Posts Tagged ‘ Disney ’

The Real Villain In Disney’s Frozen: The Parents Of Elsa & Anna

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

3 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Had you been born a girl, I assume our family would have already seen Frozen a minimum of 37 times. However, you were born a boy, which means we just saw it for the first time this past weekend.

There’s no question it’s a great movie, worth all the hype it’s received as one of the greatest Disney movies- I’m just simply acknowledging that you personally were more impressed by The Lego Movie- and I think a lot of that has to do with you being a boy.

Meanwhile, your (girl) cousin Calla, who is very close to you in age, is completely obsessed with Frozen… has the soundtrack, toys, dresses, and whatever else merchandize I’m not thinking of right now.

I personally really enjoyed Frozen. But as someone who loves to analyze things, having studied Literary Criticism as part of the requirements for obtaining my English degree, I couldn’t help but notice that for such an epic Disney musical, there was no official villain.

The Little Mermaid had Ursula. The Lion King had Scar. Aladdin had Jafar.

But as for Frozen, Prince Hans is the assumed villain because, near the end of the movie, he proves to be a jerk when he makes it clear he was only trying to use Anna to become a more powerful ruler.

However, Hans was not the character who who ultimately introduced the agency of evil in the plot. He simply tried to take advantage of the situation after the plot had been established years before in the storyline.

Some might say Elsa, the older sister with the superpowers, was the villain- but it’s pretty clear she’s a victim who never wanted to hurt her sister Anna.

The way I see it, Elsa was simply the victim of her parents’ horrible (yet not intentionally evil) decision to keep their only children from communicating during most of their childhood, leading into adulthood.

Seriously, how messed up is that?!

Not to mention, Elsa learned to become ashamed of her special ability and cut herself off from not only her sister, but basically, the outside world.

So by default, the parents of Elsa and Anna, the King and Queen of Arendell, are responsible for whole darn crisis happening.

Though they died in the beginning of the movie, like most Disney parents seem to do, I didn’t even feel sad. Because for me, I felt like the villains were removed from the movie at the beginning, instead of the end.

Therefore, it provided for a more emotional plotline and resolve.

The pay-off, I suppose, is that by teaching Elsa to hold in her emotions most of her developing years, she was able to write and sing “Let It Go,” which is a song no one can get out of their head without having to overwrite it with something super annoying like “Karma Chameleon” or “Macarena.”

With all this being said, Frozen is a wonderful movie about love and forgiveness. I definitely appreciate the fact that the “villain” is not obvious. It’s one of the things that makes Frozen really stand apart.

In fact, I think it would have actually taken away from the importance of restoring the relationship of Elsa and Anna, had there been an official villain who further agitated the characters.

Elsa and Anna saved themselves- they didn’t have to be saved by a prince who defeated a bully. For me, that aspect made the movie more realistic and relatable.

But I’m guessing at age 3, you probably didn’t pick up on anything of this. You did, however, love Olaf and Sven.





Images courtesy of Disney.


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The Mater Prince Of Fresh Air

Monday, February 24th, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Friday was the last day that you and your best (and first) friend, Sophie, will ever spend together at school. (You’ve both been attending KinderCare since you met there in July 2011.)

As I officially explained to you last week in the car, you won’t be seeing her everyday at school anymore, since she and her family are moving to Alabama.

Sophie’s mommy threw her a sort of princess-themed going away party in which she brought cupcakes for your class- and dresses for your friends to try on in the theme of Frozen, I assume.

You even told me that you tried on one of the dresses, though I’ve yet to see a picture proving it.

However, Sophie’s mommy did snap a few shots of Sophie trying to give you a good-bye hug.

Yeah, you don’t look so enthused…

However, in this next photo collage you look a lot happier. That’s because Sophie gave you a good-bye gift: a motorized Mater scooter that she didn’t have room to take to her new home!

Mommy and I took you to your gymnastics class Saturday morning where you got to burn off energy like an American Gladiator (circa 1992). Then for the afternoon, while the sun was briefly out, we got to take a family walk around the neighborhood in the fresh air.

It was the perfect opportunity for you to give Mater a spin; outside of our house- since the only “road” you had previously been down was our hallway. I can’t look at these pictures without laughing, by the way.

Though the Mater scooter is electric, I think it will actually serve as an added motivation for you to want to go outside to play at parks on the weekend.

Again, you’re used to just driving Mater down the hallway, so the great outdoors is a much more exciting backdrop.

And while you’re already near a playground, we’ll make sure you’re actually burning your own energy too; in addition to your indoor gymnastics class.

I am pleased that your school is very proactive to make sure you and your friends go outside and play in the fresh air; given that the temperature is reasonable, even if it’s just a for a little while each day.

Coincidentally, I happened to come across this infographic on how many children aren’t as privileged as you, in regards to being able to play outside regularly.

Also, I like how it points out the social benefits, like negotiation skills, of recess. I had never thought about that before.

You are going to miss Sophie; that is for sure. You have known her since before either of you could even walk. Now the two you of can run and jump… and negotiate on the playground.

Fortunately, she happened to leave you a very special (and relevant) token of your special friendship. We will look forward to seeing Sophie again.




Playing Outside


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My Son Doesn’t Know What A Gun Is

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

Your Auntie Jenny and her family had a special gift ready for you as soon as they got here to meet us on our annual family vacation to Sacramento.

It’s the Imaginext Sky Racers Twister Jet.

And it’s actually pretty awesome! I’ve never seen giant chainsaws on the front of a fighter jet before…

In fact, that’s so creative of an idea I’m sort of jealous I didn’t get hired by Imaginext to come up with ideas for toys!

It’s good timing because Mommy and I are planning to take you to your very first movie in a theater: Disney’s Planes.

