A conversation with my newly minted 4 year old really opened my eyes. I thought I'd share.
Anna (out of nowhere): Mom, Why did Ariel's dad get really angry and break all the stuff in her water house? That wasn't very nice.
Me: Well, I think it was because she was disobedient. She did something he told her not to do. Doesn't that happen at our house sometimes? When I ask you not to jump on my bed, and you do it anyway? Do I get angry?
Anna: (nodding vigorously) Yes!
Me: See, Ariel's dad told her to never go to the surface again, and she broke the rules, didn't she? She went up to the surface, right?
Anna: Yes. So, her daddy got angry like you.
Me: Yes, exactly. If only she had been obedient...
And then in my mind, I played out the situation. If Ariel had been obedient, she'd probably have married some nice merman. And lived happily ever after with their mer-children and a successful music career. Not the fairy-tale but certainly a respectable choice! And yet she didn't. And she learned nothing! Because in the end, Tritan rescued her! And she got her Price Eric. Who, in my mind, probably started cheating on her a couple months after the wedding.
Psht. No rescuing for my kids! At least... I'm gonna try not to.
What made me really laugh about this exchange with my sweet girl, was that probably as few as 10 years ago, I could only see Ariel's point of view. Controlling father, unfair demands, etc. And now, as a parent... well, frankly, I don't think I want The Little Mermaid playing in my house anymore.