daw disney

The makers of Mary Poppins didn’t inform Karen Dotrice (Jane) or Matthew Garber (Michael) about some “surprises” that were going to show up in the movie. Karen’s dumbfounded look when Mary Poppins takes out item after item from the carpet bag and her little scream when Mary Poppins gave them medicines of different colors were genuine. They also didn’t tell the children who was acting as Mr. Dawes Sr. (Dick Van Dyke), and were worried that the horrible old man was going to fall down and die at any moment.

An anecdote about gender roles: At Hollywood Studios in Disneyworld, outside the Disney Junior thing, they had meet and greets for Jake (from Jake and the Neverland Pirates) and Sofia (from Sofia the First) (Sidenote: Yes I know a lot about Disney Jr. shows. I babysit a lot. Octonauts is the best. Shush). I was there with my two cousins - a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. The line for Jake had equal parts boys and girls, everyone happy to be there. The line for Sofia had exactly two boys: my cousin, and one other little boy who complained the entire time because they were only in line for his sister. 

So to reiterate: the only other boy willingly in this fairly long line to see Sofia was my one 7-year-old cousin, who was just as excited as his little sister.

Every single princess line was like this. All of them. Even the glimpse of Anna and Elsa’s line - the gender ratio was way off (we got a fast pass so we didn’t wait in that line, haha). And I don’t want to hear “well only because we devalue female stuff and blah blah”. Maybe once upon a time that excuse worked, but these princesses ARE Disney now. Out of all the characters we saw, 90% of them are princesses, 8% are Mickey and friends, and that last 2% was when we saw Wreck it Ralph and Vanellope, and then Russell and Dug from Up. Everything else? Princesses. And not just any princesses - strong, capable, intelligent princesses. Most main leads in Disney nowadays are princesses or at the very least, women. If they aren’t the main character, they’re among the most capable. So now it’s not that we don’t value these characters and traits since obviously, we do. A lot. It’s just that we only associate them with women. Now girls can enjoy both, but boys aren’t allowed too. Why on earth would a boy not want to relate to a powerful sorcerer who shoots ice out of her hands? Or a badass war hero? Or a hardworking, level headed business owner? Or the best archer in the land? Why is it when we translate those traits to women, they can’t backtranslate? 

There’s nothing complex about it at all - we just haven’t evolved to apply that same freedom to our boys. That’s it. There is no “well because we don’t value female traits”. Bullshit, once upon a time maybe but that clearly isn’t the only reason. Those stereotypes were in place to gain control. We focused on women. Got those controls released. And now instead of focusing on boys, we still make that discussion about women. Which to me just seems to be an excuse to avoid doing anything about it.

But I’ll talk about it. Here’s hoping the next time my family goes to Disneyland, my cousin won’t be the only boy in line when we see Cinderella (kudos to the character actors though - most of them eat that boy right up - they think he’s tops, because he is). 

- Mod Dawes Sr. 

Mr. Dawes Sr.: Well, do you have anything to say, Banks?

George Banks: Well, sir, they do say that when there’s nothing to say, all you can say…

Mr. Dawes Sr.: Confound it, Banks! I said do you have anything to say?

George Banks: Just one word, sir…

Mr. Dawes Sr.: Yes?

George Banks: Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious!

Mr. Dawes Sr.: What?

George Banks: Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious! Mary Poppins was right, it’s extraordinary! It does make you feel better! Hee hee hee hee!

Mr. Dawes Sr.: What are you talking about, man? There’s no such word!

George Banks: Oh yes! It is a word! A perfectly good word! Actually, do you know what there’s no such thing as? It turns out, with due respect, when all is said and done, that there’s no such thing as YOU!