Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dear People at Disney Pictures,

I guess I should start this by saying that we are HUGE Disney fans...seriously.  HUGE HUGE fans in this house.  Just so you know.

Now that I got that out of the way, here's where I blast you for your latest movie, Tangled, which had some serious flaws, in my opinion.  Even though the film was given excellent reviews and most everyone who saw it said they enjoyed it, still....there's always a downside.

I'm sure those serious flaws haven't been pointed out to you by this point because....well, my daughter hadn't seen the film until a couple months ago.

Sorry I'm just now getting this message to you...the kids have been sick, we had a flood in our downstairs bathroom...excuses, excuses.

I'll blame it on the rain.  If Milli Vanilli could do it, then so can I.

So, the message in the film is to take a chance on life...step outside your comfort zone for once and you may get to life your life happily ever after, with the man of your dreams....and all that shit.

My daughter and I finally got a chance to see Tangled and we quite enjoyed it, as did everyone else in the theater.  I even found myself a little teary-eyed at the end...wondering why I couldn't have had the same luck as your fair-haired princess. 

You know, finding out that my real parents were actually a king and queen who reigned over a joyous kingdom, chock full of nothing but happy, positive people. 

Sorry, I still have some unresolved issues from my childhood.  Bitter, party of one?

I should probably give you a little history of what had happened in our home prior to us seeing this movie so you can truly appreciate where I'm coming from.

My daughter had received one of those Butterfly Habitats for her birthday.  The caterpillars arrived in the mail and we got them set up in their new home...and we waited.  And we watched.  And we waited.  The whole "lather, rinse, repeat" crap.

Finally, the caterpillars turned into chrysalides and we found ourselves watching and waiting yet again.  I began to fear that the butterflies were never going to emerge from their disgusting, black shells and felt it was probably due time to have the "death talk" with my daughter.

I explained that something may have gone wrong...maybe our house was too cool, maybe I didn't attach them correctly to the netting as explained in the directions, maybe the butterflies just didn't like me anymore and no longer wanted to play with me at recess (sorry, childhood issues again)...whatever. 

We had the whole "it's sad when a pet dies" conversation. She wanted to know if there was some way to bring a dead pet back to life.  And I had to tell her that as sad as death is and as much as we want the pet to still be here with us, it's just a part of life...nature takes its course and the whole circle of life shit. 

Now, this entire conversation was merely a "just in case".  I told her that I wasn't sure if they were dead or not but a significant amount of time had passed and I wanted to prepare her, just in case the entire butterfly experiment failed.

Okay, so now you're up to speed...so she loves the movie, I love the movie. 

Then we get towards the end of the film...you know, the scene where the handsome dude dies after being stabbed and Rapunzel is holding him, crying a river of tears...completely broken-hearted that she's lost her one true love?? 

The scene where one of her magical tears lands on his face and BRINGS HIM BACK TO LIFE?!

Yeah, THAT scene....

Through the darkness in the theater, I could feel my daughter's piercing stare.  I turned to her and she began to say, "I thought you said...." 

I leaned over and whispered to her, "Now is not the time....shhhh, let's finish  watching the movie".

She sat back in her chair, arms crossed angrily over her chest...as she continued to glare at the screen and then back at me again.

Thank you, folks at Disney, for this putting me in this craptastic situation.  For God's sake, don't any of you have extremely opinionated children?!

As soon as the movie ended, my daughter grabbed my hand and insisted on knowing why I had lied to her.

"See, Mommy, people can come back to life.  That guy in the movie was dead and the princess made him alive again with her tears!  Why did you lie to me," she whined.

I imagined her 10 years from now, laying on her therapist's sofa and crying about how cruel and conniving her mother was...

"You don't even understand," she'd say.  "She was such a hateful woman...I mean, she even lied to me about death.  I saw with my own two eyes Rapunzel bringing her boyfriend back to life...so clearly, my mother's whole point of being was to fill my head with nothing but deception and lies.  Oh, woe is me..."

And then she would dramatically place her hand over her forehead while dabbing away the tears in her eyes with her other hand.

