1. notleia says:

    Fairy tales often have inescapable creepy subtext. No matter how you try to spin it, Beauty and the Beast reads like glorification of Stockholm Syndrome. I still like it because I think it has great things to say about the power of kindness and lurrrrve, but that doesn’t make the situation of “Imma isolate you till you love me” any less super-duper creepy at all. Nothing can really be done to make Sleeping Beauty any less functionally identical to a shiny rock. How’s that for existential nihilism, if your existence can be easily replaced with a shiny rock?

    We’re kinda stuck with it, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept it uncritically. Trying to make the good justify the existence of the creepy is pretty creepy itself.

  2. Perhaps the original fairy tale can be creepy — you did not also mention the recently infamous stepsisters cutting off toes to fit their feet into the glass slipper, etc. — but that doesn’t explain or excuse this most recent mind-of-metal-and-wheels criticism of the recent film version of Cinderella.

  3. notleia says:

    I haven’t seen the recent movie, but the recurring complaint about traditional fairy tale princesses like Cinderella is that they’re hella passive characters. Most of them don’t do shizz; they wait around until fate drops a prince in their laps (which is a really backhanded way of motivating people to be good, isn’t it), or at least does all the work to pave a red-carpeted road to one. And the prince-dropping-process is apparently the only interesting thing to happen to them, since we hear fudge-all about anything else in their lives. They’re hella static characters, too. They don’t change, they don’t learn lessons, they don’t grow.
    Maybe Brannagh brought some of that in: at least he made an effort for the romantic pairing to develop some chemistry, from what I’ve seen of the trailers (“You can’t marry a man you just met,” amiright?). But when you really get down to it, Cinderella is about the universe deciding that the nice, pretty girl should be rewarded with an upper-class hottie. That’s worth questioning.

  4. Martin LaBar says:

    Perhaps the most important line in the film was Cinderella’s “I forgive you,” to her wicked stepmother.

  5. Cody says:

    In “Pride and Prejudice” the problems of two of the main characters are also solved by marrying wealthy men. (Of course that story has certain moral advantages over “Cinderella” mainly being about learning to be self aware than about simply improving your situation.) I would never wish to encourage people to think that getting married will solve all their problems (it is more likely to create them) and I would never wish to return to a society where women couldn’t earn their own money. But there may have been times when that really was the only option for some people.

    Also, for whatever it is worth, I, a boy, could be and am a pretty passive person. It isn’t necessarily the best character trait in some situations but passive people exist and it doesn’t seem fair to me that they should never have characters to whom they can relate.

What do you think?