Sexual assault allegations on Snow White receiving true love’s kiss


Photo courtesy of Flickr/Tom Simpson

Graphic of Snow White’s Prince waking her from the Evil Queen’s enchantment. The curse breaks and they live happily ever after.

True love’s kiss has always been a beacon of hope for the reversal of an antagonist’s malicious intentions within various Disney movies. Or at least that’s how I have always seen it. I never saw it as the princess is in danger and a prince must come to save her…but no. This generations’ depiction of a fairytale no longer enhances the magic Disney creators have worked so hard to create, instead, Disney has been accused of displaying acts of sexism and sexual assault in their films. My intuition tells me those ideologies were never a goal of the creators to include in a children’s film, their only goal was to make dreams come true.

A film I am sure we are familiar with has recently been castigated by a controversial group of individuals in our society. Disneyland’s new revamped ride, Snow White’s Enchanted Wish has replaced Snow White’s Scary Adventures. Snow White’s Enchanted Wish generally is very similar to the previous ride, however, it reveals more scenes from the 1938 movie storyline than was shown before causing a bit of controversy from parents.

The new ride includes state-of-the-art audio and visual technology, including new music, LED black lighting, laser projections and a new animation system that is particularly noticed in the scene of the ride where ‘true love’s kiss’ is performed; which is the highlight of this squabble. The storyline reads the Prince finding Snow White under the Evil Queen’s spell and she can only be woken from the enchantment with the act of ‘true love’s kiss’. Technically speaking, he performs this kiss while she is fast asleep, therefore she is unconscious and has no idea what is happening to her. In reality, we would consider this nonconsensual. I, however, see it as no more than the ending to a plot in a fairytale. Junior Francesa Urioste believes “the purpose [of the kiss] was never to offend anyone and people have become too sensitive nowadays whereas they tend to find a deeper meaning in a situation.”

Going forward Disney should exclude non consensual kissing scenes. We are in a new time period where it is important that children know both parties must be willing to engage, but this fairytale was made 83 years ago, a time where a kiss from the prince to wake the princess was just seen as a happy ending and nothing more. “People should have the right to be upset and uncomfortable about it. The way the kiss happened was wrong and portrays a bad message.” junior Ella Barrett said.

There is always going to be an opposing view, especially on a subject like this. Parent to former WJ students Noah and Willem Sheetz, Shelly Sheetz voiced her decision to not read fairy tales to her kids when they were young due to the overwhelming amount of sexism they all display. She is referring to the concept of the prince always saving the princess from harm. This approach proves to be more beneficial because Sheetz got what she wanted without involving an entire society of opinionated people.

It is not the Disney creator’s responsibility to change a ride adults are uncomfortable with. If that were the case, they would be changing rides left and right to fit the wants and needs of their customers. Instead of changing the classic fairytale or criticizing writer’s choices from 83 years ago, parents could take the matter into their own hands and have a discussion with their children establishing what is right and what is wrong. Explain to your child the difference between a story and reality, consensual vs. non consensual. If they don’t care enough to do that, then simply don’t take your child on Snow White’s Enchanted Wish ride.