A deep dive: The Little Mermaid then and now

A close look at the enduring appeal of the 1989 animated classic, its relationship to Hans Christian Andersen, and the shallowness of the current era of Disney nostalgia

Detail from the 1989 and 2023 posters for Disney's "The Little Mermaid". (Image: Wikipedia)

There’s something profoundly melancholy about Disney returning, in its present state of creative exhaustion and corporate decadence, to The Little Mermaid—the nucleus from which the entire Disney renaissance exploded, in a way along with everything that has followed.

The last time Disney was artistically lost to the degree that it is now was in the doldrums of the 1980s, when it was reduced to feeble, forgettable fare like The Black Cauldron and Oliver & Company. Amid this dreary landscape, the arrival of The Little Mermaid in November 1989 came like a bolt from the blue (from King Triton’s trident of power, as it were).

The return to fairytale romance and the appeal of the mermaid archetype gives The Little Mermaid an ambitious mythic scope that hadn’t been seen since Sleeping Beauty 30 years earlier. Ariel, with her fascination for artifacts of the surface world, is a more vividly drawn protagonist than any prior Disney princess, and almost any prior Disney heroine. Ursula the Sea-Witch’s decadent look (famously inspired by drag queen Divine) and larger-than-life performance by Pat Carroll, her husky voice dripping with self-amused irony, put her on a villainous par with Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent. The plot, adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale with typically sweeping license and an obligatory happy ending blithely grafted on in place of Andersen’s high-minded, tragic one, is lumpy but memorable.

Most important is the film’s secret weapon, the thing that blew up the old way of making Disney cartoons: the brilliance of songwriting team Howard Ashman and Alan Menken and the showstopping Broadway energy of the sequences the animators crafted for their songs. Ariel’s iconic “I Want” song “Part of Your World,” yearningly performed by Jodi Benson, resonates deeply in part because of how Ashman works Ariel’s passion for the human world into a metaphor for adolescent longing for independence and achievement. The Caribbean rhythms and catchy melodies of “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl,” with the colorful razzle-dazzle of the former and the swoony, moonlit magic of the latter, remain high-water marks in American animated musical production numbers. (I remember standing up and cheering in the theater after “Under the Sea”; I was an art-school student and a serious animation fan.) Ursula’s Villain song, “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” is both a deliciously droll celebration of the Sea-Witch’s stylish depravity and also an insinuating sales pitch to the vulnerable, naïve Ariel. And don’t forget René Auberjonois’ unhinged, Clousseau-accented narration of the wacky slapstick of “Les Poissons”!

Among supporting players, Flounder the fish and Scuttle the seagull are pretty typical—but Sebastian the crab is perhaps the most engaging Disney sidekick since the days of Timothy Q. Mouse and Jiminy Cricket (not that the competition is fierce). This is partly, of course, because of his key role in two of the musical highlights, but also because of Samuel E. Wright’s performance. Sebastian’s name and position as court composer evoke the world of Western classical music, and he could easily have been a submarine counterpart to, say, The Sword in the Stone’s Archimedes the owl: a generically fusty, British stereotype with a piping voice like so many diminutive Disney sidekicks (indeed, look no further than King Triton’s seahorse herald). Instead, Wright’s melodious baritone, and his unexpected Trini accent (Ashman originally suggested a Jamaican accent, but Wright was more comfortable modeling his performance on college roommates from Trinidad), give Sebastian a unique vibe well suited to the movie’s marine milieu.

While less creativity went into Prince Eric and King Triton, Christopher Daniel Barnes is adequately appealing as Eric, and Kenneth Mars provides the template for domineering Disney dads for years to come. The potent father-daughter conflict isn’t completely without precedent—see, for example, Peter Pan’s blustering Father Darling capriciously exiling Wendy from the nursery, only to relent at the end—but Ariel’s emotional volatility and teenaged willfulness make for more compelling drama than Wendy’s meek biddability. (Ariel’s temperament led to the choice to make her a redhead, adding to her distinctiveness.) The influence of the Junior Knows Best trope has been even more enduring than the Ashman/Menken musical revolution, as has the substantial theme of conflict around prejudice and openness regarding another culture.

Reimagining Andersen

The first two-thirds of Ariel’s story at least loosely reflect the events of the anonymous mermaid of Andersen’s tale, though without Andersen’s framework of overtly religious ideas. The youngest daughter of the widowed Sea-King, our heroine is fascinated by the surface world, and falls in love with a handsome prince whom she rescues from drowning after a storm sinks his ship. Yearning to visit him, she strikes a bargain with the sinister Sea-Witch, who, in exchange for her beautiful voice, gives her a potion that grants her legs. If the prince falls in love with her, the Sea-Witch says, all will be well; if not, there is a terrible price to pay. (In Andersen, the prince must marry her; if he marries someone else, the mermaid will turn into sea foam, and, because merfolk have no immortal souls, cease to exist. In the Disney version, he must kiss her with the kiss of true love—within three days!—or she will become a worm-like polyp in the Sea-Witch’s garden.) Then a romantic rival appears whom the prince wrongly credits with rescuing him from drowning, and a royal wedding is announced at once. (In the Disney version the rival is Ursula in disguise, using Ariel’s voice to bewitch the prince.)

In Andersen’s account, the prince does marry the rival, and the mermaid, resisting another offer from the Sea-Witch to recover her mermaid form by murdering the prince in his sleep, does turn into sea foam—but, instead of ceasing to exist, she is rewarded for her suffering and good deeds by becoming an air-spirit with the hope of one day achieving immortality and salvation. Obviously none of this would do for a Disney musical, but what happens instead is, for me, the cartoon’s biggest, ah, sticking point.

Ursula’s machinations manage to delay true love’s kiss just long enough for Ariel to fall into her power. Triton tries to rescue his daughter, but all his power is useless against the unbreakable magic of Ariel’s contract with Ursula. To free Ariel, Triton surrenders to the Sea-Witch’s power, becoming one of her garden polyps and effectively yielding his trident of power to Ursula, now the supremely powerful Sea-Queen—a very bad bargain for the greater good!

At this point, having effectively written themselves into a corner, the writers turn to a startlingly arbitrary conceit. Pushed by Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg to make the ending “more Die Hard,” writer/directors John Musker and Ron Clements wound up having Ursula use the power of the trident to grow to approximately the size of the Nakatomi Tower. She then begins stirring up the ocean into a maelstrom, ostensibly to expose Ariel and Eric in order to kill them. The whirlpool raises wrecked ship hulls from the ocean floor, one of which Eric manages to commandeer, and, by steering hard amidst the vortex, skewers the titanic Sea-Witch with the splintered bowsprit, killing her. Upon Ursula’s death, her polyps are restored to merfolk form, including Triton, who recovers his trident and crown. Triton then uses his power to restore Ariel’s legs so that she can marry Eric with his blessing.

