Disney Princesses Vs Real-Life Audience

Three years ago I wrote about the evolution of society reflected in Disney movies, about how the development of family or friendship relationships replaced the idea that a "true love's kiss" is the only key to save a princess and can exclusively come from a prince. Opposed to that, in the new Disney animations, the narrative focuses on a bond between characters, that escalates in line with several challenges they have to tackle. We don't see absolute evil and extreme kindness anymore, but rather live the storyline together with the personages, empathize with them in an attempt to understand the reason behind their actions. They now have the power to express themselves, reflecting the behaviour of girls in prersent times, who are braver and more confident then Cinderella or Aurora's target audience. With the passing of years, we are noticing a whole shift in the behaviour of princesses, from Snow White, who, in love with the prince, runs away once he tries to approach her, to Rapunzel who welcomes a man into her tower by hitting him with a frying pan. We are equally whitnessing a reversed attitude of family members towards marriage: from Cinderella's stepmother who aggressively pushes her daughters towards marrying a prince about whom she has no knowledge (even suggesting they cut of her girl's foot so it can fit the crystal sliper), to queen Elsa, who disapproves of her sister getting engaged to a prince she just met. 

Princesses have taught us a lot about the right way to behave or the fact that everything happens at the right time and for a reason: Rapunzel and Tiana proved us that a relationship has to evolve and that it's not sufficient for the two main characters only to meet in order kiss and get married. From Pocahontas, the only one of the Disney princesses based on a real person, we learned that, eventhough you fall in love against the odds, fight for one another, sometimes going your own way seems to be a better option. Mulan, Merida and Moana made another statement: they didn't need a prince who would change their lives. Their valuable accomplishments come from fighting and being brave. 

Strong Disney princesses

Three years ago, Maleficent, showed  us another perspective of Aurora's story, one from which, leaving the special effects aside, we become somehow compassionate with the "evil fairy", by understanding the reason behind her actions (a revenge on an old friend who betrayed her in the past). Cinderella's movie in 2015, was an exact adaptation of the animated film and made us understand the story from a contemporary point of view. There comes a moment during the movie when Cinderella asks her stepmother why she's so cruel and gets the most honest answer: "Because you are young, and innocent, and good,” a conversation that would't have been appropriate during family members during the 1950's when the animated film was created. Modern times urge us to reconsider old-school stories, adapt dialogues, introduce characters or sometimes special effects.

...After all, as Prince Phillip told his dad when leaving to marry a peasant girl: "Well father, you're living in the past, this is the 14th century".


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