Defending Disney Part Two: The Little Mermaid

defendingdisney

Author’s Note

I need to say a few things about Defending Disney Part One: I personally don’t think it was my best piece of work. Not after reading comments (because, come on, not all of them were negative to begin with), but pretty much since I pressed ‘submit for review’ I was on the fence about it. It wasn’t researched very well and the arguments weren’t very good. I’m glad that some of you lovely ladies seemed to have liked it, but I do feel the need to say that the article was written quite some time ago, and my feelings towards a majority of those Disney princesses have changed. In short, I’m starting to agree with the ‘offenders’ these days, but that doesn’t mean I’m letting negative views ruin my fun when watching the movies. Every story does have a basic moral to it that the intended audience can grasp fairly easily (ex. Beauty and the Beast- don’t judge someone based on their appearance). And honestly, I work with a multitude of children day and night and watch them grow up as the years go on: none of them seemed to be all that ruined by the ‘subtext’ of any Walt Disney film to begin with.

Someone did mention that Disney didn’t even come up with these stories to begin with, that they just took folk tales and books and turned them into 90 minute movies, which is certainly something to take into consideration when forming an opinion. It is also important to remember that Disney didn’t go word-for-word on said fairytales, and the way they portray the story differs from the way that the original author intended it to be.

All of that being said, there is one princess I will probably defend to the death, because this movie alone definitely taught me things that make me who I am today. What I learned when I was five, what I learned re-watching it at seventeen, and all the years in between, all components of the person I call ‘me’. So without further rambling, I give you the actual article:

ariel31

Defending Ariel

” Why is Ariel on your list of inspiration people? She was stubborn, irresponsible, selfish, and put her entire kingdom in danger. Not to mention she basically gave up her ability to speak and voice an option for a boy.”

These are all very valid points. However, I feel like all of these things really do tie into a positive manner that we can all relate to. (This point I will discuss later)

Now, obviously this post was brought up after I received inquires about my new red tresses, but I’ve been meaning to defend Ariel as a role model for quite some time. One thing you absolutely have to understand was she was always my favorite disney princess, since I was old enough to comprehend what a princess was. Literally, I stood in front of the tv, and when she moved her hand, I moved my hand. When she sang, I sang. On cue. Every day. So these points I’m about to make are clearly biased to an extreme extent. Then again, all we’re really talking about is whether or not she’s a good role model, a concept which is based on opinion alone, and all opinions are biased. I’m not going to get into the logistics of it.

The predominant reason I find Ariel to be just an outstanding person that she has a dream and she goes for it. She doesn’t dilly dally, she doesn’t ‘go with the flow” and wait to see what happens, she doesn’t wait for the opportunity to come to her. She sees something that she wants, and she goes out to get it. It doesn’t matter if we, the audience, think her dream is stupid, if Sebastian and her father is consistently trying to deter her, she goes for it. And she not only did she have to go out way out of her comfort zone (have you seen Ursula’s Cove? SKETCHY), but she also had to break boundaries and take a huge risk  in order to achieve what she had set out to do.

And I feel like that’s something a lot of us don’t do. We want to be risky, but we also don’t want to get hurt. We want to take the chance, but we don’t want to face the consequence if things don’t turn our way. We want to break boundaries, but it’s hard with everyone bringing us down. So we wind up complacent and stagnant and waiting for an opportunity. Ariel didn’t do that, she made the opportunity for herself, she took the chance, and she faced the consequences when things didn’t turn out the way she had planned.

Another small thing I really love about Ariel is her pursuit of knowledge and understanding of a culture that is different from her own, that contradicts her father’s beliefs and what he had taught her. I feel like this is, on a small scale, a demonstration that she does have a mind of her own and will not settle for hearsay before forming an opinion.

Lastly, and this is the part that I had mentioned in the beginning, she may very well have been stubborn. She very well may have bee irresponsible and selfish. And her actions very well may have put her entire kingdom into danger. This is clearly extreme Disney dramatization, because what’s a plot without a little conflict? And while all of these things appear to be negative, they have only taught me one thing: It’s okay to make mistakes and it’s okay to have flaws. When we’re young, we idealize these princesses and when we get older we become cynical and point out their flaws because they’re not as perfect as we thought they were. And then we stop liking them because they’re people too (in a sense).

We do this with real life people all the time. We make friends, we find about about a few seedy things they may have said and done, and then we’re not as close to them, or we’re slightly off put. So it really doesn’t come as a surprise to me that we do this with fictional characters as well. But the point being that Ariel had some flaws and made some poor choices, big whoop.

