Disneyland has a new controversy, their newest ride: Habit Heroes. You help the strapping young muscled-up hero Will Power, and the tightly-toned and pig-tailed Callie Stenics fight off the bad habit advances from villains such as Snacker, Lead Bottom, and The Glutton.
The story on Yahoo! News says that the new ride was open for about three weeks before Disney closed it and is considering a relaunch. The reason for the closing? Critics accused the ride of fat-shaming, going so far as to say, “I just can’t believe somebody out there thought it was a good idea to pick up where the school bullies left off and shame kids on their vacation.”
And I agree, shooting the donuts and pastries that surround the evil fairy Snacker to try to weaken her so that Will and Callie can defeat her is a poor choice of ideas.
But here’s the problem with that: The ride has a good value to it. It’s not okay to be an overeating, lazy, slob. It’s not okay to bully someone just because they are fat, of course. There are numerous reasons that some people are fat such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances.
But, honestly, that’s only a small portion of obesity. There are some people, yes, who eat healthy, work out regularly, and cannot keep to a small-frame. But there are a lot more people who hug the couch, go up for thirds or fourths at a meal, and eat nothing but processed foods and fast food meals. And that’s something that children, and adults, should be taught is wrong.
I think the problem with the ride isn’t in the execution, but rather the design. Instead of having human analogues as the villains they should be different, such as animal or object analogues.
Think about it…if Snacker was a giant floating donut with wings, instead of an obese woman, would there be an argument? If Lead Bottom was just an anthropomorphic couch that talked and spit things at the riders to shoot at, would there be an issue? If The Glutton wasn’t just a snidely looking mobster, but rather an anthropomorphic shark, would anyone but PETA care?
No, of course not. Disney should just change the character designs, reopen the ride, and then we both profit because kids might accidentally learn good habits and Disney makes another ton and a half of cash.