Princesses in Video Games

This week, I'm going to talk about different types of princesses, beginning with digital ones. I am no expert on video games, but princesses have been a big part of them ever since the NES era of the 1980s. They have become a staple of the ever evolving technology. The two most famous video game princesses are Zelda from The Legend of Zelda, a series that began in 1986, and Peach, who evolved from Princess Toadstool in the Super Mario Bros. series that started 1985. Though they both began as stereotypical blonde princesses in pink dresses who needed to be rescued by the hero of their corresponding game, Peach and Zelda each stand out as very different characters. I would say it's no contest which one of them is the better princess.

Even though Zelda began as a damsel in distress, the many incarnations of the series have evolved her into a wise, graceful, and confident leader. In many ways, she is no more of a damsel in distress than Princess Leia is from Star Wars. Both get ca…

Princess Offspring

What stories are left to tell after a princess finds her prince and lives happily ever after? That's the question Mattel decided to explore when they created Ever After High in 2013. The series detailed the lives of the teenage offspring of famous fairy tale characters through dolls, books, and animated shorts. It was initially created as a companion franchise to their already popular Monster High series from 2010 and was clearly inspired at least somewhat by the Disney Princesses. Though this was not the first time fairy tale characters were documented to have offspring, it was the first story about all of their children attending school together and exploring their own identities in relation to their famous parents. The franchise was so successful that many other companies tried to create knock-off versions of it, including Disney with their cringe-worthy Descendants movies.

Princesses having offspring dates back to the days when the fairy tales were first transcribed. In Charl…

Princess Cosplay

As a princess lover, I like to imagine what it would be like to live a day in the life of my favorite princesses. Thanks to the magic of cosplay, this is possible. The term "cosplay" is a mash-up of the words "costume" and "play." It originated in Japan in 1984, referring to fans who dress up at anime conventions. I learned about it through my high school's anime club, when its popularity grew heavily in America around the anime craze of the '90s. My first attempts at cosplay were feeble, to say the least. My skills took off when I studied a "Fashion Design" elective class at my school. I learned how to sew properly by both machine and hand using Simplicity patterns. After I bought a crinoline skirt at a Renaissance Faire, my gowns started to look perfectly princess. Since then, I have cosplayed as several of my favorite princesses.

Cosplay is a very expensive and time-consuming hobby, so I don't recommend doing it often unless you h…

Princess Fashion

I've been seeing several viral posts recently about historical fashion lately. One was a gallery of women's fashion every year from 1784 to 1970, and another was a video re-enactment of how women got dressed in the 18th century. These got me thinking about some of my favorite princess fashions. Though princesses are not known to be historically accurate, their fashions drew inspiration from many different places, and history is one of them. If you take a look at the way fashion has evolved over time, you can get an idea of which parts inspired the princess movies and which parts were altered.

Something that surprised me in the re-enactment was how many pieces were assembled on a woman to give the appearance of a single dress. Today, most dresses are a single piece, but historically, gowns consisted of a corset bodice and a large skirt with a crinoline underneath. This was something I also noticed about Disney's theme park princesses. Though they look like one dress when yo…

Princess Rap Battles

In 2014, Whitney Avalon produced and starred in a new web series called "Princess Rap Battle." The series pitted princesses against each other to rap about why they were the superior heroine. It quickly started a trend in 2016 that was used for shows such as Galavant and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. One thing that made Whitney's videos stand out from other princess-themed web shorts is that she had some very famous guest stars, including Sarah Michelle Gellar and Disney Channel star Laura Marano. Her first video, "Snow White vs. Elsa," was very appropriate since it put the oldest Disney Princess head to head with the newest Disney Princess of the time.

Rap is obviously not the genre of choice for a Disney Princess, but that's what made the concept so novel. It was especially hilarious to see the docile Snow White rapping out insults. In some ways, these videos could be interpreted as princess parodies, but the princesses do act mostly in character and make some val…

Princess Fanart

Every fandom will inevitably have an endless amount of fan-made creations all over the internet. The Disney Princesses, in particular, seem to be an obsession among artists. They have been "re-imagined" in countless different styles, timelines, and alternate realities. In fact, the trend got so out of hand that roughly two years ago, a website called LuckyPeach posted pictures of Disney Princesses reimagined as hot dogs as a joke. The post went viral. It was everywhere. People just can't get enough of Disney Princess reimaginings no matter what form they take on. One of the most famous princess fan artists is Amy Mebberson, who is known for her ongoing comic series, Pocket Princesses.

