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…

Holiday Princess Specials

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…

"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…

PattyCake Productions Launched a Disney Princess Web Series!

Princess Month is still going strong with movie anniversaries galore. Did you know that November 18th was National Princess Day? Creative fans have been getting in on the action this month as well. To that effect, PattyCake Productions, the team that brought us the Unexpected Musicals and Villains Lair series, introduced Princess Academy, their newest web series, last week. Not to be confused with an unproduced Fantasia short of the same name, Princess Academy is a live-action web series featuring original songs and stories about our favorite Disney Princesses. PattyCake Production had previously impressed me with their gorgeous Little Mermaid video, "The Grande Mermaid," so I was excited about their latest endeavor.

The premiere episode, "Happily Ever After," was launched on the release date of Wreck-It Ralph 2, though subscribers to their Patreon page gained early access to it. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting. The main character is a modern-day nerd wh…

Princess Animatronics

There are many ways to find immersive princess experiences at the Disney Parks. The most common way is through meet'n'greets. They let you interact with the princess in real life, allowing you to ask them any question you can think of and learn how they might respond, not to mention the terrific photo ops. Another way is through dark rides, which is the official term for the slower rides at the parks that allow you to travel through movie scenes that are recreated by animatronics, a revolutionary technology that bring sculptures to live with mechanical movement and programming. All of the dark rides at the Disney Parks use animatronics for their constantly moving characters. Until a few years ago, the only Disney Princess dark ride that could be experienced in this way was Snow White's Scary Adventures. This ride was overseen by Walt Disney himself and is one of the few remaining rides that opened with Disneyland's launch in 1955. Even though it feels a little dated n…

Disney Is Pulling All the Stops for 2019!

There may not be a new Disney Princess this year, but that doesn't mean Disney isn't prepared for it. Since 2019 is odd-number year, there's going to be another D23 Expo this summer, but that's not the only princess-related thing happening in the upcoming months. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Disney's The Little Mermaid, and we can expect Disney to celebrate it in a big way, just like they did for Snow White's 80th anniversary back 2017. Like most princess movies, the Ariel's official anniversary isn't technically until November, but Disney tends to stretch out celebrations throughout the whole year year. The Little Mermaid Anniversary Edition Blu-ray is coming out next month. Maybe if we're lucky, we'll even get that live TV special we were promised a while back. Between that, the upcoming Aladdin remake, the new Dashing Collection for the Disney Store, and Disney's exclusive streaming service, 2019 is shaping up to be a big year …

Review: Kingdom Hearts III

Thirteen years after the release of Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts III is finally available for us to peruse. With over a decade of buildup and hype, this game is a massive undertaking both to play and to review. There's just so much of it. There are a lot of cutscenes, a lot of new abilities, a lot of Disney characters, a lot of hidden Mickeys, and a whole lot of backstory to catch up on if you haven't played all nine of the previous games in the series. It's just a lot in general. Fortunately, Kingdom Hearts III definitely lives up to all the hype. It is beautiful, emotional, and fun to play, but because of its enormous scope, it never lets the player take a breath. Between the endless array of minigames and the endless array of bonus abilities popping up on your screen during battles, it's very difficult to find time to sit back and enjoy the rich and tranquil environments of the Disney movies that you are playing in. For the purposes of this review, I will be fo…

What About Kairi?

*The following post contains spoilers for some of the final cutscenes in Kingdom Hearts III. For a less spoilery post, please refer to the review I posted last week.

Kairi is the only original Princess of Heart in the Kingdom Hearts series. She has been there since the very beginning when we saw her playing on the Destiny Islands with Sora and Riku. While Sora and Riku demonstrated enormous growth since the first game, Kairi still remains very much static. It's been 13 years since the first game, but her role still follows many of the same outdated tropes as much older video game princesses. While being a damsel in distress is not necessarily as bad as it's cracked up to be, a princess character does need to have some sort of redeeming quality to make up for her lack of physical prowess. For Cinderella, it was her unwavering loyalty to her stepfamily and her late mother despite the tragic events of her life that would have turned anyone else into a bitter cynic. For Snow White

The Internet Dropped Two New Princess Shorts!

Just when I thought I wouldn't have anything else to talk about until the Aladdin remake comes out, the magical world of the internet surprised me yet again with two charming new YouTube shorts. Technically, neither of them are about princesses, but both are related to some of the most well-known Disney Princesses. The first is a new music video from PattyCake Productions, the dream team that brought us "Princess Academy" and "The Grande Mermaid." The second video is a clip from an upcoming animated Guardians of the Galaxy series on Disney XD called Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! (not to be confused with the ride at Disneyland of the same name). This series will premiere this Sunday with the full episode for the princess clip below featuring Gamora, the green-skinned Avenger.

