The Little Mermaid: why I’m no longer cool with one of my favorite childhood movies 

 

Okay, you may think I’m a little crazy after reading this [if you didn’t already], but hear me out…

As a parent, you are faced with many things to worry about. Most things you will worry about, and some you won’t. It’s going to depend on the type of person you are, the type of parent you are, the things you worried about pre-children, etc. For example, I have never worried much about germs pre-Maggie, and I’m still not much of a germaphobe even though I have a fourteen month old. Maybe I should be? I mean, I wash Maggie’s hands, and bathe her of course. [I’m not a total wacko.] But I’m not going to have a fit if Maggie eats something off our kitchen floor, or her cousins dog licks her face, or she’s playing with someone who has a runny nose. I don’t know why, but germs don’t really bother me much. And I’m not trying to say, “Look at me! I’m great! I’m so laid back!” Because there are plenty of things I am not laid back about, don’t you worry.

Another example, television. I know the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under two, but…are you kidding me? Two years is a while to not see TV — and not just the TV, but iPhones, iPads, etc. I’m not sure about your kid, but I’m pretty sure mine came out pre-programmed to understand how an iPhone works. Seriously, the day she was born, she FaceTimed her aunt and uncle in California by herself.

It’s not like we plopped Maggie down in front of the TV and put shows on for her since she was born. We did wait quite a while, but slowly decided to introduce some shows and a couple of movies here and there. TV time is saved for when Maggie needs to just wind down and relax, or for when I’m finishing up cooking dinner and the like. For TV shows, Maggie watches Sesame Street or Dora the Explorer. She loves both! For movies, she watches Rio 2 — the music is great in it, and the message is strong and meaningful [follows a flock of birds on their journey to the Amazon — teaches us about love, friendship, and important lessons about conservation — all the while keeping us laughing the whole way.]

So, the other day, I decided it was time to introduce Maggie to a new movie — since Colin and I have been reciting the lines of Rio 2 to each other way more than we should be. [See you back at home, my tasty mango!] Anyway, I decided on The Little Mermaid. I absolutely LOVED The Little Mermaid when I was a little girl. It was tied with Cinderella for my favorite Disney movie. I knew all the words, and sang all the songs in the car with my mom on my cassette tape. I thought, yea Maggie will be into this — good music, colorful characters — it’ll be a win.

I’m here to tell you, it was a big LOSE for me. Rewatching movies from your childhood as an adult is a strange thing. Adult Colleen, mother Colleen, doesn’t really like The Little Mermaid. It has a terrible, ridiculous message. Let me break it down for you.

Mermaid sees hottie.

Mermaid automatically decides, “Yes, I am in love with said hottie.

Mermaid lives in ocean with father, sisters, and friends.

Mermaid doesn’t want to live in ocean with father, sister, and friends anymore.

Mermaid doesn’t even want to be a mermaid anymore!

Mermaid wants to be a human to impress hottie.

Mermaid makes a deal with the devil [Ursula].

Mermaid gives up her voice — so she can no longer sing beautifully anymore, let alone SPEAK because she gave up her voice so she could be human so she could make the hottie fall in love with her.

Mermaid gets to shore, meets up with hottie/prince and realizes “Wow I have no voice, I cannot communicate with hottie. Good thing I have beautiful red hair, puppy dog eyes, and a nice rack. Because when you have that triple threat, who needs a voice! Amirite??”

Hottie is set to marry another woman in like a day, and mermaid needs to break that ish up so she can marry him. Because, the deal with the devil/Ursula.

Blah, blah, blah, other things happen, blah, blah, blah…

*Spoiler alert*

The mermaid and hottie/prince get married, she gets her voice back, and Ursula dies.

The mermaid makes a deal with the devil and comes out unscathed.

The mermaid gives up her father, sisters, friends, and her home [the ocean] like *that* because of a guy she has the hots for that she hardly even knows.

Yes they “fall in love” and live “happily ever after”, but don’t tell me for one second Ariel and Eric don’t fight over his father-in-law King Triton causing a stink because he lost his baby girl mermaid to a human, or the fact that Eric’s ex-fiance was a total bitch. Why did Ariel need to give up everything to find love on land? Aren’t there — dare I say it — plenty of fish in the sea?

Okay, back to a more serious note. I know this is just another Disney princess movie, but really — what kind of message is this sending to our kids? Keep quiet and look beautiful and you’ll get what you want? The guy? Is that what they should be striving for? Give up everything when you find the man you think you love, so that he’ll marry you? Forget about your family and friends? It just doesn’t sit well with my adult self, and I don’t really want Maggie to watch it. I know it may not mean much to her right now at fourteen months, but if you watch something enough over the years — and you know kids with movies, they could watch the same movie a million times and not get sick of it — some of those messages seep into your brain, your self-esteem, your emotions. I don’t mind TV and movies and screen time here and there at all — but I do mind what Maggie watches, and I want to be careful with what I expose her to at such an early age.

