June 21, 2017

I Love Disney Villains

... said somebody, somewhere.
I've always sympathized and identified with the villains in Disney movies. At their core, they're the only characters who are ever willing to be honest with themselves about what they want and how they're going to get it. Sure, they're dissatisfied with their lot in life, but what's wrong with seeing that your life could be better and doing whatever's necessary to achieve it? Disney villains are driven.

The only reason Disney villains ever lose is because they get greedy. Which is fine - greed is a powerful motivator and I think that so long as it pushes me to do better, that's a good thing - but every Disney villain loses everything he or she gained for the sole reason that he or she reached his or her hand further than he or she could take it back.

Imagine if in "Aladdin" that when tempted to wish to become a genie, Jafar had said, "Why? I'm already the most powerful wizard in the world, and I control the only known genie." Aladdin would have been snake-food; Jasmine would have been his royal bride (which was her fate from the beginning of the movie, and which she still didn't escape when she married Aladdin); and he'd still be the ruler of his strangely amalgamated India/Babylon. 

Or if in "The Little Mermaid" Ursula would have just let Ariel have her voice back, but kept King Triton in her mushroom collection and the magic trident in her own hands? She could have been queen of the entire ocean, but she over-reached when she tried to be queen of the land, too.

Or if in "Frozen" Prince Hans had contented himself to marry the princess he ensorceled and bide his time to over-throw the queen who clearly didn't even want the job? He'd be king of his own kingdom, and with control of what's probably the only warm-water port for leagues in any direction he could have made a big profit on docking fees for every ship passing through his waters and toward his brothers' kingdom.

People say that Disney movies teach valuable lessons, and I absolutely agree, but I don't think they're seeing the same lessons that I'm seeing.

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