Movies


How the Disney Princesses Stayed Modern for 80 Years

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This is my first post here, so it's only fitting to do an analysis of Disney Princess history so far. I don't intend to only write about Disney Princesses in this blog, but they will probably make up the vast majority of it. As stated in the title, it's been 80 years since the release of the first animated princess movie (and animated movie in general), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Since then, Disney has made over a dozen more princess movies, spanning through multiple generations of girls and women. That's a lot of history.

With how much social norms have changed between the 1930s and today, it would have been very easy for the Disney Princess line to become a forgotten relic of the past. Yet, with an upcoming reunion in the Wreck-It Ralph sequel, the princesses are more popular than ever. Why? Disney updates their movies with the times. That's why they're called "classics." Each princess is a caricature of what is considered the ideal woman for …

The Rise and Fall of the Animated Prince

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Let's take a moment to talk about princes. Why princes? Because they never really had a chance. At their best, they are seen as a coveted accessory for princesses, and at their worst, they are seen as promoting unhealthy sexist ideals to vulnerable children that women are unable to take care of themselves. Because of the latter setback, princes have gotten the short end of the stick in recent animated movies, whether it's being portrayed as useless in Brave, evil in Frozen, or completely nonexistent in Moana. Sadly, Disney had just started to improve their prince formula around the time that this brutal take-down of chivalry took place. Why can't we have the best of both worlds?

The reason for the lack of developed male characters in animated films hearkens back to the very first one, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Initially, the nameless Prince was supposed to be a much more important character. Most of his scenes were cut from the film because the studio had so much tr…

The Burning Question: Is Mulan a Princess?

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Mulan is a wonderful animated feature that was released by Disney in 1998. Showcasing a young woman who broke tradition by disguising herself as a male soldier and saved all of China in the process, it is, in my opinion, one of the most empowering films for girls on the market. Yet, with my reputation as a self-proclaimed princess expert, there is one burning question that people are always asking me: "Is Mulan a princess?" She was not born to a king or queen, nor did she marry a prince, so why is her visage so often plastered alongside the other royal heroines? The short answer is that she's not a princess, but she is a Disney Princess. Why aren't the two mutually exclusive? The answer to that is a bit more complicated.
When the Disney Princess line was launched in 2001, it initially focused on the main six--Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine. However, since Jasmine was the only heroine of color in the line, it expanded shortly thereafter to in…

What The 10th Kingdom Got Right

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In the year 2000, NBC decided to try something that had never been done before. They released a five-part miniseries with an original story that was centered around the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. The series was called The Tenth Kingdom. It was so good that NBC decided to do absolutely nothing with it, despite hinting at the possibility of a sequel in the final voice-over narration. When has NBC ever kept a good series going, anyway? Still, fans have not forgotten this beautiful and whimsical tale. Though other forms of media have attempted similar projects, including ABC's 2011 drama, Once Upon a Time, nothing has quite lived up to the epic and dream-like quality of The Tenth Kingdom.


The miniseries stars a guarded young woman name Virginia Lewis (played by Kimberly Williams-Paisley) who works as a waitress in New York City. After she crashes into an enchanted dog with her bike, she and her father walk through a portal inside a magic mirror to enter the world of the Nine K…

The Warrior Princess

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It almost sounds like a paradox. Not very long ago, "warrior" and "princess" were two opposing archetypes. Princesses wore big dresses, were dainty, delicate and needed to be rescued. Warriors were the ones who rushed in to save them, clad in armor, weapons bravely drawn, letting nothing stand in their way. The Amazons, the original warrior women, have been around since ancient Greek mythology. One particular Amazon princess has existed in comic book form since the '40s and has just gotten her own theatrical film. I'm talking, of course, about Princess Diana. No, not that one!


It's Wonder Woman. As the daughter of Queen Hippolyta, Diana is very much a princess, and as an Amazon and DC superhero, she is also very much a warrior. The fact that she was created in 1941 makes this disassociation even more significant because it was not at all customary for women to be portrayed as warriors at that time, let alone princesses. She was created by William Marsto…

The Princess and the Pea Is the Best Movie You've Never Seen

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When you think of non-Disney classic animated princess movies, what comes to mind? Anastasia, Thumbelina, and The Swan Princess, right? All three of those have one thing in common with the Disney classics, which is that they were all in theaters at some point. Not all movies get that lucky. For Mark Swan, who painstakingly directed The Princess and the Pea under Feature Films for Families and his own studio, Swan Productions, distribution was no small feat.


