My Bone To Pick, Volume I


I like watching movies with my kids. Who wouldn’t? A cold, rainy afternoon simply begs to be spent under the covers watching a treasured classic. As I dust off the old favorites, I’m finding I get a lot of questions. And some of them are a little hard to answer. I am at a loss as to how I should explain the following:

***Spoiler Alert***

The Road to El Dorado – This is an older DreamWorks production (2000AD) with stylized animation and a fabulous Hans Zimmer soundtrack. A star-studded cast, it’s well-acted and often funny. It’s rated PG. For human sacrifice. Thumbs up, DreamWorks.

Toy Story III – A continuation of the story of Buzz and Woody. Except this time, they’re abandoned by their beloved Andy and are eventually taken to an incinerator where the characters say goodbye to one another in  anticipation their fiery end. Sweet dreams, pumpkin.

Thomas the Tank Engine – The stories are charming. The creepy trains with fixed, frozen expressions who move only their eyes are not. It’s like Chucky on wheels. I have nightmares.

Horton Hears a Who – Adorable CGI adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s classic tale. That taught Squish the word “boob.’ Thank you for that. While I am fully aware that contextually, the word is used to mean “idiot,” his Sunday School teacher is not. Plus it made me cry. I’m not sure how to explain to Squish that I am tearful because the Whos are making a last, desperate attempt to let the world know of their presence before they are boiled in oil.

Finding Nemo/Bambi/ The Fox and the Hound/ Up/Cinderella – What does Disney have against mommies? Why are they killed off within the first ten minutes? The Red Shirts on Star Trek last  longer than Disney mothers. And I don’t know of any Red Shirt that was eaten by a barracuda. Disney writers, work out your mother-issues with a psychoanalyst, not a story line.

Disney’s Snow White – Grimm’s fairy tales were just that. Grim. But Disney animates it and adds adorable animals, wonderful music, a slapstick troupe of dwarves. And a huntsman assigned to cut out Snow White’s heart. If Disney can create friendly woodland creatures, why couldn’t they smooth over that tricky bit of plot? Maybe have the huntsman chase down Snow White and ground her from the Wii?

Lady and the Tramp – Precious tale of the unlikely friendship of two dogs from different sides of the track. And backyard breeding. Lady has Tramp’s puppies? Way to promote responsible pet ownership, Disney! Get the Lady spayed, and for heaven’s sake, neuter that Tramp. He might not be such a Tramp after the ole chop-chop. And what’s with the boy pups looking like dad, while the petite little girls look just like their moms? What is Disney trying to teach our children about genetics? Stop, already!

If this were a Disney film, I'd have about five minutes left to live.


46 thoughts on “My Bone To Pick, Volume I

  1. My persistent mum used to sit me in front of Bambii. But once the mom died I’d say “No!” and stop watching. Never did see the rest of that movie… Hope my future kids don’t want to see it either… Pretty sure I’d have the same reaction!

  2. I have a theory on the Disney movie mom issue–but then again, I have a theory on every damn thing.

    I think the disappearing mom thing is a shortcut (well, I know it’s a shortcut) to creating hardship for the main child character. And it works for two related reasons: 1) losing a mother is especially difficult because 2) not having a father around is still all-too-common.

    Not to say there aren’t exceptions. But The Lion King doesn’t quite make up for all the dead moms. It’s probably just not good to be a parent at all in Disney’s world.

  3. I’ve written acouple posts re: snow white etc ( and another in the works) because having girls they buy in waaaay too much into the whole Disney, stepmom, princess thing. The tough thing is you cant argue with Disney – they have animators and great soundtracks to back up their point of view !

  4. You’re so right!! My brothers would have nightmares about the old witch in Snow White. And I always cried my 4 year old eyes out when Bambi’s mommy died. Think Disney might be deliberately trying to traumatize kids? There are emotion scars from those movies! Scars!

  5. Ohhh, please add dear Dumbo to the beef. Incarcerating his poor mother because she would stand up for her son when everyone else was taking the mick out of him because of his ears. Not to mention the cute but somehow quixotic notion that the babies (yes, animal babies!) are brought by a squadron of storks!

    • I can’t write about Dumbo because that movie makes me so angry. I don’t know if Disney cleaned it up for its latest re-release, but when I watched it with my four year old daughter 10 years ago, I promptly ejected the video and removed it from the house. So incredibly racist. SO racist. It makes me ill.

  6. I agree on all points. My 4-year-old has been asking about the incinerator in Toy Story 3 for weeks, and it was less than adorable when he started using the words “idiot” and “boob” with no idea of their relevance after watching Horton. And then there was that time my well-meaning husband left the kiddo in front of the Ewoks part of Return of the Jedi and left to take a shower while I was cooking dinner…When I heard screams of “What’s that???” coming from the living room and went to investigate, the scene had changed to the Emperor blasting Luke with lightning bolts from his fingers. I’m still helping him work through that trauma.

  7. Thomas – I think deep down, Sir Topham Hatt has some really severe issues. Ever see the one where he gets ticked with an engine called Smudger? He takes his wheels off and turns him into a generator. What a brute that guy is.

  8. Great list! I have wondered the same thing about Disney killing off moms.

    We recently bought the four-disc set of Looney Tunes classics. I appreciate horny Pepe le Pew saying things like, “My hobby is making love.” Wonderful.

  9. Well, I have to say in Toy Story 3 there is the baby doll with the crazy eye that never works… they got that WAAAAYYY too perfect and when its head did the “Exorcist” 180 to look at them I was quite freaked out… those dolls are just wrong. I know, slightly off of what you were talking about, but freaky none the less.

    And on the ‘Mother-issues’ of the writers… I’ll go out on a limb and say its less of ‘mother’ issues and more ‘wife’ issues… “Hey guys, lets kill off the wife early on so she doesn’t nag the dad about what happened to the kid all through the movie.” Hence “Every” mans dream of finding a forgetful woman (Dory) who can’t remember what you said 5 minutes before.

  10. We saw Toy Story 3 at our church’s movie night and i didn’t have any clue about the incinerator scene. I was horrified and I look around and all the kids’ eyes are bugging out. SO WRONG.

  11. And if it were a Disney picture, Squish would become a Mouseketeer and later a drunk/druggie at 21. So let’s hear it for those of us NOT living the Disney version!

  12. Pingback: Sir Topham Hatt Is Miscast « Blurt

  13. Pingback: Is Everything REALLY Awesome? A Lego Movie Review | Becoming Cliche

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