“And they lived happily ever after…”
Virtually every Disney story ends with the same all-encompassing line.
We’ve been conditioned to accept that in the end, all is and always will be well. That evil has been defeated and will never appear again. That good has conquered and will continue to rule.
But as we grow up in a world far removed from Fairytopia, we find it harder and harder to conceive such perfection. We come to ponder what exactly “ever after” means.
20 year old Jon Cozart (YouTube user Paint) has his own theories.
The viral YouTube phenom examines the post-storybook lives of popular Disney princesses in a catchy a cappella parody that is at once both incredibly genius and immensely unnerving.
“If you’ve ever wondered why Disney tales all end in lies… Here’s what happened after all their dreams came true,” he sings before throwing four popular princesses into our world in the worst possible scenarios:
The Little Mermaid is drowning in a BP-induced oil spill, Belle is being persecuted for beastiality, Jasmine’s husband has been taken into custody by the CIA as a suspected terrorist, and Pocahontas is sick of Europeans and thirsting for their blood.
The video is at once humorous and shockingly honest. It has had millions of views and surprising success on iTunes, and it’s easy to see why. The idea of Disney characters struggling for survival in our world leaves viewers feeling moved, amused, and immensely disturbed – because the one thing that is immediately evident in the parody is that the characters themselves don’t change. They are essentially the same people they were in their respective worlds, displaced into the world that created them.
I’m not exactly sure what Cozart was hoping to achieve with this parody but I find that point really intriguing.
Above anything else, it reinforces the idea that happy endings, or at least the all-encompassing happy endings found in fairy tales, just don’t exist in our world and even though it’s entirely our fault that they don’t, we decide to dismiss them as unrealistic rather than to examine our own shortcomings. More importantly, Cozart’s video introduces a haunting thought: If a little girl attempted to recreate Disney’s world in our own (as so many little girls attempt to do), dire consequences would result.