Just in time for Mothers Day, "Tough Love" is the second episode of PattyCake Productions' Villains Lair web series. It features three of the most de…

Jasmine's Solos Ranked

Another Aladdin production, another Jasmine song. With the recent addition of "Speechless," Jasmine has had a different solo song in every incarnation of the story. Yes, "A Whole New World" is consistently used as the romantic duet, but it is not seen as Jasmine's signature song in the same way that "Part of Your Wold," "Someday My Prince Will Come," or "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" is associated with their respective princesses because it is just as much Aladdin's song as it is Jasmine's. While Ariel and Rapunzel have many original solos scattered throughout The Little Mermaid and Tangled series, the Aladdin series sadly did not contain any original songs. As a result, Jasmine's songs are buried within so many different productions of Aladdin that even die-hard fans might have trouble finding them all. That's why I decided to compile this list of my top three Jasmine solos along with a little background on t…

How Princesses Use Technology

The first teaser trailer for Pixar's Onward dropped a few days ago, and it got me thinking. Onward has a typical fantasy setting of mermaids, faeries, and unicorns, but instead of taking place once upon a time, it takes place during our time. Therefore, these mythological beings whose ancestors lived in the days of magic and adventure now live in your average suburban neighborhood watching TV and surfing the internet. The combination of magic and technology is not entirely new. Series like Mysticons and Winx Club also take place in modern settings, and the characters are shown to take advantage of computers and technology just as much as we do. However, most princess stories are set in the medieval or Renaissance era, long before such things were heard of. Sometimes it's fun to imagine how they might behave if they were brought up with access to all of the modern conveniences we have today.

The first time I saw a traditional princess use modern technology in a fairy tale setti…

Princesses of the Magic Kingdom

I just got back from Florida, and my trip would not have been complete without a visit to the Magic Kingdom! Ever since the 2013 Fantasyland expansion, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom has become the ultimate destination for theme park princesses. I noticed some changes to the princess attractions since my last trip. Unlike Disney Springs, these changes were all improvements. Instead of waiting in a long line to meet three princesses at random and hope to get the one you want, the princess meet'n'greets have been streamlined to specific spots for specific princesses, eliminating the guesswork and frustration of learning your favorite princess just got swapped with another one when you reached the front of the line.

As usual, Ariel is in her grotto next to her ride. You can meet her in mermaid form at Walt Disney World, as opposed to Disneyland in California, where she only makes appearances as a human. Belle comes out in the secret library through the magic portal in her …

The Princess Blog Is Celebrating Two Years!

Two years ago today, I thought about how far my professional career had strayed from my true passion now that I was in my 30s. What was I doing to create my own happy ending? Sure, I had written a few books and had recently gotten married, but I didn't feel like I was living my life to the fullest and celebrating my love of fairy tales and storytelling. That's when I decided to start a blog. The topic for my blog was obvious. I've loved princess stories my entire life, and there are more of them out there now than ever. Starting The Princess Blog not only gave me an excuse to continue indulging in my fandoms, but it also forced me to write every day. I now have over 300 posts about everything from movies to books to lifestyle guides. It's gone through a few changes over the past couple of years, such as posting every week instead of every day as well as a cosmetic makeover, but its basic philosophies remain the same as they have always been for the last two years…

Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders 25th Anniversary Celebration

Three princess anniversary celebrations within roughly two weeks? Yes, please! Today marks the 25th anniversary of one of my favorite cartoons of all time, Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders, and my friends over at the Jewel Riders Archive are celebrating in a big way. Instead of attending a panel or screening, I celebrated this princess anniversary with a Skype party in which I got together with the Jewel Riders Archive, the founding member of the original Avalon fansite, and a prominent fan artist from the early days of the fandom to record a podcast where we discussed our favorite memories of the show. It was a huge honor to be included in this elite group of fans. The world of Jewel Riders has been a major inspiration for many of the stories I have written in the past, leading up my most recent one, The Stolen Jewel. The Princess Blog recently celebrated its two year anniversary, and I owe some of its inspiration to the Jewel Riders Archive, which continues to inspire fans to…

Everything Princess So Far on Disney+

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year, you've probably heard about Disney's upcoming streaming service that plans to give Netflix a run for their money. I already signed up for a three-year subscription to Disney+ at the D23 Expo this year, but like most people, I will have to wait until November 12th before I can access it. That is not the case for the lucky residents of the Netherlands, who woke up this morning to a free trial of the service. They must have felt like they won the lottery as Dutch residents now have access to a vast library of Disney movies and shows spanning across generations. Word spread like wildfire about this, and many sources are already listing some of the content that is confirmed to be on the app now through the November 12th launch date. I made sure to gather as much information as I could about the princess-related content that was released in this trial. The biggest news is that the service has its very own "Princesses…

Disney Princess Majestic Quest Is Here!

