Since writing that post, Disney has officially added one more princess to the roster. The company has also released another movie which features two princesses. Although, not long into it, one of those princesses becomes a queen. But for the purposes of this blog, I'll be examining all three of these animated, fictional ladies.
MeridaI very briefly touched on the Brave Scottish princess in my previous post. I didn't go into any detail because she was not yet considered an official Disney Princess. Now she is. She's the first Pixar character to be considered a Disney Princess. Looking at Pixar's catalog of films, I'm pretty sure Merida is the only character that carries the title of princess. If you haven't seen Brave, you need to stop reading this right now and find it so you can watch it. It's kind of awesome. Merida is a young woman with untamed red hair and a fiery independent spirit. When it comes time for her to grow up and get married, she takes offense at the idea that she has no choice in who she'll end up with. While three of Scotland's finest vie for Merida's hand in marriage, the princess decides to take the competition into her own hands. She proves herself to be far superior to the men in archery. This causes a rift to form between herself and her mother which leads to all sorts of hijinks and adventures.
Should You Date Her?
It's a little troubling that she will follow mysterious floating blue lights through a dark, scary forest. But I say yes. Though she may not want to date you. As I mentioned above, she is fiercely independent. I think she likes it that way. During the time period in which she lives, independent women were probably frowned upon. Having the personality that she clearly has, she would put a great deal of distance between herself and any man who would attempt to control her. But why should you try and win her hand? Aside from the independence thing (which I consider a huge plus), Merida is someone who isn't afraid to carve her own path. She makes mistakes on her journey, but she admits her mistakes and will fight to correct those mistakes. She takes issue with the fact that her own mother wants to plan out her life for her, she gets angry with her mother, but is able to move past her anger to prove just how much she loves her. Also, she's wicked good with a bow and arrow.
AnnaNow we come to Disney's latest princess movie: Frozen. If you haven't seen it yet, be warned, spoilers abound. In the first act of the film, you feel pretty bad for Anna. Well, you feel bad for her sister as well, but we'll get to her later. As a young child, Anna is very close with her sister, Elsa. She gets injured in an accident involving Elsa's icy powers, which causes their parents to freak out and overreact. That overreaction leads to Elsa becoming a shut in and Anna losing her best friend and any knowledge of Elsa's capabilities. She grows up lonely due to the fact that the king and queen decided to close the gates. No one comes in and Anna, apparently, does not go out. Watching the movie, we can assume that Anna is an extrovert, which makes being locked inside the castle a horrible punishment since she can't interact with anyone else. This causes her to become overly excited and extremely naive about people once she finally has the opportunity to experience that interaction.
Should you date her?
I'm gonna go with no. Not that she's a bad person or anything. She's brave to go after her sister in the sudden bitter winter that develops after Elsa's powers are revealed. She fears that her sister is hurting and in danger, so she leaves the safety of her kingdom to find her. She also shows concern for her people and their well being as they attempt to survive the unseasonable cold weather. These are excellent qualities in a Disney princess. But remember how I said it was likely she'd be really naive after being shut into the palace for most of her life? She "falls in love" with the first handsome prince that she meets. Within hours of meeting this guy, she decides she loves him and is ready to marry him. Impulsivity isn't necessarily a bad thing. But the way she does it is a bit extreme. As it turns out, her handsome prince that she so dearly loves isn't exactly a stand up guy. In fact, he reveals himself to be the actual villain of the film, using Anna to take the throne. These are the kinds of things you discover about someone if you date them for more than a few hours. Beyond that, she seems kind of desperate. Again, I'm sure that's due to being a shut in for so long. After seeing independent princesses like Rapunzel and Merida, we take a step backward and find a princess whose only goal seems to be to land a man. If that's your thing, that's okay. It just doesn't do much for me.
ElsaI'm not sure that we can officially call Elsa a princess. Once we hit act two of Frozen, Elsa makes it through the coronation ceremony and becomes a queen. She's only a princess for the first 15 minutes of the movie. So Disney may decide not to include her as one of their official princesses. But I'm still going to give my opinion here. This movie is (very) loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen. Elsa is that title character. I'm sorry to say, we really don't know much about Elsa beyond the fact that she has inexplicable powers. My chief complaint with Frozen is that Elsa's character just isn't developed enough. However, just as one can feel bad for Anna, we can feel bad for Elsa as well. Actually, I think I'd feel worse for Elsa. Her parents force her to shut herself off from her little sister and all other people. She's forced to repress her abilities out of a sense of guilt over an accident that occurred when she was just a child. Instead of learning to develop and control her abilities she holds them back. When she's eventually forced to mingle with the people, she loses control. Really, she never had control in the first place.
Should you date her?
I want so badly to say yes. First of all, she's a queen. That's gotta be worth more than the title of princess, right? Next, she has a phenomenal singing voice. Perhaps that's some bias on my part, because I might be a little in love with Idina Menzel. But that's neither here nor there. I said I want to say yes, but I just don't think I can. Like her sister, she's been a shut in most of her life. That's a sad life. I don't think she had as difficult a time with being alone as Anna did. I would argue that, unlike her sister, Elsa is more of an introvert. Maybe that's why I want to say yes to dating her. I can identify with her. I say that about her personality because she appears so uncomfortable around people after the coronation. Sure, part of that is fear of losing control of her powers, but I think a bigger part could be that she's just genuinely unsure of how to be with large crowds. She runs away to the mountains. She sings about a kingdom of isolation while honing her abilities. By the end of her big musical number, she seems to really be okay with being alone. When Anna comes to bring her back home, she insists that she's okay where she is and actually sounds happy about it. Let her be. You know what, I'm gonna say yes anyway. It would be a pretty big deal if a powerful woman like that let someone in. And let's talk about those powers for a minute. It seems to me that a lot of this frustration could have been avoided if the king and queen had just sent Elsa to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. I mean, Disney owns Marvel now, right? I don't see why they couldn't have made that happen. Her powers are unexplained, just that she was born with them. To me, that says mutant. She could have become one of the X-Men. She could give Iceman a run for his money. After all, she not only creates ice and snow, she can bring it to life. And once she learned to fully control her abilities, she was able to make it disappear just as quickly. If her parents hadn't shut her off from the world, she could have learned much earlier in life how to control her power. Her people need never drink lukewarm soda again.
So those are Disney's latest princesses. How far off was I on their royal highnesses? Let me know your own thoughts in the comments.