Just thought I would share this podcast my friend Christine and I did called Talking Disney Princesses. It ended up being a long one but it was a lot of fun:
In the podcast we go over each of the Disney princesses and give them scores on story, example, beauty and music. When I rated the princesses that way my ranking turned out a little different than I expected. Here is the table:
I’ve been thinking about writing this post for some time but I have been so busy I didn’t have time to do it justice. Let me give it a shot. Recently over on a popular blog a woman wrote about 3 Disney female “role models’ that aren’t really deserving of that title”. I want to add my two cents of why with all due respect I think she is wrong and that the 3 she has chosen are worthy characters to emulate in many ways.
Her first target is Alice
She says of Alice “She always has her head in the clouds and it took seeing her wildest fantasies realized to knock some since into her. Even when she becomes hopelessly lost in Wonderland and desperately wants to leave, she still lets her curiosity get the better of her”
Hmmm… well, let’s ignore the fact that there would be no movie if she didn’t let her curiosity be the better of her. But I propose there is more to Alice than mere wild fantasies and curiosity over a rabbit.
Alice doesn’t just wander absent mindedly into Wonderland. She proposes at the start of the film that a world with nonsense would be better. The whole point of Wonderland is to then test out this worldview. She meets one form of nonsense after another whether it be philosophic nonsense in the caterpillar or a tea party that never ends with the Hatter.
There is actually something bold about the mental exercise Alice undertakes. The great philosophers and minds of our time have gotten to greater understanding because they dared to test the world out in a new way. For example, Plato’s Republic, Dante’s Inferno, Moore’s Utopia all put on new goggles to hopefully understand the world better. This should be encouraged and makes Alice a good role model for girls.
The thing that sucks about the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland is they forget about this part of Alice’s character and make it a meaningless adventure with a prophecy and chosen one. Alice is escaping her own problems in that version but in the Disney animated film she is seeing the world in a whole new way.
Next up is Aurora
The writer is so bold as to say “I think it’s pretty obvious that Aurora doesn’t set a very good example for young girls”. Her main beef with Aurora is that she falls in love with a man over a dance and she seems to think they are going to run away together. I guess this writer must not like Juliet, Isolde, Guinevere or any number of classic romantic heroines who fall in love quickly.
But where does it say that Aurora is planning to run away with the Phillip? She has plans to meet him later that evening and is twitterpated but I don’t think it is ever clear she is getting married that night. She’s excited about a dance with a boy. What’s wrong with that? She’s then sad when she finds out she will never see him again. Pretty natural response if you ask me.
Also, the author claims Aurora “is beautiful and can sing…That’s literally it”. I disagree. Animals do not take to people very easily but who do the animals love? Aurora. The Fairies adore her and feel sad when they have to turn her over to her father. Do you think they would feel this way if she was a ditzy nothing?
Then the author faults her for giving into the curse. “And the fate of her entire kingdom rests on her not pricking her finger on a spinning wheel; *sighs* you had one job!” This critique is by far the most baffling as even Merrywether an actual faerie can not reverse Maleficent’s magic. How is an ordinary girl like Aurora supposed to do that? It’s an outrageous claim!
Part of the problem with Aurora is we simply don’t see that much of her what with her being SLEEPING BEAUTY!! But what we do see is a loving, caring person who is elegant and graceful. How she is a bad role model is beyond me.
And then we get to the one that really fired me up!- Ariel!
The author’s qualms with Ariel aren’t particularly original, but I reject them nonetheless. She says “you should never go so far as to change who you are to get what you want, especially not for a guy”
Ok. Let’s talk about this. The first time we see Ariel she is missing the concert for what? She is off collecting treasures from a ship. This is where she finds the dinglehoffer and snarfblat. Then we first see her entering the grotto and singing Part of Your World BEFORE SHE MEETS ERIC!
She has hundreds of items in her grotto and what does she tell Flounder? ‘I just don’t see how a world that makes such wonderful things could be bad’.
You can make the argument that Ariel is short-sighted when she follows the Sea Witch but why does she do it? Not to get a man but because her father has just destroyed her grotto- her one connection to the human world. Eric is simply the catalyst that gets her to make a decision she has always wanted to make.
I don’t know if it is canon or not but in Ariel’s Beginning we also learn that her mother had a fascination with human artifacts- particularly a music box, so that may explain part of it as well.
Ariel is definitely smitten with Eric but how you can say it is the reason she gives up who she is I just don’t understand. I think she has always felt uncomfortable in her own skin. Again before she meets Eric she says “I just don’t see things the way he does”. It is no accident that Ariel has become a ROLE MODEL for many LGBT teens who also feel uncomfortable in their own bodies.
