My cousin told me something heartbreaking the other day. She informed that that at the grand old age of ten years old, she is now “too old” for Disney. I’m clearly not doing my job as a role model well because at the age of twenty one, I still freaking love Disney and have never, at any point in my life, felt like I’ve outgrown it.
I think part of the problem is that kids view animated films ad being aimed purely at children. Therefore, if they reject the medium, they in turn seem more grown up. But of course, this just isn’t the case. Disney knows its audience. They’ve known for years that their viewing population is one art child, one part parent. And because of that, Disney strives to make its content interesting and relevant for adults as well.
In recent years, I’ve re watched classics that I haven’t seen since I was a child, and I find that I now understand jokes that I never would have gotten as a child. As you age, so does your understanding of the films. You go from empathizing with the little mermaid to thinking; “Hang on, you’re sixteen years old and you haven’t even met the guy properly yet. Calm the hell down.” This means that Disney is relevant at every point in your life. Because as you get older, your perspective changes, and it’s like watching an entirely new movie.
Of course, as I get older, I’m slowly moving out of princess territory.
Turning sixteen was okay, because that’s the same age as Ariel.
Turning eighteen was okay, because that’s how old Rapunzel is.
My twenty-first was saved by the arrival of Elsa.
But where are the princesses older than twenty-one? After this age, it seems like I’m slipping dangerously into villain territory.
The only saving grace is Kida from Atlantis who claims to be around 8,500. I don’t care if you argue that the Atlantians count the years differently, therefore she’s younger. I need an older princess so I know that I’m not past the age where I can have a happily ever after.
So if I was ever to complain about an aspect of Disney, this would be it. If Disney wants to keep its older audiences, then our protagonists need to be more mature as well.