Looking around, I responded, "Do you see any other kids asking their parents that same question?  NO, everyone is completely satisfied with the way the movie turned out!!  Why do you have to analyze it...can't you just appreciate the message that if you step outside your comfort zone and if you're lucky enough to find someone who brings out the best in you that you'll live happily ever after?!"

But no...she wasn't about to let it rest.  And, since she was already pissed off at me, she threw another zinger at me....

"Why did that lady steal the princess from her parents?" she demanded.

Oh, I got this one.  Here was my chance to make up for my #34,876 shameful parent fail...or was that 34,877...I've lost count.

I answered, "You know how I'm always talking to you about stranger danger....that's a classic example of why you shouldn't talk to strangers!"

Before I could explain further, she said, "But the lady was nice to the girl.  She loved her and fed her.  She didn't hurt her at all."

Seriously, Disney people?!  What the hell is wrong with you?!  Didn't think that any of the sweet children seeing your movie would pick up on those two inherently fucked up messages...thought they'd just focus on the fact that the Princess got what she wanted in the long run?!

Oh, who cares if some evil bitch kidnapped the princess and kept her locked away in a tower for 18 years...who cares that there is no way possible to bring even someone as awesome as Mother Theresa back to life, not even with magical teardrops? 

My point is that for every 100 children out there who enjoyed this movie based solely on entertainment purposes, there are roughly 5 children who harrassed and hen-pecked their poor parents to the point of no return, while demanding detailed explanations to some of life's most complicated questions.

Never mind that this movie was PG-13...I knew that going into it.  All the reviews said it was a fantastic "family movie for children of all ages" so why wouldn't I think it was appropriate for my 6-year old daughter, right?

Apparently, all you folks at Disney who aren't "blessed" with those strong-willed, nosy 5 children out of a 100, I'm sure.

I'd really hate to ban my children from seeing any more future Disney movies but, honestly, my nerves can't take this shit anymore.


Tired, exhausted and plain pissed off Mother of 4 extremely opinionated, strong-willed, nosy children

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singedwingangel said...

I know it's not funny to you but I think it is awesome at some level that she still has faith in certain things. I agree the mixed message crap is wrong way wrong and way out of line for Disney to put out there like that.. UGH

Colleen said...

PG-13, really? Why the hell would Disney make a princess movie that would fall into the PG-13 range?
I haven't seen it yet and am very grateful that my 4yo girl(who went with my sister) was completely oblivious to the f*cked up messages. I'm so not up for that conversation. Thanks for the heads up. :)

Donna said...

As an adoptive Mom, I freakin' hyperventilating during that movie! Baby is "taken" and raised "with love" -at 4.5, my boys know that were also "taken" as babies to live with us. And then the daughter discovers all along she belongs to/with her REAL parents! yay!
And as the boys have lost a g-dad, an uncle and two dogs in the last 3 years, they too demanded to know WHY didn't we BRING THEM BACK? Yikes! Thanks, Disney!
But other than the HUGE messages coming across the screen, we all "enjoyed" the movie!

Eva Gallant said...

Oh that Bella! Nothing gets by her! What a great and funny post!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

That movie was PG-13? Oops. My children were too interested in the popcorn & walking up the steps to the back to gather any sort of message from the movie.

Jenny said...

This is so true. I'm not a big fan of Disney, because all of their movies have strange messages. Really, when you think about most of them, they are quite creepy!

I don't blame Bella for being confused at all. And yikes to poor Donna who took her adoptive children to see the movie about being taken as a baby. That must have been upsetting for her.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Well, I haven't seen it, since I haven't seen a movie since I was just barely pregnant with the twins. Back in 2008. Yeah.

I guess it's good she's questioning things. She's not going to let anyone pull one over on her, is she? ;-)

Kim-Stuff could always be worse said...

I agree what a funny post! We are Disney fans too but?? What a unique gift for your daughter, butterfly habitat

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

I have not seen it....we aer Disney addicts....was just thinking about booking a trip to see the Mouse today....

This was a great post...

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

I have not seen it....we aer Disney addicts....was just thinking about booking a trip to see the Mouse today....

This was a great post...

Brooke said...

i was looking forward to seeing it, now i'll see it with different eyes.

Rebecca said...

Bahahahahaha...I'm pretty sure I'll be going through this with my two when they can put things together. I've already caught myself in quite a few conundrums!

