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Art by Yasmeen El-Jayoussi

Top ten Disney unanswered questions

Art by Yasmeen El-Jayoussi
Art by Yasmeen El-Jayoussi

When I was a younger, I worshiped the man known as Walt Disney. Walt Disney could solve all my problems with any of his films. I grew up yearning to be a princess and was constantly on the lookout for my prince.

For four straight Halloweens, I dressed up as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and at least once a week I forced my family into a game of Disney Trivial Pursuit, in which I won each time. While I trudged through the depths of middle school and experienced high school, my Disney obsession eventually fell through.

However, on a night when I had nothing to do, my sisters and I rediscovered our Disney collection. While watching the movies, instead of thinking about how charming and enchanting the stories were, I couldn’t help but wonder about certain flaws that didn’t seem logical. And so, I present unto you, the top 10 unanswered Disney questions.

10. Does Aladdin take place in the future? (Aladdin)

I recently discovered that there is fan theory that Aladdin is actually post-apocalyptic. Although at first it seemed crazy, because I always initially believed that Aladdin took place in the past, it does make some kind of sense.

What if the magic carpet were just an invention created in the future, and what if Agrabah was some sort of fusion between the Middle East and India? Genie also states he’s been locked away in his lamp for the past 10,000 years, but he imitates supposed dead people such as Jack Nicholson and Groucho Marx, which means that they’re dead.

9. Did Boo’s parents think she was kidnapped? (Monster’s Inc.)

In Monster’s Inc., in Monstropolis, the monsters receive their energy from the cries and terrifying screams of young children, which they can come into contact with through the children’s closet doors, which are used as portals. Basically, one of the bad monsters tries to fit in extra “scare hours” and ends up letting a child loose into their world. The child spends the rest of the majority of the movie in Monstropolis.

While it may not have mattered much to me as a seven year-old when I first saw the movie in the theaters, looking back, I couldn’t help but wonder about Boo’s parents. In the movie, Boo was in Monstropolis for several days. How do parents not realize their two-year-old daughter is missing for several days? And even if Boo’s parents did realize she was missing, it would only make sense that when Sully returned Boo to her room at the end of the movie, there would be police officers present investigating the scene. Am I right?

8. Why wasn’t Maleficent invited to Aurora’s party? (Sleeping Beauty)

The whole conflict in Sleeping Beauty stems from the fact that Maleficent the wicked fairy was offended that the king and queen did not invite her to the christening of Aurora. During the gathering, Maleficent’s intrusion is followed by sarcastic remarks about how gracious she is that the king and queen left her out and then she curses Aurora that while she will indeed be beautiful and graceful, before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die.

Now, I understand that inviting the town’s wicked fairy to the christening of your first daughter (who happens to be the princess) may be a downer, but it seems to me that all Maleficent wanted was to not be left out. Maybe if she was invited, there would be no death curse on Aurora.

7. What happened to Prince Ali’s people? (Aladdin)

Aladdin asked Genie to be made a prince, but not to look like a prince. So naturally, when Prince Ali made his big arrival in Agrabah, he was accompanied by citizens from his newfound country. But what happened  to them? Did they go back to their new country? Not a dire question, but still, something to consider.

6. How did Pocahontas understand John Smith? (Pocahontas)

Growing up, I believed that the love story between John Smith and Pocahontas was timeless. I admired their forbidden love and their secret affairs. I was so in love with the story that I had to read Pocahontas’ biography in fourth grade after being informed that Pocahontas was, in fact, an actual person. After recently discovering that Pocahontas was available on Netflix, I immediately knew what to do with my Saturday afternoon.

Now, watching Disney films when you’re five and watching Disney films when you’re 18 are two quite different experiences. While I used to be captivated by John Smith and Pocahontas’ forbidden love when I was younger, this time I couldn’t help but wonder how Pocahontas and John Smith were able to communicate with each other.

In the movie, when John Smith first approaches Pocahontas, she can not understand him and is speaking a different dialect. However, after a few moments and a warm embrace, she can suddenly speak English. Now, while some Disney producers may try to defend this good old Disney magic by saying that it was the wind that surrounded the couple during their first embrace that gave her the ability to speak English, that still doesn’t explain the rest of her tribe.  If Pocahontas had a foreign dialect then obviously the rest of tribe does as well. Yet, when both sides gear up to fight, no one has any problem understanding anyone. Puzzling.

5. What was the magical rose’s initial purpose?  (Beauty and the Beast)

In the beginning of Beauty and the Beast, an enchantress disguised as an old beggar approaches the castle of the Beast, who, at the time, was still Prince Adam. She offers him the rose in exchange for shelter. When the selfish prince rudely turns the beggar away, she transforms the prince into a hideous beast, along with transforming his people of the castle.

The Beast is left with the newly enchanted rose and must have someone fall in love with him by the time the last petal falls on his 21st birthday. This movie is spectacular, but the motive behind the enchantress’ arrival at the castle seems like a sociological experiment. If the prince were to let the beggar woman into his castle, would the rose he received be magical? Was the rose just a plain rose until she decided to curse the prince? Did she know that the prince would turn her down, and she just picked an item she knew he would reject? The number of questions concerning this topic seem infinite.

4. How does having someone climb up your hair not hurt? (Tangled)

As young, sometimes fiesty, girls, when my sister and I were mad at each other, we would pull each other’s hair. And it would hurt. So, my only question for Rapunzel is, how does it not hurt if a guy climbs up a 73 foot tower, using only your hair as rope?

3. How are glass slippers a real thing? (Cinderella)

Everyone knows about Cinderella’s famous glass slippers. When Cinderella’s wicked stepmother locks her away the night of Prince Charming’s ball, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother grants her wish with a beautiful carriage, dress and glass slippers. My only question is, how are glass slippers a real, believable thing?

It’s obviously not a sturdy slipper, since it easily shatters after being dropped by the Duke at the end of the movie. My skepticism may stem from the fact that I badly injured my foot by stepping on glass when I was eight years old, but it’s just hard for me to believe that someone is able to dance all night and then hurriedly flee down a flight of stairs without breaking the delicate glass or leaving the night with an insane amount of painful blisters.

2. Why are spells always broken by true love’s first kiss? (Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid)

In most cases, the curse that the protagonists of every Disney story get sacked with is the result of an evil being off their rockers, crazy with revenge. In The Little Mermaid, if Ariel didn’t kiss Eric in three days time, she would no longer be human and belong to the evil sea witch Ursula for the rest of her life. In Snow White, the evil queen poisoned Snow White with an apple, putting Snow White to an eternal sleep, only to be awoken by true love’s first kiss. Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty: the conflict is always solved by true love’s first kiss. As a villain, if you are wanting to do away with a person, why would your curse give the person an opportunity to awake and live happily ever after?

It doesn’t make sense to me.

1. How do princesses fall in love so quickly?

I think the reason that I was so obsessed with Disney movies when I was little was because I was so convinced that I would grow up to be just like every princess I’ve ever seen in a movie. They fell in love so quickly and so easily that it seemed flawless and perfect. My eight year old-self yearned for a fairy-tale adventure and a Prince Charming. While Disney’s purpose may be to enchant little children and families, little girls mistakenly grow up to believe that fairy tales are actually realistic. While I still adore Disney films and find them to be beautiful stories, girls should not have it engraved into their minds that love and a happily ever after happen after a matter of hours or days.

By Jacqueline LeBlanc

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