When Disney Movies Go Wrong
By Ken Myers
I love, and have loved, almost every single Disney movie that has come out since I was a kid myself, so naturally I wanted to share this love with my two little darlings. Who in the world would ever think that anything bad could come out of a Disney movie?
My oldest, a girl, was talking from the time she was a wee little thing and she understood everything so well. Anyone that has children knows that some kiddos are ready to see movies at different ages than others. Parents have to take into consideration if they are able to sit still through an entire movie and if it will actually be entertainment for them. Or will you end up spending the whole time trying to get them to stay in their seats and watch?
I actually waited until my daughter was four and a half to take her to a movie theater. A new movie was out that I was dying to see and I knew she had a great attention span so off we went. She was absolutely thrilled with the big screen. Her eyes are the color of deep chocolate or rich coffee and as big as saucers. She was mesmerized with the big screen action and sat in a state of wonder while it was unfolding before her eyes. I was thrilled and so happy to see her reaction… so far.
Who would figure that a Disney movie would end up scarring your child for life? The movie we went to see was The Little Mermaid in 1989. I know anyone with children has seen this beautiful movie. But when Ursula the sea witch came on the scene my world started to fall apart. My daughter plunged her head into my neck and that was that for this movie. I did convince her to come out from under cover when the witch was gone but you could tell by the look on her face that she was anticipating her return at any moment and she was ready to dart. I felt like such a bad mother and even asked her if she wanted to leave. She was, and still is, a wonderfully congenial and mature child and said it would be alright and we could stay. Awww… bad, bad, mother.
We laugh about it today, now that she is an adult, and she teases me about being a bad momma. I swear to her I had no idea, I honestly do not remember the movie trailers portraying Ursula as scary as she was. Since I was writing this I went back and watched the original trailer for the movie and honestly she is in the trailer like three times for less than a second each time. They never show her in all her glory rising up out of the sea over a thousand times bigger than life with that deep guttural voice of doom. Unfair advertising! But even then I was so surprised that my usually very practical daughter had gotten so upset. When you are four and a half and the screen is so big and a half woman/half octopus that is totally evil comes on the scene all practicality goes right out the window.
Another Disney movie that went wrong in our household was Lady and the Tramp. My youngest, a boy, absolutely loved this movie. We watched it over and over and over…I know some of you know what I am talking about. The movie you would like to hide or even burn but you do not want to see disappointment in those little eyes. Right?
Anyway, he had for all intents and purposes, taken on the persona of Tramp in the flesh. He loved his attitude, his freedom, and he especially loved the way Tramp kicked dirt ceremoniously behind him when he finished taking care of a pack of dogs that were giving him trouble. Every time my son wanted to make a point that he did not care what you were saying or wanted him to do he would grin and kick a little dirt behind him. It was absolutely adorable at the age of six because he was a toe headed, bouncy little guy with a gleam in his eye. We all knew we had to put a stop to it however or it could easily backfire on us as parents. We were well aware that the teachers would not get the same kick out of it that we did.
That was not all that came out of that movie either. You would not even think that a child that had just barely turned six years old could put two and two together and come up with what my son did. You just never know where their minds are at this age or what they are going to say. There have absolutely no filtering system, what comes into their minds comes out of their mouths!
One day as my son and I stopped to get the car filled up with gas we decided to run our car through the car wash as well. We pulled up to put our coins into the meter and I started to drop in the quarters. As I was doing so I heard what sounded like the quarters hitting the pavement. So I opened the car door to look. It seems that the quarters were going in the machine and falling out on the ground. To my astonishment there were about fifty quarters on the ground. I am guessing that people must have been going through there at night and did not see or hear their quarters falling and must have assumed the car wash was broken and moved on. I found myself in the position of picking up all the quarters off of the ground and then puzzling over what to do with them. I told my son we were going to take them into the attendant at the gas station because I assumed that people were probably going in and asking for their money back since the car wash did not work for them.
When we got into the store there was a line of about five people ahead of us and before we got up to the attendant there was a long line forming behind us. As we were standing in line I had a tissue full of quarters in one hand and a six year old in the other who was getting very impatient and wanting to leave. I did not realize he was even paying any attention to the attendant but I was. She was an Asian woman, I do not know where she was from, but she did not speak very good English at all. People were having a hard time communicating with her about their needs so I was beginning to wonder how me returning these quarters was going to go down.
When I finally did get up to the desk I started to explain to her that the car wash was broken and the quarters were on the ground and I was bringing them to her. She kept nodding and telling me that yes the car wash needed quarters and all I needed to do was put them in the slot. It went something like that, I am sure you get the picture. I tried for what seemed like five minutes to get her to take the quarters but she refused. My son was pulling at my arm and was anxious to get out of there as was the line of people behind me. I was stumped so I just decided to leave with my bounty.
As we turned to leave the store my son, in a loud robust voice, started singing the song from the Lady and the Tramp when the Siamese cats came with the aunt to take care of the baby while the parents were gone. If you are at all familiar with this movie you will remember the cats and the oriental sound in their voices as they sang, “We are Siamese if you please, we are Siamese if you don’t please”. And as he sang he suddenly became very oriental in his speech, walk, and in the rhythm of his body as well. Needless to say everyone in the line was in hysterics. The only thing I was extremely grateful for is that I do not think the lady had a clue of what Lady and the Tramp was or that it had anything to do with her! But believe me my face was red! This was another Disney movie that had gone terribly wrong for me. Ahh, memories.