While true love generally triumphs in Disney films, be it between a man and a woman or anthropomorphic fox and lady fox, the meet-cute of characters on the other hand can range from wildly romantic to straight up kidnappings. In an attempt to parse the weird world of Disney dating ,and perhaps shed some light on what effect our favorite childhood films have had on our present day relations, The Magpie presents a series analyzing the first dates of some beloved characters. This is Disney First Dates part 1:
The Date: The first date in Aladdin is actually one of the better ones, if you ignore that it’s entirely predicated on lies. On the date Aladdin takes Jasmine on a non-euphemism magic carpet ride as he sings to her about showing her the world, at this point Jasmine believes Aladdin to be prince Ali (fabulous he) and not a plucky street rat. They laugh, they sing, they kiss, it’s all very romantic. Jasmine asks if Aladdin is actually the commoner she saw earlier in the week in the market, he makes a bunch of stuff up and they make out some.
’s a little odd that they’re riding on Aladdin’s carpet, which is alive and can think. It’s like forcing your friend to drive you and your date around town but not say anything or look at you, then standing on their back as you fool around. In fact, with the exception that they’re flying through the air, the entire date is pretty much just the magical arabian version of 1950‘s-style driving up to lookout point for a jibber.
The Message: I suppose from a male point of view the message is to lie and pretend your a big shot in front of women. At the very least this is a pro-lying to women movie, oh and don’t bring Robin Willams along as a wingman in any form.
From Jasmine’s point of view I guess the message is don’t trust your instincts, trust whatever the rich flying man tells you to believe. You can’t really blame her though, he’s got the monkeys.
Beauty and The Beast
The Date: After being kidnapped, imprisoned, and starved by an abusive beast-man Belle agrees to have dinner with him after seeing his wicked awesome wolf-fighting abilities. During the dinner she mostly talks about how she misses her father as a result of being a prisoner, and he changes the subject by doing magic tricks with mirrors, essentially.
After the dinner the Beast reluctantly decides to release her, and gives her a gift. Belle leaves but quickly returns out of love and/or Stockholm Syndrome. It’s a awkward but heartfelt first date, with the elephants in the room being that Belle is there against her will and that he is a eight foot tall hairy monster.
The Message: He’s not bad he’s just misunderstood, forgive and forget abusive relationships, women like hairy guys. There’s a lot of messages in Beauty and the Beast, all of them are terrible and shouldn’t be heeded by anyone. If this is your favorite Disney movie there is a good chance you have emotional problems, or at least a thoroughly dog eared Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy near your bedside.
The Date: Mulan doesn’t feature a traditional first date per sé, but instead it’s more of a sexual tense montage of Mulan and her male superior officer Li Shang growing closer while training for war. In an ever escalating series of challenges Mulan and Li Shang spar while looking at each other intensely. For Mulan it’s a exciting time of breaking out of her gender barriers and also finding love, for Li Shang it is an intensely confusing period in his life.
Since Mulan is under the guise of a man, Li Shang is most likely perpetually questioning whether he’s gay or not. While this is no doubt a time of introspection for Li Shang, it’s not as big of a deal as we may think from a western judeo-christian viewpoint. Homosexuality was actually allowed and even promoted in ancient China, meaning that if anything Li Shang is probably bummed out when it’s revealed that Mulan is actually a woman.
The Message: Love knows no bounds? I don’t know… lie to your gay future husband I guess.