Posts Tagged ‘ parents ’

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.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Images courtesy of Disney.

 

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Little Girls Want A Real Pony, Little Boys Want A Real Bulldozer

Friday, May 9th, 2014

3 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

For the past several weeks on the drive home, I found a lesser discoverd route by driving through connected neighborhoods.

You named it “the new Daddy way.”

Even though we take that way home every day now, you still ask for it by name each time we hop in the car.

Part of the need for this new way home is the congestion on our former route, as Concord Road is being destroyed and people’s front lawns are being taken away…

I mean… the road is being widened to accommodate the traffic which we’re a part of.

But today, I drove home the construction site way because I thought there was an $8 sale going on at Great Clips. (I was wrong; it ended yesterday. Womp-womp.)

It had been nearly a month since you got to see the new version of that old familiar road.

You screamed out from the back seat today:

“Hey Daddy, it’s the white crane! He’s back!”

That’s right. To you, the giant crane is a he. Like a dinosaur.

It’s such a majestic sight to see all that construction equipment.

You sat in awe in the back seat.

I guess it’s not everyday you get to see such monstrous machines so close up.

It’s like cheap entertainment. (Well, actually, it’s our tax dollars affording that entertainment. Right?)

I found this infograph which shows the weight, horsepower, and average used price of several pieces of staple construction equipment.

For example, if we wanted to save up our money as a family, we might eventually (!) be able to buy a good bulldozer, for example, for about a half million dollars.

That would definitely make us the coolest family on the block!

But until we can put a solid down payment on one, you can just appreciate the “free” entertainment from the 2nd row seat.

 

Love,

Daddy

construction equipment infographic

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My Kid Is The Best At Everything In The Entire World!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

3 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

I’m guessing it’s normal and natural for every parent to secretly assume that their own kid is just automatically the best at pretty much everything in the entire world.

Yep, I can relate.

This past weekend over Easter I was just thoroughly impressed by your watercolor painting skills. I mean, you’re only 3 years old.

All you needed from me was a cup of water to dip your paintbrush into. You did the rest while I did the dishes.

I mean seriously, you did better than I could have.

And then today I saw another painting you did at school.

When I saw your name next to it, I thought it was a mistake. I though surely a 4 or 5 year-old must have down a work of art as complex as that.

Or even Eric Carle himself.

Nope. It was all you.

So of course, that only reinforced my preconceived idea that you are such a talented artist.

I am your dad- I am wired to believe you are an exceptional kid… because you are!

It’s not just your artistic skills, though. Even just the way you think amazes me, for a 3 year-old.

When you play with your Hot Wheels these days, you’re always putting on a show.

You have me help you hand-select the classic cars, the hot rods, the race cars, and the trucks to place in the race. Then all the other Hot Wheels have to form a huge, long line to go see the show.

It’s something you are very strategic about. You even make sure the police car and ambulance are placed right next to where the race is, to prepare for accidents… which are guaranteed to happen with you in charge!

Do other 3 year-old little boys paint like you and create big shows with your Hot Wheels? Is that typical?

Probably.

But hey, I am your dad- I am wired to believe you are an exceptional kid… because you are!

 

Love,

Daddy

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My Son Thinks Our Car Windows Are Voice-Activated

Monday, April 21st, 2014

3 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Because I also write reviews for cars on the side with my personal blog, that means sometimes for months at a time, we get a brand-new vehicle each week to test-drive as a family.

With that being said, this past week we have been ridin’ dirty in a 2014 Toyota Tacoma.

This truck is the first vehicle you’ve ever been in where you can reach the power window buttons.

To a 3 year-old boy, that’s a really big deal!

For weeks prior, on the drive to school, I have been hearing you grunt and strain for several minutes, then proclaim:

“Daddy… I can’t… reach… the button. I can’t reach it, Daddy.”

But finally, this past week in the truck, I heard you announce, “Hey Daddy! I can reach it!”

Immediately, the power window started coming down.

For the past several days now, we’ve had to drive to and from school with your window down. You love to feel the air move through your fingers. It’s like the coolest thing ever to you.

This morning it was pretty chilly, so I turned the heat on full blast in order to counter the cold air coming in from your window.

You then saw my window go down as well, which prompted an amazed response:

“Hey Daddy! Your window moves by itself?!”

I realized you didn’t see that I had pressed the button, so I decided to have some fun with you.

“Jack, do want the window beside you to go down? You have to tell it to.”

You hesitated, only for a moment. You turned to the driver’s side back passenger window and spoke with authority:

“Window, go down!”

And it did.

“Hey Daddy, I made it go down! It listened!”

A few minutes later, the two remaining windows were down, thanks to your voice-activation.

Yeah, so I have a feeling from now on, with each different car we ride in, I’m going to be hearing you “voice-activate” the power windows.

It’s too much fun to let you know it’s really just me controlling them all from the driver’s seat.

 

Love,

Daddy

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I Just Came Here To Read Comments

Monday, April 21st, 2014

3 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

In several of my letters to you, I’ve made mention to you that simply by being a parent, I have become a more mature person.

It’s true. I’m now embarrassed by some of the things I’ve written to you over the years- and I wish I could say I’ll never say something stupid again.

But if I said that, I would be conceited, which would contradict the part about maturing as a parent.

One of the most relevant lessons I’ve been teaching myself  is “how not to say things that will end up making me sound judgmental of other parents or to be offensive to them.”

And I tell you- that’s a very tricky lesson to learn.

Ultimately, it’s dang near impossible not to step on someone’s toes.

I’ve discovered that even by talking about the possibility of you being an only child can offend other parents who are unable to have another child.

If I talk about our family’s plant-based lifestyle, it can be perceived that I am trying to convert other people to “unhealthy eating habits which keeps your family from getting the nutrients they need.”

If I speak neutrally about having guns in the house, or bronies, or why I believe spanking is not more effective than time-out, I’m going to either offend, upset, or at least get someone emotionally worked up.

You know what, though? I’m okay with that.

I do try to be as respectful as I can in my interactions with people in real life and social media; the latter of which is much more difficult.

In fact, trying to regularly participate in social media while talking about parenting topics especially can be harder than attempting to get through a Chips Ahoy cookie without eating a chocolate chip.

Therefore, there is now a very relevant Internet meme which features Michael Jackson eating popcorn, stating: “I Just Came Here To Read The Comments.”

It tends to show up in the comments section of controversial blog posts.

Actually, I just saw it featured this weekend on Facebook in the comments section of a Parents.com article, written by a parent who admits her family only goes to church on Easter.

Navigating the comments on social media has become almost ridiculous by now. I noticed last week at the bottom of a parenting article on MSN, they now have to offer up a list of “reportable” tags for comments:

There’s now a category for spam, exploitation, profanity/vulgarity/obscenity, copyright infringement, harassment or threat, and even threats of suicide.

Wow.

With that being said, I try not to offend those in the world of parenting… but these days, it’s not always easy to know who the actual Internet trolls really are.

I just have to tiptoe and tap-dance while being ready to duck and dodge potential tomatoes being hurled my way.

 

Love,

Daddy

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