When I attended the D23 Expo last month, one of the things I was most excited about was the chance to play a demo of the new Match 3 cell phone app, Disney Princess Majestic Quest. The ads for this game taunted me on social media for months, dating back to before they had even selected a title. I took an online survey to share my opinion on which of three titles I thought would work best--Disney Princess Gems, Disney Princess Match, or Disney Princess Majestic Quest. It was a long wait before I could finally download the game on my own smart device, and I am pleased to say it was well worth it. The game was advertised to only include Jasmine and Belle at launch, even though there was a big Ariel billboard for it on display at the D23 Expo. When it became available, I was surprised to see that not only was Ariel included in the launch, but she was also featured the game's menu icon.

If you're not familiar with Match 3 games, they are a digital craze that was made popular by Be…

What's Still Missing From Disney+

Today is the day!  Disney's new streaming service, Disney+, is now available on smart devices everywhere. The highly anticipated launch did not go as smoothly as planned with the servers crashing earlier this morning, probably due to everyone wanting to be the first to access its content. That snag got fixed in a timely manner, but I can't say the same for the password issue. It seems like I need to reset my password almost every time I log on from a new device. Putting all of that aside, the app works exactly as advertised but with somewhat less content than expected. Initially, Disney claimed that they would be releasing their full library of movies, televisions shows, and specials, but it looks like we're going to have to settle for a decent-sized chunk of them instead. There were a few movies and shows added since the preview that launched in the Netherlands a couple months ago, but not quite as much as I was hoping for. I don't consider myself a Disney expert by a…

The Swan Princess Has a Live-Action Concept Trailer

Yesterday was November 18th, which was dubbed National Princess Day in 2017 in honor of the anniversary of The Swan Princess. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of this underrated classic, the filmmakers got together to create a concept trailer that would give its fans an idea of what a live-action remake might look like. Don't get too excited though. There are no concrete plans for a live-action "Swan Lake" adaptation as far as we know. The team behind The Swan Princess is extremely enthusiastic about the film, even 25 years later and are looking into every avenue they can find to keep its legacy going. Earlier this year, they released the ninth sequel in The Swan Princess franchise and are currently working on the tenth. Executive Producer Seldon Young is eager to keep the fandom going through any means possible. Yesterday, he released this concept trailer for a live-action remake in the hopes that it might attract enough interest to set such a project into motion.


Review: The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince

There are precious few video games that allow you to play as a princess who does something other than dress up or recover the royal jewels. Until recently, Child of Light was the only game I knew of for modern consoles that fit those criteria. That's why I was eager to play The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince when it went on sale in the PlayStation Store. Its storybook illustration aesthetic and sidescrolling gameplay look so similar to Child of Light that I mistakenly thought it was made by the same people at first. Once I actually started playing, it became clear that The Liar Princess has a much smaller budget and a more linear world. Instead of the colorful cast and robust battle command menus from Child of Light, The Liar Princess's story is told entirely by a single Japanese narrator accompanied by cutscenes of an illustrated storybook that depicting the story. I completed the entire game in a single evening, which made me question its $20 price tag.

Story-wise, The L…

Kingdom Hearts Finally Shows Kairi Some Love!

Kingdom Hearts 3, which came out at the beginning of the year, was an enjoyable enough sequel if you could overlook some rushed storylines and underdeveloped characters. The character that got screwed over the most was Kairi, the series' only Princess of Heart that wasn't from a Disney movie. Kairi's development within the Kingdom Hearts series is important because she doesn't have a movie or spin-off to tell her story while Sora, Riku, and Roxas are all playable in various other games. We know that she grew up in Radiant Garden where her grandmother told her stories about the ancient Keyblade War and that she eventually found herself stranded on the Destiny Islands where she met Sora and Riku, but that is where her story ends. Kairi made multiple claims about wanting to help Sora after she got her own keyblade at the end of Kingdom Hearts 2, but we barely ever saw her use it. Even when she did during one of the final battles in Kingdom Hearts 3, she was highly unskill…

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 Dis…

What's Coming in 2020

Last year was quite possibly the biggest year for princess media ever. I don't think anything from 2020 will compare to the sheer number of princess anniversary events, TV shows, books, and movies that 2019 bestowed upon us, but that doesn't mean we won't have anything to look forward to in the coming year. Two of our favoriteDisney Princess cartoons will be ending soon, leaving us with a tiara-shaped hole in our hearts. Fortunately, the advent of Disney+ allows for even more original content from the studio than feature films or Disney Channel specials, promising some low-key princess entertainment while the cinemas get overrun with live-action remakes. One such upcoming Disney+ original princess movie is Secret Society of Second-Born Royals.

