JCC A critical analysis of socio-cultural tropes as presented by Disney characters

Discussion in 'Community' started by GrandAdmiralJello, May 28, 2009.

  1. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    So then why does she fall in love with a barbaric kidnapper of no intellectual accomplishment at all? And if she cares about intellectual attainment, why is she belittling the bookstore owner who is responsible for what meager exposure to literature she has in the first place?

    This little girl looked down on these people because they were poor, and because they were not among the movers and shakers. She rejects the intrinsic value of human life, and instead judges people by superficial metrics of their life circumstance with a sort of cheer-leading exuberance that even the most ardent conservatives can't muster. It is entirely disgusting.
  2. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Because the true message of that movie is that love is an evil emotion that strips us of goals and possible achievements by working against our better judgement to destroy us. A somber, but important, lesson to teach children.
  3. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Not sure why I haven't discussed this here earlier. My usually attempts to do this in real life with women usually turn into horrible failures.

    I don't mind Belle, Jasmine is a bit of a skank, but she didn't seem to have much of a choice to see the world or get educated, as the society she lived in and her dominating male figures didn't have the high on their list of priorities. She didn't seem to have much choice is meaningful life decisions. My only problem is that I hardly think she would have been in love with Alladin had he in fact been himself. She might like slumming it, but unless he faked being a prince she would have never married him.

    Ariel is THE WORST. That fish needed to stay under the sea where she belonged. I think nothing says more about girl's unrealistic and dangerous fantasies and their singular lack of the ability to be happy with what you have. There were plenty of Mermen available, and selling her soul to the devil just for "an adventure" is entirely the wrong message to be sending. And she is the most materialistic, clinging onto things that have no use but set her apart from everyone else.

    She deserved to be turned into foam.
  4. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    She does not belittle the bookseller! They are great friends, as is evidence by his generous lending towards her. You're resorting to baseless lies to cover your lack of substantive argument.

    As far as judging the worth of others, when has she ever criticized their penury? She's always been despairing of their philistinism. She finds their obsession with hunting and brawn to be hopelessly de trop--and if you'll recall my original point, this is why the town is obviously conservative. They're the superficial sort.

    I realize that you're resorting to trickery and deceit to win this argument. I would expect little better from a catspaw of Jafar's plaything.
  5. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Also Beauty and the Beast is good because it protrays traditional notions of what a "man" should be, in the form of Gaston, as brutish and idiotic.

    Also the notion that looks aren't everything is important, even if they downplay that lesson by not having her actually kiss him until he is pretty again.
  6. Ostrich_Stapler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2004
    star 5
    Wow Jello. Them's fightin' words.
  7. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    While it portrays one 'ideal man' as idiotic, it still props up the "sure he's mean, but I can change him" mentality that is key in so many bad relationships. Surely, Disney has blood on its hands for domestic violence involving women who thought that they could make a civilised man out of a beast. And then he beat her. But sure, she can still change him.
  8. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
    SHREK!
  9. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    To be fair, these women were probably Jasmines. It takes a Belle to reform a beast--or to know when to leave one.
  10. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    She includes him in her general condemnation of the town, "Little town, full of little people." She then specifies the reason for her disdain. As much as you'd like to claim otherwise it had nothing to do with their intellectual rigor. She mocks them because they have to earn a living as bakers and seamstresses rather than living, I suppose, off some massive inheritance. She even uses the word "poor" explicitly, at one point.

    No, sir, the picture is clear. Consider Princess Jasmine. She sees a hungry child, and her heart erupts with compassion. Living out the very heart of that famous John Bradford quote, and realizing the aspirations of all the world's greatest moral philosophers, her only thought was for that child. She loved him more than her own life, and in that moment nothing else mattered. She knew it was an outrage that people should starve in a kingdom as wealthy and prosperous as hers. She recognizes the humanity in people regardless of their life circumstance, and she loves them for it. She would rather heap punishment on herself than make them endure a moment of suffering. She is everything a leader should be, and everything that goodness is.

    I'd half expect Belle to spit on him and think how appropriate it is that the diseased wretch will soon die.

    Your lie here does allow us to highlight that, at least Jasmine, unlike Belle, was not so insufferably stupid and contemptible as to fall hopelessly in love with someone who was threatening the life and freedom of herself and her family for her own self-interest.
  11. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Yes, they are poor--she was highlighting their intellectual poverty. Don't tell me that your obsession with this decked up eastern trollop has caused you to see everything in terms of material possessions? I suppose it's easy when your idol runs around stealing from honest merchants, but has her thugs brutally attack the hungry in her streets. She has the gall to live in a massive palace surrounded by poverty.

