DISNEY HERO AND PRINCESSSESby Marianne Vernacchia on 06/26/22
How does Disney appeal to so many different people – different cultures, ages, across the entire world?
It’s quite a phenomenon if you think about it. The level of popularity, obsession for some, and the beloved characters and stories reaching across to resonate with all humanity, is quite astounding. Age-old stories with archetypal themes that Disney highlights so masterfully capture us emotionally, morally, and at times spiritually, down to our very core. Themes like darkness and light in the classic fairytales to the more complex human moral struggles such as family in-feuding, jealousy, power, abandonment, greed, lying, and feeling accepted, finding our true potential, and of course, love, touches each of us. Add to that the heroes and princesses that overcome abuse, discrimination, and isolation, and it is easy to relate and see pieces of ourselves in the beloved characters. They are the same archetypes that we embrace in our real lives, The Hero, The Damsel in Distress, The Wicked Step-Mother/Mother, The Mistreated Princess, The Naïve Young Boy, not to mention those dwarves…Sleepy, Dopey…I know I can relate to those guys!
It can be fun to play with these themes and archetypes in therapy, to explore which ones we relate to. Do you have a favorite Disney movie? What do you like about it? Can you relate to any of the themes within your own life experiences? Do you wish you had an ending like the movie did? Why or why not?
Which princess or hero is your favorite? Why is she/he your favorite? Have you ever felt the way she felt? Do you wish your experiences would end like hers/his? Does this hold you back in any way? What do you think about this?
Then there’s Tinker Bell! If only each of us could carry around some of that pixie dust in our pockets!