Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why I Hate Sleeping Beauty

I hate Sleeping Beauty. Hate it with a passion. Maybe it's because I've had to watch it about 7 times in the last few weeks, but the plot....well, it leaves something to be desired.

The movie opens at the birth of Aurora. Happy, happy day. And these parents choose this day, the day they know an evil witch will most likely be on the hunt to ruin their happiness (remember, they didn't invite her?) to do something really subtle. You know, thousands of people waving flags, screaming high C's in a song that INCLUDES THE GIRL'S NAME, the usual. Seriously, why don't they just hang up a big banner that says, "HEY, MILLEFICENT! COME ON OVER AND DO SOMETHING EVIL!"

And of course she obliges, in the middle of a wish-giving session. Which brings up, who exactly sets the rules for magic here? Is there some authority? Only one wish per little witch, can't undo the curse but can change it, only bring joy and happiness? As the crabby little blue one says, destroying Millifecent would bring her some pretty serious joy and happiness. Sounds like a reasonable loophole to me. No go, though.

Which brings me to the overly specific and complicated spells. For some reason, Millificent doesn't just kill the baby right there. Probably because killing babies in a Disney movie wouldn't fly. But really, did it have to be that complicated? Wait until she's 16? Prick specifically her finger on specifically a spinning wheel? Because that's not at all easy to get around by destroying all the spinning wheels. Seriously, Millificent, why don't you just invite everyone to your volcano lair where you'll unveil all the details your plan before you destroy them all? But I'm getting ahead of myself.

So, the witch shows up and everyone's like, "O noes! You mean you're not mad?" Of course she's mad, idiots. She's an evil witch.

And the little witches come up with a truly brilliant plan to hide a baby in a cottage in the woods. Because a baby with three old ladies who suddenly moves into some deserted cottage in the woods wouldn't draw any attention.

Fast-forward 16 years. Now, we're missing a lot of what happened in between, and Disney tries to rectify this by cramming everything that could have gone wrong during those 16 years into ONE DAY, the day of her birthday. Because of course, for the entire 15 years and 364 days leading up to this everyone was on high alert and all was peachy keen, but on the last day they actually have to keep their schmidt together, everyone engages in massive group FAIL.

First, the little witches. I am supposed to believe that this is the very first time they were EVER tempted to use magic? Didn't they raise a baby? I mean, she's a princess and all, but there are still blowouts, colic, and tantrums. And potty training. Good God, I don't know a single parent who wouldn't want a little magic for that. But they're stymied by a CAKE and a DRESS? They've really never done either of those things before? What did they do on the other 15 birthdays, play with rocks and sticks while she wore a potato sack? And then, of course, they send her out by herself on the day Milleficent will be the most desperate with a "LALALALA and don't talk to strangers!" Yeah, I'm sure that'll work.

And Milleficent. You disappoint me. Up until now, you were at least a head above the others, in spite of it all. But NOW you figure out that your minions have been looking for a baby the whole time? You didn't think to ask maybe once in the last 15 years how their search was going for a toddler? A 5 year old? A 10 year old? Consider me let down by your poor management of minions. At least the crow is on the job now (a crow, I might add, that is eventually turned into a statue by Little Crabby Witch, in spite of the whole "only bring joy" thing from earlier. But I digress).

Let's take a look at the parents. Who knows where Mom is. Probably frantically cleaning or doing her hair. Having your daughter taken away by fairies as a newborn has got to do a trip on your head. She's probably popping pills. But Dad....hoo, boy. Your daughter has been missing for 16 years. You're about to see her again for the first time in that long. Not to mention that an evil witch is after her and, as I mentioned, I would deduce that she's getting desperate. So what do you do? What's that? Get drunk with your buddy while singing some stupid drinking song that includes a word no one actually uses or understands? Ding, ding! Way to go, Dad. And Disney. As you learned from Dumbo, drunk idiots in a children's film are never not funny.

So then, the little witches smuggle Briar Rose to the castle BEFORE sundown. Because that's not inviting trouble. And then they're all like, "Let's leave her by herself! Nothing bad will happen!" How do you people manage to walk around without padding? And we trust you with magic?

Of COURSE Milleficent gets her. All you idiots really dropped the ball. And it was THE LAST DAY you had to pull off your cunning little plan. I think she's better off sleeping off the rest of her life if waking up means dealing with all of you.

So, there she is, waiting for the prince in a coma. And of course, her hair is perfect. The three little idiots come up with a plan that actually might work....rescue the prince, point him in the right direction, and tell him to go to there. And they give him weapons because, although they can't change spells, they can conjure weapons out of thin air. Magic Rules, section 105b.

And then we find out something that really makes me mad. Milleficent can turn into A FREAKING DRAGON. Wouldn't this have come in handy sooner? I mean, perhaps she could get her lazy rear out of her castle and do a couple fly-overs instead of depending on pig minions? Maybe she could have just torched the castle and all the inhabitants at the very beginning instead of waiting 16 YEARS? The stupid. It burns.

But not as much as the fact that, in spite of being a witch AND a dragon, she is, apparently able to be destroyed by a sword that THE FAIRIES MUST HAVE HAD THE ENTIRE TIME. Are they too small to lift it? Needed to give it to a human first? Who knows! THEY'RE FREAKING MAGIC, PEOPLE, AND MAGIC HAS RULES!

Anyway, Briar Rose wakes up as Aurora, marries the prince, and dances happily among the idiots, no doubt ignorant of the fact that she should have been destroyed as a baby or in the intervening years if everyone had their crap together, and that it was through sheer luck and MAGIC RULES that she is even currently living at all.

Probably better if she doesn't know.


Ruth and Bryce said...

You could teach a sociology/psychology class that uses Disney movies as research! Great job, Kate! You have inspired me to write about why I hate The Little Mermaid. There is nothing to like about kthat movie except the music. I love your new posts, keep them coming.

Kate said...

Thanks, Ruth! So many of the Disney movies get a bad rep for the whole princess thing, but this one in particular drives me nuts because it's a BAD, RIDICULOUS PLOT. You could drive a truck through the holes and the suspension of disbelief requires a pretty long tightrope. Glad you enjoyed.....I had to watch it this afternoon and guess I just had to get that out. : )

Devin Higgins said...

That's why I prefer 101 Dalmatians any day. Cruella DeVille maybe PETA's worst nightmare, but at least she's there's no princesses and magic spells to sort through.