Jen said...

This makes me glad that my kids are kinda dumb and don't pick up on things like that.

Tabatha said...

I absolutely loved this post! I took my 9 year old girls to see this movie along with two teenagers. They made fun of me for getting all teary eyed. But your so right Disney does have some jacked up messages.

Jenna said...

Hilarious!!! That Bella nothing slips by her, I do wonder about those movies sometimes, like who are they really entertaining, kids don't get those jokes, well mostly, lol! Oh and on disney's defense, it is a fairy tale after all, lol!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. You had quite the time there. I'm so glad my children didn't bombard me after we saw it lol. I didn't even know it was PG-13. Wow.

Mighty M said...

Oh I am sooooo hoping Hannah doesn't remember the life giving tears in that movie in the future. I don't want the glare!!

Megan said...

Helene, I love you. Mostly b/c of the Milli Vanilli quote, but also b/c I totally agree with this post. I had a hell of a time explaining Tangled to Ashley. She was so confused by the "fake mother." Was the mother bad or good or right or wrong or young or old. Good Lord, that was tough to explain via whispers in a dark room.

Dysfunctional Mom said...

Those Disney people are seriously twisted!

The Lane Family said...

It is sad that Disney tries to let kids know everything is always perfect and ends well...the upside kids are innocent and they love that kind of stuff..the downside is when you have smart kids they quickly pick-up on the fact that things are not how they show them on t.v.

I remember when I was not that old telling me mom I don't think marriage is like a fairy tale..she did not know what to say to that..but it is not that way.

Nezzy said...

I was one of those little people who took everything literally. In fact it was not an unusual event for me to open the pantry door to talk to the mermaid of the Chicken of the Sea can 'cause she was animated right off the can in the commercials. Yep, I'd converse with Mrs. Butterworth too. Oh the magic of childhood. Heck today when I'm here with only the wild~eyed cattle to talk to you can .......never mind..TMI!!! Heeehehe!!!

We used to do the butterfly thing in our classroom each spring. We would set the butterflies free before their short life cycles were over so we would not have to deal with the death thing.

God bless and have a warm fuzzy kinda day!!! :o)

Kimberly said...

It's PG 13? What the heck! Shoot they should make Yo Gabba PG 13 because that skinny bass turd DJ Lance will surely spark the "Momma, is DJ Lance annorexic?" questions.
I find that t.v and movies are getting a bit more mature for
My liking. Wait...I'm sounding like my mother aren't I?

Tiffany said...

You just gave me 6 more reasons I am sooo glad I did not take Prayse to that movie!

Zeemaid said...

*LOL* We loved it too. But not long after seeing the film my son started following me around the house and refused to go to preschool... i can only pin it on that film because of the little girl being kidnapped. coincidence? maybe, maybe not. ;)

Aimee said...

The butterflies! What has happened to the butterflies? Did they hatch? Update us pronto please!


Disney has always been whacked. There isn't a solitary animated movie out there that isn't whacked in some way or the other. Pickle and I just go for the popcorn! :)

Cindy said...

Since Bella doesn't believe that dead means dead, why don't you tell her about Pet Cemetery - you bury your dead pet (or human)in unholy ground in the backwoods of Maine and they come back evil, deranged, psychotic killers. Maybe that will cancel out the magic tear crap.
When my daughter asks me next time why you can't bring back the dead like in Disney movies, I am so telling her this (NOT - we have enough nightmares to deal with already).

Shell said...

All the misinformation that Disney spreads. They owe us moms something...maybe a vacation without kids.

Anonymous said...

You can't get anything past her, can you? She's going to be an awesome mother someday.

Ellen Ross said...

YOu have a gorgeous family and a beautiful blog!!! i plan to visit on a regular basis :)
Ellen Ross
Ask Away Advice Blog

Six Feet Under Blog said...

I guess kids put more thought into fairytales these days then we did when we watched them 20 years ago!

The Mother said...


Now you have one teeny, tiny taste of what it's like to raise rational, secular kids in this supernatural world. Explain away, oh ye parent.

Jen said...

Helene -

Your daughter is just like you. I seem to remember you over-analyzing a few things in college! :)

Too funny - gotta love Bella!


I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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