After much thought and consideration, I have decided that my first entry here should be about something that inspires me. Something that gives me the analytic-theory tingle in my tummy. And what else is there, but Disney?
Yes, I know that’s out-dated but it’ll work.
I recently had the honor of sitting down with my friend M, who just happens to be five years old and thus warrants a nickname, to watch the sequel to Disney’s new line of Tinker Bell movies, “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue”.
Now before I start questioning; let me tell you that I love fairies. I love magic. I love fantasy, and dragons, and Harry Potter, and more… I am a big ol’ girlie geek and I am proud of it. However, I don’t believe that in order to love these things I have to ignore the real-magical worlds of science, research, and exploration!
I guess I should take a step back and mention that the first movie of the series, “Tinker Bell,” is really where my doubts started to take shape. For those who haven’t seen it, here’s a quick summary thanks, in part, to the wikipedia page:
“Tinker Bell is born from the first laugh of a baby, and is brought by the winds to Pixie Hollow (which is part of the island of Never Land). She learns that her talent is to be one of the tinkers, the fairies who make and fix things.” She meets some of the other fairies who all have nature talents meaning that they are responsible for why the seasons change, why animals learn to fly, etc.
Now, the rest of the movie isn’t particularly important, the reason that this movie sparked my science-lovin’-Spidey-senses was that there is never a thought toward reminding their audience (an audience that is still learning the rules of the world) that fairies do not actually paint ladybugs, it’s actually naturally evolved camouflage, nor do the make rainbows, it’s actually light refraction, and hey— that’s pretty damn cool.
Little did I know that it would only get worse.
You see, this little girl needs to be saved from her evil scientist father, who neglects her to work on his science and kills butterflies for science and denies fairies for lack of science and very clearly then, science is evil and what isn’t evil? Believing. Believing in fairies… and I would feel pretty okay arguing that this movie also wants you to believe in magic, most precisely the magic of God and religion and the kind of believing that takes not asking questions or any kind of science.
Don’t get me wrong, for the length of the movie I wanted the scientist-father to wear his Dad-shoes a bit more often and his scientist-shoes a little bit less. But this is a story that is familiar to us, Dad’s are always shown working so much that they forget that father-daughter time is good for all involved. However, what is new, albeit it not really fresh, is that this Dad vehemently criticizes his daughter and her obsession with fairies; to the degree that this argument overwhelms the argument of his fathering skills. And it isn’t until he finds a fairy, and takes it off to be killed and pinned like one of his butterflies, that science becomes the true “evil” or “villain” in this movie.
Dad was bad but Dad gets worse when influenced by science. He has to learn to believe to have his happily ever after.
So here’s my question, was it really necessary to make science the bad guy to make this movie?
I think not… but I’d love to hear from you!
Because that’s what blogging is all about right? So, if you like what I’ve started here so far. Please, by all means, come back! Comment and let me know what you think!