The inescapable problem with Ursula’s downfall is that the drama in The Little Mermaid has been rule-driven; it has turned on agreements, contracts, loopholes, and even cheating, but cheating to achieve or to avoid rule-defined states. To get legs, Ariel must surrender her voice; if Prince Eric kisses Ariel within three days, Ariel lives happily ever after: a rule binding even on Ursula, so that she first staves off defeat by upsetting Eric’s rowboat moments before he would have kissed her, and then transforms herself into a beautiful woman, hypnotizing Eric with Ariel’s voice. Ariel and Ursula’s contract is so unbreakable that Triton can free his daughter only by striking another bargain: by surrendering himself into the Sea-Witch’s power.

A story like this demands a rule-driven resolution. Somehow Ursula must be defeated by some loophole she didn’t see coming or forced to strike a new bargain. Die Hard–esque brute force is as unsatisfying here as it would be if Die Hard ended like Raiders of the Lost Ark, with God showing up and killing all the bad guys. It’s not deus ex machina in Raiders because that’s what Raiders is about—but it would be in Die Hard, and Die Hard solutions are just as out of place in The Little Mermaid. (Both Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin do better in this regard; particularly notable is how Aladdin defeats Jafar, not by exploiting the Genie’s power, but, in keeping with the movie’s moral theme, by being himself and relying on his wits.)

Mermaid redux

Kenneth Branagh’s wholesome, charming Cinderella was both the best thing and the worst thing to happen in the modern era of Disney live-action nostalgia. It was a good thing because its critical and popular success made it a compelling case for sincerity and goodness at a time of cynical, subversive reimaginings like Maleficent (which pointedly subverts Sleeping Beauty’s Christian symbolism) and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Cinderella’s success paved the way for the serial-adventure thrills of Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book and the contemplative soulfulness of David Lowery’s Pete’s Dragon. But it was a bad thing because the kind of creative liberties that allowed those three films to succeed was unthinkable when it came to remaking the sacred texts of the Disney renaissance: Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Mulan, and now The Little Mermaid, from director Rob Marshall and screenwriter David Magee (who previously collaborated on Mary Poppins Returns).

It didn’t have to be this way. Both Cinderella and The Jungle Book went back to literary sources to deepen and enrich their narratives. For example, such Kiplingesque devices as the Water Truce and the Peace Rock, the Law for the Wolves, and the elephant creation-myth, all omitted from the 1967 hand-drawn Jungle Book, are included in Favreau’s version. The new The Little Mermaid feints in this direction in its opening minutes. First comes a poignant epigraph drawn from Andersen: But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more. In the first scene a sailor on Prince Eric’s ship talks about mermaids luring men to their deaths. (Andersen actually rejects this idea, though he says the little mermaid has the most beautiful voice in the world. Still, it’s drawn from mermaid lore and could be interesting, given the mutual animus between humans and mermaids in this version.) Intriguingly, Ursula (Melissa McCarthy) calls Ariel’s singing voice a “siren song” and, mysteriously, credits Ariel (Halle Bailey) singing to Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) on the beach after rescuing him with “saving” him. Oh, and following Andersen, Ursula’s polyps are no longer enslaved merfolk, but guardians of her home.

Alas. Nothing comes of any of this. Marshall and Magee have no more interest in mermaid suffering than the 1989 cartoon, which is fair enough, but what’s the point of the epigraph? The alleged siren qualities of this Ariel’s voice aren’t explored further one way or another (Ursula still uses Ariel’s voice to enchant Eric, but no new light is shed on how this works). The same goes for some character back-story ideas with potential interest, like making Ursula the resentful sister of King Triton, giving Triton a grudge against humans for killing Ariel’s mother, and giving Prince Eric a living adoptive mother. There are thematic stabs at multiculturalism and environmentalism. Prince Eric wants to be a different kind of leader, not “trapped in his castle,” but traveling and learning from other cultures to keep his own kingdom from “being left behind.” Meanwhile, Triton rails against humans—“the most dangerous species of all”—for despoiling the oceans, and Eric worries about his island kingdom slowly succumbing to the oceans rising at Triton’s wrath. Except for a cute sequence in which Eric and Ariel bond over maps and curios Eric has collected in his travels, none of these ideas add anything notable.

So far from expanding the mermaid mythology, in some ways the remake weirdly atrophies King Triton’s kingdom. In the cartoon Triton held court in an imposing undersea castle where vast throngs of merfolk converged for royal events and Triton rode in a chariot-shell pulled by dolphins. When Ariel vanishes, Triton anxiously commands that no one in his kingdom should sleep until she is found. In the 2023 film, there’s no castle, no royal events, and, until the very end, no merfolk at all other than Triton and his daughters, who don’t live with him, but in the seven seas. While it’s true that a photorealistic chariot-shell might look silly, the absence of any castle, court, or other royal trappings, not to mention subjects to be seen, leaves Triton’s crown and trident looking rather odd. Who’s he trying to impress? What exactly is Ursula sore about being cut out of? (In this version, Triton’s daughters assemble from the seven seas for an event called a “coral moon” to report to their father on conditions around the world. They’re a range of different skin tones and ethnicities, raising an awkward question whether merfolk are monogamous or whether Ariel’s sisters have other mothers from the world’s other seas.) When Triton insists that the search for Ariel go on, he’s apparently speaking only to his six older daughters. What kind of all-out search is that?

Restaging a musical

If there’s a reason to see this new Little Mermaid, that reason is Halle Bailey’s Ariel. Possibly not since little Georgie Henley stepped through the wardrobe door into the snowy wood of Narnia has a young actress’s dewy-eyed wonder done so much heavy lifting on behalf of a fantasy premise. Bailey commits to the role so utterly that even when nothing around her is working, I always believe her; for me she is Ariel. Just as crucially, Bailey is an expressive and powerful singer. Her rendition of “Part of Your World”—closely following Benson’s in the original with a just few personal touches, notably a flourish of melisma near the end—is perhaps the one element of the new film that equals the original, aurally at least. Perhaps Marshall’s best creative choice was having Bailey sing backup vocals on “Under the Sea,” as if Ariel were swayed by Sebastian’s pitch on behalf of the marine world. Turning it into an actual duet between Sebastian and Ariel might have been even better (and would have added to the impact of Ariel’s disappearance at the end).

“Under the Sea” is also the one sequence that just about matches the spectacular visual appeal of the original. In this one standout set piece, a riot of vibrant iridescence and rhythmic movement brings the undersea world to stylish, stylized life, rippling sea slugs, bioluminescent jellyfish, cartwheeling feather stars and other species cavorting with no concession to realism. While I didn’t stand up and cheer, I did think that this is what Tim Burton, remaking Dumbo, should have been aiming at instead of settling for the glaringly non-surreal imagery of his “Pink Elephants on Parade.” (Less favorably, Sebastian singing “Down here all the fish is happy” while we are incongruously looking at dolphins reminded me of a similarly sloppy juxtaposition in the Aladdin remake, with ostriches onscreen while Will Smith’s Genie sings about “exotic-type mammals.” Are these blunders in direction, choreography, editing, or zoology?)

