“You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss,” Dooley Wilson declared in “Casablanca,” still regarded as one of the top-ranked songs in one of the greatest films of all time.
Seventy years later, Lady Antebellum went double platinum with the similarly worded “Just a Kiss.”
But clearly, the songwriters then and now are not the least bit woke. Because anyone with two eyes and a proper education in women’s studies knows that Prince Charming’s famous kiss to revive Snow White from her endless sleep at the hands of the Wicked Queen was essentially rape.
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was Disney’s first full-length animated feature, released in 1937 and beloved by generations of children. Although the story isn’t new, the animation and the storytelling was groundbreaking. And so the credit—and the blame—belongs squarely with one man: Walt Disney.
Disney, of course, is a dead white male, which makes him extremely problematic. He has statues in his honor, which should have been toppled yesterday. He espoused reactionary rhetoric, such as “Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil.” Tell that to the seven dwarfs, toiling under wage slavery and systemic height discrimination.
And Disney held many political views that fall afoul of progressive dogma. Disney was an unabashed conservative who was concerned with Communism—typical right-wing paranoia. He even palled around with anti-Communist fighter Joe McCarthy.
It’s amazing to think that the Walt Disney Company has been passing off the founder’s misogyny to children for nearly a century. If not for a stunning and brave question from a Disney star, of all people, they might have continued to get away with it.
“Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission? Because you cannot kiss someone if they’re sleeping,” actress Kristen Bell told People magazine recently.
Don’t you think it’s weird that an actress who made a fortune working for Disney (she was the voice of Anna in the huge blockbuster, “Frozen”) decided to go after one of its most popular films of all time? Not at all! She’s a hero!
In the spirit of the #MeToo movement, we can readily recognize Disney as the Harvey Weinstein of animation and his sketch pad, a lurid casting couch.
It’s past time good progressives cut through the cant about “wholesome entertainment” and “good versus evil” and force a big company like Disney to get woke.
Because Disney’s problems don’t end with “Snow White.” “Sleeping Beauty” is in the same rapey boat. Same with “Cinderella,” which is not only sexist but classist. “The Three Caballeros” and “Lady and the Tramp” trade on outmoded and vicious ethnic stereotypes of Mexicans and Italians.
“Aladdin” portrays Arabs as living in the desert, “where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face.” In “The Little Mermaid,” a Jamaican-sounding crab teaches the mermaid Ariel that life is better “Under the Sea” because underwater, you don’t have to get a job. More racial stereotyping! (As if blacks don’t work.)
“Pinocchio” is straight-up transphobic. Wooden boys are boys!
The less said about “The Aristocats,” the better.
If a good New Deal liberal like Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel had to go, you better believe the crypto-fascist Walt Disney is more than ripe for defenestration. Seuss’ horrific tale, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” was the first of many clarion calls. There is so much left to be done.
But the work is the work. Cancel Disney in the name of exploited animated princesses everywhere.