(Note: when I call someone a badass, that's my term that basically encompasses everything about them that I think is awesome. So I'm gonna use the word a lot in this post. Get used to it.)
So, I know "The Black Cauldron" is one of Disney's least well-known Disney movies, and I get why, I do. It's not what most people want from a Disney movie and I understand that. And hey, I dunno, maybe I wouldn't like it so much myself if I hadn't read all the books (Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander - read them! - they are simply fantastic).
But it frustrates me when everyone forgets The Black Cauldron, when no one remembers Taran and Eilonwy. I mean seriously, Eilonwy's one of the best. If you read the books you can probably see it better - she's so lovely and amusing when she's young, and so fiery and opinionated and strong as she grows up. She is way cooler than many Disney princesses.
That brings me to some things I wanna say about the official "Disney Princesses":
Belle isn't really a princess; she was born a commoner, and while we can assume she marries the Beast at some point, it's really totally clarified that the Beast is a prince - I always figured he was just a rich brat that lived in a castle. Don't get me wrong, I love Belle, and I love the Beast. Mulan also is not a princess, she's a soldier's daughter, and her father is not royalty. And I'm not saying she shouldn't be on the list; she deserves the Awesome Title of Awesomeness way more than some of the real princesses. But if she's considered an official Princess, why not Eilonwy (who is actually a princess), Esmeralda (who's kinda worshiped among gypsies, she's like a princess of the streets), Nala (yeah she's a lion, but she ends up with Simba which makes her a queen, which is the same way a lot of the other princesses got the actual title), Kida/Kidagakash (again, real princess here), Jane (we could consider her princess of the jungle), Megara (I mean she ends up with the son of a god for fuck's sake)?
My personal opinions of each of the "Princesses":
- Mulan: Badass who isn't royalty but earned the title probably more than anyone, and started dating a man she respected, who respected her, and who she had befriended and had been through a lot with (note: didn't just get fucking married, but did something normal like invite the guy over for dinner)
- Pocahontas: Badass royalty (she's the chief's daughter, which is the Native American equivalent for princess) who earned the title, having stood up against everyone for tolerance and equality, showed love for her family as well as for a man she came to know and accept despite their initial differences, didn't make assumptions about strangers
- Rapunzel: Cutie-petootie and badass royalty who earned the title, after braving the world and leaving everything she knew to find answers, and ended up marrying a guy she had befriended, come to know really well, had been through a lot with, a guy she respected and who respected her
- Belle: Not technically royalty but maybe sort of is, and earned the title - was an intelligent girl who asked questions and respected herself, sacrificed herself for her father's sake, and came to accept and help and fall in love with a guy who also accepted, helped, and fell in love with her
- Merida: Badass royalty who earned the title, was really annoyingly naive at times but learned from her mistakes, came to understand the importance of family, and didn't let anyone else make her decisions - and didn't need to get married
- Jasmine: Badass royalty who earned the title, was far more concerned with human sincerity than she was with titles and money, chose the street-rat she cared about over the rich powerful guy
- Tiana: I actually still haven't seen this movie (shame on me, I know) but from what I know, she's royalty and pretty cool
- Ariel: Naive and somewhat-stupid but still cute and badass royalty - I'm undecided if she deserves the title or not because although she was strongly-opinionated and fought for what she wanted, she also gave up everything for a guy she didn't know and married him literally less than a week after first seeing him
- Cinderella: Some good-hearted but rather stupid girl who accepted her role in being enslaved by three bitches and only decided to escape after one dance with some rich guy she didn't know
- Aurora: Just boring as hell, never exhibited any strength of will or actual opinion, fell asleep for a while, and married some guy she didn't know
- Snow White: Annoying little beauty queen (btw, twelve years old) who accepted her role in housekeeping for a bunch of dudes living together and married some guy she didn't know
Now let's look at the girls I think should also have the title (my opinions of them):
- Kidagakash: Badass royalty who was sassy, intelligent, cared deeply about her family and her people, understood the importance of open-mindedness, fought for a way to save the people she loved, sacrificed herself for the sake of others, and in the end became a queen that led her people back into prosperity
- Jane: Badass who wasn't royalty but was curious about the world and went to explore things, loved her father, came to deeply care about the animals she met as well as the man that many others wouldn't accept, and chose her own path and bravely faced a future she could never have foreseen but was excited for
- Eilonwy: Badass royalty who was curious about the world and asked many questions, went looking for what she wanted, didn't take shit from anyone who called her weak, and (if you read all the books) chose the pig-boy she'd been friends with for years with whom she'd been through a lot with and who she respected and who respected her
- Esmeralda: Badass who wasn't royalty but was independent, strong, and tolerant, disregarding a person's physical appearance to care about the actual person, genuinely cared about protecting others, retained respect for herself even though she had to let others oversexualize her in order to make a living and survive, and challenged the morals of those who claimed to be righteous but did not act with love
- Megara: Badass who wasn't royalty but who went through a huge learning arc and discovered that she could be self-respecting and in love at the same time and that she was not doomed or less valuable than others, was also sassy and intelligent
- Nala: Badass royalty who married someone she had known and been best friends with her whole life, fought for herself and her family when the pride was ruled by Scar, went looking on her own for a solution to save the pride, fought in battle, was the queen of sass and self-respect, respected her boyfriend but still challenged his decisions that she disagreed with, and also produced the only decent second-generation princess that Disney ever had, which goes to show she was a rocking-awesome mom who raised her kid to also be open-minded and strong
So, whatcha think? Any other Disney girls you think should be in the main lineup? It has been a long time since I've watched any of these movies, so my memory's rusty. And, on the subject, what about Disney princes? In most of the movies that focus on the female lead character, the lead male isn't explored that much and doesn't have that much personality (looking at you, three Prince Charmings). And what about the stereotype Disney sets up about a woman achieving her happy ending by marrying a hot guy and becoming rich? What about exploring other lifestyles, decisions, opinions, race, age, beauty standards, sexualities, what about how life continues after you fall in love?
I think we need a gay prince.