Other musical sequences, including, alas, “Part of Your World,” are less successfully visualized. Often they suffer, like much of the film, from the murky, underlit look of many Disney tentpoles these days. In the underwater sequences, as in the aquatic Namor sequences of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the dimness ostensibly approximates realism, but the real function is to camouflage CGI quality issues. (For a far better approach to underwater visuals, see DC’s Aquaman, not to mention Avatar: The Way of Water.) In fact, underlit visuals also mar much of the surface-world shooting, though not all. Too much of The Little Mermaid fails at a basic level: It’s not worth looking at.

Although I can’t refute Marshall’s contention that “Les Poissons” is too goofy to work in live action, I still resent its omission. Less explicable is the dearth of supporting voices in Sebastian’s two big musical numbers. I’m glad that Ariel sings backup on “Under the Sea,” but where’s the deep-voiced fish singing “Guess who’s gon’ be on the plate?” Why are we stuck with just Flounder (Jacob Tremblay) and Scuttle (Awkwafina) singing backup for “Kiss the Girl”?

Prince Eric gets an “I Want” song of his own, “Wild Uncharted Waters,” with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, layered with Ariel’s wordless theme. Hauer-King has pipes and Miranda has bars, so what’s missing? Why is the song generic and unmemorable? Lack of humor is part of it, I think. Certainly there’s humor in Scuttle’s new song, “Scuttlebutt,” a rap interlude I imagine many will find annoying, though that seems to me a feature rather than a bug.

Miranda also tweaks a few lyrics, ostensibly for modern sensibilities, though if anything the changes only highlight any possible disconnect. I don’t see how the “Kiss the Girl” line “Possible she want you too, there is one way to ask her” raises real concerns around Eric forcing himself on Ariel—but certainly having Diggs’ Sebastian sing instead “Use your words, boy, and ask her” serves only to make us aware that Eric leans in to kiss Ariel without “using his words.” Likewise, the notable absence of Ursula’s patter about how human men aren’t into chatty women (“The men up there don’t like a lot of blabber…Yes, on land, it’s much preferred for ladies not to say a word”) doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a story about a young woman who gives up her voice to be with the man of her dreams.

Parting thoughts

Best supporting players are Daveed Diggs as Sebastian and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula. Neither can match the vocal richness of the original performers—a recurring pattern in Disney remake voice casting—but both are talented enough to make the roles their own. As always, the more exactly the dialogue mirrors the original screenplay, the more often the new line readings fall short; we would miss Wright less if Diggs weren’t asked to say lines like “Somebody ought to nail that girl’s fins to the floor” or “You are hopeless, child…completely hopeless.”

Awkwafina’s goofiness is much better suited to Scuttle than to her draconian role in Raya and the Last Dragon. (Scuttle is now a gannet instead of a seagull, a good move that allows her to converse with Ariel underwater, heightening the taboo of the surface world.) Noma Dumezweni is fine in a rather thankless new part as Queen Selina, Eric’s adopted mother. Bardem’s Triton is a weak link, stiff and grim, without the undercurrent of humor and affection for Ariel that I suddenly appreciate anew in the hand-drawn Triton. (Nothing so readily highlights a movie’s inconspicuous strengths as the flaws of another movie.)

Sometimes you can feel the filmmakers scrambling to address perceived plot holes or other problems. There are no longer any written contracts with the Sea-Witch, because if Ariel can read and write, why wouldn’t she just explain to Eric in writing who she is? Ursula also secretly causes Ariel to forget that she needs Eric to kiss her—ostensibly for her own purposes, although the real reason, I guess, is to remove any question of coercion in the “Kiss the Girl” sequence. No detail is too small: Would Ariel really be completely mystified by the discovery of a fork in the shipwreck? Now she calls it “the smallest trident I’ve ever seen.”

The low point of the remake, for me, might be the Die Hard climax, precisely because it’s clear that the filmmakers want to empower Ariel but have no new ideas about doing that or defeating Ursula. What if the key to defeating Ursula was not a shipwreck, but Ariel’s voice—her “siren song”? What if the real reason Ursula wanted Ariel’s voice is that she knew it could somehow empower Ariel to defeat her?

This would require rethinking the rules of the story—but then only such a rethinking could make revisiting the story really worthwhile. The hand-drawn Little Mermaid is not a perfect film, but it is, I think, the best possible version of itself. I can imagine a better Little Mermaid movie, but it would have to be a real outside-the-box reimagining, made with the kind of creative daring that sparked the Disney renaissance in the first place. It would take filmmakers who are eager to explore, like Prince Eric, and not get left behind. The Little Mermaid is the product of a studio machine that’s content to remain trapped in its castle.

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About Steven D. Greydanus 46 Articles
Steven D. Greydanus is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle, a permanent deacon in the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, and the founder of DecentFilms.com. He has degrees in media arts and religious studies. He and his wife Suzanne have seven children.


  1. One small point that was omitted: The Great Mouse Detective saved Disney’s animated film department, which was almost abolished after the Black Cauldron flop. Without TGMD, the Disney Princess renaissance never would have been able to happen. It certainly did blaze up into a huge success, but it all started with a mouse … detective.

    Other than that little point, though, very good and thoughtful article. Disney Studios, like so much of the rest of our culture, is suffering from a lack of sources to draw from with any depth. The result is shallow remakes, reboots, and reimaginings.

  2. The only thing good about “The Little Mermaid” is the music, but not necessarily the lyrics.

    If taken as a whole – i.e. time being immodest – Ariel was the most immodest Disney protagonist. Her name itself is possibly a part of the problem. It might be code. (The interested reader will find the minimum standard of modesty in the Marylike Modesty Standard which is based off of the instructions of Pope Pius XI. My only objection to it is that it doesn’t explicitly condemn pants. However, pants on women likely were extremely rare – and possibly unthinkable – in 1928.)

    Also, as mentioned, the original adaptation of the fairy tale excised religious parts. That shows corruption. It is like a public school that doesn’t teach religion.

    In fact, the only Disney film where the protagonist prays is “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” This was the first and most financially successful Disney animated feature film. However, even Snow White was slightly immodestly dressed.

