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Showing posts from 2019

Five Times Disney Race-Bent a Princess and Nobody Complained

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With all the controversy over Halle Bailey getting cast as Ariel, I wondered why nobody made such a big deal out of all other times Disney race-bent a fairy tale princess. This is not intended to be another post about why we should support Halle but instead an analysis of all the other times this happened in a Disney production. This is such a hot button issue right now that people are talking about it when they don't even have all the facts. ABC's The View aired an episode in which Whoopi Goldberg claimed that Halle was voicing the character for an animated production, and other people are making videos where they claim that Ariel isn't a princess or that she had green skin in the original fairy tale. Let's take a moment to get our facts straight while we explore how this is something that Disney has been doing for over 20 years.
Cinderella - 1997
This is the one that people remember the most fondly, and for good reason. Whitney Houston's passion project to produc…

Review: Peas and Princesses

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I was recently offered an opportunity to read and review the new book Peas and Princesses by up-and-coming author Aleese Hughes. Just as it sounds, the book is an original adaptation of the fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea." However, the cutesy title is somewhat misleading when it comes to the tone of the story. The book's villain is truly terrifying and does some awful things, so I would hesitate to recommend it for younger princess fans. Outside of that, it's a quick and fun read for young adults who enjoy fairy tale adaptations. The protagonist is easy to relate and winds up in a similar situation to the main character in last year's Netflix movie, The Princess Switch.

Peas and Princesses is about a village girl named Milly who is forced to enter a competition to replace the kingdom's princess after she ran away. In that respect, it is reminiscent of Shannon Hale's Princess Academy but much darker. This book focuses on the common desire for princes…

Maleficent Fights Against Love in the New Trailer

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Is Disney ever going to run out of princess news this month? Just a few short days after the Halle Bailey controversy, they released the first teaser for their Mulan remake. Barely 24 hours have passed since then, and we have a new trailer for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. This trailer reveals a lot more about the story than the last one did. We now see that the movie's central conflict revolves around Princess Aurora's engagement to Prince Phillip. As irritating as it is to have a sequel to a remake instead of introducing new characters and stories, this movie is shaping up to be quite good for what it is. Initially, I wasn't particularly excited for this sequel that nobody asked for, but the plot is surprisingly inspired and unlike anything that we've ever seen before from a princess story, not to mention that exciting revelation from the end of the trailer. You can see for yourself below.


What makes this different from other stories about princesses falling in love …

Thank the Ancestors! Mulan Has a Teaser!

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So little has been revealed about the production of Disney's live-action remake of Mulan since Chinese actress Liu Yifei was cast for the rule that I was surprised to see that they released the first teaser today. Riding on the coattails of The Little Mermaid controversy, the Disney hype train continues to chug along in the hopes that people will stop arguing over their last announcement. There have been a few rumors about Mulan before today, but this teaser was our first true sample of the look and feel of the film. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Mushu, everyone's favorite dragon sidekick, would be replaced by a phoenix. I loved that Mulan had a dragon in the original film, but the phoenix has had a personal meaning to me ever since I wrote the novella Rebirth: A Faery's Tale. It was also announced that the remake would not be a musical, eliminating the need to cast people who can sing as well as act. It looks like they learned their lesson from casting Emma Wats…

We Need to Talk About Princesses and Racism

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I can't believe I need to post about this again. The response to my post about the actress chosen to play Ariel in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid was quite frankly appalling. In fact, Disney removed the post announcing her casting from many of their official Facebook pages yesterday. People are judging Halle Bailey solely by the color of her skin when many of them have never seen her act. None of us know what she's going to look like in the film after her hair, makeup, and costumes are finalized, which is why I didn't have much to say about the casting choice yesterday. Anyone judging this movie at such an early stage is basing their decision on a racist mindset to at least some degree. As a natural redhead myself, I understand why many people were hoping that Ariel would have red hair in this version, and I look forward to seeing if she will when the time comes for them to reveal her final image. Besides, it isn't like we've never seen a non-white pr…

We Have Our Ariel!

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Love them or hate them, remakes are flooding Disney's market. One of their most highly anticipated upcoming live-action remakes just happens to be my favorite movie, The Little Mermaid. There has been a great deal of speculation behind who Disney might cast to play Ariel, the passionate redheaded mermaid, especially after they announced that they were focusing mainly on actresses of color for the role. A long-standing rumor was that they had their eye on Zendaya, the talented star of Disney Channel's K.C. Undercover, which concluded last year. There were no further announcements about this casting decision until today. True to their word, Disney is sticking to their intention to cast an actress of color. The internet is now buzzing with the news that the role of Ariel has officially been granted to Grown-ish actress Halle Bailey. It appears that Zendaya was either unavailable or deemed too old with the announcement of this newcomer.