So your Twister Jet serves as not only your first real toy plane, but also as a way to pretend you’re flying one of the planes from the new Planes movie once you officially become obsessed with them… which you will.

Your cousin Matt and I were talking about the “practicality aspects” of having two giant chainsaws on the front of a fighter jet, when he happened to look down into the wading pool full of toys you’ve been playing in and saw what he thought was a toy gun, only to learn that in reality it was one of  your girl cousins’ toy hair dryers.

“Does Jack like toy guns?” Matt asked.

That was the first time I had considered the fact, that honestly, you don’t even know what a gun is.

It’s not that I’ve purposely sheltered you from toy guns; water guns, in particular.

But even with your water table on our back patio, you don’t need water “guns” because you have several toy animals that squirt water instead.

By no means am I endorsing any kind of agenda either against or for guns, especially because for the past month as I’ve been working on a letter to you called “Never Talk About Politics, Religion, Or Peoples’ Food,” I’ve been trying to deliberately not perpetuate America’s polarizing tendencies, especially in social media.

At some point, you’ll be old enough to know what guns are. You’re not even 3 years old yet.

As for now, we’ll just stick with chain saws.





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Tags: , , , | Categories: Deep Thoughts, The Dadabase

Playing “Make Me Laugh” With A 2 Year-Old

Friday, January 11th, 2013

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

Somewhere in the realm of roughhousing with you is the game where I try to annoy you to the point you can’t help but laugh.

Well, you pretend to be annoyed, at least; but really, you’re seeing if I, as your Daddy, has what it takes to break you. Just so you know, whenever you challenge me to a game of “Make Me Laugh,” I am always prepared.

One of my favorite times to play this game with you is when I drop you off at daycare in the mornings.

It’s like you shut down your personality as I hand you over to your teacher. She tells me it typically takes about 10 minutes for you to officially come back to life, as you transition from “home mode” to “school mode.”

So as you soon as you pass from my arms to hers, I always try (and am usually successful) to make you crack from your straight face before I say goodbye.

What’s my secret? I put my mouth to your chest and sing the theme song from Dirty Dancing. (Interestingly, neither Mommy nor I have ever seen that movie.)

“I’ve… had… the time of my li-i-ife… and I owe it all to you-oo-oo…”.

I should point out that I am singing that line in my best Robert Goulet singing voice.

You just can’t help but laugh. Sure, it’s a little weird that your teacher now expects me to sing the first line of the chorus of “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” before I can kiss you goodbye, but after a solid week, it’s starting to become normal.

And there’s the drive home from daycare, where if you’re suspiciously quiet for 5 straight minutes, I feed you false information about your favorite TV characters.

“Mater is eating Jack’s pasta,” I warn you.

“No! My pasta! Jack eats the pasta,” you reply with fake intensity.

I egg you on about it enough to where you get so “fake upset” about the thought of Disney/Pixar’s star of Cars eating your dinner, that you finally bust out laughing.

Putting you to bed at night is also another opportune time for “Make Me Laugh.” You always want me to lift you up to turn off the light, then carry you to your “big boy bed,” then you say, “Daddy sing? Daddy sing ‘Snowman.”

That means I have to sing “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” to you as an unlikely lullaby, which you inaccurately identify as a song about a snowman.

During my slow-motion, lyric-butchered version of the song, in the complete dark, which might I add should creep you out but instead you choose it as your favorite way to fall asleep, you like to try to grab my nose or my hand as I lean in close to you and sing.

You’ll deliberately swing your leg up into the air in hopes of hitting me; and when you do, I quickly grab your limb and squeeze it, making you laugh.

Again, that doesn’t sound like the best way to coax a 2 year-old to sleep, but for you, it couldn’t be any other way.

You like for me to tease you. Oh, and don’t forget, Mater’s totally eating your pasta right now…





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Help! I’m Being Targeted By Rebooted 1980′s Toy Characters

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

22 months.

I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m a little flattered.

When I step into any toy aisle in pointless attempts to find a small fire engine truck under $3 for my son, my eyes are instantly drawn by the rebooted 1980′s toys I played with myself.

I mean, it’s so deliberate: Transformers, Thundercats, GI Joe, Star Wars, Smurfs, Ghostbusters, and even a new Nickelodeon version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that cost $8.99 per action figure.

(Ninja Turtles were only $3.89 when I was growing up.)

Even Disney is getting in on the rebooted nostalgic action. The next time you go to a Target, take a look in the clothing aisle for their “Disney Artist Collection,” featuring classic characters like The Cheshire Cat, The Big Bad Wolf, and even Mickey Mouse.

Oh yeah, remember that guy?

There’s actually talk of Mickey Mouse getting his very own movie, for the first time ever; in the likeness of the low-key, classic feel of the Winnie The Pooh movie in 2011.

To be honest, and possibly offensive, if you ask me, Winnie the Pooh needed a make-over anyway, so I applaud the fact that Pooh was brought back with class.

It seems like shortly after I stopped being a kid, Winnie the Pooh became this uncool mascot who I identified with those tacky oversized “nighty” t-shirts at Wal-Mart in the 1990′s.

So go ahead, toy and clothing companies, hit me with your best shot. See if you can convince me, the casual consumer, to buy your nostalgic product based on my own warm and fuzzy memories.

The funny thing is, all I have to do is go to my parents’ house, upstairs to my old bedroom, and pull out the bottom drawer of my dresser.

From there I can unleash on my son all the glory of every action figure I ever owned.

But not yet, the time has not yet come. He’s not ready for all that American splendor.

With that being said, so far I’ve yet to give in to the pressure and buy my son a kick-awesome Lion-O action figure.

But just give it time…

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