    • In fact, the only Disney film where the protagonist prays is “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

      Not so! Some additional Disney prayers to consider:

      Lilo and Stitch includes a scenes in which Lilo kneels at her bed to pray. She opens with the words “It’s me again” (implicitly referencing past prayers) and prays for “someone to be my friend, someone who won’t run away. Maybe send me an angel—the nicest angel you have.” (The movie positions Stitch as the answer to her prayers—not a nice angel or an angel at all, but ultimately a good friend and a valuable part of their little, broken family.)

      There’s a similar bedside prayer in The Rescuers, in which Penny, kneeling down (and positioning her teddy bear in a kneeling position), says “we almost forgot to say our prayers,” and proceeds to ask God to bless all the kids at the orphanage and to let someone rescue her (a prayer that is answered).

      The song “God Help the Outcasts” in The Hunchback of Notre Dame depicts the Gypsy Esmerelda looking at images of Christ and the Virgin Mary in Notre Dame cathedral as she prays, “I see Your face and wonder / Were You once an outcast too?” as she prays for her marginalized people. (There are also contrasting prayers of the selfish, praying for wealth and fame while Esmerelda asks nothing for herself, only for those who are less fortunate than she.)

      Going back further: The Disney “package film” The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, in the “The Wind in the Willows” segment, includes a moment with Rat and Mole saying grace before meals.

      (Ceaveats: Esmerelda and Rat and Mole are supporting characters, not protagonists. Penny is the central character in The Rescuers in the sense that the drama centers on her plight, but dramatically speaking the protagonists are the mice Bernard and Miss Bianca. But Lilo is definitely the protagonist of Lilo and Stitch.)

      Also worth noting: In Robin Hood, while we don’t see Friar Tuck (a badger) praying, he does say at one point “Thank God! My prayers have been answered!” (He also alludes to the Gospel story of the widow’s mite: “Your last farthing? Ah, little sister, no one can give more than that!”) In Frozen, Anna looks at a painting of Joan of Arc and says “Hang in there, Joan,” which is close to, though not quite, a prayer to a saint. There’s also praying to ancestors (similar to praying to saints) in Mulan, and, amid a lot of pantheistic spirituality in Pocahontas, a possible line addressed to deity as “dream giver” at the end of Pocahontas’s song “Just Around the Riverbend.”

    • How on earth was Snow White even slightly immodestly dressed? And does one expect a mermaid to wear much clothing?

    • “Snow White was slightly immodestly dressed.”

      This comment is laughable. Another reason people avoid the TLM.

      • Debbie,
        I’m curious about Snow White. When was she everimmodest?
        But I’m a TLM goer whenever possible. The TLM can have an eclectic crowd. My former diocese had a weekly TLM and we had everyone from Art school students to the leader of the local chapter of the NAACP. God rest his soul.

        • mrscracker

          Snow White’s neckline is too low by something like 2-3 inches and her sleeves are too high. The neckline of a dress must be no more than 2 fingers width below the pit of the throat all the way around. Sleeves must cover the elbows.

          Also, there are some times where her covered lower legs are partially visible. Strictly speaking that isn’t a modesty issue, but if it was atypical to see lower legs, then it was possibly a remote occasion of sin.

          I don’t know what was typical female dress in the 1930s, but is is likely that her immodesty played a large part in the popularity of the film. It seems quite apparent that a “hidden” reason for the success of some films is extreme immodesty.

          • Well Shawn I appreciate you taking the time to explain your comments.
            Different eras and different cultures have differing perspectives on modesty. From what I know about the 1930s Snow White was well within the norms.
            I have an illustrated Catechism from 1949 and what you say about modest necklines for women’s clothing is reflected in that also.
            I’m all for modesty but sometimes the emphasis can become a little unbalanced. Charity is an important virtue too and without that young women are less likely to listen to us about modesty. I have 4 daughters so trust me I’ve had plenty of experience trying to teach that. 8 of my 16 grandchildren are girls so I guess I’m going to be getting some more practice.

          • mrscracker,

            I would really appreciate the name of that catechism.

            A strict and inflexible standard is very important when it comes to modesty. There is at least one document publicized by Freemasons which indicate that there was – and presumably still is – a plan of incremental “undressing” of children by means of changing clothing coverage.

            The people who believe that “its not that big of a deal” are gravely mistaken. It only takes one mortal sin to go to Hell, and a problem is that the effect of immodestly occurs regardless of the intention of the wearer. It would take a saint who has regained something approaching original innocence (e.g. St. John of the Cross), and, perhaps, control of his body to avoid the bodily effects of immodesty, if not any sin. There was even a claim from 1970 by law enforcement officers that women were more likely to be unjustly forced into intimate relations (i.e. the crime of ….) if they were immodestly dressed.

            From my experience, one has to look at those who have immigrated from other countries or have immigrant parents to find those who, hopefully, know about, and practice something close to modest dress.

          • Here you go Shawn:
            My Catholic Faith, A Catechism in Pictures
            Copyright 1949,1952, 1954
            And I beg your pardon, the description of modest dresses for women in my edition of that book refers specifically to blessed dresses worn in honor of Our Lady but I have seen the general neckline and sleeve kength requirements you mentioned in other sources.
            Orthodox Jewish women follow similar guidelines. And so do many Anabaptists, Muslims and others.

    • OK, I can agree that Ariel was immodestly dressed in the original cartoon…one reason my kids never saw this movie when it came out…but Snow White is immodest? C’mon.

  3. I have a gut feeling that Deacon Greydanus put more effort into his review than Disney did the remake, if recent Disney offerings are any indicator. Like most such ‘remakes’, the message of ethnic and demographic correcting is the great, albeit unspoken, point of the movie. The rest of the movie is likely there to fill up a couple hours one way or another.

    • I appreciate the kind words about my review, Dave G. As for this movie and other recent Disney offerings, here’s a thing worth bearing in mind: This movie, like a number of recent Disney offerings, is not a good movie, and in some ways it’s a cynical, lazy product of a cynical, lazy corporate culture — but it’s also true that it takes a lot of people working hard together to make even a bad movie — some of them very talented, working hard to make the best movie they could, often under unfavorable circumstances that wind up overcoming their best efforts. Halle Bailey, to pick just one obvious example, is very talented and gave this movie her all. I’m sorry not to be able to recommend it for her sake and for the sake of other talented people who worked hard on the movie. It’s not their fault it’s not good.

      • I think it was Roger Ebert who once said he hated giving a movie a negative review. That’s because of the monumental effort needed to get even the most garbage level trash heap film onto the screen. Which makes the great films all the more impressive if you think on it (just watched ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ as if to drive home the point). Then again, Ebert could publish some scathing reviews, so he must not have hated it too much.

        With that said, I’m not concerned about those putting effort into these movies. Not bothered about any ‘leftwing ideology’, just FWIW. If they want to advocate leftwing ideology, it’s not like that’s new. I mean, movies have been putting messages into films for ages (you don’t watch ‘How Green Was My Valley’ and come away wondering if there was a message there).

