Little girls aren’t made of sugar, spice, and everything nice. I learned that years ago when I flunked my anatomy final. Apparently nursery rhymes make awful study guides. Now that I have three daughters of my own, I know Mother Goose and my old anatomy professor were both way off the mark. Little girls are filled with neither sweetness nor bones and organs. The only thing inside them is unbridled megalomania, and Disney movies prove it.
The truth has been staring me in the face for years, but I didn’t recognize it until Frozen made $75 trillion, give or take a few cents. Little girls idolize Queen Elsa – and, to a lesser degree, other, less-deadly Disney princesses – not from a desire to attend fancy balls or wear frilly dresses, but out of a lust for unchecked autocratic power. Princess movies are training the next generation of female dictators, and I for one am taking a stand against it. Or at least I would if my wife let me.
Let’s get one thing straight: Princess movies aren’t about love. There isn’t a little girl on the planet who dreams about marrying a commoner. These kids realize early on that a loving, middle-class existence is a fate worse than death. Marriage is for wealth and power, not happiness. Not every Disney princess ends up in a castle, and the ones who don’t are universally shunned by girls everywhere. There’s a reason Cinderella still costs $25 on Blu-ray but Mulan and Pocahontas are available for free on Netflix. Romance and adventure are pointless if they don’t end with a kingdom ruled by a tiny iron fist.
Little girls are completely uninterested in democracy and its weak, representative power. There are no Disney movies about girls who grow up to be prime ministers or presidents. No sensible female wants to be enslaved by the whims of a fickle electorate. Little girls want raw power devoid of checks and balances, and the fastest way to get it is to marry into the royal family in an absolute monarchy. The whirlwind romances featured in Cinderella and Snow White are a reflection not of the speed of love, but of the eagerness of women to circumvent the slow, winding path to power demanded by elected government. Rather than running for town council, mayor, and congresswoman in a logical succession, little girls want to reach the top right away with a sudden, catastrophic event. That’s the textbook definition of marriage. Each Disney wedding is really a palace coup, but with a vagina instead of a gun.
Most princess movies don’t have sequels because parents would flinch at the messy aftermath. What “happily ever after” really entails is a series of secret murders that first turn the prince and princess into the king and queen and later turn the queen into a highly suspect widow in sole command of the realm. Disney princesses make “Game of Thrones” look like “Sesame Street.”
This desire isn’t forced on little girls. In fact, their shrill little voices demand it, and woe to him who is brave and foolish enough to defy them. The only thing Disney stands for is making money. If there were a market for a heroine who slowly climbs to power thanks to a sensible campaign platform and grassroots campaigning, Disney would’ve already made a movie about her and her talking animal sidekick. Instead, the opposite has proven true. In The Princess and the Frog, the main character starts out with nothing and ends up with a restaurant, and girls everywhere let out a collective shrug. The disappointing ticket sales proved without a doubt that little girls dream of unbridled power, not small business ownership.
Disney went in the completely opposite direction with its next princess movie. In Frozen, Disney gave Elsa a crown and a superpower, and it instantly became one of the highest grossing films of all time. Think about it. Elsa can plunge the world into winter, a climate condition usually caused by the angle at which solar radiation hits the earth. That means in practical terms Elsa is more powerful than the sun, and little girls love her for it. She’s not even the main character. Frozen was originally titled Anna and the Snow Queen. It’s really the story of the queen’s little sister, who has no magical powers or chance at the throne, rekindling her relationship with Elsa. But when little girls play make believe, no one wants to be Anna. That’s like being Robin because Batman was already taken. My daughters and millions of their peers idolize Elsa because she has absolute political power and the very laws of nature bend to her every whim. Little girls scare me.
I don’t like to generalize – even though this article is nothing but highly offensive generalizations – but in my experience the lust for power among children is primarily a female pursuit. While there are undoubtedly a few exceptions – He-Man, prince of Eternia, comes to mind – for the most part male idols neither seek nor have power. Instead, little boys look up to sullen, violent loners. Superman could easily fling the world’s limited kryptonite supply into the sun and become the invincible dictator of the planet. Batman could use his immense wealth and connections to become the mayor of Gotham City and later governor or president. Role models for little boys just don’t do that. Even with He-Man, little boys don’t actually want a space kingdom on another planet. They just respect him for his awesome abs. In the superhero world, the only people who seek power for themselves are villains, which is exactly what Disney princesses are. My favorite comic book of all time is the one where Spider-Man foils power-hungry Snow White and her seven henchmen.
Frozen wasn’t the greatest movie ever made, although I can’t say that out loud or my daughters will tear me apart like a pack of wild hyenas. I’m not taking chances. I’ve seen what they can do to Halloween candy. But regardless of the movie’s merits, Elsa had more power than any princess before her, and for that reason she made more money than any Disney movie in history. Little girls are tiny megalomaniacs, and their spending power proves it. Hurray for capitalism.