Friday, February 6, 2009

Problems with the Pink Princess

Madison, Brookie and I were reading a bedtime story last night, as we always do. We were snuggled side-by-side like sardines in one of their twin beds, as we always are. Madison selected Sleeping Beauty for her story, as she always does. It is well known within our home that Aurora is Madison's favorite Disney princess by far and without question. We read Sleeping Beauty a lot. We also read a spin-off book about "the glade" where Aurora and the prince first met. We also read yet another book about the prince's horse. When Madison's kindergarten class goes to the library, she brings home still more books about Sleeping Beauty. It's a disease, I think. Maybe just a disorder.

Consequently, I've spent a bit of time over the months and years pondering Disney's version of Sleeping Beauty, including her predicament and its resolution.

The plot revolves around a curse pronounced upon a baby Aurora by a sorceress who, understandably so, was not invited to the birth celebration. It seems to me the bulk of the problem and the blame lies with the three benevolent faeries that devise the plan to protect Aurora during the 16 years until the curse reaches its statute of limitation. [Said curse stating that Aurora, at some point between the birth celebration and her 16th birthday, will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die as a result.] 

Aurora's dad, the king, immediately orders all spinning wheels in the kingdom destroyed. Makes sense. The faeries' plan is to hide Aurora inside of the hollowed out tree where they live, deep in the forest. The evil sorceress has a pet crow crony that can detect magic as it is performed, so the faeries vow not to use their magic during those 16 years, to prevent discovery of their whereabouts. Makes sense, too.

Everything goes well for 15 years and 364 days, then falls apart spectacularly. On that fateful day, which is the LAST POSSIBLE DAY that anything can go wrong, the wise faeries throw all caution to the wind and decide to do some magic, and, as luck would have it, the crow learns their location and tells his mistress. The faeries spill the beans to Aurora about everything and come out of hiding to journey back to the castle, still on the last possible day that things could run amok. Upon arriving safely at the castle, Aurora, a royal that has not been seen by her family for 16 years, is left completely unattended. No welcome by her parents. No ladies in waiting. No guards at the door. You know the outcome.

The faeries are, I believe, unjustifiably glorified within the Disney realm. Their plan was severely flawed from the start, but could have been perfected with one very simple modification.

What would have been the harm in allowing Aurora to believe her birthday was actually on the following day? Everyone could have gotten another good night's rest. The faeries could have sent Aurora out to pick berries AFTER she was already 16. They could have made their trek to the castle without fear. Surely the prince and Aurora's parents would have waited just one more day in order to insure her safety. 

Of course it all works out in the end, but why tempt fate?


While we're on the subject, I also question some of the instruction given to Aurora by the faeries. Case in point - when she meets the (unbeknownst to her) prince in "the glade", Aurora refuses to give him her name. She tells him she shouldn't be talking to strangers. Then, the very next instant, she gives this person, who is only a few seconds less strange, her address and invites him over that evening to where she lives with three little old ladies. That's poor upbringing. 

Come to think of it, I think maybe a better solution from the very beginning would have been for the faerie Merryweather to bestow the gift of steel fingers upon the baby Aurora, thus negating any power once held by the sharp needle of a spinning wheel.


SMDStudio said...

I LOVE that picture! Where did you find it?

Sierra said...

That picture is so dang funny! I made Emma come in to look at it. All she said was, "Who's that girl", pointing to Alice. "She's not a princess, but I guess she's a Disney girl."