Photo courtesy yourmoviestuff.com via Google image searchThe other day a friend brought us a copy of the Disney movie The Princess and the Frog. We had never seen trailers for it because we don't have a TV, but the pictures we saw posted around the mall looked really cute. Typical Disney, if you will. There was nothing blatantly weird or demonic-looking like the new Alice in Wonderland movie, so we put it in.
I must admit I wasn't sitting 'right there' with the kids while it played. I was in the same room, but I was at the sewing machine. So I missed the first sign that this movie was going downhill fast.
I almost always look movies up on Plugged In Online, but I figured since this was a Disney princess movie it would be alright. WOW, was I ever wrong. And I regret it. Big time.
The general story line is not a bad one; poor girl has dreams to make it big, works hard, gets cheated, and looks for new ways to work hard. Meets a talking frog, kisses him and turns into a frog herself. Has to find a way to turn human again, and make her dreams come true.
Sounds good, right? Innocent, right? Wrong.
I went to iron some material in my bedroom, and I hear my middle daughter say "TURN IT OFF RIGHT NOW!!!" and then I hear little feet pattering down the hall, and three voices trying to tell me there was a sangoma in the movie! Needless to say I was floored and angry.
Yes, the movie is set in Louisiana. Yes, they have a history of voodoo. Yes, it is real and people believe in it. And yes, many Americans think it is harmless and based in legend.
Here in South Africa, sangomas (voodoo men and women) are scary. They are witch doctors. They are real. And they are demonic. They wear goat's gall bladders in their hair along with bird feathers, have white painted faces, have bracelets and anklets of assorted colors that clack together, talk with your ancestors as they burn herbs, prescribe muti (their medicine) for a price...
SO many people, even in our Deaf churches don't understand the importance of staying away from them, because they are so strongly rooted in the culture. If you see a regular doctor, and you aren't getting well as quickly as you'd like, go to a sangoma. If your baby cries too much and you want them to stop, go to the sangoma. If someone has hurt you and you want revenge, go to the sangoma. There are many cases of muti murder, where a person is killed by with doctor medicine.
They have potions, and charms, and feather bracelets, and bead necklaces, and stinky rubs they will give you, for a fee, and their solutions many times work. Can I explain how? No. Do I know it's evil and not God-honoring? YES. Was I very angry that a movie marketed to families and especially to little children had some of these freaky elements in it? YOU BET!
Needless to say they turned it off right away and didn't see the rest. I could kick myself for even letting them watch it at all, because they were all so scared they slept in my room that night. And the little one, Snow White, is still scared of the 'sangoma man' when it comes to bed time.
Apparently there is a scene later in the movie (I found out from pluggedinonline.com) where the voodoo man is going to stab a voodoo doll with a pin! And he has scary masks on the wall of his 'abode' and tells people they will be able to gather up souls too with help from his 'friend on the other side'. Now, tell me HOW IN THE WORLD that is acceptable content for children?
The Prince Navoo is also a work. He seems sex-hungry and makes inappropriate comments a lot. Not cool. Yes, it may fly over the heads of my kids, but do I want those kind of things even introduced to their psyche? Do I want them (once they DO understand) to think that kind of thing is acceptable because 'mom let us watch it in a movie once'? NO WAY!!
Just wanted to warn you away from the movie if you haven't seen it, and get that rant off my chest. I am terribly disappointed, and angry. I think I need to write Disney a letter, even though they will probably never read it. And from now on I will NEVER let my kids watch a movie I haven't either screened myself or checked out from a reputable source for content.