Rohin Guha writes about music videos that contain allusions to fairy tales, myths, and the inner child. Katy Perry’s video seems to be channeling the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, which is of course a story about entanglement and abandonment as well as about slaying a monster and finding your way out of a maze. What I like best about the video is the crossed fingers of Prince Charming and his comeuppance!
Katy Perry is just the latest pop star to cash in on tropes inspired by The Wizard of Oz and Alice In Wonderland. In the video for “Wide Awake,” Perry ends up tapping into her inner child during a weaker moment in her adult life. It’s a theme that finds her character navigating a hedge maze with this young girl, who ends up clearing some major obstacles for her — like slaying a couple minotaurs — and giving her the strength to punch out Prince Charming, an obvious reference to her split with Russell Brand. Ultimately, the singer and her inner child part ways and there is the grand a-ha! moment that finds Perry is in her dressing room, buoyed by this ability to connect to a more fearless version of herself.