I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: My memory stinks.
A big benefit of writing for momaha is that the work forces me to capture memories from my children’s lives that I might otherwise forget.
I can’t remember the last course I took in college, my friends’ birthdays, or how to navigate across town to places I’ve been before without my GPS device.
On the contrary, want to know something I’ve never forgotten? The story of a fox named Tod and a hound named Copper who were lifelong friends before society forced them to become adversaries. How messed up is that?
The “Fox and the Hound” was a Walt Disney animated film released in 1981. I was 5 back then. And I distinctly remember near the end of that movie suddenly realizing that my best friends then might not always stay my best friends. Talk about traumatic.
A friend of mine recently brought up on Facebook how children’s books and movies are often more harsh than we’d care to admit. So, today, I am calling a spade and spade and summarizing the plots and underlying morals contained in some of the classics.
“Bambi” – Baby deer is born. His dad is the Great Prince of the forest. His mom is never named, but she means the world to him. Mom goes out hunting and becomes the hunted. MORAL: Meat comes from animals and you’ve probably already eaten an orphan’s mom.
“Charlotte’s Web” – A pig finds an unlikely friend in a spider. Spider saves pig’s life, leads the pig to fame, and entrusts the pig with her offspring. Spider dies and leaves behind her babies. MORAL: Animals… especially cute ones …die.
“Finding Nemo” – Fish’s mom dies before he’s even hatched. He’s rebellious and raised by his dad. He’s lost. MORAL: Don’t disobey your parent or you will be kidnapped.
“Lion King” – Lion cub is destined to rule the Pride Lands in his father’s footsteps. Cub’s uncle is jealous, kills his own brother, and leads cub to believe his father’s death is all his fault. MORAL: Your family is crazy. Better to learn that sooner than later.
“Old Yeller” – Dog arrives unexpectedly. Boy reluctantly accepts dog into the family. Dog protects family from rabid wolf and ends up with rabies. Boy has to shoot dog dead through tear-filled eyes. MORAL: Where was that gun when the wolf pounced on your poor canine companion? Life is full of regrets.
I could go on and on about life’s lessons in other children’s books and animated films, but that wouldn’t be as much fun as hearing your take. Do you have any examples you’d like to share?
Heidi Woodard is married with three children. Read her Thursdays on momaha.com
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