Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beauty, the Beast, and Stockholm Syndrome

My daughter is at the age where she loves watching Disney movies. She watches them several hundred thousand times. She knows all the characters, all the words, and all the songs.

Sometimes, just to get her dressed, we have to tell her that she looks like one of the characters. Need her to wear a pink dress but she's throwing a true Tanory Tantrum because she doesn't want to get dressed? Just tell her that she'll look like Charlotte from Princess and the Frog, and she'll hop right in it.

And since she watches these movies, it means that Betty and I watch the movies as well. Not that it bothers me... I love all the Disney movies, too.

But now that I'm older, I'm seeing things in these movies that I didn't recognize when I was a child, such as...

1. Belle, from Beauty and the Beast, has a giant case of Stockholm Syndrome, the psychological phenomenon where a hostage starts to love his or her captors. I thought maybe I was reading into it too much, but then I noticed that the Beauty and the Beast Wikipedia page lists Stockholm Syndrome in the "See Also" section as a link.

But think about it: first, the Beast captures Belle's father. Then he locks her up. And what does she do about it? She falls in love with the big, furry flea bag. Which leads me to point #2:

2. There is a lot of Zoophilia (aka, beastiality) in Disney movies.

Princesses kissing frogs? Sounds kinky. A beautiful French woman kissing a horrible Beast? Well, I guess we'd expect that from the French. I'd even throw the Little Mermaid in there somewhere, because technically a mermaid is not human. Which leads me to point #3:

3. Why does Ariel have breasts? Not that I mind - I'll take what I can get. And I know that Disney didn't create the concept of mermaids.

But Futurama made the best point about the mating of mermaids and humans: fish lay eggs, and have the eggs fertilized outside the body. Fish don't drink milk. So why have mammary glands?

FuturamaThursdays 10pm / 9c
Mermaid Mating
www.comedycentral.com
Futurama New EpisodesFuturama New EpisodesIt's Always Sunny in Philadelphia


4. Mulan may be a lesbian. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I know that Disney's Mulan is an adaptation of the Ballad of Mulan. But Disney adds a little extra to the story. In the song Reflections, Mulan sings, "Who is that girl I see / Staring straight back at me / When will my reflection show / Who I am inside I am now".

Sounds like someone's trying to come out of the closet.

And maybe Mulan wasn't trying to save her father from having to go to war. Maybe Mulan just hated men so much that she wanted to kill as many as she could. I know a few women like that, although to be fair, they're heterosexual, married, and are just really annoyed by their husbands.

5. What's in a name? The "Nature versus Nurture" debate takes center stage in 101 Dalmatians.

Seriously, how can you name your child Cruella and not expect her to grow up to be cruel? That's like naming your child "Moronica" or "Dumbasstasia" and thinking the kid's going to grow up to be a genius.

Or maybe I'm just being paranoid.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

No, not being paranoid AT all! My daughter is 3 and has been under Disney's spell for the past few months. I thought the same thing about Beauty and the Beast (which is how I found your blog!)

Anonymous said...

You are paranoid. Don't go outside ever because you may step on a frog and start a war with France. What's going on with a pool table? Why is the white ball beating up on all the colored balls? (sarcasm)

Beauty and the Beast isn't Stalkholm Syndrome either. That syndrome is based on an undreasonable fondness where a captive mistakes a lack of abuse for affection. Belle is a head strong moralistic woman who is proactively wooed(not abused) by the Beast and she helps him reclaim his civility in the process. It's actually like half (though exaggerated)the positive relationships I know including my own. Calm down and relax. Everyone's not out to get you. Everything is not a political statement.

Bobby said...

First off, thank you both for leaving comments! (And thanks for reading!)

Anonymous #1, being under Disney's spell is not all bad. I say that because I hope to one day work for Disney as a software developer, but feel that all of my blogs about Disney movies are probably going to show up on some kind of reference check about me and will be taken negatively. So... if any Disney recruiters are out there, please hire me and give me lots of money and a free Princess and the Frog t-shirt for my daughter. Thank you in advance!

In regards to Anonymous #2, you make a lot of good points. However, in regards to Stockholm Syndrome (of which I was just joking about anyway, but now that you mention it...) Beast never abuses Belle, although he does destroy some chairs and stuff. So, there's your lack of abuse. I await your rebuttal!

As far as everyone not being out to get me and me being paranoid, I appreciate that comment but seeing as it came from an "anonymous" source, I have no choice but to assume that you are part of a vast conspiracy and are trying to socially engineer me with your logic and Jedi mind tricks. I won't have it! I will now cover my ears and yell "la la la" to myself.