It's surprising to know that this movie was an independent production because the animation is top notch. It looks like a lot of it was probably rotoscoped because the movement is so fluid. The characters never go off-model, and there are some gorgeously detailed background paintings throughout the course of the film. Composer Alan Williams wrote some terrific new princess songs for it, including "Kingdom of Heart" and "Out in the Wide Open World." It's a shame these will never show up on a princess kara…

The Problem With Disney's Live-Action Remakes

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Yesterday, I discussed why a Xena remake should be happening. Today, I'm going to tell you why Disney's recent slew of remakes should not be happening. Does it sound hypocritical? There's a big difference between an ongoing series and a feature-length work of art expanded from a two-page fairy tale. Disney animated films are timeless classics that should not be messed around with. Beginning with the fairest of them all, Disney has revolutionized the way that we see fairy tales, giving us a streamlined look, voice, and personality for each princess. They are so good at creating modernized versions of classic stories that stay true to the heart of each tale. Why, then, do they find it necessary to give us watered-down clones of their classic masterpieces?


The answer, like most things with Disney, is money. These remakes are just an extension of the Disney cheapquels that Michael Eisner put out in the '90s. Beginning in 1994 withReturn of Jafar, Eisner soon realized that …

Barbie Is a Part-Time Princess

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Did you know that Barbie has starred in almost 40 movies? Yesterday, I talked a little about remakes. Barbie has told so many different stories in so many different personas that some of them overlap. Instead of retelling the same stories, though, the writers have tried be as original as possible each time, even with up to three movies coming out every year since 2001. These movies are made up of all the things girls love--princesses, mermaids, fairies, magic, horses, etc. Barbie has portrayed the role of a princess over a dozen times! She plays a very active part in each story, so even if the CGI isn't perfect, parents can rest assured that it's a great influence on their young girls.


I've mentioned a couple of Barbie's movies in my "Swan Lake" and "Rapunzel" posts. It really is impressive how much original princess content Rainmaker Studio has come out with over the past decade and a half. Of the 37 current Barbie movies, Barbie has been a princes…

Princess Parodies

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As I mentioned in my first blog entry, Disney Princesses are caricatures of the ideal woman from their time period. Since, as well all know, nobody is perfect, this this trope is easy for other studios to poke fun at. Many have, including Disney themselves with Enchanted. By exaggerating these perfect princesses so much that the very traits that make them perfect become their flaws, the characters become more human, allowing the audience to better relate to them. Some of these parodies are more mean-spirited than others. I think the movie that struck the perfect balance between satire and humanity was Dreamworks' Shrek in 2001.


One of the founding members of Dreamworks was Jeffrey Katzenberg, who had previously worked for Disney, just like many other creators of successful non-Disney productions, including Don Bluth. Katzenberg was frustrated with the House of Mouse and created Shrek to compete with them, which is why the movie came off as a bit mean-spirited at times. Regardless …

Live-Action Princesses

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The final entry in my series of different types of princesses is about the ones who are most famous for their portrayals in live-action movies. That means I'm not counting any of Disney's live-action remakes because all of those characters were made famous through old stories and animation. Live-action movies create worlds that feel more grounded and less fantastical than animation. These princesses look like someone you might see walking around on the street, but each has an amazing secret. Somewhere in the world, there is a kingdom that waits patiently for their return.


First up, we have ABC Family Channel's original movie from 2008, titled simply Princess. I have no idea why Disney chose to air this on their channel for family dramas instead of the more age-appropriate Disney Channe. Fortunately, it wound up on Netflix later to build a larger audience. Though there was a lot in the story that went unexplained, such as where the mysterious princess powers came from or wh…

The Voice of a Princess

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One trait that is synonymous among nearly every animated princess is her beautiful voice. I have wanted to do a tribute to some of my favorite princess actresses every since I started this blog. Princesses have inspired me to sing loud and proud throughout the course my life and have also gotten me through some difficult times. Their sweet and powerful voices were full of emotion and helped me relate to them and feel more deeply than I would have ever thought possible. These are some of my favorite rock star voice artists who have each voiced multiple princesses and have had the biggest impact on what a modern princess should sound like.


