Making Movie History: Disney Princesses Throughout Time

It is December 11, 2009 and I’d like to start off this column by wishing my niece Allie a Happy 17th Birthday. The simple fact that you will probably have a car sometime soon and end up on the same roads as me and millions of other people frightens the ever-living shit out of me. It should scare all of you people out there too. Just trust me on this one. But I love you Allie and hope this is one of the best birthdays yet.

Moving on now as it has been a rather long and busy work week for me which is a great thing, but look at me still (fist) pumping my column out for a third straight week. Jersey Shore? Buncha douchebags on that show yet it still ends up entertaining me because my God it’s amazing that there are real people out there like that. It’s like, I really can’t stand people like that and think they are incredible tools, but when they appear on my screen…it’s like a damn car accident. My eyes can’t be torn away from the stupidity, idiocy, horrible accents, awful fake tans, spiky hair, and insurmountable egos that all live under one roof. Let’s not forget people giving themselves nicknames like “The Situation.” Come on man. You gave yourself a frickin’ nickname.

The time has come my little friends to talk of other things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kin…err, sorry about that. There has been a lot of talk lately about Alice In Wonderland with the new theatrical version coming from Tim Burton coming out next year. Let’s not forget that the SyFy Channel has also been promoting a new take on the old fairy tale in a series simply entitled Alice. But Alice is not one of the traditional Disney princesses I am looking to discuss here this week even though some would consider her one. Honestly I believe that pretty much all the females in the Disney Universe are considered “princesses” when they actually aren’t. That has always kind of bugged me because a princess is defined as:

prin⋅cess
[prin-sis, -ses, prin-ses]
–noun
1. a non-reigning female member of a royal family.

That would in turn make so many of the Disney female characters completely eliminated from the characterization of actual “princesses.” I’m not going to be able to change that so might as well stop bitching about it, but it’s still annoying. Yet here we are with the first hand-drawn animated feature film by Disney since 2004’s Home On The Range. Hell, does that flick even count as anything? Anyway. There’s a new princess in town and I mean that literally for me since The Princess And The Frog takes place right here in my hometown of New Orleans, LA. The story is a twist on the classic tale of a princess kissing a frog and trying to find her prince. The question at hand here though is…how would Disney’s first black princess stack up to the princesses that have come before her and all the pressure she’s under?

Nope, not gay…just have loved Disney since I was a kid, worked at Disney World twice, and know everything there is to know about all things Disney (parks, characters, movies, etc…).

cinderella
Cinderella in Cinderella



So we’re going to start off with one of the Disney flicks that isn’t necessarily one of my favorites. Yeah, it’s a pretty good story with the poor girl being treated like crap only to move on up and have all her dreams come true. But it’s not like she did it on her own ya know? If it wasn’t for her Fairy Godmother then Cindy would have sat her happy ass at home and not ever met Prince Charming. She tried to do things by making her own dress and getting things prepared, but even then she never really worked alone. The mice and birds and other random animals from around the house helped her out. Need I mention how all they did was steal stuff and end up causing her more torment when her stepsisters jumped in and ripped her dress to shreds? Sounds like Cinderella needs to have higher standards for friends too.

As for being memorable, Cinderella is a true icon and will always be famous to millions around the world, but not really in my book. The movie kind of bores me and has one of the worst songs that Disney has ever released in “So This Is Love.” My goodness, that is just a God awful song that makes me want rip my ears off and leap to my death from a bridge. Seriously, Cindy sounds almost emo and like she is going to end up in the back room cutting herself when the stroke of midnight hits. Speaking of, what’s up with that anyway? The Fairy Godmother can do all this magic stuff including turning a pumpkin into a coach and dogs into coach drivers, but she can’t make it all last more then a few hours? Kind of sketchy if you ask me. It’s like she’s a discount wish-granter.

A few memorable songs grace us throughout the movie, but not enough to make me really care much more. “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” is excellent and will always be a favorite, but I’m not as crazy about “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” as everyone else seems to be. And let us not forget that Cinderella isn’t even royalty. Nope, she sure isn’t.


snowwhite
Snow White in Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs



Snow White is quite possibly one of my all-time favorite Disney characters period and it’s good to know that she is actually of noble descent. Sure her stepmother, The Queen, is an evil bitch but that is what makes the conflict of the movie so exciting. She has to deal with all the hell that woman puts her through in both forms as The Queen and The Witch which is just pure unadulterated evil. She perseveres though and not only makes it through the mud and the muck that threatens her life, but she also learns to live with seven little people that are enough personalities to make Sybil jealous. This chick is pretty awesome if you ask me.