And while giving up her voice for a pair of leg is very well indeed one of those poor choices, I think it paints a pretty realistic picture. You have to sacrifice things to get what you want. However, when I was just a little girl, who was being ‘ruined’ with all this ‘disney subtext’ by being told by this movie my opinion doesn’t matter,  I always thought that the reasoning behind Ariel sacrificing her voice was not to illustrate that she has nothing of importance to say, but that actions speak louder then words and talk is cheap, so Ariel was unable to win him with words and talk her way into Eric’s heart, rather she had to show him that she was something special. An when I was seventeen, watching it yet again, I noticed that the movie’s villian was the one who openly endorsed the idea that ladies should be seen and not heard, and we’re not supposed to agree with the movie’s villian. 
And if he was smart enough to see how fantastic she is, awesome. If he didn’t, then she probably wouldn’t want to be with him in the long run anyway. Who wants to be with someone that doesn’t notice how amazing you are? Exactly.

Granted, if she doesn’t get him to fall in love with here in a mere three days she turns to some shrub in Ursula’s cove, but the chances of some little girl being in that situation is slim, said little girl will have a choice a to whether or not to pursue a relationship with someone that won’t possibly end in her turning into a sea plant or whatever.

And Eric didn’t fall in love with her at first. He fell in love with her voice. Hence he was easily tricked and put under a spell by Ursula/Vanessa, because he was too busy trying to find the girl with the girl with the voice instead of realizing what a prize he had right in front of him.

I would hope that we are at a stage in life where we have an understanding of things that should and shouldn’t be given up in that circumstance and don’t make life descisions based directly from the plot of Disney’s  Little Mermaid, but I do think there are quite a few wonderful things that she can teach girls of all generations.

1980s Toy Box: Poochie by Mattel

It’s time again for another of those absolutely pointless posts that allow me to relish in the visual deliciousness of popular icons from my childhood.

I’m planning a whole slew of updated posts filled with nonsense information about the adorable icons of our past. If you lived in the 80s as a kid you’ll probably enjoy it as well.

Our first feature is Poochie. I had the cartoons and stationary.. it makes my heart go to a special place when I see things I loved as a child. Everything is colorful, cute and so very magical. I love feeling like that. Like anything is possible!

How does your childhood nostalgia make you feel?

Who is Poochie?

poochie

In the early 1980s Poochie was introduced by Mattel. She’s the cute poodle with hot pink hair and purple sunglasses who worked as an advice columnist whenever her owner was away. Sounds like an early blogger with a flare for fashion to me~

Although she was once very popular in North America she had her greatest marketing success in Italy and other parts of Europe. It’s very common to see Poochie items and ad prints in Italian!

Poochie, is it really you?
Sitting at the top knowing what to do
Poochie, now I understand–
how you’re always there with a helping hand.

Oh boy, it’s not so far away
I know you’ll be there come one day

Poochie is it really you…

Poochie Television Special

Poochie Commercials

Recycle and Upcycle Happy Meal Toys

Eh, so sometimes when my husband and I are running late or feeling really nasty we’ll grab happy meals — mainly just when the toys are cute… but what the hell do you do with the little plastic toys after you eat your meal?

Make something out of them!

My plan was to attach gems and glitter all over my lovely ponies and headbands with sweet unicorn emblems. Every headband is on it’s way to a special home for fun and whimsy instead of being chewed up in Wanwan’s bed or thrown in the garbage. 😉 Perhaps soon we’ll do some more silly DIY with all the plastic junk we always come across! ha

(go ahead and keep the box too for silly gifts to friends — haha)

Show me the plastic flash

Unconditional Kisses

Eating the food is like eating the box

You want dis?

Photos by Benjamin Amick <3 Dress: Manoush; Headband: DIY; Shoes: Russe & Rilakuma

Miseducated Inspired Love


Ariel: The Forest

Behind the Bunny with Jessica Borutski

One upon a time the wonderful world of Jessica Borutski visited me through my tv set while I was enjoying one of my favorite past-times, watching independent toons! Imagine my amazement when everything that I love in a cartoon danced across the screen in a delicious display of cuteness, gloom and perfect electronic music. Did I mention LOLLIPOPS? I know you want to know that sweet girl behind the bunny (or panda!)!

You impressed the socks off of me when we met and you’ve never stopped. I knew you wouldn’t stop until you reached the top! What is a huge goal you are stunned to have accomplished? What goal (s) are you still striving for?
Thanks! (: XOX. A goal of mine that I have reached was when my designs were chosen by Warner Brothers for the new Looney Tunes show they are creating! It was a huge honor!!
The next goal I want to reach is to finish my short film called “The Good Little Bunny With The Big Bad Teeth”. I have been working on it in my free time over the last 4 years and I want to enter it in as many film festivals as I can!!

When faced with impressive corporations like Warner Brothers and Nickelodeon, what do you do to prepare yourself for success?
I have been lucky, I have always been approached by them to do work. I always just make sure the artwork I do is to the best of my ability. I give them drawings I like and just hope that they will like them too.

