Tag Archives: Disney Princess

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?

images (1)images

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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Female characters: The Enigma of the Writing World

Time to take a break from Disney bashing and take the opportunity to discuss female characters.

While slaving away at SPSS (a stats software), during my breaks where I’m allowed to experience what sunlight feels like I’ve abandoned that privilege for something better: I’ve been catching up reading A Song of Ice And Fire book 4, A feast for crows. Recent chapter-character perspectives and my Disney Princess bashing posts, I got to thinking about female characters.

The sole purpose of my existence: To read all the books!

The sole purpose of my existence: To read all the books!

In Game of Thrones, we are presented with several female characters. From the typical all girlie and all “princess-y” Sansa Stark to Asha Greyjoy “Man with breasts”.

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asha-greyjoy-game-of-thrones-30919471-600-902

The problem with most media is that female characters are often on two extremes of a spectrum. We got the Sansa side (Disney Princesses, Welcome) and on the other side Asha Greyjoy (one of my favorite characters). A while ago I mentioned there are very few female characters I’ve seen that have managed to be strong and yet retain their femininity without forgoing their individual strength.

Growing up, the media taught me women’s strength (no matter the character development) were the following:

  • Beauty: Duh. 
  • Sex: Cersei Lannister is currently teaching this lesson.
  • The Love interest: What? He’s a badass dude who has loads of superpowers? You don’t need a silly thing called inner strength dear. You got a MAN!
  • Innocence: Yes, this is a weapon. Allow me to explain, throughout certain types of media and even in real life, women have known the value of acting (or not) innocent. The writer will protect her and in the real world, the dudes fall for this tactic.
  • Intelligence: More recently, the ‘nerdy’ girl has been showing up. Cunning and all that jazz is creeping up too but still underplayed.

No wonder there’s no ‘real’ character role model for young girls. As a child, I always preferred the male characters (which made my parents question why wasn’t I like other little girls) because they were more developed, independent and dealt with their faults. Female characters, on the other hand…

Meh, Tiger.

Meh, Tiger.

Don’t get me started with inner conflict issues. Donald Maass wrote inner conflict for a character is important to set them apart and such. Most female characters’ inner conflict deals mainly, on a general level, with the ‘romance’ issues or body/confidence issues. Yet, there’s a variety of literature and other media outlets probably showing every type of inner conflict imaginable.

Yet, every now and then someone wrote a real female character without polarizing the spectrum.

360px-Elisa_Maza Samantha-Carter-samantha-carter-2511923-518-76813307445717974931683.jpeg___1_500_1_500_cb94de6a_

The problem with female characters is its a sort of Pandora’s box of extreme characterizations (Sansa Vs Asha). The other won’t be caught dead dressing or acting like the other. Occasionally  we get the fem fatale type character but that’s used more of the whole sexy but dangerous angle (and again reinforces certain issues about female sexuality). The problem with staying in the middle is that writers’ often write a great female character until Mr. Love Interest shows up.

This has often been the case in society if we think about it.

I’ve seen many young women have all sorts of dreams and goals, but everything gets tossed in the wind when “Mr. Right” shows up and relationships need their dues (compromises) paid.

There was even a research article I came across stating how female scientists’ goals and ambitions change when romance strolls into the lab.

With this in mind, its obvious that the media still wants to cling onto its ‘construct’ of what women want and what will make them happy. Then people watch, get influenced by the media, and the cycle continues.

Rinse. Repeat.

My washing machine has more originality than this. It has lots of buttons for so many options (and breaks down to keep things interesting). Wait a sec…I don’t think that metaphor is right….

Why do we do this? Because its safe, its known, its-

R-E-A-L-I-S-T-I-C!

R-E-A-L-I-S-T-I-C!

Happiness, goals, and ambitions cannot be generalized. According to the media and ‘construct’, as a little girl I would’ve wanted to be a princess and have a handsome prince to come to tea or something.

Instead, my parents got a kid who wanted to be a Beast Wars Transformer (I wanted a Fox for my beast mode) or be part of the SG1 team and kick some serious ass. Funny enough, I did own a few Barbies but my sister and I made them part of this magical kingdom (with our other toys) that was always under threat from evil monsters. Their adventures required tactical espionage, using decoys (what the Ken doll was for), breaking defensive positions and I think we even cut off the bad guys’ supply lines at one point.

To make your characters more memorable and realistic in their world and life, you have to find out what will make them happy not what a template says.

The good thing is we’re seeing an emergence of strong female characters based on their individuality, history, family background and circumstances (a quick thank you to GRR Martin and several other writers out there). However, there’s still a long way to go before the playing field is equal.


Accurate Story Titles: The case with Disney’s Princesses Part 3

My problem with Disney isn’t the adjusted-fairy-tales-to-suite-much-younger-audiences-and-have-happier-endings. Please read the original tales, they were quite bloody making them AWESOME.

DisneyHarryPotter

It’s how certain themes from these movies were reinforced in other media. ‘Grown-up’ media.


