Once Upon a Time in a Single-Parent Family: Father and Daughter Relationships in Disney's The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast Once Upon a Time in a Single-Parent Family: Father and Daughter Relationships in Disney's The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast
In the original narrative of â€œThe Little Mermaid,â€ the heroine is primarily raised by her grandmother and wants an immortal soul more than the love of the prince. The tale ends with her death and expectation that after 300 years of service, she can obtain an immortal soul. Disney changes the story, however, by removing the grandmother and placing Triton at the head of the family. His overbearing nature pushes Ariel away as she struggles to gain her independence and win Ericâ€™s love. Before the story concludes, Triton, Ariel, and Eric work together to defeat the sea witch and achieve the filmâ€™s happy endingâ€”the creation of a traditional family.
The fairy tale of â€œBeauty and the Beastâ€ begins with a father who is educated, respected, and wealthy before hardship strikes. Beautyâ€™s request for a rose is what starts the adventure as she must learn to love the Beast to save him from an enchanted curse. Disneyâ€™s alterations to the narrative make Maurice an ineffectual father whose inadequacies bring Belle to the Beastâ€™s castle, and the modified curse on the Beast makes both him and Belle need to fall in love, founding their relationship on equality. The tale concludes with the jubilant hope that the couple will form a family together.
Both animated features proved popular with the public, suggesting that the filmsâ€™ resolutions are considered desirable endings. The films can then be interpreted as expressing the hope that from the single-parent homes of the late-twentieth century, a new generation of stronger nuclear families can arise if these homes base their relationships on unified efforts and equal partnerships.
School:Brigham Young University
School Location:USA - Utah
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:disney the little mermaid beauty and beast father daughter single parent family divorce fairy tale late twentieth century united states
Date of Publication:11/16/2006