Disney is amazing. Of course it is. There can be no argument that any (Classic) Disney movie is unworthy. Cinderella, Hercules, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mulan and Toy Story, to name a few, are some of the many LEGENDARY movies which Disney (usually with Pixar… because Disney is NOTHING without Pixar) have released.
And the majority of them (as in, in reference to the Classics, because the modern ones are kinda poopy…) hit the mark.
Except for one slight problem…
Disney literally romanticises everything. EVERYTHING. (They also make a VERY big mistake in one of my favourite movies but… I’ll just sip my tea about that one for now; I’ll get to that in a moment).
And of course, you guessed it, I’m going to have a great big rant now.
As portrayed in this movie, Cinderella has always been known as the sweet, lovable girl who tolerates bitter and cynical relatives only to later be rewarded for her struggles with the kind Prince.
THIS IS NOT THE ACTUAL STORY OF CINDERELLA.
In fact, if you have read the Brother’s Grimm version, you will know that this is SO far away from the original version, it may as well have just been called something else entirely. Such as “NOT Cinderella”. Now of course, I don’t want to ruin it for any young readers or impressionable ones who look up to Cinderella, because she is pretty cool.
But if you look up to the DISNEY version of her… then stick to the Disney version of her. Because in the original version:
a) the Prince is a bit of a weirdo…
b) Cinderella is actually the opposite of helpless
c) the Stepmother has a very nasty end… and so do the two stepsisters, NOTHING like the sequel that Disney released!
I don’t want to tell the whole story. If you want to know it, then I’ve included two links in this paragraph, so you can read those. All I’ll say is, GOOD LUCK READING! 🙂
2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (or as Babs and I call it, ‘The Norchback’)
Similarly to the point made before, the Disney version is a stark contrast to the Original version. For all of you who DIDN’T know, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ was penned by the same author of ‘Les Miserables’, the one and only Victor Hugo. (Seriously, ‘Les Mis’ is better as a book than as a musical or movie!) In the Disney movie, and I’m pretty sure I’ve ranted about this before, the villain Claude Frollo is an absolute PSYCHO! Nobody knows (and we aren’t given any clues) as to how he ended up like this. He doesn’t have a backstory which justifies his actions, unlike most other Disney villains. He’s just pure evil.
In the book, he is also evil. However, he has a reason for doing this. He started off as a decent guy who was trying to scrape money together for his younger brother, who is an alcoholic, and basically, in the attempt to reform him to a better life, ends up becoming infatuated (and later, obsessed) with Esmeralda.
In the book, pretty much everyone is messed up. As much as Esmeralda is some cool, kick-ass woman in the movie, in the book she is naive and impressionable. She also gets tortured.
Phoebus’s interest in Esmeralda in the book, is purely sexual. He tries to seduce her after she falls for him when he rescues her from being abducted (See? Worse already!) and in the end, he doesn’t even end up being married to her. He gets married to some other RANDOM (who wasn’t even involved in the movie) and he isn’t happy.
In the book, I’m pretty sure nobody is as happy in the end as they are in the movie.
Except maybe Quasimodo.
THIS. This is the one that gets me the most because I love Greek Mythology so much, and this is one of my favourites. But not only has this been romanticised, there are also HUGE inconsistencies.
First of all, it’s been romanticised because Hercules was not born a god. He was the by-product of one of Zeus’s many relationships. It was his birth, actually, which caused the problem; Hera, Zeus’s wife, was super duper jealous and angry at Zeus… but because Zeus was a god, she couldn’t take it out on him; she took it out on Hercules. HERA WAS NOT HERCULES’ MOTHER.
Hercules DID marry Megara in the Greek myth. She had a son and a daughter for him. But then Hera (the wrath of the Greek gods REALLY had no bounds!) drove him mad and made him kill ALL THREE OF THEM in a fit of rage.
And THAT is why he had to complete the 12 Tasks. As a means of recompense for these murders. (He remarried twice after his marriage to Megara though…)
And now for the biggest problem of all, the problem which has bugged me for AGES…
HIS NAME IS INCORRECT.
Really. I’m such a nerd, but seriously. If you are into Greek or Roman Mythology (or maybe you’re not but you still know…) then you will know that the Romans stole everything from the Greeks. Including their gods. So every Greek god has a Roman counterpart. (i.e. Zeus for the Greeks, Jupiter for the Romans… Aphrodite for the Greeks, Venus for the Romans… and so on).
All the names from the movie, all the gods and goddesses have their GREEK names. Zeus, Hera, Hades, Philoctetes, Pegasus, the Muses… all of them. They’re all Greek.
Now, just like the gods, the Greek heroes (Oedipus, Jason, Perseus) also have Roman counterparts.
Take HERACLES for example. (Please note the spelling there.) H-E-R-A-C-L-E-S.
Because HERACLES is the Greek version. HERCULES is his Roman counterpart.
SO WHY, can someone please tell me, WHY Disney would use a GREEK CAST and then make the PROTAGONIST the Roman counterpart?
WHERE IS THE LOGIC? (Right now I am a very wounded nerd!)
For me, the Disney version of Pocahontas is the ULTIMATE example of their inability to NOT romanticise EVERY story they decide to make. This is one of the rare occasions where the protagonist genuinely did exist in real life. (If you did not know this then… Do you live under a rock?)
Pocahontas was a real person. John Smith (though perhaps the ‘life-saving’ story has been disputed by many historians) existed. Even John Rolfe (UGH! *Gags*) existed.
Except for a teency detail Disney missed out: POCAHONTAS DID NOT HAVE TWO LOVE INTERESTS.
John Smith was NOT, (I repeat, NOT) her love interest.
Because in real life, she met him when she was 13… and he was 30. NOTHING in historical records even suggests the fact that they could have been lovers. She was too young to be in a relationship and he was FAR too old for her.
The one thing that perhaps isn’t untrue about her tale, and that is the view that the English people had of her and her tribe: that they were all savages. When John Rolfe wrote to the governor to tell of his love for her, he stated in his letter that he basically wanted to do it for the good of ‘saving her soul’.
When she moved to England with him, she had a child for him and was presented at social events throughout the country in a sickening display of pride – how ‘savages’ could be ‘converted’ and changed.
That shattered my dreams. Seriously. John Smith and Pocahontas were my OTP, but now… Now, I feel disgusted to have even shipped them together. *cries*
That’s all from me. I think I’ve been bitter and cynical enough for one evening. LOL. Goodnight all. Sweet dreams. 🙂