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Please make a movie about a girl who is not a princess

Linda Holmes on her NPR blog says “Please make a movie about a girl who is not a princess.


Having daughters has changed my perspective tremendously. I want desperately for them to see that their gender won’t prevent them from seizing life by the collar and shaking it down for every last nickel of its lunch money.

Making their 2012 movie about a princess places Pixar in danger of descending into the trite. I still have faith that Pixar can turn the princess motif on its head, but…

Why does every animated heroine need to be a princess?

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  1. alea said,

    June 11, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

    This article actually bothers me a bit, because it mis-remembers pretty much 90% of the actual Disney movies. Sure, the girl gets saved at the end by a hero in most cases, but with a few rare exceptions (Sleeping Beauty, for instance), the bulk of the movies featuring central female characters are given over to crafty, headstrong women.

    Think about it. Snow White is ousted from the castle early on and what does she do? She organizes and civilizes a bunch of dwarves (who, by the way, are the ones to save her, not the prince). Cinderella’s no princess, is pretty much running the household and, in the end, is saved by the dog, not the prince. Alice isn’t a princess and doesn’t really even get saved (she just wakes up). She does, however, teach that curiosity is a double-edged sword. Jasmine is in control of her own fate and even sees past Jafar more than her dad does. Bianca (of Rescuers fame) is more competent than Bernard and Penny is the one who manages to trick Medusa. Belle is common folk, not interested in being saved from spinsterhood and actually serves more as the savior than the saved. Pocahontas also does the saving. EVE is by far the more active between her and WALLE and much more focused on her goals. And Esmeralda is a prostitute (or as near as Disney lets her get), for heavens sake.

    I guess what I’m saying is I don’t see how these women are not sending self-confidence boosting signals to girls. And, apart from Disney marketing tactics, very few of the movies are actually about princesses.

  2. Jonathan said,

    June 11, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

    You have a very good point, and I stand duly chastised. There’s a lot of good in those movies, though I still regret that most of the female protagonists must passively wait to saved. That’s a big strike against them in my book. And I’m still a little irked that Pixar’s movie will be about a princess.

    However, since watching the Disney movies is inevitable, maybe I’ll try to slyly point out the good that you mention while trying to overlook the bad.

  3. Wayne said,

    June 17, 2009 @ 7:10 am

    I have a friend who is working on the new pixar movie, she is quite excited about it.
    Not just because she is working on it but feels it fills the lack of female roles.

  4. Jonathan said,

    June 17, 2009 @ 7:59 am

    I’m heartened to hear that at least one person at Pixar (and most likely many more) has this in mind.

    I find it interesting that all of the leads in Pixar’s movies have been male given how much respect John Lasseter seems to have for Hiyao Miyazaki who, by contrast, has almost exclusively female leads.

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