There are many Disney shows that tell our children stories like these...
Four friends, clearly jobless, faff about on a regular; small dreams, big egos, happy, contented, living on the edges of sweet danger.
Then one from the bunch decides to dream a little bigger. His friends have a good laugh at this, so he quickly kills that aspiration.
But the cosmic has already caught this bug, so it aligns his desire to dream with an opportunity.
The opportunity is a job that allows him to start a new path that will starve him of friends that clearly have no real ambitions.
He grabs the opportunity, starts work at the office. He feels awkward in a shirt and tie (because he's spent his whole life dressing like an after-thought), but he is willing to give this job his best shot.
He's doing well at work. He deals with a bit of office politics, meets new people who don't care much about others - they are narcissists, social climbers, workaholics etc.
He misses his low-life days, just faffing around with no ambition. He misses his friends, somewhat, but he is glad to be able to pay his rent, wear nice clothes and eat nice dinners for once in his life.
Now, here is where Disney channel comes in...
Disney tells us that his old friends reach out to him to scold him for being absent at a hangout. They make a fuss. They tell him he has changed. They tell him he is now a different person. They tell him he is no more the caring friend he used to be. What they mean is he dared to become better than any of them could.
Disney allows him feel sad and guilty. He blames himself for dreaming and aspiring. He is ashamed that he could dare to be more.
So he resigns from a job with many potentials, and heads back to faffing around and dreaming small with a bunch of friends.
They tell us that he got his soul back. That the simple life is the best. That money won't buy happiness. That friends are more precious than your job. That your life is meaningless if you work hard.
They remind us that we will die, and if we don't choose love and people over our purpose and ambitions, we will die alone.
Even in adult movies, they dare to tell us this story. This single story of silly manipulations.
In the Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway had a silly boyfriend who sulked because she couldn't make it to his birthday even when he was very aware she had a tough job that required a lot of her time and she was excited about proving herself.
But no. He didn't care. He just wanted his girlfriend back, the one with small ambitions who was always available.
They dared to tilt that movie towards a boyfriend's selfish desire to want a girlfriend who shouldn't dream so much. They wanted us to feel desperate empathy for him.
I laugh everytime I watch it. Empathy ko.
You see those silly manipulative movies? Keep them away from your children. And if you can't, hiss long and hard when the scenes start to reveal themselves.
Nonsense and little aspirations.