Leading the pack is the legendary Tara Strong who has voiced an insanely large library of iconic characters, including not one, not two, not three, but four princesses. Currently, she is most famous for her work as Twilight Sparkle, who became a princess in the third season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. I'm looking forward to hearing her…

Don Bluth Princesses

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Did you know that yesterday was Don Bluth's 80th birthday? In case you're out of the loop, Don Bluth is an animator who used to work for Disney until he teamed up with Gary Goldman and made a whole bunch of hit animated features on his own in the '80s and '90s. He is responsible for Anastasia, one of my favorite animated princess movies of all time as well as Thumbelina. To top things off, he created a cool animated game called Dragon's Lair that was in arcades and on laser disc. Despite his age, Don and Gary are still working hard to bring their fans great animation. They recently started an Indiegogo campaign to do a full-length animated feature film of Dragon's Lair. Don Bluth is very loyal to his fans and responds to nearly all animation-related inquiries on his website.

In my opinion, Don Bluth's greatest masterpiece of all time was Anastasia in 1997. The movie used state-of-the-art technology for the time period. I wasn't very familiar with CGI b…

Everything Wrong With Frozen

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In 1845, Hans Christian Andersen wrote a story called "The Snow Queen" about a girl named Gerda who bravely journeyed through many dangerous lands to rescue her friend Kay, who was possessed by a cursed mirror and seduced by the beauty of a wicked queen. In 2013, Disney released a movie that had absolutely nothing to do with any of that. I go back and forth between hating Frozen and thinking it was just okay. The more hype it gets, the angrier I become. When people ask me why, I get tired of going into the same explanation again and again because it's long and complicated. That's why I'm writing this post.


Most of what I knew about Frozen before seeing it in theaters came from the D23 Expo in summer 2013. I went to several panels where I saw the early footage and listened to the filmmakers discuss their progress. At the time, I was very excited about it. Olaf's song was hilarious, and Elsa's disapproval of Anna's engagement to Hans seemed like an inte…

Review: Barbie Dolphin Magic

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Earlier this week, the newest Barbie movie was released on Netflix. Though Barbie Dolphin Magic is not technically a princess movie, it does have a mermaid in it and stars the Barbie, the part-time princess. It looks like Rainmaker is breaking their tradition of releasing the Barbie movies on DVD and switching to streaming media, which makes sense because DVD sales have dropped significantly in recent years. As a Netflix special, the movie has the shortest run time yet for Barbie, clocking in at only a little over an hour. So, is it worth watching? Here's what I think.


In a word, yes. The short runtime makes it an easy watch, and it's paced much better than its prequel, Barbie & Her Sisters in a Puppy Chase, which dragged on forever. This movie gets straight to the point with very little filler. Barbie and her three sisters, Skipper, Stacy, and Chelsea, are on vacation at a beach-side resort where Ken is interning for a marine biologist. Rumors abound of the "gem dolp…

Why Johanna from Sweeney Todd is Totally a Princess

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Previously, I wrote a little about why Mulan is a Disney Princess even though she doesn't have the actual title of "princess." Now, I'd like to talk about one of my favorite live-action movies with another unofficial cross-dressing princess, Sweeney Todd. This macabre musical strikes a perfect balance between dark themes of cannibalism and murder with romantic ideals of true love and faith (or lack thereof). Johanna is the naive daughter of the title character, which technically makes her the princess of the story. That's not the only reason I consider her a princess, though. Let's take a look.


Like Cinderella and Snow White, Johanna was raised as an orphan by an abusive parent. It wasn't until she fell in love with Anthony, the sailor who had rescued her father at sea, that she saw a hope of escaping her unfortunate situation. She spent most of her days locked in her room under close watch like Rapunzel, singing to the birds about her desire for freedom.…

A Little Princess Revisited

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In 1995, I was temporarily obsessed with the movie A Little Princess, based on a novel written 90 years earlier by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I know I wrote a book report on the novel in school and was impressed with Liesel Matthews' dream-like performance as Sara Crewe, but that's about all I remember. A friend of mine reminded me of my love for the movie when I was looking for suggestions for new blog posts. I decided to revisit it to see if it still had the same magic for me. During my research, I found a Buzzfeed article written by someone who did the exact same thing, and I found that I agree with many of the author's points. The movie becomes a lot darker when watching it again as an adult, but it is still very magical.


