Disney & Remini: A Tangled Story of Lies and Doublespeak

When my oldest granddaughter was three, her favorite movie was a Disney musical cartoon called “Tangled.” In typical 3-year-old style, she became obsessed with it. She wanted to watch it every day, and when she wasn’t watching it, she would sing her favorite song from the movie, a little ditty called “Mother Knows Best.”

Now, if you’ve seen the film, you’ll know that this disturbed me. And why. The song is a masterpiece of the art of doublespeak—speaking one thing while meaning the exact opposite.

Tangled movie poster
Disney’s poster for the movie “Tangled.”
(Image by Catherine Chen/Flickr.com. Image has been cropped.)

In the song, the young princess is being assured that her mother knows what is best for her, and is acting and advising her only to protect and nurture her.

In reality, the “mother” is an evil witch who kidnapped the princess when the girl was an infant. She uses the song to constantly degrade the girl and make her feel small, stupid and afraid, all the while repeating gleefully that “mother knows best” how to take care of her. The song is upbeat, cheerful even, and all the while the lyrics attack the princess to beat her down.

The presentation is confusing to Disney’s young viewers, to say the least. My innocent granddaughter didn’t understand the subtle nuances written into it at all, nor could she understand that the smiles of the cartoon “mother” hid a false and evil heart. To her, the song was just a charming tribute to a mother like her own.

Well, no one wanted to be the one to burst her bubble, and explain that the song was actually part of the witch’s diabolical plan to keep the princess locked in a tower, away from life and the family who loved and missed her. But finally, her mother (my daughter) couldn’t stand it. She sat her little girl down and explained the cartoon to her fully and completely.

My granddaughter never asked to see that movie again.

Even the cynical staff at Disney and A&E would recognize that they had gone too far if Remini attacked their church, their beliefs, or the school that their children attended.

I’m telling you this story so that you will understand that I am coming from a very personal place when I say that Disney has, in a disturbing diversion of character and purpose, chosen to crown another evil queen and set her on the path of confusing the young and impressionable. And I find that I am dreading the day when I will have to explain to my granddaughter and her younger siblings just why it is that a Disney subsidiary has chosen to finance, air and promote a show devoted solely and completely to bashing our chosen religion.

Do any of you want to help me with that?

Can you let me know, please, why it is that Disney is funding, promoting and airing a show featuring a washed-up sitcom queen who spends her 30 minutes of fame attempting to degrade, belittle and attack all members of the Scientology religion?

Would it be acceptable if Leah Remini’s show did nothing but week after week describe the “horrors” of practicing Islam? What if she constantly “demonstrated” the “insanity” of believing that one could consume the body of the Lord in a blessed wafer? Or if she wondered why the police weren’t called when an entire group practiced the “child abuse” of having their children fast on the Day of Atonement? Would her show get a green light if she chose to “expose” the “evil” of forcing children to attend a Catholic school, where they would be studying only with children who also believed in Catholicism? Would it be acceptable if she said (with a sneer and a shudder), “but Catholics believe that,” or “that’s what Jewish parents do?”

Of course not. Even the cynical staff at Disney and A&E would recognize that they had gone too far if Remini attacked their church, their beliefs, or the school that their children attended.

And yet, Remini’s show has blatantly attacked not only the beliefs that I share with my own children and grandchildren. Disney and A&E have also used the evil queen’s personal diatribe to attack the excellent school that my children attended (and that my grandchildren currently attend), the religious holidays that we celebrate, the scripture that we choose to study, and on and on. Like Gothel, the evil queen in “Tangled,” if Remini can find or invent any kind of low twist at all to confuse impressionable minds, she will use it, and with glee.

Shame on you, Disney and A&E executives. All of you. It’s time to stop pretending you’re fooled by the evil queen’s doublespeak, and learn to think for yourselves.

Laurie Bartilson
Always in search of wisdom and truth. I think for myself, and advise you to do the same.