This past weekend my family and I attended Disney on Ice at the PNC Arena in Raleigh. I ran into one of my friends with the Hurricanes at the event and he said, “Wow, Jonathan you must be desperate for some ice!” I really do miss hockey and I caught myself just hoping for a puck to drop or a horn to sound, but I also love Disney as any person who loves business should.
Think about it; Disney was built on the desire to make people smile. Profit from creating happiness…that’s a great concept! They should be admired for letting people know that it’s okay to dream. It doesn’t matter how old you are, when you see Mickey Mouse, you have to smile.
Disney has taken one of the world’s smallest, most insignificant, and even hated animals (a mouse) and turned him into an icon known around the world! If you look at the symbol that is Mickey, you can see that no matter how small you are, you can make a big difference in the world. The footprints we leave on this earth are not measured by the size of our feet, but the size of the impression we leave behind…I just made that up. Sounds good doesn’t it? That’s how a little mouse inspires me to be the best I can be.
I’m also not ashamed to say that I like the Disney princesses. But wait, those are for girls, right?! WRONG! As guys, don’t we all wish we could find a beautiful, strong, smart, kind-hearted woman? Girls wish for their Prince Charming, so why can’t we wish for Princess Awesome?
I have seen petitions for Disney to create a princess with a disability or a terminal illness, so that those little girls will feel beautiful too. Speaking as a person with a disability, I don’t agree. Movies are an escape for me. I don’t want to watch someone in a cartoon deal with my struggles. Do I wish I had the muscles like Gaston in Beauty in the Beast? Of course I do, but I don’t feel like less of a person because he was strong and I’m not.
My favorite movie is Aladdin, so can you imagine how many action sequences would have been cut out if Aladdin used a wheelchair? He couldn’t even go down the cave to retrieve the lamp! Would Jasmine have fallen in love with him in a wheelchair? Yes, because she’s a Princess Awesome, but my goodness that movie would be boring!
People have also criticized Disney for making the princesses look “too perfect.” I don’t agree. These icons were created because their movies are great. The audience falls in love with the princess because of her character. It’s the same concept as the attractive girl who becomes beautiful as you talk to her. If Belle fell in love with Gaston instead of the Beast, would she still an icon? No! She is loved because of her kind heart and ability to see the good inside a person regardless of his exterior. Jasmine is the same in Aladdin. She looks past Aladdin’s social status and sees the great man behind the rags.
I think if people take the time and look at the movies as a whole, they won’t criticize the beauty of the princesses. They aren’t meant to make people feel intimidated or inferior. I believe they are meant to inspire us just as Mickey does. If we spent our time chasing our dreams instead of finding faults, not only would we be happier, but the world would be a better place!