When you have a lot of hobbies, you find yourself more bored than anyone who has no hobbies. I have many – I like to write fiction, blog, sew, draw, watch films, listen to music and more – and when I have a day to myself with no plans, I find it impossible to choose something to do and then an hour late run out of motivation to even do anything, resulting in what feels like a wasted day. I’ve been staring at WordPress for the last thirty minutes, watching Pointless on a random digital channel and feeling like I should be doing something more with my life. I should be at work right now in a Mon-Fri 9-5 job but I’m not. I’m part time and at first I loved it, but as it turns out, I’m incredibly bored.
I’ve done a lot of drawing recently, and as you know, I’ve got a real thing for Disney Princesses. They’ve always fascinated me and in this last week I’ve been drawing them and colouring with some nice shiny new Crayola pencils (which are wonderful!). Have a look at these and be nice..
She’s one of Disney’s most beautiful princesses and one of the most iconic with her colour changing dress and luscious blonde locks. Aurora, Briar Rose, Sleeping Beauty, whatever we call her is a Disney princess who girls and boys all across the world have adored and will continue to adore. Regarded as one of Walt’s original three, coming in third after Snow White and Cinderella, Aurora is the epitome of a gracious and flawless princess.
What has been noticed in particular about Aurora when comparing her to her fellow princesses is that she has the least number of lines out of any of them across one film. 18 lines of pure, unadulterated femininity greet our ears and she graces our screens for a whole 18 minutes. But this doesn’t mean that she is any
less important. The original three are quiet, beautiful, graceful and romantic. They dream of more to life and are fixated on that famous prince charming to come and sweep them off their feet. Daintily, they frolic around, they talk to animals, sing pretty songs and believe that kindness and compassion will cure anything evil. To say that they play more of a ‘damsel in distress’ role is accurate; they wait for the prince to rescue them, the actions of others affect their happiness and they’re generally not pro-active. But they have inner strength. They stay true to themselves and prove that resilience and kindness will get you through the hardest of times. Aurora is no different. She lives a cosy life with the three fairies, unknowing that she is a royal and that her aunts are actually magical creatures that can fly, until her 16th birthday when she is given the news (all at once, it’s worth noting) that she is a princess with two parents she never knew about and is betrothed to a man she has never met (or so she thinks..). That’s a lot to take on for a girl who’s lived in the woods for 16 years.
Her reaction when she is dressed in a beautiful princess gown with a golden tiara
on her head and left alone after learning all of this news is to break down crying in front of the mirror. It would be safe to assume that Aurora is a little weakling, but she’s quite the contrary. Her breakdown is normal – heck, I’d probably burst into tears at 16 if I was told that my life had all been a lie. To also be told that you’re betrothed to marry a random prince when you’ve already met a guy in the forest that you quite fancy (conveniently the same man in this) isn’t great news. She’s not been brought up as a princess, so she doesn’t know how to hold in her emotions. She hasn’t been taught how to hold a poker face or how to smile when crumbling from the inside. She shows herself as a normal teenager like any one of us and we can totally relate (except her skin is flawless and her body has clearly already gone through puberty).
It’s a shame that she doesn’t speak more. I’m sure she would be a sassy princess with a lot of opinion given the chance (as we have seen in the wonderfully made up screenshots found on Tumblr and other such websites) but we love her just the same. Her lack of voice is made up for in her singing and she successfully tells us how she’s feeling by dancing through the forest and singing her song, which consequently attracts Prince Philip. I’ve read a lot of stuff online about how it’s not right that she doesn’t speak much, but where she is the main character, the story actually concentrates more on how the three fairies elude Maleficent’s attempts to kill the princess for 16 years. Her quietness does not coincide with her strength, something that we can see very clearly throughout.
Aurora is one of the most loved princesses, and the variations of her character that come out over the years will be ever stronger and perhaps more chatty, but one thing is for sure that there will never be a Sleeping Beauty who beats the original.
The new Cinderella is finally out in the UK and its reception has been magnificent. I have yet to see it, but I’m raring to go, got a sweet spot for Disney Princesses, y’know.
There’s been one thing though, that’s been bugging me until now. Cinderella’s astounding new dress has looked awfully familiar to me and I just haven’t been able to place it. That’s when I spotted a child’s version of the dress on sale in Sainsburys covered in butterflies and flowers and it hit me: Songbird Barbie.
Don’t they look similar?? Takes me right back to being a little five or six year old. Oh, nostalgia.
(There are slight spoilers in this although as if you haven’t seen it already, what is wrong with you? :S)
Yup. Another profound write up of the masterpiece that is Frozen.
Now, I’m just gonna cut the BS and jump straight in here – this film is good. It’s better than good, and there are reasons for it. Believe me, it’s no accident that it’s such a phenomenon, really. It’s clever, funny, romantic, gorgeous to look at…come on, we all know this. The majority of people have seen it. I reckon that figure stands at about 84% of the film-goer population (omg don’t even call me up on that) because it’s Disney. We all know and love (at least one) Disney films. For most of us, they symbolise our childhood and a lot of us look back on them fondly from when we were small children. That’s what the children of today will be doing in ten, twenty, thirty years’ time. But why? Is it because it’s about two beautiful princesses and their magical/snow-filled antics? Or is it about the twist with Hans? Or is it the adorable snowman, Olaf? I think all of these things definitely contribute to why Frozen is as insanely popular as it is, but I think the fact that it is so different and challenging is why kids and adults, and me, love it.
