In a bit of random news, our ward choir will be singing The Star-Spangled Banner at the end of the month, so I've been practicing the accompaniment. Athena tells me whenever I'd get to the end of a chorus, she would sing along in her head, "O'er the la-and of the freeeeeee! And the hoooome of the...bunnies!" It sounds really familiar to me, too, but neither of us can remember where it came from. We're thinking Tiny Toons, but we're not sure. Maybe we'll go ask on Facebook, because Googling it is no fun.
Also, we're having a difficult time not thinking about Ariel lately. When we were first told that she was a terrible role model, we looked at her behavior as a rebellious teenager and thought, "Yeah, she's not really one to look up to as a positive example, so much as someone to grow and learn with. Or, y'know, just enjoy a movie for entertainment." Then there was all the controversy about the Merida makeover, and people were all like, "Finally, a good Disney role model for girls, and they ruin it!" And we were like, "Uh...rebellious teenager?" And the more we thought about it, the less it made sense--Ariel and Merida behave in almost exactly the same way!
Then finally someone spelled it out for us: everyone thinks that Ariel made the deal with Ursula solely so she could be with Eric. (And then someone who claims to be our friend posted a link to something where they redid the Disney movie posters to give them "honest" titles. The Little Mermaid's "honest" title was Change for Your Man. It might have been funny if we weren't already rolling our eyes like a million times over.) Suddenly it all made sense. The problem is something we should have known (and did know) all along--no one pays attention. It never occurred to us to look at Ariel's motives that way, and here's why: We've seen the movie.
Saying Ariel made the deal with Ursula just to follow Eric would be like saying Athena and I learned Japanese just so we could chase after...I don't know, pick a voice actor. The current favorites are Yuuki Kaji, Daisuke Ono, and Miyu Irino. But the point is, we've liked Japanese stuff for a long time, and if we ever want to go there and experience the awesomeness that is Japan, it helps to know Japanese. That's exactly what Ariel did--she loved the human world for a long time, and in order to go there, she needed to take certain steps (ha ha). But in her case, it took a lot more than just learning a language, so it took a much bigger push to get her to take that leap. It never even occurred to her to try to find a spell to make it happen--not even after she saw Eric and fell in love with him--until her father destroyed her whole collection (which she had started collecting probably years before she even knew Eric existed). It wasn't Eric that motivated her to change; it was her fight with her father. That sounds like another fiery red-headed princess I can think of...but at least Ariel didn't try to get a spell cast on another person.
(Incidentally, the thought of getting to maybe possibly I hope I hope I hope meet one of our favorite Koe no Ouji-sama voice actors at D23 Expo Japan (they're all Disney fans, right?) is a motivator in actually making arrangements to attend. Does that sound like one or both of us would be changing who we are to get that chance?)
I'd also like to point out that when Eric took Ariel out to see the kingdom, she spent very little time gazing into his eyes. She was constantly looking all around her--this was the world she had been dreaming of! Eric being in it too was just an added bonus. I think the only reason she gave him a second thought that day was that she needed to get him to kiss her, but those were Ursula's rules, not hers.
So there's our defense of Ariel. I had no idea she was just as misunderstood as Snow White and Cinderella. So what's everybody's problem with Belle? Right, Stockholm Syndrome. Um...not sure I have much of a counter for that one. Except that we think anyone who would turn down the town hero is probably not the type to fall in love with anyone who happens to not be mean to her.
Today I'm thankful for getting to order stuff from CD Japan, the home of the bunnies, getting to play The Star-Spangled Banner (I love that song!), having a more relaxed day today than yesterday, and remembering that we have episodes of Psych to watch.