Our local high school always does a spring musical, and this year, I was delighted to see they were presenting, "The Little Mermaid". Of course, the best part is getting Lilly and Warren ramped up for the performance. We went to the library to rent the movie so Warren would get the gist of the story. (Lilly loved this movie when she was 4 years old, and she remembers every word of every song.)
They rented the costumes from a company in St. Louis -- and they were spectacular! Although, we were told in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS NO PHOTOGRAPHY -- take my word for it -- the Mermaid outfits were beautiful, and the cast was terrific.
Now a junior in high school, our very own Keegan Harry, from Princeton, was Prince Eric -- and his voice is incredible. We all believe that young man is headed to Broadway.
The best thing about a high school performance is the reasonable ticket prices. It only cost $22 for the three of us to get into the play. And, for a measly $5 extra (per kid) they each got a blue plastic trident (like a sword, with three prongs) that lit up!! During two of the songs, the youngsters were encouraged to dance in the aisle with their blinking tridents.
Everything I said is absolutely true. So -- where is the hook in this perfect bowl of shrimp? I mean, nobody does kid stuff better than Disney -- right??
After attending The Little Mermaid -- I left there thinking Lilly and I had to have a serious talk. Because the message was really kinda awful....
Here's the story (in a seashell):
Ariel is a mermaid, with a beautiful singing voice, a loving father and five sisters. In the first scene of the play, she fails to show up at a huge performance where she is the featured singer.
She is not content with her Mermaid life -- she wants to be a human.
After seeing the Prince from a distance, she falls in love with him (because he was SO HANDSOME, of course).
Ariel makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula. In exchange for her voice, she gets three days with legs. IF the handsome prince kisses her at the end of the three days, Ariel will remain a human.
Knowing this will be difficult (with no voice), Ursula tells her to use her beauty -- and her body language...
(do you see my issue?)
There ensues a lot of back-and-forth...Eric falls in love with the beautiful, mute Ariel; the evil Ursula is killed; Ariel's voice is restored and her father gives in to her desire to become a human. Ariel and Eric marry and sail off on a ship to live happily ever after.
SO -- to sum it up: The heroine of this story is NOT HAPPY with her body. She refuses to listen to her father, and even fails to show up at a performance where she is the star. She falls in love with a man just because he is handsome. Despite the fact that they never have even one worthwhile conversation -- he is smitten by her beauty and "body language"...and, at the end of the story, she gets everything she wants.
And, of course, the evil sea witch -- Ursula -- is FAT!!
So, I guess I'm gonna go on record as THE ONLY GRANDMA IN AMERICA who has a problem with The Little Mermaid.
Really. And then we wonder why our little girls have body image problems??