You see, Disney loves to have their princesses get torn down, only to see how they will rise up out of the crap and get to the point in life they want to be at. Snow White is a living example of that, maybe not as much as Cindy up above, but she still proves her worth. She has to battle it out with not only the Queen in both of her personalities, but also with the evil magic that she possesses which could put her to sleep for all of eternity. That’s a damn lot of things to overcome and make sure you make it through to live happily ever after with your true love and seven midgets that know how to find diamonds and other gems like its nobody’s business. I’d say Snow White leads a pretty charmed life but it wasn’t just handed to her either.

We get plenty of awesome songs throughout the movie too like “Whistle While You Work,” “I’m Wishing,” and “Someday My Prince Will Come.”


ariel
Ariel in The Little Mermaid



Ariel is a cool chick that has princess genes running all through her so we don’t have to worry about the little loophole Disney has for putting all its female characters into that category. Her father is King Triton, god of the oceans. She has a ton of sisters but she stands out a bit more then all of the rest. Yeah, she’s a mermaid and all that but it isn’t like she doesn’t have a lot going for her. All of the ocean is at her disposal with tons of riches from being in the royal family yet she wants more. So many artifacts and items from the world above continue to fall into the ocean where she gathers them up into her huge collection from the land-walkers. That still isn’t good enough for Ariel as she has the great fault of being too damn greedy and “wanting more.”

It is that very greed that takes Ariel down a notch in the spoiled brat princess scale because it almost gets her killed too. Ursula is one smart villain and knows exactly what she is doing at all times making it very easy for her to trick Ariel because the young princess will do anything to get what she wants. This could have been extremely bad for her and she actually doesn’t really do anything to resolve the situation as that responsibility lies solely on Prince Eric. When the climax comes, Ariel simply lays there on the deck of the boat flopping around like a fis…err, you get the idea. Still, as much as she may not really do anything to fix all the horrendous problems she caused by being incredibly greedy…The Little Mermaid is an excellent movie which proves that Ariel has staying power and will be around for a long time to come.

Wow, where the hell do I begin on the music front for The Little Mermaid too? “Part Of Your World,” “Kiss The Girl,” Under The Sea,” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls” are just a small handful off the soundtrack which is good from beginning to end. Love it and always will.


jasmine
Jasmine in Aladdin



Am not too fond of Jasmine whatsoever so it makes me happy that she is secondary character in Aladdin. In some respect, she’s actually more like a quinary character because of Abu, Jafar, Genie, and all those others included. She’s a princess yeah, but she is also annoying as all living hell.

Jasmine is a spoiled brat and I don’t have much to say about her because the movie isn’t really about her at all. Sure Aladdin wants to pass off as a prince so that he can marry her, but who really cares about her? She treats Prince Ali like a bitch, is spoiled beyond belief, and even sort of treats her father like he is a bumbling idiot. Essentially the Sultan is a bumbling idiot and Ali acts like a pompous ass, but she just takes her superiority complex too far and I can’t handle her.

Aladdin rocks hardcore because it’s an awesome movie and there are songs like “Prince Ali,” “Friend Like Me,” and “A While New World” to keep you singing along and tapping your foot. Jasmine can blow for all I care, and no not like that.


belle
Belle in Beauty And The Beast



Time to drop in on yet another princess that isn’t derived from royalty which would in turn not make her a true princess at all. Belle gets the benefit of the doubt though because Beauty And The Beast is one of the best Disney movies ever and she is a main character that justifies her status as a princess. She comes from a very small village in which she is well-liked and loved by everyone there. Belle takes care of her crazy inventor father that always seems to get himself in trouble more so then helping anyone else including his own family. Eventually she sacrifices her own freedom to save her dad even though she knows she’ll never see him again. She goes out of her way to befriend a beast whom she ends up falling in love with without ever knowing if he’ll turn back into a human for certain. Man, she gets all the credit in the world for being one hell of a woman.

We can’t leave out the fact that she is well read, overly friendly, can sing really well, and doesn’t look too bad either. So she’s a cartoon, shut the hell up. Belle has to deal with so much in her life already that one would think she’d lose her mind once Beast captures her and forces her to live with him forever. She could have been a complete and total bitch by not acknowledging him or even ever coming out of her room. Who could blame her for that either? Beast took her dad and then forced her to take his place and she isn’t even allowed to ever see him again. But no, she doesn’t do that. Belle tries to help him which in turns ends up helping her own cause. Smart chick man. Smart chick.