If you are unfamiliar with the story, A Little Princess is about a girl named Sara whose father sends her to a luxurious boarding school where the uniforms look like formal party dresses while he goes off to war. However, when he loses his money and is …

Review: My Little Pony The Movie

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Today is the day! Everyone's favorite unicorn princesses are finally out on the big screen. Based on the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic reboot series that began in 2010, Hasbro has finally released its biggest franchise to theaters. Does it live up to the cartoon? I have to say I was a little concerned when I noticed that the movie's trailer and promos seemed to focus more on star power than plot. Now that I've seen it, I can safely say that my concerns were justified. The movie introduced a ton of new characters voiced by big-name actors with very little time to get to know them. It was a whirlwind of magic, morals, and songs, with very little meaningful or memorable content.


Let's start with the positive. The movie looked gorgeous. It brought together everything great about traditional animation and computer animation. Everypony was consistently on model, and the shading was gorgeous. It looked like the colors were going to be eye-piercingly bright based on the …

Princesses Returning to Theaters

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In the digital age, fewer and fewer people are going out to the movies because it's so easy to access everything from home on streaming media. To remedy this, Fathom Events tries to appeal to our childhood nostalgia with exclusive re-release events for movies that we love. This year, it seems like theaters have been particularly focused on bringing back our favorite princesses. Seeing an older movie in theaters is different from seeing something new. People already know exactly what to expect and what they love about it. They go for the experience of seeing it again on a big screen in a dark theater, surrounded by fans who love it as much as they do.


The next princess movie making its return to theaters is the 1987 classic The Princess Bride. The movie is coming back to celebrate its 30th anniversary on as a Fathom Event presented by TCM Big Screen Classics. It will be back in theaters on the 15th and 18th of this month. The Princess Bride was not a particularly inspiring movie fo…

Animated Sequels: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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It's a well-known fact that most princess stories end with "happily ever after," which is why it makes little sense to follow them up with a sequel. Disney started the sequel craze in 1994 when they created The Return of Jafar as a direct-to-video release to kick off the Aladdin animated series. The Return of Jafar took only a couple of months to produce, unlike most theatrical animated films which take years. Since Disney profited from it more than they expected to, Michael Eisner, the CEO at the time, thought it would be a good idea to make more direct-to-video sequels because they were so cheap and easy. Other copycat animation studios quickly followed in their footsteps.


As the first of its kind, The Return of Jafar is one of the most cringe-worthy sequels of the "cheapquel" era. It focuses mainly on the irritating Iago, causing the other beloved characters to take a backseat. The movie's only romance song, "Forget About Love," is dominated by…

Most People Won't Recognize These Princesses

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Previously, I've discussed why most people wouldn't recognize Daria from The Princess and the Pea because it was produced by a small independent studio in 2002. However, there are other animated princesses from movies produced by more well-known studios that simply did not make a big enough impact for people to remember or care about. They are the rejected princesses, the forgotten princesses, the princesses who would never graduate to become a Disney Princess. This is no small feat considering that not even all of the Disney Princesses are actually princesses. Our first example was released under Disney's obsolete Miramax studio name that they used for their B movies that they did not expect to succeed in the box office.


The Thief and the Cobbler has a complex history. It was the love child of animator Richard Williams who worked on Who Framed Roger Rabbit for Disney in 1988. He wanted to produce The Thief and the Cobbler on his own with no studio involvement in order to s…

Princesses Watch Corpse Bride on Halloween

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Halloween is here at last. After they finish trick-or-treating for the night, many people like to curl up in front of a scary movie full of intrigue, death, and gore. Princess fans don't always like being scared, which is why we have Tim Burton's 2005 classic Corpse Bride, which is also full of intrigue, death, and gore, but without any of the scary parts. Corpse Bride is more about the emotion and less about cheap scares. It has all the beauty, music, and romance of an animated princess movie, but it's also a moving ghost story with a gothic Victorian setting, making it perfect for Halloween. I loved this movie so much the first time I saw it that I watched it every single day for months.


