Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Great (film) Debates vol. 102

It seems that Disney princesses inspire a vast number of young girls. And ya know, some of them are kind of cool.

Who is your favorite Disney Princess?


Panelist: Floyd

I'll go old school with Cinderella. She's dealt a bad hand and the deus ex machina that is The Fairy Godmother saves her bacon. But she has pluck and perseverance and she never says "die".

Panelist: BevfromNYC

This is hard because I grew up with these dang Disney princesses. They annoy me. They always had to be saved by some handsome prince. Blah, blah, blah. Actually, Stephen Sondheim wrote a great musical called “Into The Woods” that addresses my sentiments beautifully. In his musical, the handsome princes only save the princesses by chance and really couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag. BUT the new crops of modern Disney princesses are cool! I loved Merida in Brave. She is spunky.

Panelist: T-Rav

Really? Disney princess? Sigh....I guess Belle from Beauty and the Beast, because I honestly couldn't give a flip about any of the others.

Panelist: Tennessee Jed

A flat out tie between Chelsea Clinton and Zooey Deschanel. I mean aren't those names just too precious for words?

Panelist: ScottDS

I'm more of a Warner Brothers guy, meaning I don't have a lot of Disney-themed childhood memories (Disney World, notwithstanding). But I like Belle in Beauty and the Beast... probably because she liked to read and was considered an "oddball" a.k.a. just my type!

Panelist: AndrewPrice

I'm going with Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. That's always been one of my favorite Disneys... very romantic! Though if the question were expanded somewhat beyond princesses, I would pick Alice from Alice in Wonderland. She's the only one who can handle a bit of unreality and come out smelling like a rose.

Comments? Thoughts?

38 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

As an aside, for those of you interested in further details on the Pope discussion we had the other day at the main site, you should read this article: LINK

It starts slowly, but it makes some very interesting points. It also shows that the words "trickle down," which appear in the English translation which Reuters is using do not appear in other language editions.

All told, it's a long article that covers ground we already discussed, but it's worth the read if you are interested in this topic.

AndrewPrice said...

p.s. Thanks to Kit for the link!

Dave Olson said...

Well now that Disney owns the Star Wars franchise, I'll have to say Princess Leia.

Anonymous said...

Well played Dave...

I never really got into that type of cartoons, Tranformers didn't have any princess and apart from the movie no females either.

Scott.

Jason said...

I’d have to give a shoutout to Princess Eilonwy from Disney’s black sheep: “The Black Cauldron.” Not my favorite favorite, but I do like the character’s spunkiness and wit (of course, the books do her better, but I still like watching her in the movie).

Aurora probably would be my favorite overall princess, in that she looks the part better than any of the others. She just suffers from the fact that “Sleeping Beauty” was owned lock stock and barrel by Maleficent (who’s getting her own movie starring Angelina Jolie!) and the three good fairies, so she and the prince really got shortchanged in the character department.

Others in my top tier: Mulan, Anna (from Frozen), Rapunzel (from Tangled).

But yeah, if the roster was expanded to all females, I’d pick Alice, too. Having seen the movie as a kid, I found her more relatable than the teenage princesses of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, etc. The fact that she put up with such insanity, and by herself no less, was impressive. (Actually, if you count the Looking Glass book, Alice does become a queen, so technically she outranks all the princesses!)

PikeBishop said...

You mean which one is hottest? Which one would I like to bend over and................................ooops sorry........................wrong blog.

Outlaw13 said...

Not much to add, when I watched any of these cartoons all I could remember was this one was kind of pretty...I guess I was a horn dog at an early age.

tryanmax said...

Wow! That degenerated quick!

I'd have to go with Ariel. For some reason, I feel like I can relate to her the most. Misunderstood, creative type, fish-out-of-water, hoarder.

tryanmax said...

Here's a pertinent link: Actual List of Disney Princess Ages Will Make You Feel Like a Monster

Backthrow said...

Interestingly, if you look back at the 27-year span where Walt Disney himself was overseeing the animated features, there are really only 3 'princess' films: SNOW WHITE, CINDERELLA and SLEEPING BEAUTY, and each one was roughly a decade apart. Post-Walt in the 1970s/1980s, nothing, until the blip of THE BLACK CAULDRON, then 4 years later, THE LITTLE PRINCESS (a full 30 years after SLEEPING BEAUTY), then suddenly, within just a few years, Disney is virtually slopping over with princesses (plus all the competing studio releases, jumping on the 'princess' bandwagon), to the point where they just beat the idea into the ground. After that, a lull for several years, then THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, TANGLED, and we're now into another wave of princesses.

I never really considered this week's question before, but since I prefer classic Disney to (non-Pixar) Eisner/Katzenberg (and beyond) Disney, I guess Cinderella wins by default, since Snow White is a little too chirpy, and Sleeping Beauty fades in the background due to Maleficent, the three fairies and because, well, she sleeps through most of the story, so it ends up becoming the prince's quest. If we open the field up to simply 'female protagonists', Alice wins by a country mile.

