My friends hate Disney World. This bothers me. I don’t hate Disney, although they’re a huge corporation; a big conglomerate that doesn’t stop at Disney but sprawls over oceans and across continents like most historic empires. I don’t think my friends hate them for this reason either. Although they blame their hatred of all things Disney on their high ticket prices, and $5 bottles of water, I think it is something that goes deeper than this.
Lately, I’ve heard a lot of talk about people disliking Disney’s “Princess” message, and that it’s dangerous for little girls to grow up thinking they are one day going to find their “prince charming and live happily ever after.” I will admit to being a victim of this mentality, but reality made sure it didn’t last for long. I don’t think I’m the only woman who after years of dating jerks and creeps, was surprised to find out that even “Prince Charming” is less than perfect, human if you will. Regardless of this surprise, I still don’t hate Disney.
When I was a child, a lot of great Disney movies were hitting theaters for the first time, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. It was a truly magical time in my life, and I was beginning to gain attention from art teachers for my artistic abilities. My father was really happy about this said that I could one day go to the Ringling School of Art and Design, an animation school in Florida to become a Disney animator.
The Disney movie I liked the best was Cinderella because she was always so positive despite her various hardships. Her positive attitude was the only thing she had besides her little mice friends. Most of all, I liked when she sang the song, “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.” Cinderella rarely complained but during one part of the movie, when she grows tired of being bossed around, she says, “Well there’s one thing; they can’t order me to stop dreaming, and perhaps someday, the dreams that I wish will come true.”
The more positive Cinderella was, the more her step mother and step sisters beat her down. The more they beat her down, the more positive she was, and the more positive she was, the more they hated her. I’m not sure what Cinderella’s expectations in life were, but in the movie, it seems she didn’t have much to look forward to until she overheard that the Prince was holding a ball.
Although Cinderella is just a movie, most people would’ve conceded to bitter hopelessness long before hearing about any ball. Cinderella didn’t. Not only did she persevere, but she succeeded in seeing through her dream of going to the ball. And not only did she merely go to the ball, but she took home the Prince!
I can’t understand why my friends hate and possibly resents Disney. Maybe they never got to take a trip there as children due to money constraints? I’m not sure. I’m no psychologist, but suspect that maybe they really wanted to go as kids but didn’t get the chance. Often times it’s much easier to hate something than feel the pain of not getting to experience it.
I hope one day they might give Disney World a chance. Disney is overpriced, and I’ve already been there a few times, but I still like it because when I think of Disney, I don’t think of those things. I think of the possibilities: the message that the movie Cinderella portrayed to me as a small child, that someday, maybe the dreams that you wish will come true.