When she sings Part of Your World she says ‘lookin around here you think sure, she’s got everything” but then adds “I want more…”. Again, all before Eric. I think that’s a great thing to look up to. Someone who fights for where they belong and who they truly are. Triton recognizes this at the end and that is why he changes her over.
Even Sebastian says it is either Ariel be human or “be miserable for the rest of your life”. That’s a good role model in my book.
This whole thing baffles me when you have such easy fodder as Pocahontas who is actually partly responsible for an innocent man’s death. She is older than Ariel or Aurora and is consistently a poor listener to those warning caution. She does selfless things at the end but if you had to pick a bad role model of a Disney woman she’s at the top of the list.
And then there are other questionable characters. How about the girl in the Jungle Book who is perfectly happy to get the water and care for her man her entire life?
As much as I love Frozen, Anna is much less developed and is manipulated by men more than Ariel.
Megura in Hercules sells her soul to the devil to get a man. That’s pretty bad and Esmeralda in Huncback dances provocatively before men.
The truth is I don’t think any of these women are bad role models because their characters have arcs that teach good lessons. With proper parenting kids can gain all kinds of lessons from ANY Disney film.
You may think I am fangirling here but I think that’s the case with Dreamworks too or Don Bluth or any film designed for children. I have yet to see one that is so bad that there isn’t something a parent can use to teach or role model off of. Even the dreaded Chicken Little has lessons in there.
So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’ll keep my role models to the end. 🙂
You guys all know my feelings for Maleficent. It was my least favorite movie of 2014 and that includes Transformers: Age of Extinction….
This week in my youtube Disney Canon Project we are up to Sleeping Beauty, and I had several requests to review Maleficent. Well, I’ve already ranted about the film and declared it my worst of 2014 and so just harping on it more felt redundant.
So I thought it would be cool to get another perspective. Thankfully my friend Emilee was willing to join me for a discussion of the film, which she enjoyed. She didn’t think it was perfect but she liked it.
I think we ended up having a good discussion, and I can see things from her point of view. I still hate the film but at least I can see why it worked for her, and I think that is cool. I know a lot of you hate Maleficent too, but I hope you listen to another perspective and don’t just troll it.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun to talk with a friend about movies even if it is one I don’t particularly care for. If any of you would like to join me for a discussion on a movie or have an idea for a future discussion let me know in the comments section.
I was testing out some new lighting and so did this Disney Princess Tag. I think it turned out fun but would be curious for your feedback. Still got to work on this whole lighting thing but it’s going to make my videos much better in the end.
What would be your answers to the Disney Princess tag?
Who is your favorite Disney Princess? (top 5)
What is your favorite Disney Princess movie?
Which Disney Princess not included in the princess line up should be included?
What is your favorite Disney Princess song?
Which Princess are you most like and why?
What Disney Princess dress is your favorite?
If you could have any of the Princesses sidekicks which would you pick?
What ethnicity or country would you like to see a Disney Princess from?
What is your favorite Disney princess sequel?
Which princess do you think had the best home life?
Who has the most attractive prince?
Anyone who wants to do the tag consider yourself TAGGED!
I thought this was pretty brilliant from the Nostalgia Critic:
So I will say my peace on the issue.
I like both movies!!! Both make my top 10 Disney Canon films. Tangled is at 4, Frozen is at 7. So I guess that makes me a true hipster! I refuse to take a side.
Here’s the thing’s I like about both films.
Tangled- It’s Disney’s first romantic comedy. The banter between Flynn and Rapunzel is just great. They feel like a real couple and the fact Rapunzel accepts Flynn, even prefers him as Eugene is so lovely. Flynn’s sacrifice for Rapunzel is something we’ve really only seen in Beauty and the Beast. Usually it is the woman or princess in a Disney film that is incapacitated and the prince rescuing her (ie Sleeping Beauty, Snow White etc). We even have Aladdin where he refuses to make the sacrifice for Jasmine- for good reason so he can free the Genie but she is nevertheless a subordinate to his choices. Here Rapunzel decides if she can save Flynn. That’s great.
We also have Flynn narrating the film and a variety of both male characters that make Tangled appeal to both boys and girls. This is balanced by Rapunzel being such a likable character and Mother Gothel being a terrific villain. You could say there is something for everyone in Tangled!
The action is really fun in Tangled and the animation is wonderful. I had sworn off animation for a long time. Aside from Pixar films I wasn’t seeing it or watching it. Then I went to Tangled with my siblings and the lanterns in 3D blew me away. I’ll never forget it.