        Nonetheless, I do object to the backhanded laziness of the ‘white culture’s hand-me-downs’ mentality behind so many modern projects. I mean, you can’t miss the unspoken point screamed from the rooftops – ‘Look ma, no white people!’ Or men, where a white woman can do the replacing.

        But it’s just take something already made, replace appropriate gender and ethnic identity, and slap a ‘New and Improved’ label on it. Not only does it fall into the modern pit of ‘Of course it’s right to discriminate based on skin color as long as you get the right skin color’, but it’s lazy and almost condescending. As if these demographic groups that are supposed to be so important aren’t really worth the effort to produce something new and unique. Which is why, even if it isn’t difficult to figure why this is being done, it still doesn’t make it right, or excusable.

  4. Have been the most huge Disney fan in the world for decades. Spent many thousands at their parks. Would not give them a dime now, disgusted as i am with their strenuous efforts to insert woke and sexually inappropriate material in their recent work. The woke superficiality of their changing Ariels race is the first question I have. Why exactly was that necessary at all? The change was purely pandering and gratuitous. As for Eric needing to ask permission for a kiss????? Really?? As a woman myself i consider this a major romance killer. There is not a single woman of my acquaintance unable to handle an “unwanted” advance. And a few who never got the wished for attention hoped for from certain parties. Disney has become a major disappointment, a fact which makes me sad. They should bow out of leftist politics.

    • I think there is a point to it beyond common sense. The point is to divide and conquer. Create as many divisions between as many demographic groups as humanly possible. Convince people they are the oppressed heroes, versus that group which is the vile oppressors. In this case, men v. women. Remember, at the height of the #MeToo wave, it was said a man suggesting a woman should smile was a case of sexual misconduct. Anything to get Group A at Group B’s throats. That’s why the big unspoken sales point of this was ‘look at the problematic ethnicity being corrected.’ Again, A v. B. It’s the goal today, and almost impossible to miss.

    • I imagine Disney mixed up the characters’ skin colours more to check off boxes but why should we be concerned about that in the first place? It’s a fairy tale. Do we know what shade of complexion mermaids might have?
      When we react to unimportant stuff like this we play right into the race hustle and class warfare tactics. Faith and family values are important. Culture is important and worth preserving. Culture brings us together Skin colour is not important and is used to divide us.

      • We should be concerned EXACTLY because it was likely done to “check off boxes” as you suggest. And in so doing, continue to make today’s whites “pay” for something they did not do, by increasingly erasing them from public view, whether that be removal of historical statues, on TV commercials, or as movie characters. It has long been those of the left who have tried to make political points with the issue of race. As for the race of mermaids, the story of the Little Mermaid has its origins in the Hans Christian Andersen tale.Andersen was European and WHITE. If mermaids are an element of African literature or culture, I am unaware of it. Disney has made films with African themes or non-white characters which have been quite successful. Which is great, but makes justifying this clearly arbitrary change hard to do.

        • I think more than one culture has folklore about mermaids but what difference should it make to us how a Disney film portrays a mythological creature? It’s their call.
          It reminds me of a Lord of the Rings production controversy recently. Who cares what colour elves or dwarfs are? It’s fantasy.
          There are real battles for Christians & people of faith to fight. This isn’t one of them.

    • I would have loved to write about the racial dimensions of the casting—it’s a topic I’ve addressed in other pieces—but there just wasn’t space this time around.

      Spider-Man was my hero as a boy. Not just because he fought bad guys, but also both because he was both like me in some ways (quiet, bookish) and because he was things I wanted to be: brave, selfless, confident, making the most of his unique abilities.

      I grew up watching big-screen and small-screen heroes like Luke Skywalker, Superman, Indiana Jones, Captain Kirk, James Bond, Spider-Man, the list goes on and on. For my father’s generation, it was Matt Dillon, the Lone Ranger, etc.

      I have a friend who is Chinese-American. He grew up with the same heroes I did. Our imaginations — his and mine — were informed by a narrative universe of stories in which virtually all important people were white, and most important people were white men.

      A young girl our age would have had Princess Leia and Marion Ravenwood, and after that the list gets thin pretty quick. A black boy would have Lando Calrissian and then who? A black girl would have been out of luck. I think my Chinese friend was aware of Bruce Lee’s Kato on The Green Hornet — the most celebrated martial-arts star of his day playing sidekick to a white hero, and that was it.

      For many years my younger children have played most days with the children next door, who are Black. Our youngest daughter used to wear Disney princess paraphernalia. So did the little girl next door. Belle and Ariel and Cinderella smile from their T-shirts and bicycle decals, smiling iconic images of feminine beauty. White beauty. Any number of times a week my daughter saw girlhood heroes smiling at her with hair and skin like hers. The little girl next door also sees girlhood heroes smiling at her who look like — my daughter. And that sends a message both to that little girl and to my daughter.

      Casting a dark-skinned Ariel also sends a message to little Black girls (and White girls). I believe it’s a good message.

      • Again, I really think we should move away from racial stuff period, especially as Christians. Race is an outdated social construct and just another means to divide us.
        I don’t believe children care one way or the other about ethnic differences unless they’re taught to or conditioned to by adults. And I think even adults identify with characters in films based upon how sympathetic they are, not on how closely they resemble ourselves. Have you watched the film Black Orpheus? How could we not sympathize with the tragic young couple? What possible difference would their complexions make?
        People of all ancestries are marrying each other at greater rates and more people are identifying themselves as “mixed race ” in censuses. Hopefully one day we’ll figure out that we’re just fellow human beings and children of God and move forward.

        • We should care because it is racial stuff. Yes, the purpose is to undermine various principles and values, and sow racial divisions. That much is clear. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore it. If we want to make movies highlighting and showcasing other ethnic groups or demographic groups, there’s no problem. That’s a great thing. But the whole ‘we need to scrub white people’ is no different than saying we need to scrub any demographic group, no matter the justification (and it isn’t like we’ve not seen that done in the past). Saying the wrong ethnic group is in this film, we need to replace it with the right ethnic group is racism. Pure. Simple. And should be resisted as any racism should be resisted.

          • Very fine insights, Dave, in exposing the shallowness of people who ignorantly push having X number of certain kinds of people in films based on their skin color. Laughably, these people really believe that meeting certain quotas based on the skin colors that they prefer will actually right some wrongs of the past that no longer exist….but they always falsely claim that the wrongs are ongoing and so this version of affirmative action and tilting at illusory windmills must also continue.

            To be sure, a most egregious form of racism today is anti-white woke racism that insists on judging people by the color of their skin and not by the content of their character. In doing this, many of their leaders and fellow travelers unjustly accuse white people in general of perpetuating anti-black racism despite no OBJECTIVE evidence to support their anti-white racist claims.

