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Alethea & Athena
Cookie cutters 
25th-Nov-2016 04:57 pm
People who follow us on Facebook may have realized that I'm still thinking about Moana. In fact, that post I made today kept me up last night, as I tried to come up with just the right wording. Looking at it that way, though, it does seem a little unfair. If I have to be that careful about my selection of words to make sure all four of the movies fit the criteria, obviously they're not that similar, right? Well, maybe not, but they're similar enough that it seems like there's either a major lack of effort to come up with new story ideas, or somebody is just waaaaaay too enamored with certain tropes. Considering the repeated occurrence of the Buzz Lightyear trope, it's probably either the latter or a bit of both.

It just makes me think of Gaston's reaction to the news of a live-action Disney Little Mermaid movie, which was, "Well, the good news is, Disneyland is almost finished, because there is no imagination left in the world." And Athena's pointing out that not everyone will know the significance of that remark. See, as Disneyland has told us countless times throughout the 60th anniversary celebration, Walt Disney once said that Disneyland will never be finished as long as there is imagination left in the world. This is a main theme of Mickey and the Magical Map, the Disneyland Forever fireworks show, and World of Color: Celebrate.

It also occurs to me that not everyone follows us on Facebook, so here's the post I made there:

Despite protests from her family, a plucky, determined, but inexperienced young woman sets out to achieve a purpose, and must enlist the help of a world-wise, jaded, and reluctant man to aid her in her endeavors. Is this the plot to:
A) Moana
B) Zootopia
C) Frozen
D) Tangled

The answer, of course, is E) all of the above. (And one of our friends commented to let us know that it is also the plot to Finding Dory.)

It's just bothering me, because we read a review of The Princess and the Frog once, where the reviewer only watched it after seeing Tangled, which she saw because of all the hubbub about how they sexistly increased Flynn Rider's role in an attempt to attract a bigger audience. Do you not see that you're playing right into they're hands!? The scandal itself brought a bigger audience, for goodness sakes. But I was talking about the Princess and the Frog review. Naturally the reviewer loved it, but the reason she didn't see it before (you know, when it would have counted) is that she didn't want to see another cookie cutter princess movie. Now Disney movies are more cookie cutter than ever, but everybody loves them! Apparently cookies made from cutters are exactly what audiences have wanted all along.

On the other hand, it does occur to me that maybe the pre-Tangled Disney movies are more formulaic than I realize. Maybe it just so happens that they had all the elements that made it so I didn't care if they were very similar, whereas now the modern movies have the elements that everybody else likes that I happen to not like. Maybe they've all been the exact same movie all along, and people only care about whether or not the embellishments to the formula are to their liking. I don't think that's the case, but just as I had to tweak my Facebook post to make sure all the movies fit the criteria, I'm sure it's possible to come up with a similar plot summary that fits many of the Disney movies that came along before Tangled.

But back to the first hand, we're sitting here discussing Aladdin versus Hercules...which may not be the best comparison, since the idea is that the princesses are not the same... But anyway, Aladdin is smart and confident, while Hercules is physically strong and socially awkward. They have different personalities. But if we compare, Ariel and Belle instead... Ariel was more rebellious and maybe a little more extroverted than Belle? Ariel had a very specific idea of what she wanted, while Belle was more of the "I don't know; I just don't like it where I am" type. The differences are definitely more subtle. But Belle definitely wasn't the "love at first sight" type. ...Yeah, thinking about it, she definitely wasn't as boy-crazy as Ariel. I don't know. This is a topic that I think bears discussion, because you could also definitely say that Moana was not as boy crazy as Anna, so they're just as different as Belle and Ariel. It might go into the whole lack of female representation in movies thing...which improved with characters like Megara and Mulan and Lilo...hmm...

Today I'm thankful for finishing this month's chapter of Cramer, getting to refresh our to-do list, the chili & lime potato chips from Tokyo Treat not burning our tongues off (they were pretty good other than the fire damage, though), the latest time travel chapter not taking too long (to do a first draft of), and it being time to go play video games.
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