Disneyland’s revamped Snow White ride is facing backlash over Snow White and Prince Charming’s kiss while she’s asleep.
The classic Disney story goes like this: Snow White is poisoned by an evil queen and falls into a comatose state. That is, until Prince Charming’s “true love’s kiss” breaks the spell, and they live happily ever after.
SFGATE’s managing editor, Katie Dowd, and reporter, Julie Tremaine wrote an article explaining while the ride itself is “really good,” the famous kiss is problematic.
Dowd and Tremaine argue Prince Charming is shown kissing Snow White without her consent and it “cannot possibly” be true love.
“It’s hard to understand why the Disneyland of 2021 would choose to add a scene with such old fashioned ideas of what a man is allowed to do to a woman,” Dowd and Tremaine wrote in the article.
The criticism follows changes to other Disney Park rides deemed offensive and racist. Splash Mountain will be replaced with a ride featuring “The Princess and the Frog,” a 2009 animated film featuring Tiana, the studio’s first Black princess. Last June, Splash Mountain’s storyline was adapted from the 1946 movie, “Song of the South,” which was found to have racist undertones.
Another popular ride, The Jungle Cruise at Disneyland and Disney World was critiqued for its depictions of Indigenous people, and Disney announced early this year the attraction would be updated.
“As part of our ongoing process at Imagineering, we look at the authentic representation of people and cultures in our stories,” said Carmen Smith, executive, creative development and inclusive strategies for Walt Disney Imagineering. “This is an important part of creating a more inclusive environment for guests from all over the world.”
But not everyone agrees with the criticism surrounding the Snow White ride – Fox News host Todd Piro shared his take on Monday. He said Prince Charming’s kiss on a poisoned Snow White was comparable to someone needing CPR, according to The Independent.
“And I don’t think anybody is looking at the Prince Charming kiss of Snow White and saying, boy, that’s a microcosm of date rape culture in college… I’m not saying date rape culture in college is a positive thing. I have a little daughter right upstairs here in my home. Absolutely don’t want that, but let’s disaggregate this. This is a cartoon, this is fable from many, many years. It is not what we all fear as dads of daughters.”
While some saw nothing wrong with the kiss, it led other families to feel uneasy.
When Disneyland’s doors reopened on April 30, following a 400-day closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Amanda Cruz said she and her 8-year-old son were among the first in line to enter.
Although an avid Disneyland goer, Cruz said Snow White and Prince Charming’s kiss led to an “uncomfortable” conversation with her son. Cruz said he asked her “why did they only kiss when she was asleep?” She noted 2021 is the year topics of consent and racism are discussed at home but not reflected in amusement parks.
“I understand what the SFGATE article is saying, it made me have to explain when and when not to kiss someone to my boy,” Cruz told USA TODAY.