            If you get the chance, check out some of the very well researched works (articles and books) by scholar Kathleen Brush. Her use of objective data and historical facts, comparative studies, and so on and so on continue to pierce very large holes into what she has rightly labeled as the title of one her books: “America’s Discrimination Circus.” In this book, she dismantles all of the bogus claims made by people on the left, including the nonsense about unconscious bias that shallow left wokies continue to push in order to demonize white people and perpetuate the myth of ongoing, systemic racism against black people that, many of them say, can only be corrected by exercising anti-white bias, which is a significant violation of basic morality.

            Among the many good articles Brush has written that are online, you might want to start with “America Would Be A Better Place If We Taught The Truth About Slavery.” In this article, Brush once again uses actual facts and data that drives the woke left crazy because real data and real facts obliterate their anti-White/anti-Western narratives.

            Lastly, you are absolutely correct when you state that all racism should be resisted, but anti-white race hustlers who continue to fool many won’t let this cash cow go, and they have found willing allies in weak-thinking leftists who help them keep the hustle going.

          • Dave, there is no such thing as race. It’s a completely outdated 19th century theory that we should ignore and move past.
            Whenever we react to the race hustlers we just encourage more of the same.
            We’re children of God period and we all share a mix of DNA. It’s time to move on.

        • I don’t believe children care one way or the other about ethnic differences unless they’re taught to or conditioned to by adults

          Actually, Mrscracker, a number of convergent studies have found that infants as young as three months prefer looking at faces from their own racial or ethnic group (that is, people who resemble the family members they see every day) to faces of other racial or ethnic groups.

          I do believe Nelson Mandela was correct when he said:

          No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

          But I also think it’s significant that Mandela speaks of learning to hate, but being taught to love. In other words, those who are not taught to love — intentionally, methodically socialized to value and esteem equally those who are different in various ways — will naturally learn, by default, if not to hate those who are different, at least to hold them in lower esteem, and to adopt prejudicial, discriminatory ways of thinking and acting toward them.

          Children who are loved naturally love in return, but they also quickly begin not only to prefer familiar people and situations, but to manifest stress responses like anxiety and fear in the presence of the unfamiliar. (Stranger anxiety typically intensifies around six to eight months old.) In fact, the preference for the more familiar over the less familiar is present even before birth, in the womb. Babies in the womb have been shown not only to prefer their mother’s voice to strange voices, but also the sound patterns of their mother’s language to that of unfamiliar languages.

          The tendency to prefer the familiar and to distrust or fear the unfamiliar is natural and (within limits) healthy. Still, it easily gives rise to spontaneous forms of bias. C.S. Lewis notes in The Screwtape Letters how easily children assume that whatever is familiar to them is normative and whatever is not is somehow abnormal — how a child might feel, for example, that “the kind of fish-knives used in her father’s house were the proper or normal or ‘real’ kind, while those of neighboring families were ‘not real fish-knives’ at all.” The spontaneous individual tendency to prefer the familiar to the unfamiliar easily and naturally leads to cultures characterized by what is sometimes called tribalism or, more technically, intergroup bias, i.e., a shared preference for “us” over “them” (in-group vs. out-group).

          I’m not saying people are naturally racist! Far from it. But I do believe people naturally tend to be tribalists — that they very naturally and easily tend to value people, communities, and ways of life more like their own over people, communities, and ways of life less like their own. This natural tendency can be overcome through education and/or experience — but it doesn’t happen automatically. True egalitarianism is a product of a deliberate project of dismantling the tendency toward tribalism — and that work is never done once and for all. We may apply here the wry words of Thomas Sowell: “Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.” Bias itself is not innate, but the tendency toward bias is, and its seeds begin to manifest startlingly early.

          • As people continue to intermarry in the US hopefully that will solve itself.
            In the South and West Indies “white ” children were typically raised among “black ” children and those families who could afford it hired nannies of African heritage. So I don’t know that theory works the same in those situations. Light skinned babies saw dark skinned people from day one.
            I just think we need to put this foolishness behind us and stop allowing it to cause division. If you travel in Latin America you see all varieties of people with mixed and diverse ancestry. The French and Spanish didn’t have the same outlook on that as Anglo America did.They’ve had issues of status per ethnic group also but nothing like what we’ve seen in the States. It’s pretty ridiculous.

          • Deacon Greydanus, I hate to disagree with you, but you are wrong. I agreed that the particular form of racial distinction we inherited in the 20th Century was due to the Western attempt to apply the latest scientific theories to everything. We were drunk on science and figured everything should be analyzed through these new scientific lenses. Hence the racial bigotry that existed took on new intellectual forms and scientific spins (sort of like gender today). But racism was present before that, even if it lacked the pseudo-scientific lingo. And present not just in Europe or America, or only during exploration, but around the world since ages past.

            My years spent with Eastern Orthodox Christians, many of whose ancestors fell under the heel of Ottoman conquest, would chafe at the idea that racism only existed in 19th Century Europe and America, or was unique to the West because of exploration or colonialism. Their ancestors tell a different tale, and they’re prepared to stand someone down if she tries the old ‘Nah, it only came from white people in Europe and America’.

            That we’ve allowed ourselves to believe racism is a uniquely Western sin – an all defining and unforgivable sin at that – is merely ideological activism done cleverly. It ignores the reality of human history, and the suffering of people throughout the ages, and even around the world today, because of that all too common sin. It looks at the rest of the world through rose colored glasses, and tries to suggest any problems like racism originated only west of the Urals. The reasons for this flawed approach to racism should be clear by this time.

            After all, a person would have to have sawdust for brains to think our modern approach to racism is accomplishing anything but stoking racial tensions, or worse. In fact, in one of those ironic spins in history, the 21st Century approach to race – a uniquely white/Western construct singularly and universally defining Western history and America’s heritage as opposed to the rest of the world – is as flawed as the 19th Century scientific spins on the age-old sin of racism. Perhaps learning from history isn’t one of humanity’s strong suits.

            Also, if I may, you appeal to the old notion that ‘history is written by the winners.’ You know that’s a trope, not a fact. Fact is, sometimes our history is written by the winners (like the winners today), but at other times it’s written by the critics of a given time. Sometimes we know about a historical period from the losers, the playwrights, the poets, the marginalized, and others protesting a given era more than we do from any official history of the winners. Just consider that most people today probably get their understanding of 19th Century industrialized England from Dickens’ rather dismal appraisal than from any propaganda from British pro-industrial capitalists of the time.

            With that said, I agree that talking about racism isn’t a bad thing, though it isn’t the only thing. I just disagree that the way it’s being talked about today is in any way beneficial. Like Mrscracker, I would like to see a world beyond race or racism. But that’s not what we’re seeing, nor does it appear to be the modern goal. And I fully reject the idea that progressives alone can speak to the issue, and to do otherwise is somehow denying racism or, worse, being racist. I have concluded through observation, in fact, that exploiting racism for ideological ends is as bad as racism itself, if not worse.

