This may be sort of old news by now, but a couple months ago, I read an article saying that Disney is retiring the concept of princesses for the forseeable future. Apparently, this is because 5 and 6 year old girls today prefer to be “hot” and “cool.”
Okay, cool and even pretty, I can understand, but can I first of all say how much it makes my skin crawl to think of a 5-year-old wanting to be hot?
Now that that’s out of the way…
While I can understand that Disney is trying to be realistic–let’s face it, 10-year-olds of today tend to act more like 13-year-olds–I don’t think the “princess” genre should be discounted entirely. Here’s why:
- Three words–well, actually, just two names: Will and Kate.
Has everyone already forgotten the craziness that surrounded this wedding? How people camped out days in advance to meet a “real-life Cinderella story”? Not to mention how many people over here either woke up at 3 a.m. or Tivo’d the wedding! Heck, I even remember seeing that a Lifetime movie had been made about these two just leading up to their engagement!
With that in mind, does Disney really want to claim that princesses aren’t “bankable”?
- For every story, there is a spin or twist on that story. There are 2 different Snow White movies coming out next year alone. This is possible because each is taking a different spin. Even the original Hoodwinked movie capitalized on this idea. There is no law saying that a princess must always be in distress, meet a prince who saves her, and marry him. If those are the only parameters to avoid taking a fresh perspective on an old story, the other possibilities are endless! I mean, look at Tangled. Not traditional by any means, but still an engaging “princess type” story.
- Finally, while I know moviemakers have to be realistic about what will sell, is a little idealism really such a bad thing? Even say, once every 5 years? I think that’s part of the reason people were so excited about Will and Kate. We know what realism is. We live it every day. We want something different–something that we can’t get every day. With the exception of documentaries, we go to movies to escape. Try on a different reality, if you will. When these girls who are 5-6 now start getting up to 8/9/10, reality is going to become increasingly harsh (because remember, these days they’re practically preteen by then). Princess movies represent childhood innocence: that period before harsh realities set in.
If Disney stops making princess movies now, what will our kids have in 5-10 years? Will we even be able to find the old classics anymore? It makes me sad. I really hope that Disney reconsiders. Even a good “princess-type” movie every few years would be better than cut off such a great legacy entirely.