    What sort of insensitive beast is she?

    I'd half expect Belle to spit on him and think how appropriate it is that the diseased wretch will soon die.


    She would do so, knowing the antiseptic powers of saliva. Then if this did not cure the ailing man, she would pray that his suffering not last overlong. You are right: Belle is a pious saint of a woman.

    Your lie here does allow us to highlight that, at least Jasmine, unlike Belle, was not so insufferably stupid and contemptible as to fall hopelessly in love with someone who was threatening the life and freedom of herself and her family for her own self-interest.


    Certainly not: while Belle willingly became the beast's captive in order to save her dying father, Jasmine would not let her harlot's body be touched by the old man who was persecuting her father. Her self-involvement was such that she would rather the sultan die.

    Jasmine is beyond any sort of redemption.
  12. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I think its worth noting that Jasmine saw nothing wrong with taking from one to give to another, by force. Given that she represents, in some sense, the rule of government, Jasmine is quite simply a vehicle for the promotion of communism, and an endorsement that the government should redistribute wealth so that no one can succeed but at least everyone has an equal level of bare subsistence. It would be unAmerican to hold her in high esteem after her attack on economics, and indeed, her sabotage of honest work in favour of hand outs. If you like Jasmine, I can only ask, why do you hate freedom so much?
  13. Neo-Paladin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2004
    star 4
    Has this visual been pointed out yet?

    Also a question worth raising, why are the birth mothers of all these princesses dead?

    Bonus: fallen princesses
  14. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Your image is notably short of things to say about Belle, and it's inaccurate too: it isn't her sexuality that saves him, but the fact that she actually cares for someone who appears to be a monster.

    And the second link is just horrifying.
  15. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Well, Aurura's mother isn't dead.
  16. Neo-Paladin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2004
    star 4
    Well, yes and no on Belle. He had to love, and she in return. Tell me Jello - would the Beast have loved a hag?

    And the second link is horrifying, yet... delicious.



    And, I concede, Aurura's mother isn't dead, but the prevalence of motherless princesses in Disney films (even when the original material didn't call for it) raises some interesting questions.
  17. Miana Kenobi Costuming & Props Mod - Retired Admin

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8

    It's not just mothers. It's sort of become a Disney "thing" to either have one parent killed off or missing.

    Snow White - Mother & Father dead, raised by Evil Stepmother
    Pinocchio - No mother (though the analogy/implication that the Blue Fairy = mother because she "brought him to life.")
    Dumbo - No Father
    Cinderella - Mother & Father dead, raised by Evil Stepmother
    Alice in Wonderland - No clue. Only adult family is older sister.
    Peter Pan - Wendy has both parents, Peter is an orphan.
    Sleeping Beauty - Aurora has both parents, Phillip's mother is dead.
    101 Dalmations - Pongo & Perdita are both accounted for.
    The Sword in the Stone - Arthur's raised by his uncle, so we're assuming parents are dead. No Aunt, however.
    The Jungle Book - Mogli's an orphan, though technically has wolf parents.
    The Aristocats - No father
    Robin Hood - The only parents shown is Mother Rabbit, but there's no father.
    The Rescuers - Penny's an orphan
    The Fox and the Hound - Todd's technically an orphan, raised only by Widow Tweed
    The Black Cauldron - No mention of Taran's parents, no mention if Eilonwy's parents are both alive.
    The Great Mouse Detective - Oliva's mother is dead/unaccounted for.
    Oliver & Company - Oliver is orphaned, Penny has both parents but they're never there.
    The Little Mermaid - Mother dead. Eric's parents not mentioned.
    The Rescuers Down Under - Cody's father is dead.
    Beauty and the Beast - Belle's mother is dead. Beast's parents not mentioned.
    Aladdin - Mother dead, father still alive (according to the 2nd sequel). Jasmine's mother is dead.
    The Lion King - Mufasa dies. First time we actually see a parent die (Cinderella's opening doesn't count).
    Pocahontas - Mother dead.
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Quasimodo's mother is killed, "Father Figure" of Frollo killed at the end (don't know if the villain counts as the father too). No reference to anyone else's parents.
    Hercules - OMG 2 parents. Technically 4 parents.
    Mulan - Mulan's parents both live. Shang's father dies.
    Tarzan - Both parents dead, replaced by Gorilla mother & jerk dad Gorilla. Jane's mother dead. Jerk Dad Gorilla dies at the end.
    Dinosaur - Aladar taken from his parents as an egg, raised by lemur parents.
    The Emperor's New Groove - no mention of Kuzko's parents, though Pacha and Chicha account for the parents in the film.
    Atlantis - No clue on Milo's parents, but Kida's mother dies at the beginning and her father dies near the end.
    Lilo & Stitch - Lilo and Nani's parents are dead.
    Treasure Planet - Jim's father is dead.
    Brother Bear - Kenai, Denahi, and Sitka's parents are dead. Oldest brother (as the "father figure") Sitka is killed. Koda's mother is killed.
    Home on the Range - Who cares.
    Chicken Little - Mother dead.
    Meet the Robinsons - Lewis is an orphan.
    Bolt - Penny's father not mentioned.
    The Princess and the Frog - Tiana's father is killed, Naveen's parents are alive (AND SHOWN, WHAT A NOVELTY).

