For a short period in my life, I was an expert on Disney Princess Movies, having absorbed them through osmosis as they played on infinite repeat in our living room TV.
My daughter is nine now, so the princess phase is a few years behind us. The Little Mermaid was her favorite, followed by Cinderella. Pocahontas (whom she called Pocawanda for a while) and Mulan were tied for third.
I got to thinking recently about what the message of these movies is, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Cinderella (my favorite), is probably the most misleading of the bunch.
A key tenet of Princess Philosophy is to believe in your dreams. The classic opening song from Cinderella,”A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes”, instructs us:
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true
As much as I love the melody of that song, I can’t really accept the wisdom of the lyrics, which outline what I think of as the Cinderella Strategy.
After all, I believe I can write a great story, but the belief alone doesn’t get it written.
But even worse is the content of her dreams, which is to attend the ball and get her hooks into the Prince by virtue of her good looks and her inner princessly qualities.
Sure, the movie was of its time, and it has many fun songs and sequences. I’m particularly fond of the cat, Lucifer. But for my daughter, the newest Disney Princess is a better model.
Yes, the answer always has been and always will be found in the Star Wars universe: