By Sonia Verma
For the second time in forever
First there was Frozen Fever. Now Disney announces a full-length Frozen sequel is coming, too. Oddly, they didn’t call it Frozen Frenzy OR Frozen Financial Jackpot Ka-ching!
The good news is, your kids will finally have NEW songs to play in a relentless, endless loop.
The bad news is, see also Good news.
Microsoft pulls out all stops to give a 7-year-old boy a prosthetic arm. Robert Downey Jr., in character as Tony Stark, bumps fists with a delighted Alex as he tries out his new bionic limb. It was developed by a college student who works with Microsoft’s Collective Project. The video is that much cooler because the kid is not even slightly into theatrics, and because Microsoft took the high road and didn’t dilute the effects with advertising.
[video:https://youtu.be/oEx5lmbCKtY width:400 autoplay:0]
Photo: The Collective Project via YouTube
Bibbity bobbity bah
Speaking of Disney and bringing stories to real life, the live-action Cinderella premieres today. You can read Today’s Parents’ review here.
As for this movie-goer’s family, we’re giving it a miss, at least for now.
About a year ago, in a misguided moment, I queued up the animated Cinderella movie for my kid. A classic, I thought.
I also thought I knew what was coming—Disney’s signature sparkling swirls of magic, Bibbity-bobbity boo, and eventually a happily ever after. I thought the biggest question I’d have to answer would be why Cinderella wanted to live forever with a guy she just met and is never seen speaking to.
Unfortunately, what I forgot—or blocked out—was the harsh, sadistic bullying by Cinder’s stepfamily. My kid was close to tears pretty early on, and the “rip her dress off her with shrieks of malicious glee” phase shoved her right over the edge into a sobbing heap of sadness and upset questions.
Let’s not even go near the horror when they LOCKED HER IN THE ATTIC.
That was a year ago, and we’re still discussing why Cinderella's mother and sisters were so unkind. (As an aside, I’m so, so SO glad that the “step” aspect of the family escaped my kid—we don’t have to debunk that particular myth. Yet. Thanks for that eventual conversation, too, Disney.)
It did give us an "in" to talk about bullying, and how even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you (the sisters were laughing as they tormented Cinderella, after all), if you can tell someone is sad about what you’re doing, stop and try to see it their way.
How it is not okay to gang up on other people.
How if someone is being cruel to you, you can and should tell them to stop and then should walk away, even if it means you are alone. Cinderella didn’t or couldn’t stand up for herself, and it’s a secret relief that my kid, who often struggles to assert herself, was so scarred by the film, she doesn’t see her as a role model.
For now, Cinderella is the high water mark for stuff she finds upsetting. Like injuries, or when her parents are horrible. "Not as bad as Cinderella" is actually a phrase at my home, and not one I coined.
So yeah, Disney, holy crap.
momstown editor Sonia Verma is a lifelong fan of animated movies, but is sticking to safer ground for now, like The Incredibles, Cars, and The Jungle Book.