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Showing posts from August, 2020

Review: The Rose and the Thorn

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"Beauty and the Beast" is a fairy tale that princess fans never get tired of. Its gothic setting, intrigue, and romance are staples of any good princess story. The most famous novel adaptation is Beauty by Robin McKinley, but there are plenty of others that are just as good. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a more recent retelling on Twitter called The Rose and the Thorn by Katherine Macdonald. This book shares some common threads with Enchantment by Camille Peters, another "Beauty and the Beast" adaptation I read recently, but unlike that version, it does not overlook the main theme of seeing beyond physical appearances. The "Beast" character in this book is cursed to appear to the world as a monster just like the one in the fairy tale and even picks up some of the violent tendencies of his beastly outer shell once a month, similar to werewolf mythology. However, the book has very little violence overall. Like most "Beauty and the Beast" …

Yes, We Will See These Princess Movies in September!

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After much speculation and delay, three princess movies that once had uncertain futures are now officially coming to streaming services next month. Two will be on Disney+, and the third will stream on Netflix. We now have confirmed release dates for these movies with new trailers and previews released for all three within the last week to build up excitement for the next month. The traditional November of princess events and releases probably won't happen this year, so September is going to the final frontier of princess movies for 2020. With the current stigma against going outside, streaming services will become the primary medium for all our princess content, at least for a while. Of the three princess movies coming out next month, none has suffered more with its release than the live-action remake of Mulan. Disney desperately wanted this to be a theatrical release, which is clear from the fact that they delayed it three times before ultimately deciding to make it an optional pu…

Elena Is Crowned Queen of Avalor

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It's been four years since Disney introduced us to their first Latina princess, Elena of Avalor. Today, her reign on Disney Channel ends as she takes her place on the throne as queen. Elena's show had a rocky start for me, but it hit its peak somewhere around the second season. Today's finale movie, Coronation Day, serves as an excellent reminder of all the things it did right. Elena of Avalor has an enormous revolving cast of diverse characters, which can make the show hard to follow for a casual observer. Everyone in the series showed up to celebrate Elena's coronation, reminding us how much work went into building this enormous extended universe of kingdoms that began with Sofia the First. In addition to its evergrowing familia, the show introduced lots of Aztec mythology that I was not familiar with and some fun new mythological creatures like the jaquins, Avalor's answer to Enchancia's flying horses. This is truly the end of an era as it marks the last ani…

Find Me in Paris Has Its Last Dance

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Only one month after my recent obsession with Find Me in Paris, the time-traveling ballerina princess drama dropped its third and final season on Hulu today. Though somewhat predictable, this season offered a satisfying conclusion to the show's unique concept that combined dance with science fiction and tied up all remaining loose ends from the previous seasons. We finally learned the truth about Lena's birth and why she's always being chased by anyone remotely interested in time travel. Nearly every character got paired off at the end, even if it meant some questionable decisions on behalf of the writers. The season also offered some of the most beautiful dance sequences in the show yet for its key story moments. While I could have done without the repetitive recap sequences, the final episodes made it clear that this was always meant to be the end and gave the cast and crew many happy memories to look back upon. The final season of Find Me in Paris incorporated the "…

Review: Dreamer of Briarfell

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Lucy Tempest's Fairy Tales of Folkshore series had a rocky start for me with the Thief of Cahraman trilogy. I'm glad I gave her books another chance because I loved her "Cinderella" retelling, Princess of Midnight. Now, she has a new book that combines "Sleeping Beauty" and "Robin Hood," which is one of the best "Sleeping Beauty" retellings I have ever read. Dreamer of Briarfell resolves the most common issues with developing "Sleeping Beauty" into a full-length novel while still remaining true to the roots of the fairy tale. The biggest obstacle an author has to face with adapting this story is finding a way for the princess to fall in love with the prince when she is asleep for the most important part of her adventure. I've seen some creative solutions to this issue, but none quite so clever as what Lucy Tempest did. This is by far my favorite book in the Fairy Tales of Folkshore series. Dreamer of Briarfell tells the stor…

Goldilocks and the Three Books

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The story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is not exactly a princess story, but it is one of the only popular fairy tales that rarely gets adapted in mainstream media. That's because it acts more as an isolated event in a young girl's life than as a complete story. A few of you told me in my last survey that you would be interested in adaptations of this fairy tale, so I scoured the Amazon Kindle store and found a total of three full-length novels inspired by the story. Then I went ahead and read them all. (The things I do for you guys... :-P) What was particularly interesting was that the dichotomy between the three novels followed the progression of Goldilocks's experience in the bears' cottage, so I thought it would fun to arrange my reviews in a way that follows the story. Ready? It's time to enter the cottage of the three books.Someone's Been Sleeping in My Bedby Linda Winstead Jones -This book is too hot. This book is not bad by any stretch of…

Story Saturday: The Princess and the Shadow

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This story was inspired by a book of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales I received for my birthday. I thought "The Shadow" was a very interesting story with a disappointing ending, so I decided to rewrite it from the princess's perspective and a few minor alterations. The new ending is inspired by "The Goose Girl" by the Brothers Grimm since it acts as a sort of gender-bent version of this narrative."The Princess and the Shadow"Princess Rosebud felt uneasy about her upcoming wedding to Ian. He came into her life like a whirlwind and literally swept her off her feet with his exceptional dancing ability that seemed almost supernatural. The next thing she knew, her father was planning their wedding. She didn't dread the thought of being married to him, but there were things that made her second guess her rash decision. For one, he would never tell anyone where he came from. His full name, Iacolin, didn't seem to originate from any kingdom …

