Princess Jasmine versus Lisbeth

Becca took a much-deserved date to le cinéma to see David Fincher's adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. After she left, Johannes came dragging his pink blanket and bent paperback of Roald Dahl's The BFG. Plopped himself in my lap, Magdelana snuggled up, and we began (over the past months, we have polished off Dahl's Matilda, The Twits, The Magic Finger, etc.)

(Mr. Dahl is a hero of mine).

Turned his head around, buried it in my chest, and fell asleep as I read aloud. Not many feelings better than that.

We read a bit more, and I gave Magdelana the option of 

A: going to bed, 
B. having a cinema night, watching Aladdin, and eating some snacks.


What do you like about Princess Jasmine?

- I like her smile. That's what I like about her. Her smile. And she's brave. 

How is she brave?

Because she rode on the carpet with Aladdin. 


So we settled in for Disney's version of the classic Arabian Nights tale. She hasn't seen many Disney movies. Largely, her exposure to "princess culture" is from in-store merchandising, and other ubiquitous forms of promotion. Nothing against princesses (see previous posts, e.g. The Police Officers Are Going to Like You...). Just don't care for the attributes they tend to perpetuate (e.g. the need to be rescued, absorbed with clothes & appearance, dismissive tributes to quasi-independence, etc.). At the same, there's some great stories that we have no wish to make 'forbidden fruit;' thus exponentially increasing the allure. Just don't feel that our daughter needs to experience the entire Disney pantheon by the time she's half a decade of age. Anyway. Settled in for Aladdin, taken over by the inimitable Robin Williams voicing The Genie. Snacked away on apple slices, chips & salsa, bread, balsamic vinegar + olive oil, and topped off with a mugga hot chocolat.

So, Princess Jasmine asserts her independence by finally marrying for love, helps out Aladdin a bit, 
has a pet tiger, and speaks up feistily to her father, while Aladdin saves the country and learns the importance of being yourself.

Lisbeth, feisty pierced hacker heroine of Dragon, skates around the globe investigating decades-old murder layered in conspiracy, poking her poked nose where it doesn't belong. Not exactly a please and thank you kinda gal. Her attire might not make the Disney cut either. And if a hero's gonna help out, he's gonna have to catch up.

Aladdin: probably a good choice for us this time around. Fifteen years? Maybe an Aladdin+Dragon double feature with Mags...

Becca called me on the way back, little scared, laughing. How was it? I said. 

Good...can you meet me outside, in the driveway? 


So I grabbed my machete and safely escorted her inside, where we swapped notes on our movies and discovered that they bore little resemblance to one another. 


  1. Why did you make Johannes go to bed??

  2. Fantastic. Thanks for the laughs.

  3. You should help Magdelana write a fairy tale. About a princess. A fierce, feisty, independent princess who likes pretty clothes but isn't obsessed by them, who might enjoy being swept up by a prince, but doesn't need to be, and finds her happily-ever-after because, well, she is happy. Forever. And maybe she has a castle and lots of pretty Lulu clothes and a handsome prince and a sweet ride. And maybe she doesn't.

    Love you, Magga Moo.

  4. Thanks all! And Leanna: in progress. Magdelana told me yesterday:

    "Today I'm pretending to be a princess."

    beat. looks up at me.

    "Don't worry, a STRONG princess."

  5. Jeremy: good point. From now on, he chooses his own bedtime.


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