A lot of people are tough on the songs but I enjoy them. I like the fun songs like I Have a Dream and When Will My Life Begin?. I LOVE the villain song Mother Knows Best and I think the romantic ballad is very sweet in I See the Light.
I also agree with Doug, Maximus and Pascal are fantastic comic relief and overall Tangled is an entertaining, beautiful, heartwarming film. It’s also one of Disney’s most rewatchable.
Frozen- It’s Disney’s first true Broadway musical. Yes, their films have been retconned into Broadway musicals like Lion King, Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, but those films are more of a classical sound, where Frozen is Broadway in all it’s belting glory. As a huge Broadway buff that was such a thrill! The Lopez’ songs and getting the divine Idina Menzel to sing the part of Elsa put Frozen on another level than any other Disney film for me.
There are some holes in the backstory with Frozen but there are with Beauty and the Beast and neither bothers me a bit. A good movie will sweep you up so you don’t mind those leaps. Again, I’m just sharing my OPINION, so if it differs from yours, that’s awesome.
The thing I like about the backstory with Elsa is that unlike Ariel (who I think she mirrors in many ways) Elsa is told if she messes up or rebels, she will kill her sister. That’s entirely different than Ariel’s grotto being destroyed or other threats. This keeps her hidden and fearful and it is empowering when she finally does ‘let it go’! At least it was for me. Can you imagine what a burden it is to worry what makes you, you could kill someone? And then to finally be free from that burden?
A couple things that make Frozen special is it is the first Disney princess movie with 2 princesses and I think that is great. It’s nice to have 2 characters to enjoy and I like both story arcs (again just my OPINION!). We even get Disney’s first Queen! Elsa is actually coronated as Queen, which I think is part of what makes her such a compelling character. She’s got power both ostensibly and inside her own body.
I know some people don’t like the ending. Fair enough but I thought it was pure truth. I have 3 sisters and the struggle of Anna to try and understand her sister I really related too. I also related to Elsa and her struggle to be her true self. When they save each other I thought it was moving.
I also enjoy Kristoff and find him a likable, sarcastic, funny character. His interactions with Sven are very funny. I like Olaf and find him funnier than Maximus and Pascal to be honest. Part of that is Josh Gad’s endearing vocal performance. He also experiences more character growth than many Disney sidekicks- going from the goofy snowman who likes summer, to the one who is willing to melt for a friend.
I know people like to hate on Frozen, but I love it. I really do.
But I also know people that are very tough on Tangled, and I love that too.
What’s wrong with liking both? I like most Disney movies for goodness sakes. In many ways I feel the two movies compliment each other well. I think they are kind of this generations Little Mermaid (Frozen) and Beauty and the Beast (Tangled). I think it is great girls have both stories to dive into just like I did as a little girl. Neither movie has done damage or been bad for my nieces or other little girls to watch. In fact, they have had a great time with both.
So I refuse to pick a side. I’m team ‘I love Disney Princess Movies’. What’s it too you!
I already know a bunch of you are Team Tangled. That’s cool. Feel free to explain why but try to be respectful. Remember- neither is Norm of the North! 🙂
I’m really excited to share with you my first interview I’ve done on my youtube channel! My friend Heidi was kind enough to let me interview her for my channel. She is an artist that paints these peg dolls that are so adorable. I am really proud of the video so would LOVE if you checked it out and gave me a thumbs up if you think it is a good effort.
I’ve certainly learned a lot and will continue to learn about videography, speaking before a camera, editing, creating thumbnails in photoshop etc. Still, I think it is a good effort and anything you could do to promote it I would be so grateful.
If you know of other local artists that might be interested in a profile or anyone who would make a good interview please let me know. I’m also at 499 subscribers so if you aren’t subscribed you could be 500! Please subscribe! Thanks so much!
Being a Disney buff I have often been asked for my feelings on Once Upon a Time and indeed I probably should have started watching the show much sooner but it was on Sunday nights and my Sunday nights were filled with Amazing Race, The Simpsons and other shows. Now TAR is on Fridays and I find myself having little to nothing to watch on Sundays besides the Simpsons and I’d heard great things about the recent OUAT season featuring characters from Frozen that I decided to give it a watch. Luckily seasons 1-3 are on Netflix stream so that makes catching up very easy!
It’s a pretty simple premise for a show, one that only ABC could stage with it’s Disney pedigree. The story begins with a town in Maine called Storybrooke. It is a town of displaced fairytale creatures who have all forgotten their alter-egos because of a curse put on them all by the Evil Queen/Regina in modern world. Regina is played with a lot of gusto by Lana Parilla.
A seeming commoner named Emma comes into the town by a boy who claims to be her son. She is played with mixed results (the acting is not great in this show…) by Jennifer Morrison who some might recognize from How I Met Your Mother.
