Brave hit the box office bull's eye last week. But while it was a Disney movie, Merida, the protagonist, was a departure from the traditional Disney princess. She didn't want a Prince Charming and a happily ever after. To her, nothing could be less appealing than marriage. "I don't want my life to be over," she tells her mother. "I want my freedom."
But who are all the Disney princesses? It's been a while, so Olivia, my twelve-year-old daughter and resident princess expert, has graciously decided to provide a run-down of the princesses, their messages and her thoughts on
them. Consider this a primer for you as you watch these oldies but goodies with
your kids and grandkids.
Snow White (1937) is my least favorite princess. Out of all of the Disney princesses, Snow is the dumbest. She is warned by the dwarves NOT to open the door, but, of course, she does. Someone needs to learn a little about Stranger Danger.
Cinderella (1950) Cinderella was my childhood favorite. She is the perfect definition of a princess. But what I like about Cinderella is that she showed up those stepsista brats. Nobody was gonna jeopardize her happily-ever-after. And at least she followed the rules of leaving at midnight. Snow White should take a hint.
Sleeping Beauty (1959) Sleeping Beauty was anything but the heroine of the story. All she does is sleep! That, my friend, is the life! Just like a desperate
bride on Reality TV, our drowsy damsel in distress dreams (and sings) about her
Prince Charming. If I had any advice for her, I would tell her to stay in the
moment. It's not every day that you get to live with fairies who are protecting
you from evil witches. But seriously. Come on. If you really wanted to wake her
up, you should've given her an injection of Red Bull.
The Little Mermaid (1989) Ariel longs to leave the ocean and go to the surface. Okay, I can think of plenty of reasons as to why that is a really dumb
idea. Life as a land-kid just ain't as good as it used to be
Beauty and the Beast (1991) Belle is a brave bookworm who saves her father from being imprisoned by a selfish beast. I think Merida has some competition. She kills three birds with one stone—marries the guy of her dreams, saves her father, and doesn't give in to peer pressure by refusing to marry Gaston. Cool.
Aladdin (1993) When I was little, I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that the name of the movie was Aladdin, and not Jasmine. Every princess movie before has had the female as the lead (and as the title). Eric and Prince
Charming and most of the others were all just pretty faces. But here, Aladdin is
the star. Plus, I couldn't believe that her dad didn't ground her for life when
she ran off with a homeless guy who talked to his monkey. My parents would've
killed me—if they hadn't already, for wearing a bikini top full time.
Pocahontas (1995) Pocahontas was one of the prettiest of all the princesses. Just look at those cheekbones! Pocahontas was the first big animated Disney film to be based on a real historical character. But the film wasn't as realistic as it might have been. That's all right, we are talking about Disney.
Mulan (1998) I love Mulan! She's awesome. If you put Mulan, Belle and Merida together, you'd get an ultimate girl-power team! This movie has an amazing soundtrack (I'm such a nerd, I know, I know) and stars a warrior hero—the total opposite of Sleeping Beauty.
The Princess and the Frog (2009) One of the newer additions to the major princesses, Tiana is turned into a frog when kissed by one. Though there was much hype for this movie and I really wish I had seen it, I wasn't able to. So, I really can't say anything. So, yeah.
Tangled (2010) I saw this movie a couple months ago via Netflix. It was cute. But imagine how many split ends she must have! If I had any advice for her, I would tell her to use Herbal Essences.
2012: Brave (2012) This girl reminded me of Katniss Everdeen. You know, with the whole archery thing going on. But I understand why movie critics gave it bad ratings. I mean, (* spoiler alert) of all things her mother could be turned into, it had to be a bear? It would have been much better if her mother just became a totally different person. I would have liked to sit at the meeting where everyone was brainstorming about this movie.
"What if...this girl gives her mother a spell?"
"Mmm—good. And what would this spell do?"
"Maybe...the mother had a total personality change."
"Too cliché. Like, what if the mother turned into a
"Radical. Walt would be proud."