Wherefore Art Thou, Mickey Mouse?
by Angelle Bonnecarrere
Did Belle put Mickey Mouse in the doghouse with Pluto? I’m really confused.
Growing up, to say Disney was a big part of my life would be an understatement. My dad was stationed in San Francisco and we went down to Disneyland two to three times a year. We woke up early, had Mickey Mouse pancakes by the Swiss Family Robinson tree, and took on the park for the whole day. I have countless pictures of parades, rides, and not to mention all the visits to Universal Studios. Please ask my mom about the day my dad took six-year-old me on The Matterhorn. She loves that story.
When my family wasn’t conquering the park, we were watching everything and anything Disney. My mom still groans about how many times she had to sit through Pete’s Dragon and my dad may or may not have spent countless hours perfecting his Donald Duck impression. To this day, Mickey’s Christmas Carol still makes me tear up when the “Merry, Merry Christmas, Merry, Merry Christmas” starts up. I can’t remember ever wanting to dress up as Cinderella or Snow White when I was little; it was mostly the “I want to be a witch or Princess Leia” business that made up a childhood spent in the ‘80s.
Nowadays, it’s ALL about the princesses.
Get on the train people! If you aren’t all up on them, then please take the helpful quiz: “Which Disney Princess are you?”
I’m Belle. No really. If you are slightly nerdy and like books, you’re Belle. That’s the rule. If you are still in high school and your parents are SOOO annoying and won’t let you date that twenty-six-year-old (because on my re-watch of The Little Mermaid, Eric looks much older than Ariel’s sixteen, which is totally not at all creepy), then you are Ariel. Do you love singing, wishing in wells, and cleaning up after seven dirty little men? You’re Snow White!
I could go on and on…
Don’t get me wrong, I love fairy tales and princess stories as much as the next girl. I’m also not questioning anyone’s taste here, I’m a Ke$ha fan. I don’t think I’m qualified to. I’m just sad that it’s not about the iconic Disney characters anymore. I had a conversation with a friend recently about her little girl, and innocently asked if she had hit the “princess phase,” yet. She shushed me and said, “That’s not going to be a thing we encourage with her.” At first I was all, “Whatever, let her wear pink, GEEZ.” Then I really thought about it and said, “You know, you’re right, I mean where did Mickey go in all of this? What about Peter Pan?” I couldn’t fault her for trying to do something different with her little girl and introduce her to adventures, not a happily ever after.
Disney was about adventures, not just princess adventures, but everything that now makes up my obsession with wanting to see a 1950’s B-movie at a drive-in. They made science awesome, they taught Goofy how do stuff with resulting hilarity, and they gave Donald Duck an anger management problem (if you know which short I’m talking about, you are my soulmate, call me). Is Disney doing a disservice to its petite fans by perpetuating the princess stories and forgetting about its most beloved characters?
I leave you with this:
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”