Review: Anastasia Once Upon a Time

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You know those movies that you watch with your friends because they're so hilariously bad that you can spend the entire time making fun of every single thing that comes onscreen? Well, that's what this is. I had heard about Armando Gutierrez's time travel Anastasia movie shortly after he released his weird experimental film of The Little Mermaid that takes place in a modern circus. Anastasia: Once Upon a Time is an outlandish interpretation of the theory that the Anastasia Romanov escaped the fall of the Russian Empire, except that here, she was sent through a time portal to the year 1989 that was created by Rasputin. The spark to create this movie probably came from Don Bluth's 1997 animated classic, but the two films have very little in common. You can tell that it came from the same creative minds as 2018's The Little Mermaid because both stories have a mythical princess befriend a young blonde girl who is obsessed with royalty and magic. I guess their thesis is…

Review: The Fairy Princess and the Unicorn (a.k.a. Bayala: A Magical Adventure)

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This movie is a bit of an enigma. The animation is more beautiful than it has any business being, but the script feels like something that came straight out of a 1980s marketing team solely for the purpose of selling toys. And that appears to be exactly what it was. It has the look and feel of a Barbie Fairytopia movie from a bygone era. While it's nice to know that there are still movies like this being made, would it be too much ask for them to be made better? The Fairy Princess and the Unicorn is an extremely misleading title. The movie was not about a single fairy princess but, in fact, many winged elf princesses, most of whom were sisters. A unicorn appeared in one scene for about ten seconds and had absolutely nothing to do with the plot. The movie was apparently renamed from the more fitting title of Bayala: A Magical Adventure, which would have been a perfect fit for it. I guess their marketing team was worried that a movie named after a world no one has ever heard of woul…

Review: Fairest of All

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Fairest of All by Serena Valentino came out a little over a decade again. It would eventually kick off a long series of official Disney villain fanfiction that, to the best of my knowledge, is still going to this day. I was aware of this book when it came out but was not quite motivated enough to pick up a copy for myself. It looked like an experiment by Disney to see if they could cash in on the success of Gregory Maguire's Wicked. Five years later, the book was made into a series, and Disney's Maleficent was released in theaters. Therefore, it would appear that the experiment was a success. I have read the first three books in this series and found that Fairest of All about the Evil Queen from Snow White is by far the best, most likely due to being the only one that was not written solely to continue chugging out more money for the mouse.
Fairest of All covers the backstory of the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, who becomes bent on killing her stepdaughter to…

Why the Cinderella Trope Doesn't Work in Modern Settings

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After I shared my post about Hallmark princesses, I went ahead and watched every Hallmark movie I could find that involved royalty. Let me tell you; there are a lot. Sitting through one low-budget romcom after another, I found that the overwhelming majority of them have the exact same plot. A quirky American career woman falls in love with a mysterious stranger who turns out to be a prince from some obscure nation. She goes to live with him at the castle, finds that she doesn't fit in, runs away, and eventually, the prince comes back to her and proposes. At first glance, these movies appear to be attempts at modernized versions of "Cinderella," but upon closer inspection, they are vastly different. The protagonists in these romcoms are not being oppressed by abusive family members, nor are they living in a time period where the only way for a woman to get ahead in the world is by marriage. In fact, most of these women are doing just fine long before the dashing love inte…

Review: A Royal Wedding (The Swan Princess 10)

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Like them or not, the endless CGI sequels to The Swan Princess are here to stay. The only thing we can hope for at this point is that the movie's creators are capable of continuing to add fresh new stories to the franchise and improving their skills in what was once a brand new style of animation for Princess Odette and her friends. After seeing the last two installments, I believe that they have. A Royal Wedding is the tenth movie in the Swan Princess series and a direct sequel to the previous film, Kingdom of Music. I found both of these sequels more enjoyable than the older CGI sequels that began in 2012 with The Swan Princess Christmas, which was so bad that there was really nowhere to go but up. The improvements to the latest sequels were accomplished by introducing original new mythology that was inspired by "Swan Lake" and allowing Odette and Derek to step into the background for supporting roles, something that was well deserved after eight movies that revolved a…

Celebrating Three Years with The Stolen Trilogy!

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Three years ago today, I decided to create a safe space on the internet for people who love princesses and fairy tales as much as I do. My social media feed had become too political, and the people I could discuss the latest princess shows with were few and far between. I had just gotten married and celebrated my birthday, so I was in a great place to do something just for me. Thus, The Princess Blog was born. In the beginning, I made a new post everyday, starting with an analysis of Disney Princesses. Now, I share roughly two updates a week, but my level of passion has not shifted as I continue to pursue new princess content to enjoy and review. I've also worked on other writing projects over the years. The biggest of these is The Stolen Trilogy. I wanted to create a world similar to my favorite show, Princess Gwenevere, and the Jewel Riders, by exploring the lives three royal ladies who lived together in a castle and went on their own magical adventures. This week, the trilogy i…