PattyCake Productions Released a Holiday Princess Special!

It's a good year for princess holiday specials. Shortly after Elena of Avalor released a Hanukkah episode, PattyCake Productions premiered their latest Princess Academy short. I've always loved the incredible talent and attention to detail that goes into each one of PattyCake Productions' crowdsourced videos, and this was one of the best ones yet. Not only does it contain two completely original princess songs, but it also had a short storytelling session with gorgeous Disney quality illustrations. I also liked that they kept the story mostly secular since princess fans come from all backgrounds. Even though there was a Christmas tree and a mention of Christmas day in one of the songs, the princesses came together to celebrate an original holiday called the Winter Wishing Solstice and described some traditions that sounded very plausible for a fairytale-inspired religion. The short also featured an enormous cast with many characters that you don't see very often in Disney Princess lineups such as Giselle, Moana, Alice, and Charlotte LaBeouf.

The "Snowed In" webisode of Princess Academy premiered on PattyCake Productions' official YouTube channel on Friday, December 13th. It tells the story of a blizzard created by the Evil Queen in an attempt to ruin the princesses' Winter Wishing Solstice by preventing Merlin from joining their celebration to create the traditional magic wishing tree for their special day. The princesses explain their annual festivities to Giselle and Moana, who are unfamiliar with the holiday, which is a terrific metaphor for blending different cultures together. Anna and Elsa decide to brave the storm and rescue Merlin while the others wait by the tree as Cinderella regales them with a story about a little girl who thought that the only way to celebrate the holidays was by attending a yearly festival but then learned that it was really about being with her family. The story was illustrated with artwork reminiscent of the "Tough Love" episode of PattyCake Productions' Villains Lair series and looked like it came right out of a Disney movie.

I loved the production values of this short. Each princess looked and sounded exactly how she did in her movie right down to the way they clasp their hands over their heart and outstretch their arms when they get excited. Giselle's overdramatic gasp during the climax of Cinderella's story was hilarious, as well as Merida interrupting the story with her loud chewing as she crunched into a carrot. It was amazing how every princess behaved perfectly in character from Megara and Merida's snark to Anna insisting on going with Elsa save Merlin. It makes sense that Moana wouldn't be familiar with winter traditions as a pacific islander, so it was only appropriate that she sang the final line in the short to show how she now understood what the holidays mean to the other princesses.

Another thing I love about "Snowed In" is how inspired the Winter Wishing Solstice is as a secular princess holiday to an even greater extent than Wassalia from Sofia the First, which was more of a mash-up of every popular holiday. The Winter Wishing Solstice is about magic, wishes, and togetherness. Each kingdom from around the world brings a piece of one of their native trees so Merlin can blend them together to create a magical wishing tree for everyone to make their holiday wish upon. The wishes fly into the sky like Rapunzel's lanterns and become stars for everyone around the world to make wishes of their own just like Tiana. The concept inspires kindness and joy without being too preachy.

"Snowed In" might be my new favorite holiday special. If you haven't seen it already, you should definitely check it out. It's everything you could ever wish for from a princess special, and it's the perfect way to spark the joy of the holiday season. The songs, costumes, artwork, and acting were all lovely. You can really feel the passion that went into this project. I've always been a huge fan of PattyCake Productions, and I can't wait to see what they do next. Happy holidays, princesses!


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