As a girl I wanted Jasmine’s tiger, Pocahontas’s raccoon, and Ariel’s sassy gay crab friend. It wasn’t until I started thinking about how each Disney princess has a familiar that I realized, so do the men.
Most princes have a horse or perhaps a magic carpet or reindeer. This friend also provides transportation to the princess and often serves to remove her from her “world” and fight off the evil witch. Think of Prince Phillip and his steed gazing upon Briar Rose in one scene and battling Maleficent in another. Frozen and Tangled also use hoof power to achieve the princess’s goals much like my first boyfriend’s van got me out of my house on a Friday night. Disney downplays this patriarchal display of power by making the horse a charming extension of the prince’s silliness. The pony often wins her heart first.
Next we have man’s best friend. It’s Pongo whose need to mount Perdita that leads to his owner’s marriage and Eric’s sheepdog Max finds a now DTF human Ariel on the beach. They are like the OKCupid of the Disney animal kingdom. In both of these examples the woman also moves in with the man, whereas horses mean adventure dogs mean a man looking for long-term commitment.
Monkeys are reserved for men who live as outsiders. Aladdin and Tarzan each require their ladies to accept them fully as they are which is in conflict with their station in life. Jasmine should really ruling the kingdom that her mentally deficient Father has left in the hands of a man who can stand Gilbert Godfrey’s voice. Instead it’s all I can show you the world, fuck responsibility. Jane trades her corsets and tea sets for a family of apes. Do you really need to teach him English or just let your bodies talk? The men who have monkeys long for human connection.
So what does this teach a young girl? Find a man who can take you where you need to go, calls to your sexuality, and doesn’t lie about where they came from.
(number 32 on the pagan blog project week 25)