A relationship therapist ranks the most problematic Disney romances
Disney romances have long been criticized for being, well, totally unrealistic. Not only did cartoons set romantic standards that were truly unobtainable for all of us, but there are also some pretty disturbing themes presented in classic children’s movies. Falling in love with a literal Beast driven by vendetta – ehm, Belle – consent and logic are often lacking in fictional relationships, let alone a fairly standard period of getting to know each other before getting started.
So what does a relationship therapist have to say about all of this?
In a recent YouTube video, relationship therapist Jonathan Decker analyzed a random assortment of Disney romantic relationships to see which are the most problematic and which actually have a solid foundation. Testing their partnerships in the battle royale, animated couples Alladin and Jasmine, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Fix-It Felix and Calhoun from Ralph’s WrecksRapunzel and Eugene TangledSimba and Nala from The Lion Kingand Snow White and Prince Florian.
Of the couples selected, Decker ranks Snow White and Prince Florian (yes, the prince as a name – and that’s apparently this) as the most problematic match. After all, the two only meet once (without speaking!) before getting engaged, with Snow White becoming so scared during this encounter that she literally runs away.
So this is love? Well, maybe not.
“Snow White, you experience a chemical surge that’s probably a combination of the response to his pheromones and the physical attraction to him, and the adrenaline of absolute terror,” Decker says. “So those things combined can be quite powerful. That doesn’t mean it’s love.”
That’s all without mentioning the small (or rather, absolutely glaring) consent issue in their relationship — or lack thereof.
Decker says: “[Snow White] eats the poisoned apple, she gets knocked out, then he sees her and thinks, “I should totally kiss her.” “”
Now remember, Prince Florian has absolutely no idea that a kiss will save Snow White from poison. As Decker says, he just falls on her unconscious and thinks “now that’s my window”.
Obviously, the vintage Disney couple is outdated and problematic in every way — but what about the least problematic couple of the bunch? Decker tells Fix-It Felix and Calhoun’s Ralph’s Wrecks actually have a relationship to envy, creating a team of dynamite and embracing each other’s personalities.
“They accept each other’s influence,” Decker says. “On the surface, [Calhoun] is tough, no frills, leads troops into battle – and Felix looks really nice, kinda nerdy, doesn’t really know what he’s doing. But she accepts the influence from him, he definitely accepts it from her all along, and they complement each other. It’s like salty and sweet.”
While the two can win all-or-nothing video games with their complementary personalities and different approaches, they also make each other grow and flourish in their relationship.
“She softens because of his influence, and he hardens because of her influence,” Decker says. “And there’s kind of a meeting in the middle.”
Curious to know where the other couples land? Watch the full video above to see the full final standings.
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