I grew up on Disney movies, y’all. So don’t think this post is about hating on Disney movies. I’ve loved just about every single one of them. But that doesn’t mean that they have always depicted healthy romantic relationships like the ones depicted in my favorite romance novels. Here’s a few things that happened in beloved Disney movies that would make me DNF a romance novel with a quickness.
(NOTE: And just to head-off any potential unpleasantness, I’m not trying to say that all Disney movies SHOULD depict great romance. I realize they aren’t romances. I’m just making a point and drawing a comparison between movies I grew up on, and books I love to read today. These are my opinions and I’m entitled to them. You’re entitled to yours, too--but don’t expect me to engage in any mean-spirited arguing if you disagree with me. That is all.)
Snow White is the ultimate damsel in distress. First, she’s saved by the Huntsman who fails to carry out the Queen’s orders to kill her. Then, she stumbles across the dwarves who take her in and care for her. And finally, it takes Prince Florian’s kiss to wake her from her poison apple slumber. Can she do anything for herself?
And that’s not even mentioning the kiss Florian plants on her while she’s passed out (which kinda creeps me out) and their instalove.
A lot of the same stuff goes for Sleeping Beauty, too. Just sayin’.
For some great romance novels about women who are NOT damsels in distress and fairly regularly kick ass, you’ll want to check these out.
Beauty and the Beast
Yes, this is a great movie. The songs, the bookish heroine, the library. Sigh. That library is on my holiday wish list pretty much every year. And I do love that the Beast came around in the end and let Belle go, to his own detriment. But let’s not pretend that things were rosy and bright between Belle and the Beast in the beginning. He threw her in a cell, threatened to starve her, and was generally a giant, abusive asshat to her. There’s no WAY I’d tolerate that from a romance hero.
But for some fabulous reads about alpha males who AREN’T alphaholes, you’ll want to check out this list.
The Little Mermaid
The big takeaway in this one seems to be that if a guy doesn’t love you when you’re right in front of him, all you need to do is change everything about yourself. Oh, and then there’s that whole instalove thing …
For some of our all-time favorite quirky heroines who have hero’s who love them JUST THE WAY THEY ARE, you won’t want to miss these.
If Cinderella is to be believed, all you need in order to escape horrible living conditions and abuse is to find a rich man and marry him. Yeah...sure. *eye roll*
(And one additional minor point: the fact that the Prince didn’t recognize Cinderella without her hair and makeup done always chapped my ass. Your “true love” is standing right in front of you and you don’t know it’s her because her hair was different from the last time you saw her? Dumbass.)
For reads about tough survivors with surprising inner strength, try these.
Great relationships can’t be built on lies. It just doesn’t work. When a romance hero lies to a heroine and lets a relationship build that way, it irritates the crap out of me. So even though Jasmine is a great, feisty heroine, the fact that Aladdin let her think he was royalty for so long doesn’t sit quite right with adult me (even though younger me never even noticed such a thing while watching the movie and laughing until I almost peed at the antics of Robin Williams as the genie).
For books about honest-to-a-fault heroes, you need to check out these cinnamon rolls, and these book boyfriends who would make the best real-life boyfriends.
What about y’all? Anything you’d like to add? Let’s discuss!