I never watched the show Grown-ish, which is…

Saban Princesses

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A few weeks ago, I received a comment on my YouTube channel to check out a '90s cartoon called Princess Sissi. I was never one to pass up the opportunity to discover a new princess show, so I did a quick YouTube search and commenced binging. The animation and acting were nothing to write home about, though Sissi's American voice is notably dubbed by Terri Hawkes, who is known for playing the most famous Magical Girl princess of the '90s, Sailor Moon. I found that her voice was far more suited to a mature duchess than an immature middle school student. What stood out to me about Princess Sissi was the overarching theme of romance. While princess movies often focus on true love, princess cartoons rarely incorporate it into their episodic storylines. For that reason, I was reminded of Saban's Adventures of The Little Mermaid, another '90s cartoon about the trials and tribulations of a blonde princess struggling to be with the man she loves. I did a little research and…

Princesses of the Magic Kingdom

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I just got back from Florida, and my trip would not have been complete without a visit to the Magic Kingdom! Ever since the 2013 Fantasyland expansion, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom has become the ultimate destination for theme park princesses. I noticed some changes to the princess attractions since my last trip. Unlike Disney Springs, these changes were all improvements. Instead of waiting in a long line to meet three princesses at random and hope to get the one you want, the princess meet'n'greets have been streamlined to specific spots for specific princesses, eliminating the guesswork and frustration of learning your favorite princess just got swapped with another one when you reached the front of the line.

As usual, Ariel is in her grotto next to her ride. You can meet her in mermaid form at Walt Disney World, as opposed to Disneyland in California, where she only makes appearances as a human. Belle comes out in the secret library through the magic portal in her …

Frozen 2 Trailer Analysis

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We now have our first official full-length trailer for Frozen II. This trailer expands on some of the images we saw in the teaser along with strategically chosen dialogue to keep us guessing about the story. Though it does not contain any additional footage of the mysterious girl and boy from the initial teaser, we do see a new character in the form of an underwater horse spirit revealed to be a Nokk, a mythological creature from various European cultures. Reminiscent of the will o' the wisps from Brave or the blowing leaves from Pocahontas, this shapeshifting spirit appears to be Elsa's guiding force to the magical elements of the film. We see a similar horse appear again later in the form of glittering lights alongside illusions of other creatures that later transform into sparkling silver leaves. The Nokk's magic will likely lead Elsa to her mysterious destiny that will be presented in this film.


A major focal point of Frozen II is the inception of Elsa's powers. Th…

Review: Beast of Rosemead

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You may recall my recent review of the Cahraman trilogy by Lucy Tempest, a gender-swapped adaptation of "Aladdin" with an overly complicated backstory. Needless to say, I wasn't particularly eager to read her latest book, Beast of Rosemead until I was offered an advance copy in exchange for my honest review. As it turned out, I was pleasantly surprised. Beast of Rosemead is the first part of a two-book saga, which is an improvement over the slow pacing of the lengthy three-part Cahraman trilogy. As the next story in Lucy Tempest's Fairy Tales of Folkshore series, it contains plenty of references to the Cahraman books. While it certainly helps to read those first, it's not hard to figure out what's going on in Beast of Rosemead even if you have no prior knowledge of the series.


Beast of Rosemead is the story of Bonnie, Adelaide's best friend from Thief of Cahraman. Unlike Adelaide's story, this "Beauty and the Beast" adaptation is not gender-s…

How Princesses Use Technology

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The first teaser trailer for Pixar's Onward dropped a few days ago, and it got me thinking. Onward has a typical fantasy setting of mermaids, faeries, and unicorns, but instead of taking place once upon a time, it takes place during our time. Therefore, these mythological beings whose ancestors lived in the days of magic and adventure now live in your average suburban neighborhood watching TV and surfing the internet. The combination of magic and technology is not entirely new. Series like Mysticons and Winx Club also take place in modern settings, and the characters are shown to take advantage of computers and technology just as much as we do. However, most princess stories are set in the medieval or Renaissance era, long before such things were heard of. Sometimes it's fun to imagine how they might behave if they were brought up with access to all of the modern conveniences we have today.


The first time I saw a traditional princess use modern technology in a fairy tale setti…

Jasmine's Solos Ranked

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Another Aladdin production, another Jasmine song. With the recent addition of "Speechless," Jasmine has had a different solo song in every incarnation of the story. Yes, "A Whole New World" is consistently used as the romantic duet, but it is not seen as Jasmine's signature song in the same way that "Part of Your Wold," "Someday My Prince Will Come," or "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" is associated with their respective princesses because it is just as much Aladdin's song as it is Jasmine's. While Ariel and Rapunzel have many original solos scattered throughout The Little Mermaid and Tangled series, the Aladdin series sadly did not contain any original songs. As a result, Jasmine's songs are buried within so many different productions of Aladdin that even die-hard fans might have trouble finding them all. That's why I decided to compile this list of my top three Jasmine solos along with a little background on t…