Elena Is Back and Better Than Ever!

After another indefinite hiatus as Disney is prone to do, Elena of Avalor finally came back this weekend with a new episode called "The Race for the Realm." When we saw her last, Elena had recently learned that her nemesis Shuriki was still alive. She embarked on a quest to find the pieces of the Scepter of Night, the antithesis of her Scepter of Light, before it fell into the wrong hands. They recovered the first piece of the staff just before the hiatus began. This weekend's episode accelerated that storyline, improved Elena's character development, and explained some unanswered questions about her past. Suffice to say, I think that the series has really found its footing and shown great improvement since the first season.

"The Race for the Realm" has Elena donning her adventure clothes and teaming up with her friends to return to Vallestrella and solve the remaining two riddles to complete the Scepter of Night. Unfortunately for them, Shuriki, Victor, an…

Is the Daughter of the Village Chief a Princess?

Being a princess can mean different things to different people. Being a Disney Princess gets a little more complicated. There's a joke from Disney's 2016 Moana about what makes a Disney Princess when Moana tries to tell Maui that she isn't a princess, and he claims that if she wears a dress and has an animal friend, she is, which is pretty much on par for Disney standards. Even though Moana isn't listed on the official Disney Princess page due to her movie being recent enough to market off its own name instead of the Disney Princess name, she was still included in the Wreck-It Ralph 2 trailer. Moana is pretty clear about how she sees herself is in the song "I am Moana" in which she states "I am the daughter of the village chief." The lovely Auli'i Cravalho who lends her voice to the spirited protagonist is also rather vocal vocal about how she considers Moana more of a heroine than a princess. Of course, with the way princess culture has evolved…

Ode to the Most American Princess of All

This Fourth of July, I'd like for us all to take a moment to appreciate the most American princess of all--Tiana from Disney's 2009 feature, The Princess and the Frog. Disney decided to put a very unique spin on the story of "The Frog Prince" by having it take place in 1920s New Orleans instead of medieval Germany and turning the spoiled princess into a studious entrepreneur who also happened to be their first animated black heroine. The risks they took paid off greatly because the movie is incredibly entertaining and unique, even if it wasn't a huge box office hit like they were hoping. There are so many reasons I love and relate to Tiana. I was glad to see her return briefly in the final season of Once Upon a Time as Jacinda's best friend, Sabine, even if they didn't do the best job with her fairy tale counterpart.

The Princess and the Frog celebrates many of the same ideals of freedom that we do for America on the Fourth of July both literally and metap…

Why I'll Never Do a Top Ten List

It's a fairly common thing for blogs or YouTube channels like mine to do rankings of the "best" characters, movies, etc. I put "best" in quotes because it's entirely subjective. I've seen plenty of "top ten" lists online before, and every time one of two things happen--I either agree with it or I don't. That's going to be the case for anyone who sees such a list. It's just one individual person's order of favorites, and it doesn't say anything about the quality of the movie or impact of the character. Now, if you were to ask me who my favorite princess is, I would have no problem answering that (Ariel), nor would I hesitate to tell you my runner-ups (Tiana, Mulan, Rinoa Heartilly, Anastasia, Sofia, Rapunzel, and Belle). I could even give you a list of articles I wrote about one hundred different princesses if you're having trouble keeping track of them all. The only thing I won't do is go through each runner-up for…

Review: An Inconvenient Princess

It took a few months, but I finally got around to reading Melanie Cellier's contribution to the Entwined Tales series. It was from Melanie Cellier's Facebook page that I first learned about Entwined Tales, a series of six fairy tale adaptations by different authors about a family who was "blessed" with the magic of the worst fairy godfather ever, Mortimer. I had read all of Melanie'sotherbooks as well as the first book in Entwined Tales, A Goose Girl by K.M. Shea, and A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling, the fifth in the series. An Inconvenient Princess by Melanie Cellier is the sixth and final book, so I've now read half the books while skipping over the middle three. The novels work just fine as stand-alone stories, so I didn't particularly feel like I was missing out on anything from the ones I haven't read. An Inconvenient Princess is an adaptation of "Rapunzel," but in this version, the long-haired heroine is more of a comedic sidekick than a …

Rapunzel's New Quest (and My 200th Post!)

