Over the last six months, I’ve burned through basically every form of entertainment at an alarming pace. True crime miniseries, dozens of hours of Bravo, every prestigious movie that I missed from the last decade—you name it, I’ve probably watched too much of it in quarantine. But when I get to the bottom of my watchlist, or don’t feel like getting into another documentary about murder, Disney movies are always the perfect solution. Now that Disney+ is a thing, almost every classic animated movie is right at my fingertips, just waiting to be rewatched while I
pretend to work spend my evenings at home.
Obviously, revisiting these childhood favorites is a lot of fun, but there are certain things that just don’t add up when you’re over the age of 13. No shade to Disney or whatever, but some of their movies low-key make no sense. Okay—maybe some shade. From cringeworthy details to plot holes that definitely shouldn’t have made the final drafts, here are some of the most burning questions I have about Disney movies.
Why Are The Princesses So Young?
If you want your day ruined, I just found out that Snow White is supposedly 14 years old living in a house with 7 strange men
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) September 22, 2020
The other day, one of my coworkers informed me that Snow White is supposed to be just 14 years old, and after recovering from my initial disgust, I felt the need to do some Googling. Turns out, every single member of the official Disney Princesses lineup is a teenager! While Snow White is the youngest at 14, she’s not the only one who’s a little too mature for her age. Princess Jasmine is just 15; Ariel, Aurora, Mulan, Moana, and Merida are 16; Belle is 17; Pocahontas and Rapunzel are 18; and Tiana and Cinderella are 19. Keep in mind, these are almost all fictional characters, so there’s literally no reason why they need to be so young.
While all of these princesses have different experiences in their respective stories, besides Merida and Moana, they’re each either married or happily coupled up by the end of their movies. What’s with the child brides? At least Snow White is an 80-year-old movie, but with characters like Belle and Jasmine, Disney was still doing this sh*t in the ’90s! Ew! In recent years, Disney has worked to bring more racial and cultural diversity into this group, and introduced Princesses whose stories don’t revolve around finding a man, but this age distribution is another problem they should probably look into addressing.
Why Does Pocahontas Speak English?
There’s a lot of problematic stuff happening in Pocahontas, but hey, at least our main character is 18! Pocahontas is the only Disney Princess to be based on a real person, but that doesn’t mean her story doesn’t come with its own set of baffling plot holes. In the movie, we see John Smith coming over from England, and he’s the first white person Pocahontas ever sees. While they both teach each other some words in their respective native languages, they have no actual trouble communicating with each other, because Pocahontas conveniently already speaks English! Obviously, I get why Disney didn’t want to make a kids movie where half of the dialogue was in an extinct Native American dialect, but they definitely could have tried a little harder to portray the language barrier that these two would have had at first. And for a movie that already has some cringeworthy Eurocentric imagery going on, the fact that everyone magically speaks English isn’t helping.
Why Doesn’t The Prince Recognize Cinderella?
Okay, let’s talk about Cinderella. Great movie, love the mice, really identify with the stepsisters, etc. But I just will not allow us to act like the whole part about Prince Charming searching for his mystery woman makes any sense. This dude was traipsing all around the kingdom, making literally any woman he came across try on this glass slipper (we’ll get to that in a minute). I feel like this was a huge waste of time. Did he remember absolutely nothing about what Cindy looked like? Sure, her hair was in an updo, and she was wearing a pretty gown, but it’s not like the Fairy Godmother gave her a face transplant or anything. Here’s the completed makeover look:
Really, Prince Charming? She’s not even wearing one of those dumb little masks like in A Cinderella Story—there’s no disguise happening here! If people only recognized me when my hair was freshly washed and I was wearing fancy clothes, I’d be in big trouble. Did Prince Charming black out and only remember that he was in love, but not a single identifying characteristic about the girl he was obsessed with? There’s just no reason anyone who wasn’t a skinny blonde should have been trying on that nasty shoe in the first place.
WTF Size Shoe Does Cinderella Wear?
Apparently I just have a lot of feelings about Cinderella. Who knew. So, about that glass slipper. Aside from the obvious sanitary issues with dozens (hundreds? thousands??) of people trying on the same shoe in a time when Clorox wipes definitely didn’t exist, the logic of this whole thing makes absolutely no sense. For this ~search~ to actually have happened, Cinderella would need to have either the world’s largest foot or the world’s smallest foot, and for someone with such a perfectly proportioned cartoon body, that just doesn’t seem likely. Let’s just say Cindy has a size 6 foot. What if the Prince had gone to the house of literally any other woman with a size 6 foot before Cindy’s? He would have just married the wrong woman? Was the slipper enchanted so it wouldn’t fit on anyone else’s foot? I know this is a fairytale, and I’m overthinking it, but that’s basically the whole point of this article, so let me live.
Why Didn’t Ariel Just Write Sh*t Down?
There are lots of unrealistic things happening in The Little Mermaid, but I’ll just accept that most of it is ~Disney magic~. But there’s one plot hole so glaring that I can’t just let it slide. When Ariel decides to make the deal with Ursula to get her legs, she signs her name on a contract. Yet later, when her voice is gone and she’s desperately trying to signal to Prince Eric that she’s the one he loves, it never occurs to her to just find a piece of paper and write it down. Or she could have written a message in the sand! Come on girl, be resourceful! There are truly so many ways she could have gotten her point across in writing, but nope, she just watched as her true love was nearly seduced by Ursula. Ariel may not have had a voice, but did Ursula also take her brain?
I know these princess fairytale movies aren’t exactly supposed to be realistic, but in my opinion, magic and enchantment only go so far. In general, I feel like the screenplays of all of these movies could’ve used one more draft to smooth out some of the inconsistencies, but clearly Disney isn’t that concerned. But please, for the love of god, stop making all the princesses so young!
Images: Fer Gregory / Shutterstock; Giphy (3)