She is not, however, without her quirks. Movies - well, TV in general - being one of them. We still tease her about her comment during a gun battle scene in a western when she vocally pondered how many of the Indians were saved before they died (Really? It's a movie - it's fiction). But she tends to view things in a different light. Which is not, I suppose, a completely bad thing.
As a kid I was not allowed to watch The Little Mermaid. Mom very much disapproved of the message that it sent - she felt it encouraged rebellion. She even gave her "soap box" lecture to a preacher about it. We joked about it later but I never remember feeling like I was really missing out on something by not being allowed to watch it. It was just part of life with Mom.
Now, I like movies as much as the next person - especially Disney cartoons. Our movie shelf holds Bolt, Monsters Inc., Cars, Ratatouille, and even Beauty and the Beast (hey, a girl's gotta have her princess movie!) as well as a few others. Sleeping Beauty, Finding Nemo, and Toy Story (all three of them) are on the "to buy" list. I usually watch new cartoons with a mind towards possibly adding them to our collection.
Tangled was the most recent one on that list. The previews looked great - cute and funny. I heard wonderful reviews from people that had watched it. I was practically on pins and needles waiting to see it.
I couldn't have been more let down!
But I finally understood my mother's sentiments. While I was watching the movie for the pure entertainment of it, my "mommy instincts" couldn't help but kick in.
The viewer watches the movie knowing that an evil witch has stolen Rapunzel away and kept her for her own selfish intentions, raising Rapunzel as her own daughter. Rapunzel, the sweet, dutiful, trusting daughter, has no clue that the woman who raised her is not her real mother. For her 18th birthday, Rapunzel requests to go see "the floating lights" that are released every year on her birthday. Despite "Mother's" abrasive and almost cruel response Rapunzel keeps her sweet spirit. So far so good...
Now comes the problem.
Rapunzel starts to ask just one more time and "Mother" starts singing a song that makes a complete mockery of parental authority "Mother Knows Best." She goes off on all the terrible things that are out there in the world that can hurt Rapunzel and why she has her locked in an area where nothing can harm her. Honestly, as a parent, there are certain things that are not allowed; my children's safety and well-being are my responsibility and one that I take very seriously. It's something I learned from my parents. At the time I didn't always understand or agree with their decisions but now I can look back and see that they really did know best.
Then comes the next problem.
Seeing that she is not going to be allowed to get her desire, Rapunzel then deceives "Mother" into taking a journey, to get her something special, that will take her out of the vicinity for three days so that she can sneak out and go see the "floating lights" on her own. When she finally makes her escape she is conflicted by her conscience knowing what she did was wrong but still enjoying the freedom. Sound familiar? If you were raised in a Christian realm, it should ("there is pleasure in sin for a season").
Of course, in the end Rapunzel realizes that "Mother" is not really her mother and that she was kidnapped as a baby...and she might not have ever known if she hadn't rebelled. This is where I turned into my mother! I found the blatant encouragement of rebellion appalling. The viewer knowing that "Mother" was not Rapunzel's real mother makes no difference when you understand that Rapunzel didn't know, or even have a suspicion of it, at the time of her rebellion.
What difference does it make?...It's just a movie - it's fiction.
I worked with 3, 4, and 5 year olds at a daycare a couple years ago. One thing that I learned from my time there is that they LOVE to play pretend, acting out movies that they recently watched. And it builds a foundation for their attitudes. Children learn by example, repetition and imitation.
I, for one, am not going to put an example in front of my children that I don't want them to imitate and follow.
And if that makes me sound like my mother...well, I find that to be a great honor!
|My mother as my Matron of Honor and Me :)|