Saturday, February 25

Disney Princesses

The new “Beauty and the Beast” movie, which releases March 17, 2017, is one of the most anticipated movies of the year. Back in 1991 when the animated version came out, it was one of my daughters’ favorite movies. And mine, too. I’m pretty sure we watched it about a thousand times. So I’m really looking forward to seeing the new live version with Emma Watson.

A friend of mine posted the trailer and mentioned that Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” was the first Disney princess who was proactive, a strong girl who went after what she wanted. I hadn’t thought about it that way before, but it makes sense. Consider some of the earlier Disney princesses:

Snow White – After she ate the poison apple, she hung around in a glass coffin waiting for her Prince to kiss her back to life. And they lived happily ever after.

Sleeping Beauty – After pricking her finger on the spinning wheel, she slept until her Prince Charming managed to hack his way through the vines and kiss her awake with true love’s kiss. And they lived happily ever after.

Cinderella – After meeting the Prince at the ball, and running away as the clock struck midnight, she waited around the house until the Prince came looking for her with the glass slipper. And they lived happily ever after.

Belle, on the other hand, wants something more than the provincial life of the small French town she grew up in. She wants adventure. She’s different from the other girls who only want to swoon over the despicable Gaston. She loves to read and learn.

But she also loves her father, and when he is held captive by the Beast in his castle, she offers to take his place. After an argument, Belle runs away and is attacked by wolves. The Beast fights off the wolves and is wounded. Belle could ride away and never think about him again, but she she’s not the kind of person who would leave a wounded man (Beast?) injured in the woods. She has integrity and courage.  Belle soon learns to stand up to the bad-tempered Beast, proving she’s no pushover. And love soon follows.

Here's the official trailer of the new "Beauty and the Beast": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXfEc4wG208

Disney princesses changed just as women and society changed. Women were no longer willing to sit around waiting for their Prince Charmings, and the modern Disney princesses began to reflect that.

Just like the Disney princesses changed, so did romance heroines. Today’s romance heroine is no nobody’s baby. She may have issues, but she’s strong (or learns to be strong) and she knows what she wants. Like Belle, she has integrity and courage. And like Belle, she makes things happen rather than waiting for life to happen to her.

Despite what I said about the Disney princesses above, I really don’t have anything against them. Who’s your favorite Disney princess?

11 comments:

  1. It's hard to fault the Disney princesses; the stories were very old and that was how they were written. I can't say I have a favorite, although if SHREK is Disney (I don't watch many movies), I really like her. I do like the evolution of heroines and am proud of the part romance writers have taken in that. Nice post, Jana.

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    1. Sorry. Fiona. I really like Fiona.

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    2. Yes, Fiona is awesome, whether she's the pretty girl or the ogre.

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  2. I can't spell her name, but I like the princess from Brave. Or maybe it's the scottish accent 😉

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    1. I have to admit I don't know her name and I haven't yet seen Brave. With no little kids around the house I don't have an excuse to watch the latest Disney movies! Bah! I should just watch them. I don't need an excuse!

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  3. I love Belle and Ariel. I think those two are my favorites. Oh, and I like Jasmine too :)

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    1. Those are three of my favorites too. Although that may be because those came out when my girls were young and we watched their movies MANY times!

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  4. Great post, although I'm afraid that it really shows the difference in our ages. I have to confess that I don't have a favorite Disney princess because I rarely see Disney movies. I did watch Frozen with Grandboy last summer and that was fun, but my princess experiences go way back...like Cinderella, who I thought should've shown more spunk before she met the prince... ;-)

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    1. Actually, Nan, we're not so different in age! And I agree with you about Cinderella. She was more interesting before she met the Prince.

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  5. Belle has been my favorite from her beginning! I loved that she was a reader and a dreamer. And I'm so looking forward to the new version.

    We saw Moana a couple of weeks ago and I loved her spunk. I like that Disney is giving girls strong role models to grow up with.

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    1. I agree, Margie. I like the strong role models for girls, too.

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