          • None of that word salad obscures the fact that anti-racism is a much greater threat than anti-black racism. The latter is the most wicked taboo imaginable.

        • mrscracker, I’m not sure what you’re talking about. The idea that race was somehow invented in the 19th Century ignores the previous centuries and eons where one can find examples of appeals to race. Sure, the 19th Century was the flowering of a million modern ideals and philosophies and theories that put new spins on the old idea (usually with disastrous results). But the idea of the races has been around for ages, and still is. Hence White Privilege. You can’t speak of that without appealing to 1) race, and 2) judging based on race. The Eastern Orthodox have a saying that race is a sin of man, ethnicity is a gift of God. I’m fine with that, since there are Orthodox Christians today whose ancestors learned fast that ‘race’ was very much in existence centuries ago, and it was hardly a European monopoly.

          • Dave G,

            Mrscracker is correct that “race” in the fully modern, biological sense is an invention of the modern era, and specifically a product of the “Age of Exploration/Discovery” and the scientific revolution, as anthropologists and naturalists attempted to develop a scientific system of classifying humanity into various physical or phenotypical groupings, or biological races. (Prior to the scientific revolution, “race” could be applied to groups defined by sociological traits including language, nationality, and occupation; for example, in Shakespeare’s day one might encounter phrases like “race of saints” or “a race of bishops,” not to mention “the Irish race” or “the French race,” etc.)

            In its stronger forms, the modern theory of biological race proposed pseudoscientific taxonomies of discrete strains of humanity, essentially definable by immutable, biologically determined characteristics, possibly with distinct ancestral origins (a theory called polygenism that was incompatible with Catholic anthropology regarding the unity of the human race).

            Pseudoscientific theories of racial taxonomy all but inevitably involved theories of racial hierarchy and in particular of white supremacy: the doctrine that the white inhabitants of Europe were biologically as well as culturally superior to the darker-skinned peoples of other lands.

            As history is written by the winners, the Europeans unsurprisingly ranked themselves, with their technological advancement and sociocultural development, over the peoples they encountered abroad, whose land, resources, and very bodies the Europeans claimed for their own.

            To Mrscracker’s hope, while I would be very happy to see intermarriage erase racial differences to the point of mootness, such a future is at best centuries away. For the time being, I believe we must regard the natural human tendency toward bias and tribalism—which, as I noted, involves tendencies that manifest in the months after birth and in some cases even in the womb—as a fixed reality of human nature, and take it into consideration in our pedagogy. As I said earlier, true egalitarianism is not the default state, but an achievement to be brought about (or not) in every generation and in every household with young children. Not talking about race and racism may be more comfortable for many White parents and teachers, but I agree with educators and other experts who consider this approach counterproductive and part of the problem rather than the solution.

          • Mr.Dave,
            I think Deacon Steven explained the modern origins of race well in his comments.
            And just to mention, babies simply prefer what is familiar and what’s familiar will vary per family and per household. One of my grandchildren is half Chinese. Which “race” do they prefer when they see both daily?
            Culture is important and worth preserving. Colour is incidental and is only used to divide the Body of Christ.

        • BTW, Dave’s fine. 🙂

          I never denied that the West, with its obsession with science as the explanation for everything, put a unique spin on the ages old sin of racism. It’s version coming out of the 19th Century looking different than, say, European racism centuries earlier. Or Asian racism. Or Arabic racism. Or Native American racism. Or African racism. Each one would have their own spins on such forms of bigotry.

          You see, when I was growing up, we learned about racism as a form of bigotry. But bigotry could exist in many forms, and racism wasn’t so simply defined as today. For instance, in those days, Italian Americans or Polish Americans were also considered ‘ethnic minorities’, and using off colored jokes or statements about them was every bit an ethnic slur. A form of racism.

          But what’s been done today with the topic of racism is at best a joke, at worst a travesty, and is going absolutely nowhere good. The whole idea that it’s right and just to judge, condemn or even discriminate against someone purely because of their ethnicity and skin color is as evil as ever. Yet it’s being completely sanctioned in a way that can’t be accidently as counterproductive as it is. That’s the problem. If you want to see race put behind us, then you should be the loudest critic of what is happening today, since it is doing no such thing, but making the problem worse.

          • I think ignoring it Dave is the best way to make the foolishness go away. We just reward the race hustlers by overreacting. Disney can make every single character in their future films dark skinned if they choose to & it should make no difference to us. A good story is a good story.
            Discrimination will always be with us because of our fallen nature. If it’s not skin colour it can be disabilities, language differences, accents, etc.
            I support keeping anything related to race out of school texts & curriculum. CRT has no place in school and neither does “white” replacement theory. It’s all rubbish.

        • Mrscracker, I have to disagree with you there. Racism is racism. It should be called out in any form. Two big things are happening with the growing anti-white racism that are of particular concern. 1) convincing people that anything touched by white people is tainted by colonialism, racism, imperialism, or any such sin, which per the narrative only ever happened in the West. Therefore, anything touched by white people can easily be on the chopping block. Incidentally, the scrubbing of white people from media merely aids this trend. After all, if we accept the elimination of a people group, then eliminating that people group’s contributions is a logical next step. 2) It is encouraging a growing number of non-whites to embrace the sin of racism. Scarcely a month goes without some non-white activist emerging, spouting vitriol and hatred against white people in a way that would have made Rudolf Hess blush. Not to mention that there are race-hate attacks against whites, even if the press gingerly avoids talking about it. In fact, the entire ‘down with Western Civilization – it’s too white!’ movement is largely due to a carefully (and sinfully) constructed media narrative. It ignores endless suffering, misery and death throughout history, in America and around the world, if it doesn’t fit the narrative, and then jumps on incidents of the same only when it does fit the narrative. Remember, that’s how we got the BLM narrative. That, too, is a grave evil (not caring about human suffering but that it can be exploited for political gain*). Those are reasons, I believe, we can’t sit by and say nothing. I can never know what I would have done in the Jim Crow South, or Nazi Germany. But seeing what is happening today, I have a chance to live out one possible option.

          *Not that this media trick of narrative building is limited to race or crime, but that doesn’t make it any less evil.

  5. WOW! And I thought my exposure to Disney films, at an early age, was Little Mermaid safe. I thought my soul was still white. However, after struggling with the conclusions of this litany of Disney history I may be forced to label Disney suspect or BAD?. There is one term used to identify the “mythology” of Disney productions. We Catholics deal extensively in mythology. Fast forward to 2023…

    I lived in Florida where Disney World is the major player in the state’s economy. Governor Ron DeSantis has launched a political war with Disney signing a bill where the Republican Governor is about to launch a “takeover” of the Florida company. Amazing, given his apparent autocratic penchant, he is running for president in 2024. The governor is known for his decision to remove books from school library shelves has caused an uproar from citizens. Seems it reeks with violations of the first amendment rights. Some books banned: by Rosa Parks… Rosa Parks: My Story, I Am Rosa Parks, Quiet Strength. and other books about black history and the Negro continuing plight.