Did you ever expect to become so LOONEY (toons)?
Hahaha! I guess it just makes sense. I taught myself to draw by studying the short cartoons from the 1940’s,1930’s and a bit of the 1950’s. I have always loved the characters. So now that I actually work officially with characters like Bugs Bunny is sooo great because it comes very naturally to me to draw in that style.

Who is your favorite toon (not created by you)?
I would have to say “Oswald The Lucky Rabbit”. He is a black and white character created in the early 1920’s.He looks kinda like Mickey but cooler.

Who is your favorite toon (created by you)?
I think “Toaster Head”. He is always happy, and Toast pops outta his head so that’s pretty awesome!

Where do you find inspirations from the world around? What really inspires you to work?
I get inspired by cute animals, great music, good color combos and long city walks.

With artists it’s always scary to spill your soul about future plans and goals, especially since they may develop and change. Do you have projects for the future you can indirectly discuss?
On the Business side of things I will be doing some work on a show for Disney. Some concept is needed for a new girls show. That’s all I can say for now! (; After I finish my short film I am making a children’s book with a friend who is doing the writing. I am excited to get away from animation and just do some great Illustrations. The story is about a young girl who is an outcast without any friends. She is a genius though when it comes to making gizmos and gadgets. She makes amazing things out of trinkets she finds in the garbage. She creates the ultimate friend with a Toaster as a head! That’s where the fun begins!!

What’s so great about today? .. and what do you do to prepare for tomorrow? How do you make sure each day counts?
The great thing about today is I get two days a week to completely work on my own personal animated film! The other three days of the work week I am working on Looney Tunes!! To prepare for tomorrow I always make sure I am not staying stagnant in my artistic development. I will be living in Paris for a month in November were I am going to study art at the Louvre! I want to draw and study all sorts of paintings and sculptures. Never stop learning!

Do you find your work taking time away from other hobbies and interests? Or is it your all-consuming passion?
Even though a majority of my life is spent drawing, painting or animating I don’t find it hard taking time from other hobbies. I love being out and about. If I am not working on art I am out walking the city, bike riding along the canal, watching movies, sipping wine, hanging with friends. I love just being out! (: I have to take a break from animation to get re-inspired to create.

How do you prefer your environment to look?
I love urban environments with old buildings, like Montreal and some parts of Ottawa. I also love beautiful parks in cities. Especially around dusk when the sun is going down and everything has a yellow wash to it and shadows become long!

Favorite music? and Why?
Lights, Crystal Castles, Ratatat, Broken Social Scene
I love this music because they use amazing sounds. I love anything cute and electric sounding. They are amazing to listen to as I draw.

Motto:
I like this one: Live without regret! (:

Are you Miseducated? What makes you Miseducated?
I’m miseducated because I enjoy drawing so much that I sometimes forget about the real world!! My education consists of colors, cuteness and fun. That would be considered a miseducation to some I am sure.

What do you want people to feel or understand when they look at your work?
I just want to make people feel good. I want them to feel the way I feel when I am creating the character. Pure happiness and fun!

Were you always a cartoonist? (kiddies sketching kitties in their notebooks?)
Always!! I have not stopped drawing since I was 3. My math teacher used to freak out with my math book being filled with bunnies and other strange rodent drawings.

What was your first finished cartoon? How did you feel when it was complete and ready for others to view?
My first finished cartoon was ” I Like Pandas” I felt nervous and very excited when it was first premiered in the Ottawa International film festival. I remember sitting in the theatre in my seat clutching my knees to my chest. When people laughed I was so relived. I was worried nobody else would find it funny.

Are your illustrations and ideas inspired by your life experiences and/or people in your life?
Yes I always try to take things from life. I see alot of my pug Lucy in the Pandas. I draw alot of my girl friends too.

MUST HAVE for any cartoonist:
A must have for any cartoonist in my opinion is to make sure you draw from life. Characterize all things you like. Be inspired by other styles and don’t completely copy them. If you do these two things you can really develop a great style.

Eeee! I think we’re about finished here. Do you have any diy goodies you’d like to teach us to make?
I have the Printable Panda paper toys I want to share! We have many more planned for the future as well!!

I Love Pandas and Printable Toys

I Like Pandas

A film by myself, Jessica Borutski.

Printable Pandas

The fun doesn’t stop there! Put some pandas into your own world~

Show your Panda Love

Take a photo of your panda? Send it in so we can build a community gallery — the most creative photos will win stationary goodies from Miseducated & myself!

Printable Panda!
(Photo by Amber Renee)

The 80s Cartoon Land Quiz

Which cartoon land do you belong in? Take the quiz to find out! Feel free to post the result image to your profile or website! Just save the image and upload it via your favorite file/image sharer. Let me know what results you get here~

  1. Which home sounds most splendid to you?






  2. What stop in town do you prefer?






  3. Who would your favorite neighbor be?






  4. Which dessert sounds delicious?






  5. What is your favorite hobby?