220px-Our_Family_Wedding
220px-Maid_in_manhattan

I'll be launching an attack on Sex and the City soon.

I’ll be launching an attack on Sex and the City soon.

And of course, we as the younger generation might say ‘oh those are just movies, they aren’t real’. They’re just movies after all!

Your basis for lying in a relationship about your background

Your basis for lying in a relationship about your background

Out of all the Disney Princesses, Aladdin isn’t that bad. Mainly because its about a guy who fell in love at first lust and got the opportunity (or lamp) to be with the woman he got a boner for.

Now we’ve all heard it before, trust is important in a relationship. We hear many couples getting a divorce because one lie got out of hand.

Kids, don't lie. This might happen.

Kids, don’t lie. This might happen.

Also, um. Aladdin, you look rather fit and well fed. You couldn’t get a job? Start from scratch? Become a rich merchant that might be able to marry the princess? Seriously?

Dude. With your skills, you could make something of yourself. You’re spoiled  and waiting for an opportunity to achieve your goal just like…just like-

Its a scary realization when you come to this conclusion....

OMG! Its a scary realization when you come to this conclusion….

I’m not even going to bother myself with the cultural inaccuracies, issues and stereotypes. I don’t want to break another wall and email Disney why they should pay for it.

Okay princess, your turn.

Jasmine is spoiled and doesn’t know what she wants. One minute she says she doesn’t want to marry just anyone. Next minute, she wants to leave the palace then returns. About the whole marrying who you want to dear Jasmine,

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Don’t ignore me. And don’t use Hobbes’ cousin against me.

Throughout the movie, it seems like you did have a choice. All you had to do was sit and wait till the one you liked came along. If not, you had a loyal tiger to do your bidding.

Seriously, don’t argue with me. Look at Aladdin. You were smitten by him and he came to your home as a suitor. In other movies and series with princesses, they usually didn’t have a choice in the matter.

She didn't have a choice but she made um...the most of things.

She didn’t have a choice but she made um…the most of things.

Actually, Cersei Lannister (she’s the best character to love to hate) did make a good point at the end of the second season and during the third book (hopefully will be covered in upcoming episodes). She said how unfair it was to be a woman and that she had no choice in any affairs. If you remember season 1,

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Dead King Robert had suggested the idea of a marriage between Sansa and the abomination Joffrey. It was up to Ned Stark to decide. Sansa didn’t have her direwolf to go and chew up Joffrey (if she didn’t want him). Though that would be a scene I’d love to see.

Aladdin and Jasmine will probably get a divorce. And need to split the kingdom in half.

NEXT!

Disney's PR campaign

Disney’s PR campaign

I am not even going to touch this topic. Except its a DVD PR campaign and remember, she was recently added. I wonder why.

Disney_Princess_2013_lineup

Lately…there’s been quite a few ‘campaigns’ to deter certain stereotypes, add more culture and change women’s roles.

Just sayin'

Just sayin’

You know, Disney needed a ‘contrast’ from this:

Again, why you should leave wills and laws to protect your children

Again, why you should leave wills and laws to protect your children

Until next time kids-

The final rant continues with a special look at Pocahontas and Rapunzel!


Accurate Story Titles: A special case for Mulan

Fun fact kids!

The great wall of China

The Great Wall of China actually took quite some time to be built. Some of the walls were built as early as the 7th Century B.C. The one that we all know and love to visit (and comment to your mother that you are in fact standing on a large graveyard), was built between 220-206 BC as the great Wikipedia gods have told me. (If I’m wrong guys, please email/comment so I may correct this information.)

So, uh, Shan Yu

Yes, you, good sir. The one with the demonic eyes and the evil animal sidekick

Yes, you, good sir. The one with the demonic eyes and the evil animal sidekick

I have some rather concerning issues regarding your invasion of China, I have prepared a list for you so we can get straight to the point:

  • Why did you wait for the Great Wall to be completed? I’ve walked on that thing and I must say, climbing through those mountains then seeing a big ass wall on the mountain top would make me say to my buddy “we don’t realllllyyyy need to conquer China do we?” Plus amassing a whole army to climb the Great Wall would be a tad bit…I dunno…
Noticeable?

Noticeable?

Like, how did you carry your horses? Supplies and all that? If you did, and decided to take the really long ass scenic route, damn someone would’ve noticed by now. According to the original ballad of Mulan, she fought for twelve years. Maybe you spent that time getting your logistics sorted?

  • Killing the emperor only. Seriously? That’s your plan? Um, sorry kids but it was well known the Emperors had gardens/mazes dedicated to the Emperor playing games (no, not that kind perverts) with his concubines (which at that point you hear your mother asking the tour guide what about the Empress?). Let’s not forget, they had several children. So..um…See my point?
  • Your whole army gets killed and a handful of you go off into enemy central? You’re quite….well…obvious you’re not from around here. Plus what would that accomplish, kill the emperor and any successors. Then what? Oh and ever heard of army morale?

