The Bee's Joel Berry hit the nail on the head so I'll turn this over to him:
YouTube link if you need it:
Remember how Disney's CEO just said they don't want to engage in the culture wars?
Yeah, this is the heart of the culture wars, whether you realize it or not.
Disney has gone all-in on "the future is female," which makes me sad, because boys don't have noble princes, valiant heroes, or good-hearted street urchins to identify with in any Disney movie anymore.
All we get are girl bosses. And great, I've got 4 daughters, so a good storyline that teaches my girls how to be brave, strong, feminine, maternal, caring, disciplined, and virtuous would be more than welcome.
But that's not what this is.
This movie plays on the "when you wish upon a star" theme that Disney loves. It's about a girl, Asha (meaning "wish, hope, desire"), who is invited to apprentice under a magic king who grants wishes to his people. The king creates order, law, stability, and peace. But then Asha learns that the king only grants the most important wishes, which seems unfair - why would an all-powerful king who claims to love all his people withhold his power and mercy from some of his citizens? She wonders, is this even a good king?
(Do you see where this is going?)
We see snippets of the king's vanity. The people around him adore him, even worship him. He is their Father God, but Asha has discovered that he is actually a villain.
Instead, Asha will have to flee society - that ordered realm of the god-king, and reconnect with Gaia, Mother Earth, that cosmic force that will grant her the power to become her own goddess with literal star power. With this power, she will return to overthrow the patriarch king and free the people from the shackles of his rules in order to end oppression and grant everyone's desires.
(This is supposed to usher in utopia with giant chickens or something)
In truth, that's not how it would work.
In other words, the question this movie really wants your daughters to ask (since there's no one in this movie for boys) is this:
"Did God really say? And is God really good?"
You may think I'm being dramatic. People, this script made it through years of meetings where people paid to be dramatic thought through all the layers of themes and allegories here.
But Joel B. is also right that Disney still needs to shoehorn in Christian ideas of heroism, good, and equality - more proof, as CS Lewis said, that all good myths are based in the True Myth of Christ.
Unfortunately, these days Disney seems intent on doing the work of the Snake instead of showing heroes who fight serpents to save their one true love.
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