Now, I really do not mean to offend you by any means. If you are a parent who has a son or daughter who loves The Little Mermaid — it is okay. I am picking on this movie, I am not picking on you. If you don’t obsess over it like I have, or over think it — yea this is a super cute movie with great music and colorful characters. I don’t blame people for loving it! And yes, I’m sure they could be watching a LOT worse shows and movies out there. I would just like to urge us all to continue to be mindful of what we are putting in front of our children.

I know you may be thinking “lighten up, it’s just a movie!“…but like I said, while some people get worked up about germs and their baby — I don’t [really]. Similarly, someone may not get worked up about what their kids watch on TV, but I do. I’ve always been really interested in women in the media — how they are portrayed on screen. I love the magic of television and movies. I love powerful, smart female characters. I am incredibly proud to be a mother of a little girl, and I hope I can show Maggie what it means to be a confident, smart, kind, do-anything type of woman. That’s my mission, and I’m sorry Ariel, but you don’t really fit into that.

What kids show or movies are you not into for your child? 

What is something you worry about as a parent? 

Movies & Music

I love movies, I love music and I love lists. So, here is a top ten list of some amazing songs from some movies: (Without repeating any from the last music list…)

1. “Joy to the World” Three Dog Night, from The Big Chill

2. “Jump Around” House of Pain, from Mrs. Doubtfire

3.  Both of these count as 1 entry – “Oh Maria” and “Joyful, Joyful” from Sister Act 1 & 2

4. “Loverboy” Silvia & Mickey, from Dirty Dancing

5. “Jump in the Line [Shake Senora]” Harry Belafonte, Beetlejuice

6. “You’re My Best Friend” Queen, The Breakup

7. “Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta” Geto Boys, from Office Space

8. “Twist and Shout” The Beatles, from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

9. “The Babysitting Blues” Elizabeth Shue, from Adventures in Babysitting

10. “Blinded by the Light” Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, from Blow

There are a million other great ones. I keep thinking of more, but I’ll control myself and keep it to 10.

What’s one song you love & every time you hear it, it reminds you of a certain movie?

5 Must-See Summer Movies

{Thanks Oscartini! I personally cannot wait to see Eclipse when I get back from Ireland! PS – A very very very happy birthday to one of my best friends in the world, Miss. Christine aka Salt. Love you! Can’t wait to celebrate when I’m back! Enjoy your day :)}

With the mercury hovering in the 80’s and 90’s and another hot, humid summer set to take over Boston, what activity is the perfect blend of popcorn, entertainment and air conditioner? A movie, of course! Seeing as I blog about all things movies over at Oscartini, I was psyched when Colleen asked if I would share my top summer movies while she’s living it up in Ireland!

So now without further ado, here are the 5 must-see summer movies of 2010. *Disclaimer: this list is by no means definitive and could indeed not be *your* cup of tea J

First up is Going the Distance, starring real-life on and off again couple Drew Barrymore and Justine Long (AKA the Mac Guy). Out on August 27, this romcom looks at the long-distance relationship between Drew’s character Erin and Justin’s Garrett, complete with its ups and downs. If the trailer is any indication, expect to laugh and cry in this late summer arrival!

Next up is a movie I know many people (ok, mostly women!) are psyched to see: Eclipse. The third movie in the Twilight Saga is out June 30, and unless you’ve been living under a rock the last 2 years, you know what Team Edward and Team Jacob mean! From what I’ve seen, this is a movie for boyfriends too, with a lot of vampire and wolf battle action sure to please everyone

Eat, Pray, Love, starring the always-wonderful Julia Roberts is out on August 13 and directed by Glee creator Ryan Murphy. Based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir of the same name, Eat Pray, Love promised to deliver some seriously awesome settings, with portions of the movie taking place in Italy, Indonesia and India. This is Julia’s first starring role since last year’s Duplicity, which didn’t do very well; I anticipate this will be a big hit this August!

Directed by The Dark Knight’s Christopher Nolan and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception looks like this summer’s biggest thriller.  Out on July 16, word on the street is that this is one movie that you will really need to pay attention to, or else you’ll get lost, which doesn’t always make the best summer movie! IMDB’s synopsis on Inception is: “In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a single idea within one’s mind can be the most dangerous weapon or the most valuable asset.” Sounds cool, right?

And now, the absolute must-see movie of the summer is…Toy Story 3! Out since June 18th, Woody and Buzz’s third and final installment has been at the top of the box office and has been receiving great reviews from audiences and critics, with some early Oscar buzz too! Andy’s toys are donated to a daycare center when Andy goes off to college; expect to see lots of new characters and an awesome big screen experience for all ages!

So there you have it Daily Craic readers, my top picks for this summer’s best movies! Do you agree or disagree with any of these picks? Which movies are you looking most forward to seeing this summer?