    Continuing on into Pixar:

    Toy Story - Andy's dad is MIA.
    A Bug's Life - Atta & Dot have their mother, but no father.
    Monster's Inc - Huh. I got nothing.
    Finding Nemo - Coral dies at the beginning, leaving Marlon a widower. [face_tear]
    The Incredibles - OMG both parents.
    Cars - N/A
    Ratatouille - Remy's mother is dead, Linguini's parents are both dead.
    Wall-E - N/A
    Up - Carl is a widower, Russell's parents are divorced.



    Summary:

    The only Disney Characters whose parents are still alive by the end of the film (that we see, anyway):

    Wendy, Michael, & John Darling
    Princess Aurora
    15 of the 101 Dalmations
    Hercules
    Mulan
    Tipo and Chaca
    Prince Naveen
    Violet, Dash, & Jack Jack Parr

    ... That's kinda depressing, actually.
  18. Jedi_Hood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 10, 2000
    star 6
    How long did you spend putting that list together? :p
  19. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Jello, Wocky, your argument is stupid.

    Belle, like regular Disney princesses, is the protagonist. Jasmine is Aladdin's 'Princess Charming'.

    Duh.
  20. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Jello, it is wholly unfair of you to criticize Jasmine for the work of the local security forces when she is clearly not yet in a policy-making position. Those are her father's faults, not hers. I also think that Lowbacca is right in perceiving in her actions the blueprints of a new policy. I should note, though, that she stole from no one. Lost in the ensuing scuffle is her declaration that she would pay the merchant once she returned to the palace. What this actually represents, then, is two important innovations. First, she is setting forth the basic ideas of banking and credit, both of which have proved invaluable to stimulating economic growth. Second, she has begun to develop a social safety net by arranging for a transfer payment from the better off to the most desperately impoverished (note that, by intending to pay for the goods, she was not doing any harm to the free market). And consider her other policies. She scolds the army for their brutality, and levels a harsh critique against the restricted, suffocating role left for women in the society. In her first major policy decision, she moves from the oligarchic nepotism of favor by birthright to choosing husbands on the basis of their qualities as individuals. Clearly, this is laying the groundwork for a broader embrace of meritocracy in all areas of government and civil service. What she intends to create is, cumulatively one of the most progressive and forward thinking governments in the world. She is her people's FDR. It is not only easily defensible, it is laudable.

    Similarly, her refusal to submit to Jafar. There is no question that Jasmine loved the Sultan as deeply as any daughter could her father. Nor is her bravery at all in question. Rather, her refusal to be joined to the evil wizard was an issue of state. Yes, he could harm her father, but so long as he did not wed Jasmine, he would never have the legitimacy needed to rule. Knowing how desperately wicked the man was, Jasmine once again chose to suffer privately rather than afflict misfortune on her people. She would rather have her loved ones brutally tortured and killed than hand power over to a tyrant. That's a quiet, noble sort of heroism that's moving enough to bring me to tears. The world would be a much better place if more people could summon up the courage to be like her.

