Sunday, January 07, 2007

Which Princess Is Best?

Yesterday, I took my daughter and her friend to see Happily N’Ever After, the latest movie creation from the group that brought us one of my favorite animated series, Shrek. Happily, alas, is no Shrek. It was so unfunny, in fact, that, after eating my popcorn and candy, I promptly took a nice nap for about twenty minutes or so, confident that I wouldn’t miss anything worthwhile. And guess what? I didn’t.

Part of the problem with Happily was the heroine, who couldn’t see that the prince was a cowardly doofus, and the real hero was the unassuming dishwasher.

How could I get behind a clueless heroine like that? I couldn’t.

So after I woke from my refreshing movie nap, I got to thinking: which animated movie princess is the best? Who can I most relate to?

Answer: Belle from Beauty & the Beast.

I’m sure you’ll agree.

Belle is pretty, smart, funny, brave and strong. Plus she loves books, and she tames the bad-boy beast/prince.

What’s not to love?

Pocahontas, of course, deserves honorable mention. I love her fierce independence, bravery, and athleticism. But poor Pocahontas didn’t have a happy ending with John Smith—this, despite having one of the sexiest love-at-first-sight scenes ever, cartoon or not—and I can’t get too excited about a love story with no happy ending.

Other rejects?

Ariel from The Little Mermaid, who rejected her true self and her entire species for Eric, a man too dumb to differentiate between the real Ariel and the imposter;

Cinderella (I know she's not a princess, but still), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), and Snow White, for being too passive in accepting their unhappy situations and therefore too stupid to live; and

Jasmine from Aladdin, who was a little too slutty for my tastes.

So there you have it.

What about you? Surely I’m not the only one who’s spent time contemplating the complexities of princesshood. Who’s your favorite animated princess, and why?


Sally MacKenzie said...

Is this a girl question? Yeah, I know I'm a girl, but with four sons, I just haven't thought about princesses in a LONG time. I can't remember the last movie I saw (Yeah, I hear Kristi, at least, inhaling in shock) and we only have one TV, so there's no chance I'll get close to that. The animation my 17 through 24 year old sons might watch? Uh, no, I don't think we want to go there.

Colleen Gleason said...

Mulan is my absolute favorite Disney princess.

(She's not technically a princess, but she gets lumped in with them. I, unlike Sally Mac, have two I know these things.)

She's smart, and determined, and it doesn't hurt that Shang (her "prince" is the hottest animated guy evah!).

She puts aside her own fears and steps out of her own sphere in order to save her family honor, and, in the end, all of China. And, she's based on a real person.

Much as I love Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Aurora doesn't do much other than wander around, sing, and look pretty. Oh, and sleep. :-)

Which is probably why my favorite character in that movie is Maleficent.

I also think, for a non-Disney princess, Fiona from Shrek kicks butt--literally and figuratively.

Ann Christopher said...

Oooh, Mulan! Forgot about her...


Wendy Roberts said...

My daughter definitely votes for Belle as number one. My favorite Disney movie is Shrek too. Fiona rocks!

Kristina Cook said...

Belle and Mulan, without a doubt! No competition, really. :o) And Ann and Colleen so ably described the reasons why!

I can't really comment on Pocahontas, because I refuse to watch it. I don't like it when history is rewritten in such a fashion. Though I did really like the Pocahontas 'story' in the movie The New World--at least they attempted to get the history correct, if romanticized (not to mention, just watching the movie is a fabulous visual treat).

Okay, so there's no actual *proof* that Pocahontas' relationship with John Smith was a romantic one--still, it's at least a possibility.

Whoa, got a off topic a bit there, didn't I?!

Colleen Gleason said...

You know, Kristi, that's the only Disney "princess" movie we don't own, and that I haven't seen--Pocahontas, I mean. (Or Hoca-pontas as my niece used to say!).

And it's for the same reasons!

Eve Silver said...

I must agree about Belle... she's my favorite.