As we edge closer towards the holiday season, we welcome back with open arms those treats that we can only enjoy once a year, lest we resemble Augustus Gloop. Time to tuck into cinnamon lattés, chocolate puddings and turkey stuffing. *drools on keypad* Alongside food, movies are also a vital component to everyone’s Christmas and Disney is a firm family favourite during the festive period. And what’s Christmas Day without at least one viewing of The Sound of Music? A blessing, that’s what. Because I despise Disney.
OK, maybe that’s a little extreme. Let’s clarify: I do not have a personal vendetta against Walt himself, or any of his questionable political ideals. I am not averse to the idea of visiting Disneyland one day. And due to sheer volume, there is definitely a sprinkling of Disney in my own DVD collection. My real issue lies with the unrelenting catalogue of musical atrocities that have purported themselves as the representation of my culminated dreams and fantasies.
I think the contention originates from the absence of Disney in my personal childhood. It’s hard to appreciate the nostalgic majesty of Mary Poppins when you have never actually watched it. Moreover, the macabre lure of such gems as Beetlejuice and The Addams Family was far more appealing to my impressionable mind than a singing governess.
Furthermore, why is there utter alienation in the disdain for these sickeningly jovial musicals? Seriously, people, Bedknobs and Broomsticks? I just don’t get it; the cheery stage-school feel to the majority of these motion pictures is so contrived. Even when it’s less blithesome, it’s downright creepy; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs honestly scared the bejesus out of me. The eerie high-pitched tone to the whole soundtrack is so disturbing, I honestly cannot fathom any sense of childlike wonder that one might derive from viewing it.
From Annie to Bambi to The Lion King, the collective of orphan culture that Disney has accumulated over the years is impressive but questionable. While I agree with the less sugar-coated approach to child development, do we really have to petrify 4-year olds with the possibility that their parents will die a tragically brutal death? And that their woes will be solved by a good-old fashioned sing-song with overly friendly strangers on the street?
Maybe I’ve just grown weary of this corporation claiming to emblematise everyone’s childhood imagination. It’s like that scene in The Addams Family Values where they’re forced to endure hours upon end of Disney classics in order to instil a sense of conformity into their abnormal existence. Why do we have to pledge allegiance to this corporation in order to appear as a well-rounded wholesome individual? Life is not a Disney movie. Thank God for that.
On a closing note, I would like to express a rather controversial viewpoint: I did not like Frozen. I just did not care for it. Too much musical theatre, too much cutesy sentiment. Rehashed Disney at its very best. Send your hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org