Sunday, May 04, 2008

Disney Princesses

They seem to be everywhere, and I don't even have daughters. I am guessing that like the American Girl dolls, which princess you pick - or force/encourage your daughter to pick - is an expression of some value. Belle is a reader, and so is the compromise choice for those mothers who would rather have a princess-free zone but are tired of fighting. Pocahontas likely serves the same function for green mothers. I don't know if Mulan is actually more popular among Asian mothers/daughters, but there is apparently going to be a 9th, African-American princess based on The Princess and the Frog coming out in 2009, and the olive-skinned Jasmine is likely more tolerable among the anti-blonde crowd. There are three retro, traditional princesses. I'll bet they wanted to work in Tinkerbell, the Britney Spears of Disney girls, but couldn't find even a bad excuse to call her a princess. The Little Mermaid will have to stand in for the trollop demographic, I suppose.


Jerub-Baal said...


Glad that someone else has that opinion of 'the Little Mermaid'. I sometimes feel like the wicked step-parent because she is verboten in our house. Of course, she seems to be the favorite of our foster-daughter's bio mom, so it's an on going battle.

Thankfully, there is Aurora to use as a distraction/flanking manuver.

Oh look! Pink!

Ben Wyman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben Wyman said...

Ariel is traditionally considered the poster child for feeling trapped and longing to break free from parental rule, another reason parents aren't so fond. Of course, all the Disney princesses fit that category - Belle was trapped in the castle, Jasmine was trapped in the palace, Pocahontas was trapped by her vengeful and warmongering (though, being Disney, warmongering-lite) father, Mulan by gender politics, etc. The final tag of Little Mermaid is the father saying essentially "Well, I should've let her have more freedom all along," exactly the subtle lesson you want your 9-year-old daughter picking up.

Belle in Beauty and The Beast deserves to be the cream of the crop because her movie is the best of the modern Disney movies, plus its messages are:

a. you don't have to compromise your intelligence or individuality to find love
b. you can't judge someone's character by their appearances
c. love takes sacrifice.

Really, a breath of fresh air, since the the lesson of Pocahontas is "you should have the freedom to do whatever you want" and "powerful people and leaders are almost always wrong." Also, "nature is the greatest good," so it's essentially the worst sort of modern-day fable.

Erin said...

My little sister was obsessed with The Little Mermaid as a child. That explains a lot...

Chris said...

We always liked "Sleeping Beauty" in our house because of the simplicity of the story and the strong characters of Maleficent and Philip. The stylized animation is nice.

I also liked "The Little Mermaid" because we had seen the actress who voiced Ursula in a one-woman show. We also have the original videotape with the infamous penis turret, which is apropos of something, I just don't know what.