Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Good News & Me in Wonderland

I'm so happy for Washington DC about this. We are getting closer and closer to achieving marriage rights for ALL people in the United States. (As a side note regarding the last section of that article about putting gay marriage up for a popular vote: Since WHEN were the rights of other people to be determined by popular vote? That's illogical and goes against the foundation of this country. Not everything should be up for popular vote because the majority of the people can be wrong and thereby infringe on their kinspeople's rights. Google "Tyranny of the Majority" if you don't believe me.)

Secondly, I want to speak a bit about Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland...I had the privilege of seeing this in a sneak preview earlier this week. I hadn't been too excited by the idea of seeing it. For some reason, the film just sort of went under the radar for me. I didn't even realize it was coming out this Friday already. I just knew that Ronald got us sneak peek passes, and I'm not one to pass up a free film. So I wasn't UNexcited to see it, but not overly excited either. In retrospect I find this odd because when I was little, the Disney animated Alice in Wonderland was the movie I watched the most after Wizard of Oz. (Ah, fond memories of VHS.) This came back to me as I watched the new 3D live action version and found it all so happily familiar.

If you want a detailed review of the film, I suggest you check out Ronald's here. What I want to mention is how nice it was to sit back and enjoy a story with a strong female lead who makes decisions for herself.

*Spoilers to follow*

Specifically, here's what I love about this "sequel" to the Disney animated movie:
1) Alice is outspoken and determined, not at all like the 1951 animated version who was unsure of herself and a bit silly. (However, according to the mythology cartoon Alice is 6 and live action Alice is almost 20, so I hope she'd mature within that time.)
2) The two most powerful rules in Wonderland are queens.
3) The people who do the rescuing are females (Alice and the dormouse).
4) Alice refuses to marry a man in the "real world" that she doesn't love, but she doesn't do so in order to find her one true love. She, instead, goes into her father's former business. There is no implication that she's interested in a man at all.

Disney is on the right track! I saw The Princess and the Frog and was mildly enthused by it. Tiana, the main character, is an extremely hard worker who makes her own way in life and isn't really saved. However, I felt like the message was that men can get by being be foolish and silly and still have a great life, while women must work extremely hard and be model citizens. And their prize for this behavior? A man.

Other feminists viewed The Princess and the Frog much more favorably. But I think that Alice steps up where The Princess and the Frog failed: it does not reinforce the age old stereotype that the most important thing a woman can do is get a man. Once I realized that this was where Alice was ultimately going, I found myself turning to Ronald and mouthing, "This movie is awesome."

By all accounts, the movie wasn't a total masterpiece. But it was highly enjoyable and I am so happy that this is a movie that little girls will be seeing in the upcoming days, months, and years. If Disney continues on this trend, I might be forced to reconsider my position on them. Of course, it helps the screenplay was written by a woman. All the more reason for better female representation in film careers.

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