Oh really? Well, knock me down I haven’t heard that before (sarcastically).
I know, right? But it’s so true that it hurts. The most obvious challenge that Frozen gives us is clearly when Elsa says that Anna cannot marry Hans because she’s just met him (which I totally agree with, you go girl) and she stands up for girl power and all that jazz – ‘I don’t need no man’. It’s interesting because an awful lot of Disney princesses do in fact marry a man that they have just met or barely know and this tells it how it is. In this day and age, you probably shouldn’t marry a man you just met because look how many long term relationships end in divorce anyway…she says, cynically. And whilst I have no problem with Snow White darting off with Charming, or Aurora marrying t’old Philip there (I know he risked his life for her and everything but w.e), Frozen is a breath of fresh air. I mean, all we get at the end from Anna and Kristoff is a little kiss and no sign of any sort of marriage preparations. (We all know they’ll get married one day obviously, but the point is they don’t say it explicitly).
There again, Frozen is still about love which is a key factor in most…no all(?) Disney films. Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Robin Hood, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Pocahontas, the list goes on. And on. And on. Even Maleficent is about love, but let’s not talk about that…not a huge fan tbh. Frozen isn’t just about any love, though. Sisterly love, which I can relate to quite strongly and I think that is immensely important. Family is always a constant figure in Disney films, even if someone isn’t with their biological family, they still adopt people into their lives that they rely on and love. Anyhow! Frozen sends the message that maybe family love is stronger than romantic love and is the truest of them all. I mean, look. Even Kristoff doesn’t save Anna or get there in time really. I adore that this kind of true love trumps over romance, even though I am a fan of romance especially when Disney is concerned, because you just don’t see it that strong in other films. Yeah, sure you get films about sisterly love, one that comes to mind is The Parent Trap but Anna literally allows herself to freeze to save Elsa and love is then what consequently thaws everything out. Maybe if her parents had loved her in the first place we wouldn’t even be in this situation but I’m not saying anything……..
Now, I know there are other amazing films out there that represent family values and love and girl power – there are some Disney ones which I’m positive you’re thinking about. Brave, for example, concentrates on a mother-daughter relationship and it is their love that saves the day…and a tapestry. Tangled is all about Rapunzel’s fight against her ‘mother’ for freedom and to live her life. Even though she’s been imprisoned in a tower for eighteen years, she’s still got as much gumption as Flynn Rider, the fugitive. And it’s refreshing to see. Even so, the old Disney princess movies haven’t necessarily been about damsels in distress, shocker. Belle was pretty badass in Beauty and the Beast and then there was Mulan. Now, she’s a whole different kind of topic but she certainly doesn’t need a man to get what she wants. She basically is a man and a woman, so she’s just the boss. But, there are exceptions. Snow White doesn’t really do much and I’m pretty sure Aurora just sleeps for half the movie but I’m still entranced by them, as many other girls and boys are. They’re beautiful – which isn’t a bad thing; people are allowed to be pretty – and they’re elegant. Bonus points as well if they get a man at the end of it all because as much as I would be an independent lady, I still love having the bf around for support and hugs and romantic niceties.
But that’s the thing. Elsa and Anna are gorgeous. Even if Anna maybe isn’t as elegant as our Aurora, she’s still beautiful and wears nice clothes and has nice hair. There isn’t really a princess out there that is seen as glamorous and pretty. I suppose you could argue that Merida from Brave isn’t necessarily made out to be gorgeous because of her tomboyish attitude and her unruly hair and refusal to marry some random suitor at her mother’s request. Yet, here we have Elsa and Anna under similar but opposite circumstances where the character arguing against marriage is sexy, sassy and glamorousand the one for marriage is supposedly clumsy and scatter-brained (yet still pretty). It’s also worthy to say that we never see Anna in a dress made of ice that has a slit up the thigh… But even though Elsa is sexy and sassy, she is still empowered, independent and not in need of a man. Merida is practically a child with crazy hair and long, dark coloured dresses whilst sporting a bow and arrow. Disney is full of contrasts, it has to be said. Which is great, you know of course.
Frozen is great, whether you like the film or not, it is great. It’s clever, there are no two ways about it and it’s really well made. The song, ‘Let it Go’ hit number one almost everywhere I’m pretty sure and everyone is singing it whether they know it or not. What’s important about this film is that it has affected everyone in some way or another and has inspired people to love Disney all over again (although my favourite is Tangled, but that’s a whole other story). There is so much more I could say about this film, I’m pretty prepared to write a 10,000 word dissertation on it and I think I might if I don’t stop.
Frozen is going to be a legend in the years to come and it will stand the test of time forever because of its values, its technology and Olaf.