What I love about Amy's art is that she shows the princesses interacting with each other, like in the above Acme Archives lithograph where Merida, as the only non-singing Disney Princess, is annoyed by everyone else's singing. I met Amy at the D23 Expo in 2013. She had a fabulous ac…

New Princess (and Villain) Music Videos

Move aside, Princess Rap Battles! There are some new music videos in town. Princess fans have gotten more creative than ever and are releasing tons of cosplay videos inspired by our favorite princesses. It's the perfect season for dressing up in costume and singing songs. Since Halloween is coming up, the latest fan videos have more of a villainous spin. These production groups have done lots of great princess videos in the past, and they are sure to make more in the future. Up first, we have a special treat from Rachel Bloom. I have been eagerly anticipating Friday's premiere of her show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and was pleased to find that she released this sneak preview yesterday of the Disney-inspired song introducing the episode.

Unlike their last princess number, the new song "Where's Rebecca Bunch?" is an ensemble sequence with the everyone in the show except Rebecca dressed as puritans in a colonial village. The video draws heavy inspiration from the song &qu…

Disney Princess Enchanted Tales and Why It Failed

In 2007, Disney decided to create a direct-to-DVD animated series to supplement their Disney Princess brand called Disney Princess Enchanted Tales. The series was supposed to include two new half-hour princess stories per volume with original animation, songs, and stories. They initially planned three volumes with stories about Aurora, Belle, Jasmine, Mulan, and Cinderella. The series immediately got the shaft after the first volume, "Follow Your Dreams" was released, causing other stories that had already released teasers of clips and songs to never reach completion. Why was it such a massive failure? There are a number of factors that play into this.

I don't consider Enchanted Tales to be a series of sequels because it was not marketed as part two of anything, but I also don't exactly consider it an animated series either because it wasn't on TV and does not follow a continuing storyline. Instead, it is a bunch of random one-off specials meant to teach kids hea…

The Best Princess Albums You've Never Heard

We all have songs from our favorite princess movies on our playlists, but did you know that there are many obscure princess albums don't come from a movie or show? Princesses are known for their beautiful voices, so songs performed by them are calming and lovely. They have a style of music that's somewhere between classical, Broadway, and romance. Many princess performers have also released solo albums where they hand-pick their own songs, giving it a personal touch. Here are a few of my favorite princess albums that you've probably never heard.

"The Little Mermaid: Songs from the Sea" was released in 1992 and is available in physical and digital form on Amazon. It contains original songs performed by the actors from the 1989 movie. Jodi Benson dominates the CD, as expected, with her iconic mermaid voice, but there also new songs from Sebastian, Scuttle, and Ariel's sisters that allow you to get to know those characters a little better. If you listen to the tr…

Princesses and Puppets

The Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade, one of the best princess events in existence, was inspired by the 1986 Jim Henson movie, Labyrinth. Though the protagonist Sarah is not a princess, the most iconic scene is when David Bowie's character brings her to a royal masquerade ball where her dress is transformed into a magnificent ballgown. Throughout the movie, Sarah interacts with puppet characters on her quest to recover her baby brother from the Goblin King's labyrinth. Jim Henson has always shown muppets interacting with humans, but it is not too common to see them in princess stories and even less common for princesses to be portrayed as puppets.

