Monthly Archives: May 2013

Accurate Story Titles: The case with Disney’s Princesses Part 4

I’m delaying this last installment like a student who needs to clean her room.

Some things never change

Some things never change, in case you’re wondering.

Now where’s my saxophone books? I need to butcher Ode to Joy.

So, Pocahontas and Rapunzel eh?

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Okay, I’m going to wrap up the usual stuff with how media thinks.

Princesses seeking independence and freedom in some form = forbidden romance (in some form or another) + historical inaccuracies to pretty things up.

First of all, Pocahontas:

A perfect example showing history is not written by the conquerors, but by the romance writers

A perfect example showing history is not written by the conquerors, but by the romance writers

The true account of Pocahontas is obviously much different and I’ll leave my readers to go to the wiki-mobile to get some idea.

So we got this free spirited princess who falls in love with a stranger. It’d be easy to say that John Smith was Pocahontas’s ‘bad boy’ romance but really, you don’t get that feeling (despite who the voice actor is). In all honesty, Pocahontas might be considered the ‘least’ worst Disney princess out of the lot. However, her nativity bugs the hell out of me.

Yes, love conquers all but we’re talking war between two peoples (who apparently all speak the same language even though they met each other for the first time). She should know better at least on how her father would react to certain things and manage a strategy from there.

Instead of singing her way through.

I could go on but best to keep this short and sweet.

Ah, Rapunzel….

In Rapunzel’s case her nativity is justified given how she’s lived, but the story still has its issues.

How to cleverly 'update' the classic fairytale princess during your PR campaign

How to cleverly ‘update’ the classic fairytale princess during your PR campaign

I enjoyed the jokes and the general story line in Tangled, but in my opinion it could have exploited something much stronger besides true love and all that jazz. Really, Eugenie is a walking plot device cleverly disguised as the love interest.

Run off with crown, check, bring it to princess as a way of fate going ah-ha! check, now to fall in love

Run off with crown, check, bring it to princess as a way of fate going ah-ha! check, now to fall in love

Brave really explored the relationship between mother and daughter which is one of its strong points. Of course, it goes about a healthy relationship which has its differences between generations that is bound to happen. In Tangled, we obviously have, if we break it down, an unhealthy relationship.

In comedic moments, we see Rapunzel struggle with her desire to see the world and obeying her ‘mother’. If she did it on her own without romantic-interest-plot-device, it could have made a more profound story about a young woman overcoming a bad relationship and learning what’s right for her.

Of course, this is Disney. Certain lines and phrases in the story scream ‘PR campaign’ . At the same time, they made her somewhat independent but not too much which is a problem I find with most of the Disney princesses.

It’s that sort of ‘ceiling’ I often see when interacting with female peers. There’s an invisible ceiling that everyone pretends they don’t see and yet, still keep away from.

You could argue that Pocahontas might have been an older sister in the PR campaign before it came to fruition on some level. At the same time, there’s only so much you can do with the romanticized story without falling back on traditional roles the previous princesses had.

As for Rapunzel, she’s just part of the PR campaign.

After reviewing all the Disney Princesses, I think its time we seriously create stories not based around getting the love interest and having an adventure. Maybe, she’s a queen, has married but now for some real adventure regarding her power or something? That can send a much stronger message about women’s roles today.

It’s just a thought, but I know people are comfortable with the approved fairy tale formula.


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