Jan 3, 2014

Geek Out: Disney Princesses

Welcome to Geek Out! Let's talk about Disney Princesses, or to be more general, Disney Heroins. There is a huge fanbase comprised of what Disney could consider "out of target audience" age group and even gender for these female Disney characters. You could scroll into forever on tumblr and never reach the end of fanart, fanfiction, reviews, raves, and gifs in celebration of these animated ladies, but why is this so?

Disney Heroins are idols, but also can be identified with. Many little girls grew up with Jasmine, Ariel, Pocahontas, and Belle. They had strong wills, went after what they wanted, and ended up helping resolve some type of conflict either directly or indirectly. Oh, and they also looked pretty fab. Little girls bought their dolls, stationary, costumes, etc. Fast forward and lots of those little girls are now in their 20's and 30's, and some have taken that love with them to Adult Land because they see qualities or situations which connect them to those heroins.

What's keeping young adults interested in Disney Heroins? They keep getting better. Disney has been getting it very right lately. It's been what I liken to a reawakening of the Disney Heroins, and where I believe started with:
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
The Princess and the Frog was the first animated Disney film since Lilo and Stitch (2002) to feature prominent female characters and a female lead. Tiana is a hard worker with a dream, she has a wicked funny friend Lottie, there are great one liners, and who doesn't enjoy a love story. After the revival is what I consider the real concentration of awesome:
Tangled (2010)
Tangled came out a year later and upped the Disney Heroin game. A quirky, sassy, and adventurous Rapunzel with her trusty frying pan and chameleon are out to win your heart. There is humor, beautiful animation, and a compelling female lead who is more than just some damsel. I've seen this movie a couple times, and I've yet to stop enjoying it. Two years go by, but what awaits is well worth it:
Brave (2012)
"But Adela, Brave was made by Pixar!" It's STILL a Disney property, so you just hush up. A story about a wildly spirited young woman balancing freedom and family, who can't relate? You get laughs, action, and tear worthy moments. But the most successful new Disney Heroins to break into the scene have to be from:
Frozen (2013)
I have never felt so in sync with a Disney movie in the past 10 years as I did watching Frozen. Sisters Elsa and Anna have a compelling story, tongue in cheek humor, good musical numbers, and have issues you can relate to (I TOO can be an icy bitch). I went home and looked up anything I could to add to the fun I had just had, which included listening to the movie's soundtrack, reading fanfiction, and scrolling through endless gifs/fan art.

An emphasis on independent or growing female characters, more adult humor, and difficult life problems has made the Disney "Princess" movie a more grown up film to enjoy. I've seen adults with all sorts of memorabilia, accessories, and even tattoos celebrating their love for these great gals. Do you love all the Disney Princesses? Are you happy with this resurgence of strong female characters in the animated Disney pantheon? Comments are always welcome!

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