Henry played by Jared S Gilmore is Regina’s adopted son but he hates her and knows she is out to destroy everyone in Storybrooke. It’s kind of funny to have a kid completely deplore their mother. Never seen that in a show before.
Emma becomes the Sheriff and as she seeks to uncover her past we meet with a variety of storybook characters. The biggest are Snow White played by Ginnifer Goodwin, who I am not a huge fan of but she is Ok here. Of course she has her Prince Charming who is played by Josh Dallas in a more fleshed out role than the few seconds the animated film gives us (naturally of course). His storylines about being a false prince is one of the most entertaining of the first season.
Then we get episodes with one or more of the following characters.
Geppetto and Pinocchio
Belle played by Lost’s Emile de Ravin
Cinderella played by Jessy Schram
The Blue Fairy from Pinocchio (and other fairies and one who I think is Tinker Bell but I’m not sure) The 7 Dwarves, Grumpy in Particular gets a plot Hansel and Gretel
Red Riding Hood by Meghan Ory
Jimminy Cricket- a heavy Snow White and Pinocchio influence on the show
The Mad Hatter
And our main villain of the franchise aside from Regina is Rumpelstiltsken who is played very creepily by Robert Carlyle. I kind of hope that success of this series might inspire Disney to do a Rumpelstiltsken. I’ve often wondered what their version would look like. It would be different than any of their other animated fairytales because it would have to feature a princess who gets married towards the beginning of the story and has a baby. So far Disney princesses have always been virginal adolescent girls. Also, you’d have to have her marry a King who was going to kill her if she didn’t make straw into gold which isn’t exactly PC but it would be interesting to see what the Disney people could do with it .
So what are my thoughts on the first 22 episodes of the show? Well, overall I’m entertained by it. The acting is sometimes cringe-worthy and the production values are not strong but the story is interesting enough and keeps me flipping between worlds enough to be engaged. It’s not meant to be taken too seriously, just a lot of fun.
Some may wonder why I hated Maleficent, a recent fairytale adaptation and give a passing recommendation to this telling. Here’s the difference- Maleficent fundamentally changes the characters. What was once evil is now good and what was good is evil or inattentive and idol at best. In this show what was bad in the movies are still bad. Sure Regina has a few softer moments but she’s pretty ruthless both as the queen and mayor of town. Anything that is added to it is in addition to the original stories, not a replacement for those stories.
Maleficent pissed me off because it ruined the character of Maleficent. Plus, I am way more likely to be forgiving of terrible production values and bad acting in a TV show than a big budget Disney movie. When they carefully restage pivitol scenes from the original movie and then change everything that happens it makes me angry. They do not do anything like that here in Once Upon a Time. The events are the fairytales. It is the before and after for the characters and the importance of said actions that matter.
For example, the Snow White story is basically the same as the movie down to the poison apple. Where it changes is after they are married and the curse is placed on them and all in attendance. Pinocchio is basically the same down to Monstro and the Blue Fairy (although no Pleasure Island yet) but what happens to Pinocchio when he grows up is different. You see what I mean?
All the lame fairytale retellings of late have attempted to reshape and reform the originals and they’ve all sucked. This does it’s own thing and it works pretty well. It’s campy and silly but I was entertained. I’m curious to keep watching (which I suppose is the real test of a good show).
What do you guys think about Once Upon a Time? I’ve still got 2 seasons to watch before I can catch up to Season 4 but I have been enjoying the podcasts over at Post Show Recaps by my twitter friend Mike Bloom. If you like that kind of thing be sure to check it out.
This is a quick follow up to my Official Disney Princess Rankings. Here are all the Disney women ranked by simply how much I like them and a few words that come to my mind to describe them.
I added Anita and Giselle from Enchanted who is partly animated but is not on the photo below.
1. Belle- smart, thoughtful, compassionate and brave
2. Ariel- free spirit, not afraid to take risks, social butterfly, lots of friends, embraces new things, impetuous (changed that one guys!). I got to pick Ariel for #2 because I was basically her till I was 17 so I just relate to the girl. I was headstrong and impetuous, stubborn, didn’t like to be told what to do, but I also was quick to make friends and got done what I set my mind to do. Love that.
3. Nani- Yep, I know this is very high. But I love Nani. She is doing something so hard, raising her sister, and she keeps getting knocked down but doesn’t give up. I feel for her and love her spirit and devotion to ohana. She also surfs, dances and flirts- has a fun side. But she has a temper too and gets frustrated. She’s as close to a perfectly well-rounded, developed female character as Disney has created. She along with Giselle are the only Disney female characters who mother children (maybe Wendy?).
