Disney Princesses Break the Internet!

With only three months to go until the highly anticipated Wreck-It Ralphsequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, the Disney gods have taken pity upon us mere mortals and graced us with yet another screenshot of the highly anticipated princess scene that was previewed at the D23 Expo last year. This preview shows us what happened after the first official screenshot that was released, in which Vanellope unexpectedly invaded the princesses' private dressing room, making way for the hilariously defensive antics that we see clips of in the trailer. This newly released image from Entertainment Weekly reveals the resulting antics of Vanellope getting on the girls' good side and convincing them that she is a Disney Princess as well.

The new screenshot portrays the classic characters converting to Vanellope's casual style of clothing as they lounge on bean bag chairs for your average teen slumber party, only with princesses. Missing from this particular image are Jasmine, Aurora, Merida,…

Review: Queen of Athelia

Only a few short months after I had finished her addictive Unfinished Fairy Tales series, Aya Ling released a surprise bonus novella called Queen of Athelia to bring Kat's story to a full close. Even though the book is listed as the fourth in the series, it is actually the fifth, as there was another novella that took place in between the first two books called Princess of Athelia. Like that one, Queen of Athelia takes place entirely in the kingdom of Athelia with no references to goblins or trips back to the modern world that Kat grew up in. As a result, the story is surprisingly realistic, focusing on her responsibilities as a mother and heir to the throne with her husband, Prince Edward. It felt less like a fairy tale than the others did, but Aya Ling included a tongue-in-cheek joke about that in the narrative in which Kat points out that fairy tales always end with the wedding because no one wants to hear about all of the messy non-magical things that happen afterward.

The pre…

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Just Dropped a New Trailer!

Eight months after the first trailer for Disney's upcoming movie, The Nutcracker and the Four Realmsand my foray into the origins of "The Nutcracker," Disney finally released a second trailer. The new one is visually similar to one that was released last December, but it contains significantly more dialogue, giving us a glimpse at the story changes to original fairy tale by E.T.A. Hoffman. Just in case anyone was concerned about the validity of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms as a live-action princess movie as opposed to a regular fairy tale adaptation, Disney makes Clara's status crystal clear by showing a soldier, who is probably the Nutcracker in human form, refer to her as "princess" after being told that her mother created the magical realms and is considered their "queen." Was it really necessary to solidify Clara as a Disney Princess? Probably not, but it was a clever marketing move considering how big of an impact princess culture has h…

The Princess Blog Is Celebrating Its First Year!

One year ago today, I decided I needed a better outlet for my writing. I hadn't released any new books in a few years, and I was on an indefinite hiatus from my screenwriting. I needed a way to share my love of fairy tales and dreams that would be easily accessible to a wider audience. It needed to a place where I could share my knowledge with the world without getting too personal. Thus, The Princess Blog was born.

A princess-themed blog seemed like the obvious choice, given that once upon a time, I ran a large Disney Princess fan group on LiveJournal, produced a hefty number of princess music video mash-ups, and later earned the nickname "Princess" at one of my office jobs. Around the time I started my blog, I was a fan of the women's news site HelloGiggles and noticed that they had been posting fewer princess articles than they used to. The Princess Blog needed to be a resource that people could depend on for the latest princess news, so I developed the tagline &q…

Review: Princess Academy

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale is the first Newbery Award-winning princess book I've read since Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. To me, it felt like the book was trying a little too hard to become a modern classic, even though it obviously succeeded. It's not quite what you would expect from a princess book, as it is not a fairy tale adaptation and doesn't contain any familiar characters. For the first few chapters, it seems to take place in a completely non-magical world. I didn't enjoy the beginning of the book very much, but it grew on me as I went along. Though it is not one of my favorite princess books, I can understand how it won so many awards. If I had to compare it to something I've read in the past, it's most similar to Matilda by Roald Dahl.

Princess Academy tells the story of Miri, a simple mountain girl whose village gets selected by the king's priests for the prince to find his future bride. Per Danlandian tradition, all girls in the mo…

Medieval Times Has a New Queen

At the beginning of the year, I made a post comparing Medieval Times to the similarly themed Pirate's Dinner Adventure. Shortly afterward, I learned that the dinner show at Medieval Times was being rewritten with a queen serving as hostess to replace the king and princess who had led the event in the past. The new plot revolved around the king dying in a war and his daughter taking over the kingdom as queen. It replaced the old version of the show little by little throughout the year at the various Medieval Times castles throughout the country. The actors who played the king retired and the actresses who played the princess were promoted to queen. I knew I needed to see this feminist revival of the story that boasted a new script, new costumes, new lighting, and new music, so I made plans to go back for my birthday. Today, I watched Queen Doña Maria Isabella take her place on the throne to assert her power during the traditional jousting tournament.

Most of the changes to the show…

The Evolution of the Disney Princess Anthem

Yesterday, Disney released a new music video of Auli'i Cravalho performing the latest incarnation of the Disney Princess anthem, "Live Your Story." The video looks like your average Disney Channel pop remix even though it's performed by an actual Disney Princess instead of a Disney Channel pop star. It works to Disney's benefit that the actress they cast for Moana was so young, considering their obsession with creating teen pop stars. The music video contains clips of a magical bedroom with subtle nods to Disney Princess movies, a balloon-filled bubble room and some shots that look similar to The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, hearkening to Belle's library. This video is the latest in a long line of Disney Princess anthem songs that date as far back as 2004.