I could go on but…

Your bird is giving me a weird look

Your bird is giving me a weird look. And about your eyes, I know a good Doctor who can check that out…

Okay, so about Mulan…

Technically, she isn’t a princess. Disney added her as a princess I guess to negate certain issues. Although she did marry a General, she still is not a princess.

Mulan

Disney could have justified its decision in making Mulan a princess if they made General Shang one of the Emperor’s sons. Then again,

We couldn't use the wise old king trope

We couldn’t use the wise old king trope

In Hua Mulan, the man Mulan fell in love with was one of the Emperor’s son (number 7 I think).

Okay, that’s it. End of story.

Nope. I still have issues.

What I wanted to point out in this special ‘interlude’ was the different  interpretations of Mulan. I’ll forget about Disney’s list of wrong  assumptions. Seriously guys, if her family owns that land and let’s face it, it looks like she’s from a ‘rich’ well moderately rich family, she’d have more brothers and sistersandwhatthehellseriouslyguys?Alsoculturalintepretationsjustbecauseshewentagainstsociety’snormsdoesn’tmeaneverysinglecharacterhastobeloveableclumsythatisjusttheshortcuttotheaudiencelikingher!Whatiswrongwithyou-

ARGGHHHH

ARGGHHHH

I feel better now.

Anyways, Disney took what I’d like to call the ‘standard’ route to introduce Western audiences to an unfamiliar culture and time period.

Heroine is against cultural norms, therefore lovably clumsy but smart, does something drastic to protect her father, goes to war, triumphs. Also, the war looked like it didn’t last too long.

Now have a look at this trailer:

I’ve watched this movie recently and although it has certain issues I’d love to discuss, I think it had something more to offer older audiences regarding the original legend. How being at war for 12 years affected the heroine as well as the ultimate decision she made at the very ending. It isn’t a happy ending, more like bittersweet, when you think about the implications of her decision but I won’t spoil it.

I could write a whole PhD thesis on what’s wrong with the Disney movie but-

Hey, that’s an idea!


Accurate Story Titles: The case with Disney’s Princesses

Some of you may have watched the latest YouTube parody for the Disney Princesses:

Or  the latest Nostalgia Critic

We’ve all heard the usual criticisms of how these Disney Princesses are. Perhaps, it wouldn’t be so controversial if the titles of these iconic movies were more accurate!

The parenting trials of the Three Fairies and their Cursed adopted Daughter

The parenting trials of the Three Fairies and their Cursed adopted Daughter

Seriously, those Fairies did everything. They gave her gifts, raised her, told her she can’t stay out too late in the forest with that handsome stranger (shhessh, teenagers) and then when they take her to meet her relatives…she gets all dramatic and then goes and gets cursed…

Like all dutiful parents who did not teach their kids independence, the Three Fairies had to go get the Prince to do all the heavy lifting or else their beloved adopted daughter would’ve gone on a rampage on how they interfere with her life.  It was also a great rouse to see her new boyfriend. Is he trustworthy? Is he from a good family, etc etc.

I love puns.

Moving on.

And how she mended her relationship with her possessive father by running off with a boy from a different species

A cautionary Tale to overprotective and controlling fathers: A lesson on how to deal with your daughter’s ‘first love’

Think about it. Ariel’s father got upset, forbid her as any overprotective/controlling father would, then she runs off to the sea-witch next thing you know missing trident, your whole species has been discovered, and your little mer-daughter brought home a human boy.

A valuable lesson can be learned in all of this.

NEXT!

A story about what happens when you don't write a will for your only daughter: A tale of family dysfunction, betrayal and hallucinogens

A story about what happens when you don’t write a will for your only daughter: A tale of betrayal and hallucinogens

Her father married a horrible woman, which brings to question his tastes in women…

Out of all the women in the kingdom, you pick this woman?

Out of all the women in the kingdom, you pick her?

Let’s be realistic, just a tad bit please. Obviously, Cinderella was from one of the noble families, mom dies, okay father re-marries. He could have his pick on anyone. But the narrator covered that (I checked). He wanted to get Cinderella a mother and probably some siblings too.

Seriously dude, you couldn’t find someone else. Someone less…evil looking and more motherly? Don’t forget you’ll be waking up to that face.

Every morning. For the rest of your- Hey wait a sec.

Plus, Cinderella didn’t look too bad at the beginning with the whole no mother issue. Maybe you watched the previous movie entry of this post first?

And if you hear the narrator again (on youtube), this is just a bigger argument about having a lawyer and a will.

Also, Cinderella must have been on something to deal with her troubles. To be cheerful all the time, singing to animals (then again many of the Disney Princesses do sing or talk to animals…).

Okay, getting side tracked!

Just look at the dress she made!

Don'tsayitdon'tsayitdon'tsayit...ah hell....Its a tad bit lolita-ish....

Don’tsayitdon’tsayitdon’t..ah hell….Its a tad bit lolita-ish don’t you think?

To be continued!

My Browser can only take so much Disney Princess stuff…

Okay, let’s see…1001 things to do on the internet…where is it…

Ah! #10, Diss Disney!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!


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