4. Cinderella- hard working, loyal, good friend, strong, kind, optimistic
5. Megura- Yep, bring on the comments. I love her sass. I love that she’s a little tough to figure out. She’s working with the enemy but a clear love interest, she’s funny, sarcastic but still a good perosn.
6. Tiana- hard working, goal setter, dedicated, loyal, soft spoken but bold, fun once she let’s her guard down
7. Rapunzel- optimistic, naive but smart in her own way, inquisitive, fun-loving, see’s good in people, hopeful and quick with a frying pan
8. Mulan- Brave, fearless, strong, still vulnerable, a fighter, loyal
9. Giselle- The only princesses who actually does some mothering of a little girl and does it well (Nani is the only other female I can think of). Optimistic, positive, happy, loving, kind, funny, industrious, clever in her own way.
10. Elsa- Brainwashed as a little girl to fear herself she realizes she is alright just as she is and is empowered. Love that. Becomes strong and is always loving and trying to do the right thing.
11. Jane- Timid around animals at first but gets over it, Nonjudgmental, kind, good teacher, humble, loving
12. Anita- you don’t get to know her that well but very pretty, affectionate to Perdy and the puppies, encouraging to Roger and his music, still nice to Cruella when she probably shouldn’t be. Just seems like a cool lady.
13. Merida- bold, impetuous, good with a bow and arrow, climbs mountains, free spirit, brave, confident, love her curly hair
14. Jasmine- free spirit, independent, loving, not afraid to stick a tiger on an annoying suitor!, dreamer, spunky
15. Esmeralda- Faithful, hopeful, sexy, confident, kind, one of only a few Disney adults who prays (in song form of God Help the Outcast), loving to Quasimodo.
16. Anna- innocent, sweet, kind, believes in people, impetuous, brave, optimistic and loving. Needs to think before she acts sometimes.
17. Snow White- optimistic, kind, positive, happy, whistles why she works
18. Aurora- asleep a lot (is sleeping beauty after all) and a little too perfect because of her blessings, but great singer, beautiful, dancer, dreamer, loving
19. Alice- love the movie but Alice is really just a conduit for all the craziness surrounding her. I like her (I like all the girls to some degree or another) but don’t feel I really know her.
20. Pocahontas- loves nature, stands up to others, throws herself on John. But I don’t feel like she listens well and being older than Ariel she should take the counsel of those around her more seriously over strangers, resistant to change, and her choices do cause a death.
21. Kida- I liked Atlantis but Kida is kind of a mystical character without much personality. She’s a clue to her culture and interesting on that level but that’s about it. Plus, she dresses very immodestly. The other women in Atlantis are a lot more interesting IMO. And there is no chemistry between her and Milo
22. Eilonwy- is a princess for no reason for the story, totally blank and boring, Can’t think of one thing she gives to the story aside from telling Taran how to escape the castle. She may be very nice and have commendable qualities but the movie gives us none of that. (And I didn’t hate The Black Cauldron). Plus, not a fan of her voice actor. You could take her character out and the movie would be exactly the same.
Feel free to share your lists or to comment on mine. I really don’t detest any of them and can see value in them all. Great characters by a great studio, Disney! Did I miss anyone? I figured Wendy, Penny, Jenny were more girls than women or adolescents. If I included Elastigirl (which maybe I should?) she would be around #10).
My post on the Disney princesses was such a hit I decided to tackle the Disney men- a much thinner pool to draw from but a few good one’s mixed in.
I decided to use this graphic as my guide because I couldn’t count every man say Geppetto or Kuzco so here goes:
I did add Kristoff from Frozen, and Milo from Atlantis: The Lost Empire because they are such central characters, and subbed out Phoebus for Quasimodo because I feel you get to know Quasimodo much better in the movie.
1. Prince Phillip- tough, brave, impetuous, dancer, dreamer, warrior
2. Aladdin- good friend, dreamer, smart, learns to be humble and honest.
3. Flynn/Eugene- Starts out confident, fun-loving, adventurous, learns to be kind, honest, and less cynical.
5. Li Shang- Do I need to say much more than this picture? He’s definitely the hottest Disney man IMO. But he is also tough but kind. He learns to forgive and has a nice smile.
6. The Beast- We never get a name for Beast but Beast. I guess some say his name is Adam? He has the biggest transformation of any Disney man. He starts out a monster and turns into a gentleman who gives up all for Belle.
7.. Jim Hawkins- Free spirit, adventure seeker, loyal to Mom and friends
8.. Kristoff- Honest, Will tell you what he thinks, Loving, Good friend to Sven.