Today I depart from bringing you the typical fare of Sunday political cartoons to discuss the demise of a different sort of cartoon, the Disney animated fairy tale.

Disney announced this week it will produce no more “princess movies” beyond Tangled, its retooled version of Rapunzel, which was released November 24.

Feminism and the sexualization of children have taken their toll. According to the Los Angeles Times:

Among girls, princesses and the romanticized ideal they represent – revolving around finding the man of your dreams – have a limited shelf life. With the advent of “tween” TV, the tiara-wearing ideal of femininity has been supplanted by new adolescent role models such as the Disney Channel’s Selena Gomez and Nickelodeon’s Miranda Cosgrove.

“By the time they’re 5 or 6, they’re not interested in being princesses,” said Dafna Lemish, chairwoman of the radio and TV department at Southern Illinois University and an expert in the role of media in children’s lives. “They’re interested in being hot, in being cool. Clearly, they see this is what society values.”

I, too, am uneasy about a storyline that has the handsome prince rescuing the beautiful princess or damsel in distress. In reality there are so many ways this storyline can become unhealthy and go bad.

On the other hand, as the book Captivating points out, this dream fills the hearts of most honest, normal women. Otherwise, the storyline in so many variations would not have maintained such high popularity through the generations.

And most honest, normal men have an innate desire to be knights in shining armor, as the companion book Wild at Heart describes.

This is the way we’re built, and in a sinless world the strengths and limitations of men and women would synergize one another in perfect harmony. It is only together that male and female comprise the image of God.

But because the world is filled with sin, these yearnings of our hearts are meant to draw us to the one and only Knight in Shining Armor, both as our rescuer and role model.

If only Disney would make that movie*.

*In a way, DreamWorks already has. In 1998 it released The Prince of Egypt, about Moses saving the Israelites from the Egyptians; Moses was an archetype of Jesus.

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