I hate the movie Beauty and the Beast.
We recently retrieved the movie from the jaws of the Disney Vault. I think I liked it the first time I saw it, when I was a kid, but this time it just left a bad taste in my mouth. The music is good, I suppose. But Belle is so annoying. What a horrible role model for girls. Here is a woman who is "smart" because she reads books about princesses falling in love, and has absolutely no aspirations of her own to accomplish anything.
Yes, she wants to leave the town she lives in. And true, she doesn't want to marry the arrogant jackass. But the joyous ending for her is just falling in love with some guy who isn't an arrogant jackass (anymore). Who appears to only like her because she's pretty. Plus she does nothing to help him when he's fighting the bad guy... aside from loving him, I guess.
My daughter has a bit of an obsession with the Disney princesses, as evidenced by the drawings on her underwear, so I can't help but notice that all the movies are like that. Ariel and Jasmine are spoiled little brats. Cinderella falls in love with a guy so generic that he doesn't even have a name and is merely defined by being "charming." It's kind of sickening.
That said, I love Mulan.
We just rewatched it as travel entertainment, and each time, I like Mulan better. If you've never seen the movie, it's about a Chinese girl who poses as a male soldier so that her ailing father is spared joining the army. She completely kicks ass as a soldier and there is only passing mention of her romantic interest in her commander.
But you know what I really love about that movie? Not that Mulan kicks ass, but I love how in the beginning, she sucks at everything. She is terrible at every part of training, and her only comfort is that everyone else is equally terrible. I totally relate to Mulan! Granted, she gets really good within the span of a two minute training montage, but I still like her for it. And I love that she continues to doubt herself until she finally gains confidence in the last sequence.
I think it's such a great movie to show to young girls. Every time my daughter watches it, I want to yell, "Isn't she awesome??!"
Does anyone have any other examples of movies we can show our daughters to inspire them not to turn into whiny brats ogling some handsome prince?