If you are of the House of Mouse, then you already know about the big change coming to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride Disney announced yesterday.
Well, I SAY "big change," but it's really just to one iconic scene: the one with the redhead.
Go read about it here on Inside the Magic if you need to catch up, but in a nutshell, next year they'll be changing the infamous "Bride Auction" scene in both Disneyland and WDW...
...into a more generic "Loot Auction," with the iconic Redhead turned into a pirate herself:
"We wants the redhead!" is arguably the most famous line in the entire ride, so I'm guessing (but just guessing) Disney will keep that audio in - only now in the context that she *isn't* for sale, and that's why the bidders want her.
The original PotC ride over in Disneyland has had this painting in it since the beginning, so I could totally see a fun back story coming together to explain the new lady pirate:
However, this is change. At Disney. Not only that, it's change to one of their most beloved and iconic rides ever.
So people. Are losing. THEIR MINDS.
I'll be honest, my first reaction was dismay, too. Nobody likes having their favorite childhood things messed with. Then I read the articles, looked at the ride pictures with fresh eyes, and (oh yes) I read the comments.
The arguments against this change are already so vitriolic, so "THE END IS NIGH," that I have to say something positive. HAVE TO. So let's break down the most common arguments I'm seeing, and I'll tell you why I don't think it's all quite so bad, k?
Argument #1: "Stop re-writing history!"
Ok, but PotC isn't a history lesson. This isn't Epcot, it isn't trying to be educational; it's a silly pirates-themed ride to make you smile, not an exposé on the horrors of real-life piracy.
What's more, do we really think pirates bothered with "brides?" Let's face it, that's sugar-coating what they really did to women, so how is it historically accurate now?
Argument #2: "Our children will be pansies! STOP BEING A BUNCH OF PC SNOWFLAKES."
Again, theme park ride. I understand that uncomfortable things can provide "teachable moments," but is that really a conversation you want to have with your kids at Disney?
Argument #3: "But there are also guns! And torture! Why not take THOSE out?"
That's a fair point - especially the well scene - but here's what I've got: Everything in PotC is portrayed as upbeat and cartoonish - no one is screaming in agony or bleeding out on the street. HOWEVER, at the "Bride Auction" the women are sobbing into their handkerchiefs. Doesn't that tone strike you as off? A little too real?
The red head is NOT crying, presumably because she knows she's the best looking and will fetch the most money? Honestly, that part's never made much sense to me.
Argument #4: "But it's a classic!"
So were a lot of things in the 60s. Times change.
Argument #5: "This is how Walt wanted it!"
Maybe back then, sure, but what Disney wanted more than anything was progress. He famously said the park would never be finished, but would continue to grow. Today that growth means promoting stronger female role models for kids.
In fact, that's going to be my final counterpoint to all the rending-of-robes and gnashing-of-teeth going on over the coming change: this is good news for girls. Disney's "Pirates League" already gives makeovers to boys *and* girls now, and there are female pirates in the PotC movies, but the ride only shows pirate men. So how cool will it be to have at least one awesome lady pirate in there?
Fellow Dizgeeks, I understand that initial disappointment, I do. It took me a little reading and considering to come around myself. (Shout out to my friend & Epbot reader Traci for being the first to help me see this in a positive light, btw.)
So if you're still upset, maybe try to see that Bride Auction through the fresh eyes of a child - through the eyes of your daughters and sisters and nieces. Or just imagine if Disney unveiled a brand new ride that only showed women as victims and property. Wouldn't you rather have little girls leave a ride excited to dress up and go on swashbuckling, make-believe adventures? Because that's what this is about, after all: feeding kids' imaginations, and having fun.
Just some food for thought, the next time you see your friends (or my friends, for that matter) saying how awful and pandering Disney is for being "too PC" with this change. Maybe it is too PC. Maybe it's even unnecessary. But you know what? At the end of the day we're swapping a "Bride Auction" for a sassy, strong lady pirate - and I'm good with that.
Now let's announce some art winners!
The winner of the Avengers poster is SilverIvy
The winner of Alien vs Predator is Annette (the one who said she wants that print)
And the Wildcard winner is Emily Robin
But wait, there's more!
My new winners for LAST month are:
C (of the blog Autistic in Alabama) gets the original Robot
and Lewis B gets the Wildcard!
Congrats, everyone, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!