This is the Disney rant. (Julie, you’re excused from having to sit through this again, bless your extraordinarily patient heart!)
Akiva has drunk the Disney Kool-Aid in a big way. It started with a passion for The Little Mermaid. We let him borrow the Disney version from the library, and he took a huge shine to it. (I don’t know what drew him to it in the first place. What is it about these infernal cartoons?) I didn’t interfere with his watching the Disney video, but I also introduced him to several gorgeous print versions of the Hans Christian Andersen story, as well as the Shelley Duvall Faerie Tale Theatre video. He liked them all, especially the Shelley Duvall (starring a young Treat Williams, and a very sweet treat indeed) and then he started asking me to tell him little mermaid stories. Every time I told a story (from my imagination, no less) he’d tell me why it wasn’t the “real” little mermaid story. When I asked what was the real one, he said the Disney one.
When he listens to music, he doesn’t have any problem with hearing different versions of the same song. But somehow the stories are different, and somehow the Disney version always trumps.
I think it’s the hegemony that pisses me off. (For now I’ll leave out the rant about what they’ve done to the Broadway musical.)
They take folk tales, doctor them up, and sell them back to their original owners as commodities. And there’s nothing a parent can do to stop them.