The first Disney Princess anthem, called "If You Can Dream," was released as a bonus song on the Disney Princess Sing Along Songs Volume 1 DVD in 2004. The song was alongside a video made entire…

How To Be a Princess in Kingdom Hearts Union X

Kingdom Hearts Union X [cross] is a cell phone game that was originally released in America under the name Kingdom Hearts Unchained. It allows you to create a custom avatar and travel through the Disney movies to become a keyblade master. Even though it takes place within the canon Kingdom Hearts universe, it has many distinctive differences from the other games. First, this game is completely free to anyone who has a smart phone. There are certain bonuses that you can spend real money on, but it is absolutely possible to master the game without spending anything. Also, instead of playing as one of the main heroes from the Kingdom Hearts universe, you can essentially be anyone you want. You can name your character, decide if you want them to be male or female, choose a face and skin tone, and unlock tons of hairstyles, costumes, accessories, and descriptive titles throughout the game. Since I had so many options, I did everything I could to make my character as princess-like as possib…

Review: The Autumn Fairy of Ages

The Autumn Fairy of Ages is the sequel to The Autumn Fairyby Brittany Fichter. It's pretty similar to the first book aside from a new setting. Where The Autumn Fairy took place in the human world where Katy was raised and fell in love with her childhood friend, Peter, The Autumn Fairy of Ages takes place in the enchanted world of the fae where Katy hopes to find her new home. I appreciated that the book contained a brief in-universe explanation of why the spelling of the word "faeries" was changed to "fairies" in most contemporary prose even though it was derived from the word "fae" because "humans have trouble pronouncing it."  For the most part, I would say that anyone who enjoyed the first book will probably enjoy this one as well. It introduced a lot of new characters, but not a whole lot has changed for the ones we know. Katy and Peter are still fighting against societal norms to prove their love for each other, and Katy still feels lik…

Review: A Beautiful Curse

A Beautiful Curse was the last book I read in the Entwined Tales series, and it might just be my favorite. The sample I read from author Kenley Davidson at the launch party was a novella called The Countess and the Frog. I liked the progressive characters as well as the humor, but it was lacking in magic and whimsy. A Beautiful Curse contained all of that and more, which made Davidson's writing truly shine. It was based on the fairy tale "The Frog Bride" by the Brothers Grimm, which, though similar, is not exactly a reverse telling of "The Frog King." Instead of teaching a message about responsibility, "The Frog Bride" is about embracing your differences. It tells the story of three princes who must pass a series of tests to inherit the throne from their father. The youngest prince, who is considered the good-for-nothing runt of the family, passes the tests by taking advice from a talking frog he meets in the woods that turns out to be a beautiful pri…

I Reread The Princess Diaries After Revisiting the Movie

I have kind of a strange relationship with The Princess Diaries. I saw the Disney movie when it came out in 2001 and more or less forgot about it for at least five years until I had several hours to kill at Barnes & Nobles one day and read the a handful of the books by Meg Cabot. So, unlike many fans of the series, I didn't get into the books as a result of the movie or vice versa. I simply happened upon them at different times because I was bored and looking for entertainment. Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against The Princess Diaries. It just isn't one of my favorite live-action princess movies. It wasn't until at least another five years after I read the books that I saw the movie again, so there had been too much time between viewings for me to properly compare the two mediums even though I knew Disney had changed a lot of the source material. I decided to remedy that yesterday and by rereading the first book shortly after another viewing of the film on Ne…

Review: A Bear's Bride

Of all the samples I read from the six authors who attended the Entwined Tales Launch Party, I liked the works of Shari Tapscott the least. Therefore, it did not come as much of a surprise that A Bear's Bride was my least favorite book in the Entwined Tales series. "East of the Sun and West of the Moon", the story it was based on, is an obscure and somewhat odd Norwegian fairy tale about a girl who gets engaged to a polar bear who turns human at night, but she is never allowed to see him in human form. It has rather loose morals compared to the fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm in which characters usually get rewarded for doing good deeds and punished for doing bad. The heroine clearly defies the wishes of her betrothed but still defeats the witch who cursed him and gets her happy ending. The fairy tale was turned into a live-action movie in 1991 called The Polar Bear King, and it is one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. Everything from the acting to the s…

Disenchantment Has a Trailer!

This has been a pretty good weekend for princess fans. Maleficent IIofficially began production, and I started a new playlist on my YouTube channel about princess TV shows. The biggest news, however, is that Matt Groening's upcoming Netflix series just dropped its first full-length trailer. I am so excited about Disenchantment, and the trailer did not disappoint. It looks like everything I was hoping it would be. Bean is incredibly easy to relate to. Even though she does turn many of the princess tropes on their head, she still inherently wants to be a good person, which is very important for princess parodies, which can easily lose their focus if they try to be too malicious. I'll let you check out the trailer below before delving into it further.

The first thing we see is Bean's wedding, but just like the opening wedding in ABC's 2015 comedy Galavant, things do not go as expected for our adventuresome heroine. When Bean is given the opportunity to say "I do"…

Review: An Unnatural Beanstalk

I finally finished reading the rest of the Entwined Tales series, starting with An Unnatural Beanstalk by Brittany Fichter in anticipation of the sequel to her Autumn Fairy book, The Autumn Fairy of Ages, coming out on Tuesday. I hope to have the rest of my reviews for Entwined Tales up by the end of next week. An Unnatural Beanstalk didn't have the same light-hearted comedic tone as the others in the series, but that wasn't too surprising considering that both of the other books I read by Brittany were pretty dark. It followed the same structure about one of the woodcutter's daughters receiving an unwanted magical gift from her fairy godfather Mortimer and turning her entire life upside-down as a result.

An Unnatural Beanstalk is an adaptation of "Jack and the Beanstalk," but without the fantastical elements from the fairy tale. There are no man-eating giants, no golden eggs, and no beanstalks that tower into the sky. It's quite a shame because those are the…