::Grimace:: Well, I had set a goal to write at least one post per month, and kept to my goal for an entire year! Then I was on travel for half a month, which meant I missed March…and after missing one, I had less motivation to maintain my monthly goal…And now it’s July!! :-O I actually began writing this piece a year ago, just rediscovered it and wiped off the dust. It’s a light-hearted take on my favorite childhood movie, but fun none-the-less. 🙂
Lessons from The Little Mermaid, Part One
A couple Saturdays ago (wow time flies…), Junwen and I drove up to Thousand Oaks to watch the Broadway musical, “The Little Mermaid”, put on by the Cabrillo Music Theatre. Let me just say it was AH-AH-AHH-MAZING!!! (See what I did there, TLM fans?) The costumes, props, vocals, everything was spectacular! I may be a BIT biased, because The Little Mermaid was is my favorite movie growing up of all time. Aside from the fact that it’s about a mermaid (I always loved the water!), I think I loved it because of who Ariel is…She’s adventurous, brave, curious, loves to explore, and isn’t satisfied with life as she knows it. She’s friendly, quirky, bubbly, and determined. She cared less about her shells and hair-do, and more about exploring new places and finding new and exciting things. And like every good geek, she collects! ;-P
Why the Little Mermaid is Kick-A$$
Ariel gets a bad rap—perhaps the worst out of all the Disney princesses—because her story involves falling in love with Prince Eric at first sight…essentially because he’s cute and plays an instrument. (Although, c’mon, what teenage girl hasn’t experienced this? :P) In her defense, Ariel was in love with the “human world”, and Eric was the first human man she encountered up close. Even if we look to the original Hans Christian Anderson version, the Little Mermaid was more interested in obtaining a soul than in finding a boyfriend. In that story, gaining a soul could be achieved by marrying a human (because of the whole “becoming one flesh” thing).
Although there is no mention of souls in Disney’s adaptation (except for Ursula’s epic song), Ariel is clearly mesmerized by the human world. As with almost all Disney princesses, she has a song early in the movie that outlines her goals and desires (“Part of that World”, which is pre-Eric). The song is all about how “flipping your fins sure don’t get you far—legs are required for jumping, dancing, strolling along down the [what’s that word again?] street…Up where they walk, up where they run, up where they stay all day in the sun wanderin’ free, wish I could be part of that world.” Let’s keep reviewing those lyrics…
“What would I give if I could live out of these waters? What would I pay to spend a day warm on the sand? Betcha on land they understand, bet they don’t reprimand their daughters! Bright young women…sick of swimmin’…ready to stand! And ready to know what the people know! Ask ’em my questions and get some answers: What’s a fire, and why does it, what’s the word…burn?! When’s it my turn? Wouldn’t I love…love to explore that shore up above? Out of the sea…wish I could be…part of that world!”
And as with most Disney princesses, her prince is more of a boon thrown in resulting from her determined actions to achieve her goal. Don’t know what I’m talking about? For example, Mulan sings about finding herself, then goes off to war, saves China, and meets Shang along the way. Pocahantas sings about whether she should choose the wide and easy path or the adventurous and dangerous one. After choosing the adventurous river rapids, she meets John Smith. Belle sings about wanting adventure in that great wide somewhere, after which she finds herself in the Beast’s castle. The movies in which the princesses aren’t the main character don’t always include a song, but the intent is still apparent…Jasmine doesn’t want to have an arranged marriage, so she runs away…and meets Aladdin. You get the picture. [Read more…]