But you did get me thinking about other Disney correlations, so... maybe another Disney blog in the future? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Belle doesn't have syndrome. She fell for the Beast or Prince Adam because he stopped being a prick and started being nice to her allowing her come closer to him. He is really a troubled soul that is so messed up with the fact that he made a mistake as a child and is suffering for it along with the people of the castle. Belle having Stockholm syndrome would be an interesting twisted in a darker version of Beauty and the Beast but here it's a no. I'm pretty sure he animator and writers didn't write her to have Stockholm syndrome.

Ariel has breast because mermaids have breast. It's the old concept of mermaids and it's not like she and Eric had sex when she was a mermaid. She became human at the end and for the middle part of the movie.

Mulan isn't a lesbian. Why is it whenever a girl doesn't like doing the typically "girl" things she's a lesbian. C'mon she a tomboy. Even at the end of the movie she get's a relationship with Shang. In the second one they get married! She's a girl that was trying to save her father and she also said she wanted to prove she could do something right for once in the mountain scene. She wasn't even sure if she should join the army until Mushu convince her.

Kasey said...

Are you really equating being a lesbian to hating all men and wanting to kill them? WOW

Bobby said...

Kasey, no - I equated being a **married woman** to hating all men and wanting to kill them. You must not be married, otherwise you'd probably be plotting the death of your husband right now instead of posting comments on my blog. (Thanks for the comment, though!)

Anonymous #3, I recently watched Mulan again (many times actually) and have come to the conclusion that you're right. Mulan just wants her parents to be proud of her, and wants people to see her as she sees herself - as someone beautiful and worthy of someone's love. By the way, my suggestion that she's a lesbian was based solely on her song and not on any of her actions. Plus, it's much funnier thinking that she just hates men instead of trying to uphold her family's honor. (At least it is to me.)

scwillman said...

Not stockholm syndrome at all. She took her father's place...wasn't kidnapped. She hated the beast because he was...a beast! He was rude. He even drove her to running away and breaking her promise...which is what kept her there, not chains and ropes. The beast showed a soft side when he saved her and she cleaned him up. They got closer...became friends. As time passed, they both found themselves caring for each other even more. The purpose of Beauty and the Beast is to show that outward beauty is not the most important...it's what's on the inside. Beast was hideous, but kind. Gaston was handsome, but a jerk. Also, Beast releases her. And she goes back to save him/warn him. If he roughed her up in the tower and suddenly she was falling in love, then yeah...stockholm. The legends of mermaids go way back and the mermaids would lure the sailors to their death...come on, a pretty woman will get you to those rocks than a woman who only has a head...and as I write this I think how ridicules the questioning is...She has the top half of a woman! Once you go there does it really matter if she has breasts? And why is Mulan wanting to save her father and fight in the war (to do so) make her a lesbian? Reflection does sound like the perfect song for wanting to come out, but it's about being yourself and when you aren't true to yourself, you don't recognize that outward image...it applies to all.

These are fairy tales...you need to allow things in the stories...fairy tales that have been around for centuries...

Also, when Belle DOES leave, everyone gets excited because, "He's finally learned to love." and then they realize that the spell hasn't been broken because, "She has to love him in return." She leaves him without being in love him. Then, when he lays dying, she realizes she does.

Anonymous said...

Not stockholm syndrome at all. She took her father's place...wasn't kidnapped. She hated the beast because he was...a beast! He was rude. He even drove her to running away and breaking her promise...which is what kept her there, not chains and ropes. The beast showed a soft side when he saved her and she cleaned him up. They got closer...became friends. As time passed, they both found themselves caring for each other even more. The purpose of Beauty and the Beast is to show that outward beauty is not the most important...it's what's on the inside. Beast was hideous, but kind. Gaston was handsome, but a jerk. Also, Beast releases her. And she goes back to save him/warn him. If he roughed her up in the tower and suddenly she was falling in love, then yeah...stockholm. The legends of mermaids go way back and the mermaids would lure the sailors to their death...come on, a pretty woman will get you to those rocks than a woman who only has a head...and as I write this I think how ridicules the questioning is...She has the top half of a woman! Once you go there does it really matter if she has breasts? And why is Mulan wanting to save her father and fight in the war (to do so) make her a lesbian? Reflection does sound like the perfect song for wanting to come out, but it's about being yourself and when you aren't true to yourself, you don't recognize that outward image...it applies to all.

These are fairy tales...you need to allow things in the stories...fairy tales that have been around for centuries...

Also, when Belle DOES leave, everyone gets excited because, "He's finally learned to love." and then they realize that the spell hasn't been broken because, "She has to love him in return." She leaves him without being in love him. Then, when he lays dying, she realizes she does.