Corpse Bride is the story of Emily, a young woman obsessed with romance and adventure whose life was taken on her wedding night. Even from the Land of the Dead, her princess spirit cannot be destroyed. She leaves her bony hand sticking up from the ground in the hopes that one day someone …

Hand-Drawn, CGI, or Live-Action?

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Computer animation has a complicated history. When it was first introduced around the mid-90s, it was amazing and innovative. Then, as it slowly started to take over our favorite princess movies and shows, it felt more like an invasion of art. Michael Eisner did not with this when he claimed that traditional animation was no longer relevant in the early 2000s. Today, the medium has advanced so much that it blends seamlessly with live-action movies, blurring the lines between animated and live-action features. Most modern sci-fi movies lie somewhere in the middle. Which medium do we prefer for our princesses? It's undeniable that traditional animation came first, starting with Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Today, it's rare to see an animated feature that's not made by a computer. Disney is taking advantage of this technology to transform all of their animated princesses into flesh and blood actresses with mixed results.

Pictured above are three inca…

Snow White's 80th Anniversary

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If you're a fan of Disney's 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, you're in luck. This year is the movie's 80th anniversary, and Disney is going out of their way to team up with a whole bunch of companies to make it a huge event. Though the story and characters have evolved vastly over the years, the original animated film still holds a huge historical significance over the way that princess stories are told. Not only was it the first feature-length animated movie of all time, but it was also the first animated film with a fairy tale princess as the lead character. The anniversary event kicked off this past summer with a special screening of the classic film at the D23 Expo, and announcements have been popping up everywhere since then. Let's take a look at all of the awesome things coming out this year in honor of the fairest one of all.


Straight from the D23 Expo, the Disney Store announced a new collection of exclusive Snow White merchandise featuring new artwork…

Princess Kaguya's Wish for an Ordinary Life

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The Tale of Princess Kaguya is an anime movie that was released by Studio Ghibli in 2013. It is based on the Japanese folktale "The Bamboo-Cutter and the Moon-Child." The themes of the story pertain closely to my recent analysis of vanity in princess movies. Just like every other fairy tale princess, Kaguya has a legendary striking beauty that is renowned for miles, bringing her many suitors who are willing to do the most difficult of tasks for the chance to gaze upon her. However, she assigns them these tasks not because she thinks that they need to prove themselves worthy of beauty, but because she has little interest in being seen as a valuable treasure.


Kaguya's wish to be treated like an ordinary girl in spite of her privilege is nothing new. Most Disney Princesses who are born into royalty resent the life they were given and wish to live a normal one. Aurora flings herself onto a bed and cries when the three good fairies tell her that she is a princess because she …

One Hundred Princesses for My 100th Post

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Today is a major accomplishment for me. I started this blog 100 days ago, and I've managed to write a new post in it every day since then. Some of the topics were easier to come up with than others. I also had to go back and edit some after the fact due to poor proofreading. Speaking of which, I'm really sorry about the disastrous short story from my first Story Saturday post. The whole thing was written on my phone on the way to a Mermaid Art Show event in San Diego, so I was a little distracted. I promise to put more effort into future Story Saturdays, which should be easier now that I will no longer be writing new posts every day. Don't worry, though. I will still keep everyone informed of the latest princess news and review all the new princess movies and specials. Without further ado, in celebration of my 100th post, here is a list of 100 princesses with all of the posts I've made about them (in no particular order). Thank you so much for reading my blog. 1-11: T…

November Princess Anniversaries

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It's a big month for princess movies. Last week was the 28th anniversary of my favorite movie, The Little Mermaid. As I've discussed in a previous post, Disney is going all out this month to celebrate the 80th anniversary of their very first movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. On Monday night, Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City put on a live show to unveil their gorgeous window displays honoring the film. The displays are similar to the ones at the Emporium at the Disney Parks, but much larger in scale. They portray detailed animatronics of every major scene in the movie, from the wishing well to the fated kiss, as well as the new clothing designed specifically for the event.


