Driving home from the drive-in, my 11yr old daughter states:
“I really like how in the last two Disney Princess movies they’re not making true love all about a guy.”
Spoiler Alert: Frozen and Maleficent are not about romantic love.
Frozen has been an unbelievable breakout success. The music runs through our heads, over and over again. The parody videos get millions of hits on YouTube. Yet for me, the beauty of the story is how it defines love. Love is sacrificial.
Maleficent is a new telling of the old Sleeping Beauty story. This new telling cast the wicked fairy has not only the villain but the hero too. Remarkably, to break the spell, true love’s kiss is not about romance, but about something deeper and more meaningful, family.
In both movies, there is a curse that can only be undone by true love. For years, Disney movies have portrayed love’s power over the curse, but only in the romantic love fashion. Now after 70+ years of romantic love being displayed as the ultimate saving power, Disney is breaking the curse.
I don’t mean to belittle romantic love, but I want to put it in it’s proper place. For nearly a century, we’ve elevated romantic love to the ultimate place and we’ve been cursed by it. As the masses have pursued romantic love, they’ve been disappointed because they’ve failed to find their happily ever after in the process. Instead what they’ve found is that the feelings of romance pass and it is too easy to fall in love with someone new.
We’ve been cursed with a pursuit that never meets our expectations. It turns out romantic love is more like lust than love. Lust is a funny thing. Whatever the object of our lust, once we have it, the object fails to fulfill us as we thought it would.
As a result of the curse, countless marriages and families have been harmed and destroyed because of the false sense of romantic love being the ultimate.
Sacrifice and family are better expressions of love by far. They carry with them a greater depth that like romantic love is hard to explain in words. Yet, sacrifice and family are not reduced to sentiments of the moment, but carry forward beyond the moment. These expressions of love actually create legacies for others to live within.
As Disney and others rediscover true love and tell the stories, I applaud them. I don’t expect the curse to be broken overnight nor in just two movies. There are also the lasting consequences of the activities carried out under the curse. The good news is in this rediscovery, we are finding new hope and greater love!
So I join in with my daughter, Caitlyn, “I’m glad in the last two Disney Princess movies they’re not making love about a guy,” but about a greater love.