For generations the rumors have come and gone concerning Disney's concepts of "Happily Ever After", "Prince Charming", and the Disney "Princesses." Many people think it deludes children, boys and girls alike, into thinking the world is a beautiful place filled the struggle of Good vs. Evil in which Good will always triumph. They would be right in their assumptions.
Good and Evil is rarely black and white, in fact, there's a whole lot of gray that is often misunderstood. Good fails to overcome evil; the endings are often heart-wrenching; and sometimes we never find our knight on a white horse. But I wouldn't trade it for the world.
It's nice to escape to a place where I can run through the plains of Africa with Simba, swing through the jungle with Tarzan, or ride a magic carpet with Aladdin. Didn't you ever want to save China with Mulan? Go under the sea? Didn't you gaze with longing at the enchanted castle?
Disney stands for so much more than a happy ending, or a Prince Charming. Disney stands for a star to shoot towards and in doing so, we just might reach the moon. I remember Halloween as Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and I remember my obsession with Esmeralda. I still yearn to be her. Beautiful, strong, and she stood up for the poor and down trod.
So the meaning has changed over the years, so what? I may not dream of the ends like I once did, but now I use the women of Disney as a model for how I want to be in life. I want to be strong, independent, to find love, to be hurt only to be saved at the same time.
Disney doesn't distort our children. It lifts them up and gives them hope that love is out there just waiting to be found if you look for it. It teaches us that love never truly dies, and that we must go through pain and heartache in order to grow as people and to grasp our future.
It is the duty of parents to nurture imagination and let it blossom into the unknown. It's also the duty of parents to teach children that it will happen, it just may not happen the same way. Don't crush the dreams of the young. It's the greatest sin. To crush the dreams of childhood today is to create the monsters of the future.
Make a child's innocence last just a little longer, make it that much sweeter before they have to see the world for the terrible beauty that is born from the loss of innocence.
I still listen to the music of Disney, still watch the movies, and to this day I am inspired to do good. It inspires in me a hope, a dream, a desire to fulfill what my imagination creates, and to never doubt myself. Even if I fail, even if I change only the life of a single individual my life will have not been wasted.
It's all because my parents let me watch Disney. My parents never laughed about perverted conspiracies, they showed me anything is possible, and they nurtured the dream. That dream is what my generation is missing today in the midst of war, suffering, political agenda and ignorance. The Happily Ever After is out there, "Second Star to the right, and straight on till morning." You may not be able to see it, not because it doesn't exist, but your Ever After is what you make it.
So I’ll keep my Prince Charming and Princesses, my Happily Ever After’s and my white horses, I’ll just let logic take the reins.