Today is a big day for both Rapunzel and The Princess Blog! The second season of Tangled: The Series kicked off this morning in a big way with a new name and an exciting special called Beyond the Corona Walls. The show itself appears to now be called Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure even though the URL still has "Tangled: The Series" in it, and it's still listed alphabetically under "T" on the Disney Now show page. I am so stoked to be able to write about this amazing premiere for my 200th post. The Princess Blog has come a long way since my 100th post. Even though I stopped updating every day, I've still had at least one new topic to write about each week. I started a YouTube channel, weekly book reviews, and a relaunch of all the books I wrote. I'm very excited to bring you all the latest princess news and reviews for another hundred posts!

Beyond the Corona Walls follows the open ending of the previous special, The Secret of the Sun Drop in which Rapu…

Review: A Beauty Among Beasts

I was recently offered an opportunity to read A Beauty Among Beasts by Melanie Gabrell. I went in with no expectations except that it would be an adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast."A Beauty Among Beasts mixes several genres that would work fine on their own, but not necessarily together. It takes place in Nazi Germany and tells the story of Anna Klein, the sensible daughter of a book merchant. Anna has several siblings like Beauty from the original fairy and is the most humble of all of them, requesting a rose as a gift from her father's travels instead of jewels or gowns like her sisters. Unfortunately, that's where most of the fairy tale similarities end.

As a Jewish woman, it made me a little uncomfortable to read a fairy tale set during the Holocaust. Sure, I've read The Diary of Anne Franklike most other Jewish girls my age, but that was about a real person, and I don't much enjoy my reality clashing with my fantasy. Of course, that doesn't apply t…

Why Kilala Princess Should Be an Anime

Amid all the recent Kingdom Hearts hype in anticipation of the new game, I learned that there was once a Kingdom Hearts anime series in development that never made it to production. This has been the case for many princess ideas that never quite made it out the door, such as the "Princess Academy" short and the unreleased episodes of Disney Princess Enchanted Tales. The series would have been inspired by the Kingdom Hearts manga that was released in 2009, which got me thinking about another Disney Princess manga that could have made a terrific anime. Kilala Princess came out in 2005 and told the story of a girl whose wish to be a Disney Princess came true. She found a magical tiara that was guarded by a prince named Rei who was searching for the true princess to save his kingdom. The tiara allowed her to travel to the worlds of Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine, collecting jewels for its seven spikes so that it would regain its full power.

Kilala Prin…

Review: The Incredibles 2

While I was debating over whether or not it would be okay to review The Incredibles 2 in a princess blog post, I remembered that Violet was in the concept drawing for Disney's canceled "Princess Academy" short (riding a Fantasia centaur no less), so I figured that basically makes her a Disney Princess. Plus, I don't go to the movies very often, so I'll take any excuse I can get. Disney sequels are usually released direct to DVD with minimal effort and quality, but Pixar is different. They have formed a reputation for making sequels that are just as good or superior to the originals. Toy Story 3 was one of my personal favorites, featuring Jodi Benson as Barbie. Like Toy StoryThe Incredibles 2 managed to bring back all of their original voice talent. They might be fourteen years older, but they still sound great. Thanks to the magic of animation, they look as beautiful and youthful as ever.