Beauty And The Beast is full of great music too that keeps the film overly memorable when the story and characters alone would have done that. “Be Our Guest,” “Belle,” and “Beauty And The Beast” just to name a few. There are so many secondary characters as well that will keep Belle a truly great princess even if she never had a touch of royalty in her blood.


sleepingbeauty
Aurora in Sleeping Beauty



Sleeping Beauty is sort of in the same boat movie-wise to me as Cinderella as there are a few parts of it that I like, but most of the time it bores me. As for Aurora, she actually has to go through a hell of a lot of stuff and quite possibly has the biggest obstacle of all the princesses in Malificent. She is full of evil magic, has a bad ass raven with her at all times, and turns into a gigantic dragon that breathes green fire. Yes, GREEN FIRE! But that’s the villain in this movie that is awesome and not so much the princess. Then there’s also the fact that Aurora never really does anything to defeat Malificent because it’s Prince Phillip who fights the dragon while Aurora sleeps thanks to the cursed spinning wheel. All Aurora (aka Briar Rose) does is chill in the castle, hang out in a forest cottage, chat with three mini fairies, and clean up the forest with a broom. Weirdo.

Meh, don’t really care much about her either but she is iconic as is the film as a whole so it’s not like she’ll ever totally disappear. That’s a good thing for me though because Malificent is one of the best Disney villains ever. “Once Upon A Dream” is the only song even worth remembering from the movie so that doesn’t help its case in making me want to ever watch it again. As for Aurora, she didn’t prove much to me other then being a princess that has always had everything handed to her and probably always will.


tiana
Tiana in The Princess And The Frog



Let me start out here by saying that I have no idea how Tiana will end up in the long line of Disney princesses or whatever category the females end up in. That takes time, but there is a subject that needs to be touched on first of all and that is her color. Such a damn big deal is being made about Tiana being the first ever black (African-American) princess in Disney history and one must ask…why? Listen, I’m all for equality and everyone being the same and all such bullshit, but does anyone really think that an animated character is going to take a particular race further into the next decade or century? Really people? We should all focus on this being the first hand-drawn Disney movie in five years and seeing if the story is simply good. That’s all. Wondering if we have another classic on our hands thanks to the characters, music, scenery, and then some.

If so many people are bitching about equal rights and all that, then why go out of your way to draw attention to something you’re getting instead of just letting it be great on its own?

Moving on now and Princess Tiana certainly has the chance to be one of the most loved princesses in all of Disney-dom, but that possibility lies with any new characters that come our way. Hell, I’d say Tiana has her work cut out for her being in New Orleans (am not always fond of everything in this city), but I’m willing to bet that Disney doesn’t show my city in full bloom. Do you expect to see drunks, garbage, a piss-filled Bourbon Street, crime, murder, and the other “lovely” things that have signified New Orleans for years and years? Nope, you won’t but Disney will be sure to exploit the rich history and wonderful architecture in hopes to make Tiana’s debut a memorable and successful one. They better throw in some catchy songs too or else that could really take away from the movie itself.

Oh, and they’re going to make fun of Cajuns too and that is some funny shit.



Well, today will tell the tale as to whether Princess Tiana will end up as memorable as most of the other Disney Princesses. But it’s only the beginning of course because we all know that fairy tales aren’t truly told in a day. Yet the backlash from the pissed off Cajuns will surely begin today and I can’t wait to see all of that. You honestly haven’t seen some funny as hell stuff like a ton of Cajun-French people bitching and complaining with those accents. They may have all the right in the world to do so and have some serious complaints, but it’s going to be hard as can be not to laugh at them going off. You’ve seen Adam Sandler’s Waterboy right? The old man that constantly mumbles shit you can barely understand? Imagine about five hundred people like that all screaming at the same time and not one intelligible word among it all. GOLD!

Be sure to join up on our facebook page for Inside Pulse Movies by checking out the cool little widget thing at the bottom of my column. I have a few ideas on tap, but not entirely sure what I want to do next week. If you have any suggestions for that, or any week, then drop me a line or comment down at the bottom for me. I’d love some feedback on any and everything that hits these pages. Have a great weekend everyone and feel free to ask me what I want for Christmas. You can buy me shit.

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