One of my students told me that her mother never let her watch Disney princess movies as a kid; as a teenager, she later binged on them at a friend’s house, but by that point, she understood her mother’s fears, and the romance of the princesses couldn’t really hold her in thrall.

We haven’t kept all of the princesses at bay, but we haven’t encouraged them, either – although it is surprising the number of ways they pop up, from books to clothes to party favors and lots of things in between, like a stray cat you’ve fed who just won’t go away.

We haven’t explored much of the Disney film catalog, either (although we did watch bits of Melody Time today), but we have read books based on Disney films, and we’ve read several books on which Disney films are based.

You should try that for yourself sometime. It’s quite the experience.

I hope the Lu-ster remembers the real versions, because let me tell you: of the three we’ve read so far (The Jungle Books, Bambi, and Mary Poppins), two films only brush up against the spirit of the original works, and one is so wildly different that at times, I wondered if we’d found some secret, subversive copy of the book. With two of the books, there were times when I wondered if I should be reading all of this to a one- or two-year-old.

And so much of the time, I thought, “THIS doesn’t happen in the movie!”