    Disney was planning to spend $1 billion to expand Disney World that will create hundreds of new jobs. Because of DeSantis’ bill, (directive), Disney has put that improvement on hold. They have stated that they may exit Florida for another state.

    DeSantis displays a not too subtle attacks on the LGBTQ+ community by insisting “don’t say Gay”. Any one who opposes him is labeled a WOKE? Not sure, does he?

    Conclusion. Disney offerings should have the “legion of decency” rating of G. Book bans must be made by parents or guardians, not a politician. Disney must survive and return to its former innocence.

    • “DeSantis displays a not too subtle attacks on the LGBTQ+ community by insisting “don’t say Gay”. ”

      I recommend you read the actual bill you are referring to and bypass the usual MSM narrative, which is disingenuous and laughable.

      • You are correct! Governor DeSantis did not include “don’t say Gay” in Florida bill 1577, but why would he?

        The US Conference of Bishops published the following on gender equality: Pope Francis “clarified” the church’s “being homosexual is not a crime. It is not a crime.” He defined as “unjust” laws that criminalize homosexuality or homosexual activity and urged church members, including bishops, to show “tenderness” as God does with each of his children”.
        That statement does not repeat his earlier saying para: “love the homosexual, but not his sexual acts”. I agree.

    • Don’t say gay is a false label used by the bill’s critics. That the press has universally repeated the critics’ talking point when covering this story says more about the press than about the bill or its critics. A little friendly advice – don’t trust the press at this point. It increasingly has no compunction about misrepresenting the facts in order to buttress an agenda or, in some cases, attack dissent.

  6. The Aristocats – Nothing more need be said.

    (So he said) – The scene where the two spinster English geese on vacation in France enter the action is beyond funny, and the mere thought of it gladdens me and causes me to get up and go get some sodey pop and sit out on the porch in the august company of Rachel (the wonder dog) and contemplate.

    See the movie and know this – I consider myself to be in the company of the”swingin’ hepcats” referred to in the film.

    Lucky me

  7. Perhaps Greydanus’ critique suggests a save Snow White movement and the conversion of the Disney Corp. As a tyke Snow White was a favorite fairy tale. She represented innocence and beauty. The Wicked Witch’s curse dispelled by the caring kiss of the Prince. Values lost in an age of darkness and self adulation.

  8. Some Food for Thought Regarding a Variety of Comments in these specific Comboxes:

    –If Race is just a Social Construct and not objectively real as claimed, then how come many people like the shallow film critic and fellow wokies continue to push the false narrative of ongoing white supremacy? Who are the whites that are allegedly guilty of white supremacy, and how is it that they are spoken of as a group…or race if such are not real?

    –If Race is just a Social Construct and not objectively real as claimed, then why do shallow thinking people insist that people with certain skin colors and ancestry must be included in things like movies to avoid racial prejudice?

    –Why do shallow thinking people insist that certain preferences that are objectively innocuous should nevertheless be referred to negatively as “biases,” and then they add that such “biases” can be eradicated through (woke) education? The only bias on display here is the notion that various preferences must be eliminated based on the shallow thinkers’ limited understanding and pretense about such things.

    –Given the ongoing assault on solid morals emanating from the Disney organization that are undeniable by people of good will, why would anyone continue to support Disney and buy their products?

    –Are certain cultures and their moral codes/foundations superior to other cultures, or are they all equal as wokies and their fellow travelers insist despite obvious differences in development and practices that separate the cultures? For instance, is a culture that abuses women and restricts their freedom equal to a culture that does not abuse women or restrict their freedom? On a related note, why do shallow thinkers insist on attacking Western culture by negatively referring to the white skin color of the majority of people within the Western culture?

    –Why do shallow thinkers insist upon pushing an overbroad egalitarianism despite its inherent absurdity, and the fact that it is a rejection of God’s creative order and the concomitant fact that God Himself deigns it appropriate to distribute talents to people without trying to force a silly and impossible equality (worse today: the false promotion of unjust equity) upon them?

    –Many of today’s egalitarians are at the forefront of pushing the unjust and absurd notion of reparations for certain people (usually of a certain skin color) based on the enslavement of their ancestors hundreds of years ago that egalitarians insist impact all such people even today despite evidence showing very little impact at the very worst, and also avoided entirely by most. Also, these shallow thinking egalitarians refuse to honestly consider the worldwide history of slavery imposed on others of all skin colors by people of all skin colors in order to put the entire onus on, you guessed it, white people of the West. Remarkable bias allegedly combatting other kinds of bias. Shallow thinking indeed.

    Some Book Recommendations to Help Expose and Combat the Rubbish Often Pushed by the Featured Film Critic and Fellow Wokies:

    “Taboo: 10 Facts [You Can’t Talk About]” by Wilfred Reilly. (2020)

    “Race Marxism” by James Lindsay. (2022)

    “The War on the West” by Douglas Murray. (2022)

    “America’s Discrimination Circus” by Kathleen Brush. (2021)

    “When Race Trumps Merit: How the Pursuit of Equity Sacrifices Excellence, Destroys Beauty, and Threatens Lives” by Heather MacDonald. (2023)

  9. “If Race is just a Social Construct and not objectively real as claimed, then how come many people like the shallow film critic and fellow wokies continue to push the false narrative of ongoing white supremacy? Who are the whites that are allegedly guilty of white supremacy, and how is it that they are spoken of as a group…or race if such are not real?”
    Race as science is not biological reality. Race as a social construct to maintain status is an historical reality & continues on today, though thankfully in a much more diluted way. And I think in a more generational way.
    I had to go to Confession recently to ask if I had a greater obligation to correct the increasingly ugly things I’ve been hearing about folks from places like Central America & Haiti. Or about those of us with African ancestry. Father in his wisdom said we should correct people in the most prudent way possible.
    I believe this currently is a reaction to the Biden administration’s neglect of our border security & a reaction against wokeness. But it’s ugly & disturbing all the same. Christians are better than that & science shows us “race” is non-science-based rubbish in the first place. Just as “transgenderism” is.
    I disagree that Deacon Steven is shallow. I appreciate his film reviews.
    I’m a Southern, Trump voting, Latin Mass attending, mantilla wearing, Rosary praying, homeschooling mother of 8 & granny to 16. If believing that we’re all equal children of God & our ancestry makes absolutely no difference to that, then call me woke. That will be a first.

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