The special, called "Once Upon a Holiday," was streamed live on YouTube and social media. Fans crowded around Fifth Avenue to see the Saks Fifth Avenue president give a moving speech about the film, followed by a choreographed performance from the Seven Dwarfs. Sofia Carson, who plays the Ev…

Holiday Princess Specials

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December is here, which means there's no fighting the holiday spirit. Lights are twinkling, Christmas songs are invading all the radio stations, and princesses are spreading their holiday cheer. Holiday specials that feature our favorite princesses usually come in the form of cheaply produced sequels, but there are other forms of media as well. For instance, there was a Disney Princess DVD called "A Christmas of Enchantment" released in 2005 that contained mash-ups of clips and shorts from various Disney productions, but it quickly fell in the same direction as the Disney Princess Enchanted Tales series. There was also a Disney Princess Christmas Album released in 2009 with new holiday songs performed in many of the original voices of the Disney Princesses in which they harmonize beautifully about their excitement for the holiday season along. The album contains a few covers of classic Christmas songs as well.

The newest holiday princess special is the 21-minute long Fro…

Live-Action Princess News

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As unenthusiastic as most princess fans are about live-action remakes, Disney continues to pump them out. By the end of the next decade, most of our favorite princess movies from the '90s will have live-action counterparts for better or worse. Over the summer, several casting announcements were made about the Aladdin remake. Right now, the spotlight is on the upcoming remake of Mulan with the recent announcement that she will be played by Chinese actress Liu Yifei. This came as a relief to many after a controversy from last year in which people assumed that the movie would be whitewashed based on a leaked spec script that gave the role of the lead character to a male white merchant instead of the fabled Chinese heroine. The rumors of the script being used for the film were quickly debunked, reassuring fans that Mulan would always be the protagonist of her own movie. Though not a princess by title, Mulan is considered an official Disney Princess, which makes her actress a pretty si…

Is Anastasia Now a Disney Princess?

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Have you heard? There's a rumor in St. Petersburg! Disney has bought out Fox for $54.2 billion earlier last week. They mainly did this to obtain ownership of what few Marvel properties they didn't own yet, but as an added side effect, they now own other animated properties including The Simpsons and everyone's favorite Don Bluth princess, Anastasia. Anastasia recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and is still going strong on Broadway. What does this merger mean for the many fans of the franchise? To be honest, probably nothing. However, there are those who are keeping their fingers crossed that this historically inaccurate redhead will be added to Disney's elite group of princesses. Could this dream become a reality once upon a December?

The answer is a bit more complicated than you might think. Being a Disney Princess is not necessarily the same thing as being a Disney character who is a princess or in some cases, a popular heroine. What cannot be disputed is that …

Did The Shape of Water Draw Inspiration From "The Little Mermaid?"

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A couple of weeks ago, director Guillermo del Toro released his latest masterpiece, The Shape of Water. Though not exactly a princess movie, del Toro tends to draw inspiration from fairy tales and mythology. His 2006 blockbuster Pan's Labyrinth was an "Alice in Wonderland" inspired movie set in the midst of a Spanish war. Like The Shape of Water, it was very much its own story, even though the fairy tale elements were still present. Del Toro is better at using fairy tales as a jumping off point and putting his own spin on his films, which might be one reason that his adaptation of "Pinocchio" got canceled. In the same way that Pan's Labyrinth borrowed elements of "Alice in Wonderland," I think that The Shape of Water borrowed from "The Little Mermaid." Let's take some time to explore this theory.

To begin, drawing inspiration from a story is very different from being an adaptation. Disney's The Little Mermaid was a direct adapta…

New Richard Rich Interview

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My friends from The Jewel Riders Archive recently brought my attention to an online interview in which The Swan Princess director Richard Rich answered several fan questions. His responses were quite lucrative. I learned many things I didn't know, including his brief stint at Disney in the '80s, the story behind the many recent sequels, and his response to voice actress Michelle Nicastro's death. While you could click the link and read the full transcript for yourself (which I also recommend), I also wanted to share my thoughts on some of the most interesting highlights.