Jim Henson made a handful of fairy tale muppet specials with mixed results. The best by far is Tales from Muppetland: The Frog Prince from 1971 based on the classic fairy tale with a few fun twists. Melora is a beautiful human princess who is cursed to have her words twisted so her father can't understand her when speaks. The muppe…

Animated Russian Fairy Tales

Yesterday, a friend of mine shared an image she saw on Claire Keane's Twitter that sparked her interest. If you're out of the loop, Claire Keane is the daughter of the legendary Disney Princess animator Glen Keane who did concept art for the Tangled movie and series. She tweeted a drawing from a short Russian movie that was released in 1952 called The Scarlet Flower. The movie is a Russian adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast." After watching this lovely work of art on YouTube, I found a link to another animated Russian fairy tale from 1968 called Rusalochka, which is the story of "The Little Mermaid." The artwork in Rusalochka completely blew me away. Every frame looks like something that you would find hanging on the walls of a fine art museum. It was refreshing to see such a unique perspective on my favorite fairy tale.

Both of these movies have a classic and otherworldly feel to them. The Scarlet Flower tells Charles Perrault's version of "Beaut…

"The Grande Mermaid" Is Finally Here!

I have mentioned in other posts how impressed I am by the quality of PattyCake Productions Unexpected Musicals series in which they recreate classic movies and replace the soundtrack with that of a specific pop singer. In the past, I have particularly enjoyed their videos for "Cinderswift" and "Michaeleficent." However, I could not have possibly been more excited than I was when I learned that they were working on a video for my favorite movie and fairy tale of all time, "The Little Mermaid." The production was delayed for a few months due to Hurricane Irma, which hit the coast of Florida last September, but little by little, the filmmakers soldiered on. For the first time that I've ever seen from PattyCake Productions, they even released a trailer, building more excitement for this short than any of the ones in the past. Now, "The Grande Mermaid," set to the songs of Nickelodeon actress and pop singer Ariana Grande, is here at at last and h…

Story Saturday: "The Princess Vlog"

"The Princess Vlog" Once upon a time, there was a lovely princess named Lisa who created a blog to keep her court informed about all of the latest princess news in the world. She had a small but loyal following. Lisa was happy with her court but always wished that there could be a way for her kingdom to grow bigger. One day, she went to visit her prince's kingdom, where her father-in-law, the king, encouraged her to start a YouTube channel to spread her message of love and kindness to the rest of the world. So, the princess used a magic wand that had been presented to her at her royal wedding to transform herself into a cartoon character. With the help of a little pixie dust, she created a video of her very first blog post.

Though she received a much smaller reception on her video than she had hoped, Lisa did receive some helpful scrolls from her royal family members overseas. She knew she couldn't do everything herself, so she asked her husband, Prince Derrick, for…

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…

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…

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…

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 appear to be filmed at 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…

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…

Disney Princess Designer Dolls

We all had lots of fun playing with princess dolls as kids and brushing their hair until it became ratty and tangled. For those of us who are older, there has is the option of purchasing pricier collectible dolls that are made with finer details in their hair and clothes and come with their own stands for display purposes. While princesses have never exactly been lacking in options for collectible dolls, the Disney Princess Designer Collection that was revealed at the D23 Expo in 2011 was the start of something special. Each princess had her own designer dress that looked like it came straight off a modern-day runway. The collection was released alongside lithographs, cards, mugs, and other paraphernalia featuring beautiful matching artwork. The dolls themselves weren't sculpted from your typical Barbie mold. They had fully articulated wrist and elbow joints, salon quality hair that stayed perfectly in place, bigger painted eyes, and long realistic eyelashes that you could actuall…

Traci Hines Made a Wreck-It Ralph Fan Video That's Packed with Princesses!

Creativity is in the air this month with new episodes of our favorite TV shows and Halloween just around the corner. Princess fans everywhere are getting into the spirit with cosplay and collaborative music videos. PattyCake Productions, known for their fantastic movie and pop song mashups recently teased an upcoming villain music video on their Facebook page. In the meantime, the wait is over for Traci Hines's latest collaboration with a large group of princess cosplayers recreating the famous trailer scene from Wreck-It Ralph 2 to the song "When Can I See You Again?" by Owl City from the first Wreck-It Ralph. The song is upbeat and peppy in the spirit of the scene it is attempting to recreate, making it a terrific choice for the video. The lyrics about having a great time hanging out with someone and then needing to leave blend perfectly with the plot where Vanellope sneaks into the Disney Princesses' secret dressing room and has some fun with them before needing to…


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