Princess Surprises on Netflix

Aside from Maya and the Three, I've recently discovered some unexpected princess stories and announcements from Netflix. One came in the form of a show I didn't expect to like, and another in the form of a cheeseball movie with a plot that I've seen a million times before. There was also an unexpected announcement about a new season of a show I had all but forgotten about due to its lack of compelling continuity. All in all, Netflix is doing a lot better in terms of content right now than Disney+, which brought very little else to the table outside of WandaVision. Keep those recommendations coming, though! Maybe there's something else I've missed.

Promo image for Centaurworld of Horse and Rider divided between the human and centaur realms

From an outsider's perspective, Centaurworld does not look like the type of show that would have a strong plot. It's zany, nonsensical, and occasionally breaks the fourth wall. However, when it wants to be serious, it can so serious that you might even end up questioning the show's target audience. The heart of the Centaurworld is the unbreakable and almost supernatural bond between the Horse and her Rider (those are their actual names in the show). In the first episode, Horse and Rider get split between the human and centaur worlds, which have very different animation styles, color schemes, and rules. No matter how deeply Horse gets absorbed into the magical and absurd Centaurworld, she never gives up hope that Rider will find her again. Their bond bares a strong resemblance to that of the Jewel Riders and their unicorn friends from Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders.

Even though Centaurworld has many embarrassing moments that made me wonder why I was still watching it, the ultra intense ending makes it all worthwhile. The series does have a princess in it, but it is the last character you would expect her to be. When she is revealed, the heartbreaking story behind the Nightmare King that wreaks havoc on both worlds and started an endless war comes to light and brings the show to a surprisingly emotional conclusion. Centaurworld has a beautiful soundtrack with new songs in almost every episode, including one that was heavily inspired by Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. With only 18 episodes, it's a pretty quick watch, but be prepared for an unexpected tearjerker of an ending.

The Royal Treatment promo image featuring Disney's Mena Massoud as the prince and Laura Marano as the love interest

Another surprise was a stereotypical Hallmark princess movie called The Royal Treatment. While this is quite possibly the most predictable movie I have ever seen in my life, I did a double take when I saw the names of the two main actors. Mena Massoud, who played Aladdin in Disney's 2019 remake stars as a modern prince from yet another made-up country who is forced into an arranged marriage with someone he doesn't love. The gender-bent Princess Jasmine reference is pretty clear, as well as the not-so-subtle reference to The Princess Diaries, another movie about an ordinary girl becoming a princess. The main reason I was surprised to see Mena is that I read a while ago that he had trouble getting cast in any roles after Aladdin. I guess Netflix saw the same article and thought he was an easy target. The "ordinary girl" who becomes royalty in the film is played by Laura Marano, another talented Disney actress who played the title character in the Disney Channel show Austin and Ally. She puts on a fake New York accent in this film and does her best to make an annoying character likable. This is a good example of a project where the entire budget went into the cast and no one cared about the story.

Poster of Bean for Disenchantment Part 4

Last but not least, there is a new season of Disenchantment coming out in just a couple weeks on February 9th. I have lost interest in this show with each progressive season, but maybe things will pick up this time. Part 3 was so disjointed that I honestly can't even remember if it ended on a cliffhanger or not. The only thing I remember is that it had a mermaid in it. However, if you need something new to stream after finishing Centaurworld and The Royal Treatment, this could be a viable option. What's your favorite princess show or movie on Netflix right now? Let me know in the comments!


Alysa Salzberg said…
I always love reading your reviews! You have such great insights! I watched “The Royal Treatment” and also found it predictable and a movie that could have been so much better and genuinely quirky…but I did not think about the gender-swapped Aladdin idea!

As for a good princess movie or show on Netflix, in the same cheesy entertainment vein, I genuinely noyée “The Princess Switch 3”. It wasn’t particularly centered on romance but was more a silly heist movie, and honestly, watching Vanessa Hudgens play 3 different characters who were sometimes pretending to be one another, was really impressive! It’s far from the best movie out there but it made for an entertaining watch, I thought.
Lisa Dawn said…
I didn't watch The Princess Switch 3, but I thoroughly enjoyed Alex Meyers' review of it on YouTube!

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