As many of you may know, The Swan Princess was a famous 1994 animated feature film inspired by the "Swan Lake" ballet. It had two animated direct-to-video sequels in the late '90s and was all but forgotten until 2012, when a series of horrendous CGI direct-to-DVD sequels began popping up every year thereafter with no sign of stopping. It didn't come as too much of a surprise that Rick wou…

Princesses of the Animation Industry

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What are the first names that come to mind when you think of the people behind your favorite fairy tale princesses? The Brothers Grimm? Hans Christian Anderson? Walt Disney? Don Bluth? John Musker and Ron Clements? Considering how empowering so many of these stories are to women, it's surprising that the overwhelming majority of people behind them are men. The recent success of Patty Jenkins behind the 2017 Wonder Woman movie and the inspirational writing team of Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna behind the CW's princess culture-inspired Crazy Ex-Girlfriend series got me wondering why Disney has so few women behind its own female-driven classics. Even independent princess filmmakers like Don Bluth and Richard Rich got their start at Disney, making it virtually impossible for anyone to find much success in the animation industry without working there or at another major animation studio first. In an industry that's so biased toward men, animation ingenues like myself bar…

A Royal MyZtery: WHY?

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If you didn't know that was another Swan Princess sequel released yesterday, you are a very fortunate person indeed. The Swan Princess: A Royal MyZtery (yes, that's the actual title) marks what I believe is the eighth movie featuring the characters from Richard Rich's 1994 classic,The Swan Princess. It was no mistake that I left "The Swan Princess" portion out of the title of my blog post, as these movies are so far and away from what was once an adaptation of the "Swan Lake" ballet that they may as well be on another plane of existence entirely. All of the CGI sequels that started with The Swan Princess Christmas in 2012 have been pretty terrible, but this one might just be the worst yet. Don't worry, though. I went ahead and watched this abomination so you don't have to. Below the image is a description of all the most cringe-worthy things that happened in the movie and why it is objectively terrible and should never have been made, just lik…

Charming and the Decline of Femininity

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I've been wanting to write about Charming, an upcoming animated movie for a long time. I first heard about it at the CTN Animation Expo in 2014. However, small animation studios like 3QU tend to have trouble getting their releases off the ground. That might explain why the movie trailer dropped over a year ago without any sign of a release date and then mysteriously disappeared without a trace until last month. According to IMDB, the movie is coming out gradually in various parts of Europe over the course of the next month or so, but there is still no mention of a release date here in America. Despite its limited release, the studio was able to cast some pretty big names, including Demi Lovato, Ashley Tisdale, John Clease, Tom Kenny, and Tara Strong. At first glance, Charming looks like it's just another princess parody from the producers of Shrek, but many of the comments on the trailer revealed some strong opinions that I would like to explore further. Watch it below and for…

Wreck-It Ralph 2 Photo Analysis (Where's Ariel?)

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USA today has finally released an article containing an image of the elusive scene containing all the Disney Princesses from Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet! This scene was previewed at the D23 Expo last summer and locked up tight ever since. Now that they've finally released a screenshot of it, there appears to be something missing. Ariel, my favorite princess that I was most curious about isn't in the shot. It was pretty clear what all the other princesses were going to be wearing in the movie since they are always portrayed on stock art in their signature looks. Ariel, on the other hand, is a bit of a black sheep when it comes to a signature look. Sometimes she's a mermaid, sometimes she's a human, sometimes she's wearing the pink dress from the movie, and sometimes she's wearing a green dress that was never in any movie. It's just my luck that even after an image of the mysterious scene was finally released, I still don't have an answer…

Wreck-It Ralph 2 Trailer Analysis

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If you're one of the five people on Earth who still hasn't seen the new Wreck-It Ralph 2 trailer that dropped this morning, I'm here to break it down for you. The trailer featured roughly the first half of a scene in which all of the living voice actresses for the Disney Princesses reprised their roles as Vanellope snuck into their secret internet headquarters that was presented at the D23 Expo last year. A screenshot released last week previewed the scene with Ariel missing, but now we see that she was just off-screen combing her hair with her favorite dinglehopper in a blinged out version of pink tea dress along with lots more animation of other the princesses in their oddly disproportionate new CGI style animation. Let's take a look.



For starters, it's a bit odd how Ariel and Cinderella have swapped the levels of bling on their ballgowns. In the 1950 animated movie, Cinderella's dress appeared to have made from a lightweight silvery-white fabric emblazoned w…

Live-Action Little Mermaid Movie News

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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…

Review: The Incredibles 2

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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…

An Ode to the Most American Princess of All

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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…

I Reread The Princess Diaries After Watching the Movie Again

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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…

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

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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…

Disney Princesses Break the Internet!

