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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The death of a silly old firefly

I've spent my day doing nothing useful, again. Today's day started playing Final Fantasy XII until just after lunch and then wasting time trying to figure out an entertaining way to waste time. I tried watching television, but nothing good was on. There's this new show, Two Broke Girls and A has recommended it often (not that her recommendations are ever much good, as we have such dissimilar tastes) so I tried watching. But the writing that tries to be smart and yet has to explain the jokes is sloppy, the humour which is meant to be frank comes out as vulgar and it made me uncomfortable. Making matters worse was a bit of a storyline with one of the girls going out with the guy she had a crush on. They were about to kiss and didn't and everyone expected it to work out. She had leaned in for a kiss. Next thing I knew she threw herself at him to kiss him and the idea that he already had a girlfriend (the woman walking with him when this happened) was heavily hinted at. I didn't watch any more. I couldn't watch any more without... well, I'm already blowing it out of proportion. I suppose I might have made it worse somehow.

After online windowshopping for make-up, I decided I was in the mood for a children's movie. Seeing how Brave is about to come out, I tried a Disney film by the name of The Princess and the Frog. I must say, I'm disappointed. There were several references straight out of previous films, most notably The Sword in the Stone (Lou using vines to look like Madam Mim when describing the witch) and The Jungle Book (didn't Lou resemble Baloo a lot?) , as well as a bonus feature of The Little Mermaid in the parade. I wouldn't call the film racist, but the heavy stereotyping of just every single character does wear me out quite a bit. The bit that ruins the plot is the way the horrible prince (frankly, a womanising, good-for-nothing, shallow prince can't be a good prince, even if it's the only real kind there is). 

Tiana is a hard-working girl. She does not deserve such a husband even if he promises to clean up his act, because in real life it never would work out that way. Moreover, I'm afraid it's a very real problem in the african american community that women grow to be strong, independent adults having to put up with not so good husbands just because they prefer chocolate babies. Well, the argument was a bit less simplified than that, but I hope I'm not sounding too stupid when I say it: no one said Tiana's prince had to be black, and making him lazy and spoiled was unnecessary. What are the little girls to think? Should they marry the men who, having been known for their sleaziness, promise to change? Should they only marry black men? Should they marry the first man who waltzes into their lives? I might have understood with old-timey princess stories but Belle actually chose her husband ruling out people like Gaston. How come Tiana, who has never been out partying, will just jump into marrying Naveen like nothing? There are so many things wrong with this... 

The one thing I'll bring out, out of the whole film, is the death of the silly old firefly and the way he turned into a star in the end. I actually cried a little during his funeral, and I do believe I'd never seen the death of a character in a children's film before.

I'm so sorry for bringing politics into a Disney film for children, I really am. But I do believe the more recent films shouldn't be able to get away with such backwards thinking.

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