I have seen a lot in my day—hell, I’m in the middle of Season 4 of Jersey Shore right now—and yet, somehow, watching Katy Perry sing an absolutely traumatizing song from Dumbo to her poodle Nugget while both wearing elephant costumes will truly haunt me until the end of my time on Earth.
The above video clip, which I implore you to watch so you can join me in my new mind-prison, is from Sunday night’s Disney Family Singalong: Volume 2, an ABC special in which celebrities sang classic Disney songs to entertain children and adult children during this period of social distancing. It’s all very cute, provided you are a child or adult child, and yet Perry decided to make her segment HARROWING. Here are the reasons why.
1. The costume. Katy Perry loves costumes, and that’s fine. And yet... this one... is so much. It’s so much. I hate the way her little face pokes out of it. I hate that the elephant trunk is attached to the forehead. I hate it. I want to unsee it and I can’t. Help me.
2. The dog’s costume. I love dogs in costumes as much as the next mildly unhinged animal lover, but Perry’s poor pup is simply smothered in this one. Look at Nugget’s face. She looks miserable! Those eyes, they scream, “Free me, Dog Mom, free me from my itchy polyester captor. I want to wriggle out of here! I want a treat! Get it off me! Is no one looking into my screaming, horrified eyes???” I will admit the little Dumbo hat is at least a nice touch.
3. The song. I understand that this is a Mother’s Day moment, and so it makes sense that Perry, who is set to be a new mom herself soon, and/or the show’s producers would choose a song sung by a mother to her son. But this is fucking Disney we’re talking about, and Disney mothers, especially ones who are animals, have very unfortunate fates. Dumbo’s mom, Mrs. Jumbo sings “Baby Mine” to him while she’s shackled to a circus death wagon and put in solitary confinement for trampling a bunch of idiot human boys who were teasing her extremely cute baby elephant son, and Dumbo can BARELY SEE HIS MOTHER. In fact, if I recall correctly, they don’t even see each other until the end of the movie, when Dumbo becomes famous. This is an extremely sad song and an extremely sad plot point and fuck, I’m going to cry over a Katy Perry clip.
4. The video clips. Not only does Katy Perry sing a very sad song, but the clips comprise an overwhelming selection of very sad Disney parent moments. Sure, that’s the majority of Disney parent moments, but still! Do we need this right now? I say we do not! To recap: we have Dumbo literally crying into his imprisoned mother’s trunk; the Frozen sisters playing with their mom, who dies; I guess The Lion King’s Sarabi doesn’t die but Mufasa sure as hell does and I can see his snout; both of Tarzan’s parents die; Mrs. Potts doesn’t die, but she and Chip get transfigured into teacups, which seems fucking awful and we do not talk about this enough; Cinderella’s mom died in the backstory but she’s still dead; Hercules was stolen from Hera when he was a baby; and WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO BAMBI’S MOM.
The last image in this clip collection is baby Dumbo crying and walking away from his mother—right up there in harrowing Disney moments, along with Mufasa’s death and Bambi’s mom—and then it goes right back to Katy Perry in a fucking elephant suit singing to her poor, overheated dog. This is a nightmare.
Happy post-Mother’s Day. I am going back to bed.