1. @HWPetty, HAHA that’s kind of awesome. Do you ever like take a red sharpie to restaurants? I SO want to sometimes.

      1. @Jamie, I wish. I’ve managed to refrain from defacing public property, but I have mentioned to waitresses that there is no apostrophe in biscuits and gravy.

        “Biscuit’s ‘n’ Gravy” <– this gives me hives for real.

        I'm reading an ARC right now… and it's driving me loopy. Uncorrected proof copies ARE NOT FOR MY ENJOYMENT.
        .-= HWPetty´s last blog ..Are you looking for a role-model? =-.

    2. @HWPetty, Haha. Restaurant menus ARE the worst here in Greece. You’d have a field day! I edit English language teaching material so you can imagine my delight when I read things like “Lamp in leomn sauce” (Hmmm, that’d be light), “Rubbit with onions” (Rub What????) hehehe gotta love Greek taverns …
      .-= The Alliterative Allomorph´s last blog ..Tongue Twister Tally =-.

  10. YES! I can’t watch anything now without dissecting it and figuring out exactly how things are going to go down!

  11. I personally don’t have a problem with the whole heart in a box thing. Why? Well when you were little did it bother you? No, me neither. I just though. “Yep, that would kill her.” don’t let your grown up mind that watches the horrors of the nightly news ruin fairy tales for you. Fairy tales are traditionally quite violent. Now I’m not saying that our kids cartoon movies should involve rape, murder, or cannibalism. But I’m all for just the right amount that would touch on real peril. Fairy tales were originally cautionary tales for their time, after all. You need something to caution against.

    Anyway, on the subject of what my writerly mind has ruined for me? Give me any three minutes of a sitcom and I can tell you how it ends. Any show, even one I’ve never seen.

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