Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Disney Princesses – Part 1

Disney has a tried and true method for developing many of their classic characters – A beautiful princess that goes through many a trial but ultimately ends up with a handsome prince charming. It’s a rubber stamp formula that is often cliché and repetitive, but it works. To quote the only animated film ever nominated for Best Picture: “If it’s not baroque, don’t fix it.”
But has anyone ever really taken a critical and admittedly cynical look into the lives of these Princesses? Little girls love them because they wear Drancy Fesses, women love them because they are “strong,” and guys love them because they are “hot” and “rich” (everything a man wants his woman to be). But what really lies under the skin deep beauty and initial appeal of these characters? Let’s analyze them, shall we?

01. Cinderella – Not really a princess at all except by marriage, this little girl is everything she is because of other people. She was a slave because of her step mother and sisters, she was made into a fake princess by her fairy god mother, she was rescued by her animal friends and she was made into a real princess by the prince. Basically Cinderella doesn’t even really exist except as a shell entity that is swayed and moved by whichever way the proverbial wind is blowing.

02. Snow White – Allegedly the fairest maiden in the land, Snow White obviously lived in a land where standards for feminine beauty were extremely low. With her pale white skin and plain features, Snow looks like one who has some kind of unshakable disease. Based on her general attitude and the fact that she eats poisoned fruit received from an obviously shady old woman, it is clear that Snow is not the brightest bulb on the strand.

03. Aurora – Also known as Sleeping Beauty, this princess was given an unfair advantage at birth. Bestowed with super human beauty and singing skills by the fairies Flora and Fauna, has no one realized how superficial these gifts are? What good would beauty and singing do the kingdom if Aurora had turned out to be pure evil? How about something like ‘the gift of wisdom’ or ‘the gift of purity’? I guess the scale of what makes a good princess is measured only by how she looks and sounds.

04. Belle – Belle is a clearly disturbed small town girl who falls in love with a creature of another species. Enough said.
05. Ariel – Filled with teen angst, this half fish girl strives to be something she’s not…a woman. This is displayed by Ariel’s constant rebellion to her authorities, her whiny sel-fish (ha!) attitude and the fact that she’s half fish.

To be continued…