AndrewPrice said...

Nice Dave. If we're going that route though, I would prefer the princess from John Carter. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, You're not into Disney films?

AndrewPrice said...

Jason, Alice is very relatable. She's a great character and fun to watch, and she's definitely put through her paces!

AndrewPrice said...

Pike, LOL! Yeah, wrong blog.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, I don't think they were given much to do in the early films, not until more recently.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, She's a hoarder?

Yeah, sadly, things kind of degenerated very quickly.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I think Disney returned to the Princesses because their attempts to diverge from it weren't working. So they saw it as a formula and embraced it.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

I didn't grow up with them like most people. I didn't even see The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast till I was in college (my first go-around, 2001-02).

Our parents wouldn't take us to a movie we weren't interested in seeing, and they didn't really believe in owning movies so we never had a bookshelf in the TV room with those large clamshell VHS cases.

As far as Disney goes, why watch The Little Mermaid when I could watch Honey, I Shrunk the Kids or Dick Tracy instead? :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I take if you don't have a sister?

ScottDS said...

Nope! Just me and my brother. And I only have one female cousin who I'm not very close with. (No animosity, just not close.)

AndrewPrice said...

If you had a sister, you would have seen all these films.

ScottDS said...

I figured as much. :-)

BevfromNYC said...

Well, I see this isn't a very good debate question for men. As a woman who grew up in the era of classic Disney princesses, let me elaborate on what it was like growing up in the arc of Disney princess. As a girl child, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White et al. were our "role models". They were presented as the helpless female who needed saving by a "handsome" prince who swooped in, defeated whatever evil witch/stepmother, and took them away to live happily ever after. Bah humbug. What a lie we grew up with. Do I sound bitter? ;-)

Then the "womens' movement" changed that and so have the princesses have evolved. Ariel, Merida, that Frog Princess chick, the Tangled/Rapunzel and all the rest are active in saving themselves. Yes, there's a "handsome prince" involved, but only in so much as they help facilitate the princess saving herself. Yey! Now that's progress!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, In all honestly, these are great films. Show them to your kids when you have them! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, No, you don't sound bitter at all.

//carefully steps away from the angry woman

Yeah, this isn't a good question for men. But it should be, especially if you have daughters!!

On the role model thing, I get what you're saying, but these were old-school fairy tales. And don't forget the other girls Disney showed, like Alice who is very headstrong and independent, or like Penny from The Rescuers who is counted upon to save herself with the help of two mice. Also, let me point out that films like Cinderella and Snow White are crawling with women in prime rolls -- fairies, villains, Dwarf-watchers.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

I certainly will, along with Ghostbusters and a few things from the Spielberg/Lucas/Trek canon. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

I'm sure. :)

tryanmax said...

Yep.

Kit said...

Backthrow,

Part of the lack of princess films during Disney's era might be explained by the fact that they were close to bankruptcy throughout the 1940s.

tryanmax said...

Kit, true, it's not like Disney didn't want to do them. Little Mermaid was on the drawing board from the time of Snow White.

Kit said...

My favorites are probably Ariel and Belle.

Kit said...

Tyranmax,

Also, in the 50s Walt Disney was focused more on his theme park than the movies.

shawn said...

Merida, but I have a weakness redheads. I married one.

Rustbelt said...

Okay, hands down, my favorite is Ariel. Heaven help me, I really like girls with spunky personalities.

Andrew, Kit, Walt actually wasn't crazy about doing another princess movie after 'Snow White' and 'Cinderella.' He actually told his animators that they'd already done that- twice. They finally convinced him to do 'Sleeping Beauty' only after he challenged them to find a way to make it unique. And it is- with deep colors and sharp angles, it's based on medieval artwork. Plus, with experience under their belts, the filmmakers actually did some things they weren't able to do in previous films. (Prince Phillip's escape from Maleficent was originally intended for 'Snow White.')
But rather than write all the details, here's an official 'making of' feature:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

(Fun Trivia: This is the only movie that Walt Disney, the 9 Old Men, Chuck Jones, and Don Bluth all worked on.)

Also, I found some interesting links defending Disney's princesses. (I guess this may be more of a link for Bev.) It lists their strengths and weaknesses and what you can learn from them. LINK

And Andrew, this article has a really unique statement on 'Sleeping Beauty.'

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Excellent choices!

Shawn, I've only seen that one once, so it's hard for me to judge.

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, Thanks for the links! That is an interesting article and worth discussing in a future toonarama!

Individualist said...

I think the new movie Frozen has a really unique take on the Disney Princesses and Ana may be my favorite but I can't say why without spoiling the film.

Anthony said...

I think they are pretty interesting. Thanks in large part to my two daughters so I've seen all of the Disney princess movies many times.

She's not a princess, but I think Lilo of Lilo and Stich is a great character (I also think that movie is a funny, underappreciated classic).

Disney princesses are invariably young women, but Lilo is a little girl who looks and acts like a little girl (a good girl but one who acts out sometimes).

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