Monday, February 6, 2012

Advice For Young Girls From A Cartoon Princess



We're in that time of the pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other. For years fairy tales in popular culture have been mostly on the saccharine side. Now, we're being inundated by the opposite, in which every tale has a sordid and gruesome side and fairy tales are quickly being "rediscovered" as dark, dark, DARK.


Personally I've always favored a little darkness in my stories and fairy tales. I'm one of those girls who will happily watch thrillers, doesn't tolerate "soap", loves Halloween above all other holidays and for whom Buffy is a hero.


BUT, as fantastic and wonderful as it is to see incarnations of fairy tales springing up everywhere, it's already clear that the entertainment machine has broken things down to grind out a formula: ie. take known fairy tale, add angst/violence/darkness, use PG+ visuals and make sure the happy ending at least includes blood smears - rather than consider the original tales and find new ways (or old ways) to tell them. While I've always preferred the girls in my stories to have some gumption (and many fairy tale women do, even if it's subtle) they didn't all need to be wearing leather and able to wield a sword (though that is awesome). Unless some of the fairy tale treatments in production show a lighter side people can turn to for balance (thank goodness for Mirror Mirror, as campy as it appears it will be) it won't be long before people start demanding their happily ever afters back.
Goth Snow White Laptop Decal - is this where we're headed before we go back to Glitter Land?
Before you nod your head too vigorously in agreement, I wanted to remind you of the extreme we've come from, if for no other reason than to say we would best be served by something in between. (I don't mean in each film or series, I mean in the overall offerings available, after all, every one likes something a little different, and I believe there is an important and valid place for Disney offerings, as long as this isn't the sum total representation of our fairy tales).



These videos below have been around for a little while and are based on the Disney versions of the princesses so you probably already have an idea of where this might be going, especially with a title like: Advice For Young Girls From A Cartoon Princess.

Um, I'll just let you watch...

First, advice from Belle:
Then Ariel:
And finally Snow White:
You know what? After seeing these again, I'm ready to go and watch all the dark fairy tale versions available right now as long as it doesn't devolve into true horror. That's something I will never choose to watch.

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