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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 shows us what happened after Vanellope got on the girls' good side, convincing them that she is a Disney Princess as well.



In this image, we see the classic characters convert to Vanellope's casual style of clothing as they lounge on bean bag chairs for what looks like your average teen slumber party. Missing from this particular image are Jasmine, Aurora, Merida, and Belle, but we know t…

Review: The Little Mermaid (2018 Indie Flick)

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Of the three live-action adaptations of "The Little Mermaid" that were announced within the past couple of years, only one of them has already finished filming and has a limited release in AMC theaters as of last weekend. Many of us who are fans of the original fairy tale took issue with Armando Guttierez's The Little Mermaid trying to market itself as a new take on Hans Christian Andersen's story when the trailer bears virtually no resemblance to it. I liked when their Facebook page had the title A Little Mermaid, as that was more honest and made it sound like an original story, but it was soon replaced with the attention-grabbing title that would hopefully confuse people just enough into thinking it was made by Disney and convince them to go and see it. Ordinarily, I wouldn't even bother reviewing such a mediocre low-budget production that was made by someone without any prior film experience, but the fact that it had a theatrical release and marketing campaign…

How Princesses Represent Hope

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The final trailer was just released for Disney's latest fairy tale endeavor, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. This trailer gives audiences more insight to the content of the four realms of snowflakes, flowers, sweets, and the creepy distorted land that was taken over by the movie's villain, Mother Ginger. The trailer also confirmed that the black man with the eye-patch from the previous trailer was in fact Clara's godfather, Drosselmeyer. While it still hasn't been confirmed in the dialogue that the soldier accompanying Clara in the trailers is Drosselmeyer's nephew, the Nutcracker turned human, it's fairly obvious at this point. Some people have commented that this movie looks like a remake of Tim Burton's 2010 live-action Alice in Wonderland. Both portray a classic heroine donning the uniform of a soldier to save an enchanted realm from evil. This feminist answer to the "one man's journey" trope brings in a new era that shifts the method …

Review: Charming

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It took a lot of patience, but I finally had an opportunity to watch 3QU Media's animated film, Charming, which still has no known release date in America. The movie was exactly what it looked like from the trailer--a mildly entertaining and predictable Shrek wannabe with very little replay value. Considering that it was 3QU Media is still struggling with distribution on their first attempt at a film, I doubt we'll be seeing much else from them. The rudimentary animation was a dead giveaway for the studio's lack of experience. The fact that they incorporated watered down versions of Disney Princesses also shows that they didn't have enough faith in their own story. Even though the princesses did draw me in, I was hoping for a more fulfilling experience than this movie was able to provide.


To its credit, the story behind Charming is pretty original. Most fairy tales of old portray princes rescuing princesses and marrying them with the automatic assumption that they fall…

Review: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

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When I learned that Disney was making a movie based on "The Nutcracker," I did some research to become more acquainted with the original fairy tale by E.T.A. Hoffman. That research may have gotten in the way my future enjoyment of the movie. Then again, I'm not sure there's much in it for adults to enjoy regardless of how much they know about the original story. That said, I think I may have liked it if I saw it as a kid even though it would not have been one of my favorites because I'm a sucker for stories about girls who journey to fantasy worlds and discover that they're princesses. It has the same sort of whimsical charm as The Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland, but without the emotion or heart that would have made it a true classic.


By far, the movie's greatest strength is its visuals. This film has one of the most beautiful posters I've ever seen, filled with varying shades of pink, lavender, teal, and blue with the characters blossoming into …

November Is Basically Princess Month Now

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Last November, I posted about all of the festivities that took place for various princess movie anniversaries. Did you know that an overwhelming majority of Disney Princess movies were released in November of their corresponding year? That makes it a huge month for celebrating many of our favorite theatrical releases. Sometimes people ask why that is, and I think it's mainly about accessibility. Disney likes to release their biggest blockbusters right before holiday vacations so that parents and kids will be available to go out and see them, guaranteeing a successful run. You might be wondering why these movies don't open in December so they're closer to the bigger holidays, but most blockbusters stay in theaters for at least two months, which means that opening in November will bring in both the Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation crowds. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which came out last week, and even though it was somewhat disappointing, Disney's most anticipa…

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