Once upon a time, way down below the ocean, there lived a little mermaid who longed to be part of a different world. This week, Derek and Laurel deconstruct one of the most beloved stories of all time, from its ancient mythic inspiration to its 19th Century origins—all the way to the classic Disney animated movie. We’ll break apart tragic themes and what it means to give a happy ending to a heartbreaking fairy tale, and explore the social hierarchies and family dynamics that make The Little Mermaid a perfect allegory for some of our worst fears. And, most importantly, everything comes back… to Plato.
Last week we began a conversation about what makes a good king. To continue probing the possible answers, we had to go back to one of our favorite monarchs in storytelling, The Lion King. In this episode, Derek and Laurel explore the connections (and departures) of the Lion King and Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the historical roots of the political systems laid out in the animated classic, and the ultimate philosophical messages it leaves us with. It may seem easy and ideal to say “no worries” for the rest of your days, but of course, we know there is no problem-free philosophy. Be prepared for a sensational podcast.