October 10, 2013
Professor Moyle The Typical Disney Princess
What is the true definition of a princess? Not a Disney Princess, but a royal princess? A royal princess is a woman who marries into royal blood or is a descendent of royal blood and is eligible to become Queen (Merriam Webster). Although that is the true definition of a princess that is not what everyone perceives. When the word princess is used usually little girls, including myself at one point, would imagine an elegant gown, balls, tiaras, a prince charming and of course the infamous pumpkin carriage. Why would children perceive a princess to be this way, it’s simple, The Walt Disney Foundation has been manipulating our minds for decades of what a princess should be.
Disney has been making princess based movies for decades, including Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Bella from Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella. In the past the “Disney Princesses” were portrayed as damsels in distress. It seemed as if all the “Disney Princesses” had to be saved by their prince charming, they could never do anything for themselves. The ending would usually consist of the princesses riding into the sunset with their prince charming living happily ever after,
Diaz 2 metaphorically speaking. Disney films showed that women, or princesses could not take care of themselves, be leaders, or have jobs.
The classic tale of Cinderella is a clear example of what a typical Disney Princess is. Where the princess gets saved or rescued by the prince charming who is always the hero of the story. But that is not the case anymore. Throughout recent years Disney has released Princess movies that completely counter the previous movies. In the Disney film The Princess and the Frog, which came out just a few years ago starred an African American princess, who opened up her own restaurant, had leadership qualities and didn’t need a prince charming to save her from turmoil.
That was just one of the movies that have changed the ideal characteristics of a “Disney Princess.” Additionally in the movie Brave about a young princess who did not want to fulfill her duties as a princess, Merida did not want to wear dresses, or find her prince charming. In fact she wanted to be the complete opposite, she wanted to be a Viking. Merida wanted to be a warrior and protect her land. Throughout the movies she faced obstacles and she overcame all of them and fixed the problems that she brought upon herself and her family. She didn’t have a prince charming to save her nor was she ever a damsel in distress, instead this movie taught a lesson about independence and the importance of family. As Merida was rebellious she never wanted to anything to do with the family. Merida didn’t want to be known as a princess because she didn’t want any of the baggage that came along with it. Due to the fact that she felt this way it created a wedge between her and her Diaz 3 family. So when she was away from her family and nearly lost them forever it made her appreciate them much more. It made Merida realize that even when she had arguments with them she will always love them. When she came close to never seeing her family again that is what fueled her to continue fighting on because she realized a life without them wasn’t worth much at all. She is one of the very few princesses who did not follow the “typical princess” guidelines and who was the hero in the story. Merida defied the Disney princess, so does that still make her a Disney princess?
Disney has made an excellent profit with the different types of princess movies, but the question still remains, is Tiana from the Princess and the Frog a true “Disney Princess?” Yes she was indeed created by Disney, but is she considered to be a “Disney Princess?” She does not attain the characteristics of a normal princess. She is not a damsel in distress, she works for