    Now contrast this with Belle. I say she looked down on them for economic reasons because that is what she herself said. Why is the town worthy of scorn? Because the baker comes "with his bread like always, [with] the same old bread and rolls to sell." He is contemptible because he is a wage earner. No other reason. Not because he is not lettered--which, anyway, she isn't really in a position to know either way--and not because he fails to quote the latest philosophers. He is a wretch because the way he puts a roof over his family's head is selling bread. They are "little" because they have jobs to work and responsibilities to attend to. There is nothing but contempt for their socioeconomic status here.

    And look again at the brute she marries. A man who, as you point out, didn't even know how to use dining utensils, and had to be taught the alphabet. When does she begin to warm to him? When he gives her things. A library, a pretty dress, a castle to play in, servants to defer to her. All she wants is money. And even when at home, what she asks for is not books, yes, but what she pines for is adventure. She is not a scholar trapped among the ignorant. She is a female version of that "I want to FEEL war" guy. She is a hopped up, self-important, narcissistic, Social Darwinist adrenaline junkie. You shame yourself by associating with her like.
  21. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 7
    Actually, Aladdin's father is still alive.
  22. Miana Kenobi Costuming & Props Mod - Retired Admin

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    Oh yeah, forgot about that sequel. [face_laugh]
  23. Miana Kenobi Costuming & Props Mod - Retired Admin

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8

    I disagree. Belle began to warm up to him when he saved her life from the wolves. Her gratitude is what made her stop from fleeing, take him back to the castle to patch him up, and give him a second chance.
  24. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    So you admit that Jasmine is responsible for beginning the cycle of reckless consumerism, buying what she cannot afford and leaving not so much as a written promissory note? In fact, she's either a spoiled child eagerly setting up the entire economic system of the planet for a fall, or she's a bad liar who never intended to pay back the hardworking merchant. Who would believe his word of mouth, without a handwritten letter from the princess? What sort of fool does she take us for?

    As far as her conduct with Jafar, well, you forget that the man was already sultan by way of the genie's magicks: just as much as the sewer rat she was cavorting with would temporarily become a prince. She had no interests of state in mind, but her own girlish selfishness. If she truly cared for the governance of the realm, she would have married the suitors her father had presented to her, thereby strengthening the land's position among the other nations of the world. Like a willful child, she refused these matches because she "was not a prize to be won." She is unhealthily obsessed with her own selfish emotions!

    So much for Jasmine. Belle's attitude towards the baker is of pity for his unpolished lifestyle. His same old bread is obviously a figurative topos about how he revisits the same intellectual territory day after day: it's gotten stale, as it were. Alternatively, the baker is a stand-in for the staleness of her own lifestyle in that awful, awful place. In both cases, they demonstrate her imagination and ingenuity.

    Miana notes that Belle did not fall for the beast until he rescued her. To add on to that point, note that she had decided to leave him and was in the process of doing so when the wolves attacked her. Far from being swayed by those meaningless gifts, she rejected them completely and was his unwilling prisoner until he let her go.
  25. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    She did not turn down the other marriages for selfish regions. She did so because her incisive, piercing intellect allowed her to forsee and side-step the tremendous political instability that would plague Europe from it's post-Renaissance re-emergence to the end of the second World War. Rejecting the crude notion of foreign policy by unending successions of bilateral alliances and ententes, she instead worked to lead the world forward into a brave new compact based on the mutual interests of all peoples. By abstaining from the traditional, feudal system of geopolitics, she was free to forge a brave new system entirely. When she said "I am not a prize to be won" she was of course not referring to herself, but to the kingdom which, as princess, she embodies. She is expressing her belief that nations should not be understood in terms of the wealth they can bring to their rulers, but in terms of something deeper and more meaningful.

    Your critcisms of her economic program are hollow. Since the royal treasury had more than enough funds to pay off the merchant, she was modeling responsible finance for her subjects. She used credit as a way to increase the convenience of the transaction, rather than attempting to spend beyond her means.

    Finally, consider a couple points about Belle. She only likes people who defer to her in the most obsequious fashion. She hates all the townspeople except the bookseller, who makes gifts of his products to her as if she were royalty. At the castle, she rejects Beast when he tries to approach her as her superior (which, by rank, he is) and likewise when he treats her as an equal. However, she's delighted to meet the servants who exhaust themselves in pleasing her. And, when Beast grievously injures himself to protect her, as if he were some lowly bodyguard or soldier, then she's suddenly smitten with. She's a woman with a tremendous, insufferable superiority complex. That's all.