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals stars the immensely talented Peyton Elizabeth Lee, who played the title role in Andi Mack, one of my favorite shows from the last decade. In this upcoming Disney+ original movie, she will take on t…

Review: Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind

It's been almost a year since Kingdom Hearts III made its long overdue debut. Amidst the disappointment that fans had with the highly anticipated game, the most popular question of all was "What about Kairi?" The new Kingdom Hearts III: Re Mind DLC, which came out yesterday, attempts to answer this question. Kairi is essentially the princess of the Kingdom Hearts universe, but is never treated as such. She is constantly placed on the sidelines, even after she receives her own keyblade to fight with at the end of Kingdom Hearts II. The Re Mind DLC addresses this issue immediately. When you start up the game after installing the DLC, a lovely new illustration of Kairi slowly fades into existence next to Sora's on the menu screen as a gentle reminder that she has been patiently waiting for her turn to be included in the story.

For half the price of the game, I can understand why some people would consider Re Mind to be a disappointment. There are some new scenes and gam…

Review: Cinders

I have a weakness for visual novels. It took way too long for them to become popular in western society, which made me learn about them much later in life than I would have liked. Visual novels are a mix of video games and books. You read all the dialogue at the bottom of the screen while watching an image of the character who's speaking over a background illustration set to music. The thing makes them unique is the ability to make decisions for the main character and choose how they react to the situation, which may change the outcome of their story. It's a technologically advanced version of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. Since visual novels tend to cost closer to the price of a video game than a book, I usually stick to free smartphone ones such as Lovestruck: Choose Your Romance. However, since I'm going to be locked in my tower indefinitely, I decided it might be worth dishing out some extra money to play Cinders, a visual novel that lets you enter the …

COVID-19 Updates from the Kingdoms

We've been locked in our towers for weeks now with no word from Mother Gothel on when we can go back outside. This is a hard time for everyone, including fairy tale princesses. If you've been too stressed to keep up with the ever-changing schedules for upcoming princess movies and events, don't worry. I've got you covered. As we all know, the Disney Parks are now closed indefinitely around the world. However, Disney cast members are being placed on furlough so they can still get paid during these uncertain times. Movie productions have been delayed as well. The live-action Mulan, which was supposed to come out in theaters on March 27th, is now set for theatrical release on July 24, 2020. Another upcoming princess remake, The Little Mermaidstarring Halle Bailey, has also halted production indefinitely. The project was supposed to start shooting earlier this month in London. There are photos circulating of a boat set in Pinewood Studios that has been temporarily abandone…

Everyone Is Singing Princess Songs!

In these tough times, we could all use a smile and a song to cheer ourselves up. Hollywood and Broadway are shut down right now, but the people behind them still want to bring joy to the world. That's why the past few days have been filled with beautiful musical performances for everyone with a computer to stream online from the comfort of their own homes. Various stage shows such as the Disney Cruise Lines adaptation of the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie and weekly recordings of Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest hits that used to require an expensive ticket and carefully planned trip are now available to watch from the comfort of our own living room for free thanks to the magic of the internet and the generosity of entertainers. Many of the people who performed in these glorious productions still have the urge to entertain people from quarantine, so we were also treated to more recently recorded serenades of various Disney songs that follow the stay-at-home guidelines b…

PattyCake Productions Pays Tribute to ABC's Once Upon a Time!

It's been two years since we left Storybrooke, and many people still aren't ready to say goodbye. ABC's Once Upon a Time is a bit of an enigma to me. It started out as a clever concept featuring Snow White's estranged daughter, Emma Swan, who grew up in our miserable reality having no idea that she had an epic destiny ahead of her. Over time, the show weened off from its original characters and turned into a blatant marketing ploy for Disney's newest franchises. I guess that's what happens when you put a show about fairy tales on a channel owned by a studio that produces the most well-known theatrical versions of them. Many of us look back at the first season when the show was new and innovative with a nostalgic optimism for what it could have been. This weekend, PattyCake Productions released their take on this iconic series with a new music video called "Once Upon a Time: The Musical".

From what I have seen, PattyCake Productions makes two kinds of m…


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