Monday, January 14, 2008

When Disney Was Right

While zombifying my children to Cinderella, I noticed that Disney used to transmit a philosophy of beauty. The first characteristic used as a comparison between Cinderella and the stepsister was their beauty. Cinderella was described as beautiful and charming while the stepsisters were described as awkward. We were taught as children that beauty was on the side of righteousness.

Contrast that to modern versions, where the antagonists are beautiful and the protagonists are awkward. Although beauty is often discovered by the protagonist, this just makes everyone beautiful, even her enemies. I think the lesson is better learned when beauty is aligned with obedience, charity, and humility from the beginning and evil is always ugly, no matter how hard it tries to be pretty.

Or, in other words, "Truth is beauty and beauty, truth."


Paul said...

Maybe the newer films are taking a cue from Billy S. ... "All that glitters..."

Just a thought.

JimmyV said...

I agree that there are a variety of valid reasons why newer films take this path. There are also important lessons to learn by not always trusting the pretty package. However, I still prefer that my young ones learn that beauty is true.

This is a powerful innoculation against modern "art" and other trappings of a decadent society.

Jennifer F. said...

Contrast that to modern versions, where the antagonists are beautiful and the protagonists are awkward.

Interesting observations!

Intellectually, I try to force myself to respect the honorable notions behind not emphasizing beauty too much in kids' movies...but as a former little girl, I just LOVED to watch movies about beautiful princesses and fairies and princess fairies.

I was actually zombifying my kids this morning with some cartoon where all the kids, both boys and girls, were knights. Again, I can sort of respect what they're trying to do there, but it just feels like they're trying to shove their ideas down kids throats since I don't think that's what most kids even want to see.

OK, enough out of me. Obviously, this is something I've been thinking about today. :)

Paul said...

Sort of off topic, but women can be knighted, they're called "Dame" instead of "Sir", like Dame Agatha Christie.

JimmyV said...

I do adore some of the newer versions, especially the Princess Diaries. My main complaint is not not necessarily that evil is pretty but that when the awkward girl becomes beautiful, she immediately starts following in evil ways: ignoring her friends, forgetting about schoolwork, and the like. In older films, beauty stayed on the high road, exhibiting humility and charity even to those who had stiffled her life.

I just wanted to clarify that since there is some interest here.