The Incredibles 2 picks up right where the first movie left off. Superhero…

Review: A Goose Girl by K.M. Shea

It's been a while since I attended the Entwined Tales Launch Party on Facebook, yet the only book I had read from it until now was A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling. Instead, I spent the past few months catching up on the authors' other works. This week, I finally read the first book from the Entwined Tales series, which, if you're not familiar with it, is a series of six fairy tale adaptations written by six different authors about characters who must deal with the trials and tribulations of an oafish fairy godfather named Mortimer. The first book in the series is A Goose Girl by K.M. Shea, based on the Grimm Brothers fairy tale "The Goose Girl." I've become familiar with K.M. Shea's writing style as of late, and while I enjoyed some of her books more than others, I must say that this was a very fun read. I became reacquainted with the "Goose Girl" fairy tale recently after reading a version of it in Magic at Midnight last week, so I was eager to se…

Tangled and Frozen Are Coming to Tokyo DisneySea!

There was a big announcement made earlier today that Tokyo DisneySea, my favorite theme park in the whole world, is getting a big expansion that will include life-sized replicas of locations from Tangled, Frozen, and Peter Pan! This is a huge deal. If you've never been to Tokyo DisneySea, you might not realize the scope of such an announcement. Essentially, Tokyo DisneySea is paradise on Earth. Everything they build looks both natural and magical at the same time. Even the Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World from five years ago doesn't compare to this. It was pretty amazing that they built facades of the castles from The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast along with some of Belle's village, but they were still just facades. Tokyo doesn't do facades. They either go big or go home.

This incredible themed port is expected to be completed by 2022. It is reported to be the largest expansion to Tokyo DisneySea ever and will include Arendelle Castle, Rapunzel'…

Live-Action Little Mermaid Movie News

In my "Little Mermaid" origins post, I mentioned that there were three live-action movies in the works based on the beloved Hans Christian Andersen tale. Since then, a few announcements have been made about all three of these movies. One of them has a theatrical release date, and it's sooner than you might think. The circus-themed indie movie that's had a trailer out for several years now is coming to select AMC theaters on August 17th. That's in two months! I wish I could be more excited about it, but the plot looks a lot closer to the 2006 tongue-in-cheek teen mermaid movie Aquamarine than the fairy tale that it's named after. The trailer focuses on how a little girl's belief in mermaids has the potential to save the aquatic heroine who is held captive in a tank at a carnival. I've been feeling indifferent about this adaptation ever since the first trailer was released, but it's nice to know that I will have the option to see it on the big scree…

New Princesses of Heart in Kingdom Hearts III

The internet has been buzzing about Kingdom Hearts III finally getting a release date after fifteen long years of anticipation. Unless it gets delayed again, we will be able to catch up with Sora, Donald, and Goofy as they travel through the realms of various Disney movies on January 29th, 2019. There have been a couple of trailers dropped over the last few days revealing footage from Frozen, Tangled, Toy Story, Monsters Inc.Hercules, and Pirates of the Caribbean. For me, the biggest announcement came from the latter half of last night's trailer in which Larxene of Organization XIII remarked that Elsa might be one of the new seven pure hearts that they needed for their latest quest. Anyone who has played the first game knows that this is a reference to the Princesses of Heart, a select group of Disney Princesses who had their chance to become video game royalty when they got captured by Maleficent in an attempt to use their pure hearts to open the Door to Darkness. My biggest pe…

Disabled Princesses

Today's post is sponsored by my good friend Kae-Leah Williamson, Royal Purple Mermaid Princess, who contributed to the Tiara Tier on my Patreon account. If you have a suggestion for a future post, feel free to click the link to contribute. Kae-Leah chose disabled princesses for her topic, one that tends to get a lot less love than it should. In the surprise cult hit Netflix movie, A Christmas Prince, a journalist named Amber goes undercover as the tutor of Princess Emily, a little girl with a condition that makes her unable to walk on her own. "I know what you're thinking," says Emily, sizing up Amber's reaction to her condition, "Poor little rich girl. That's what they all say." In the most stereotypical response ever, Amber replies "No, I was thinking brave little girl." That was a nice try to be sentimental on Netflix's part, but having a disability does not make a person any more or less brave just for waking up in the morning and …