Well, well, well. So I came home to this news today. For more I had to head to io9 and Kotaku for their takes.
There is no denying that the Disney brand is HUGE!!! I am sure Walt Disney had no idea it would become what it has today. Disney is a part of so many childhoods (mine included), just like some of the other brands under their wings PIXAR and Marvel to name two. I’m the right generation to have been raised on the Star Wars films too, from memory my parents saw at least one of them on a date night before they were married!
But is Leia a new kind of Disney princess? or have we been looking at Disney Princesses the wrong way all this time.
“Hey! There is no way Leia is like all the other princesses” I hear you shout, but hang on a second. Aren’t all Disney princesses a mix of the damsel in distress and heroine? Personally I think they are. Take Snow White* (the very first Disney Princess). Here is a girl who simply by being pretty has made the Queen hate her so, to save her life she charms the man meant to kill her then braves the forest alone until she finds the dwarves. But still the Queen finds her and tricks her into a sleep to be woken only by true loves kiss. Disneys Snow White is kind and beautiful and cares about those silly little dwarves when no one else did. Yes she is rescued by Prince Charming but its not all smooth sailing on the road to love.
Leia too starts off life as a princess, who then has to work with the men to save the day. Ok I will admit she is definitely more badass than Snow White (but I am putting that down to the 40 year gap between the two films) and she was a respected leader during the rebellion (but I put that down to being raised essentially by the Duke of Edinburgh and the daughter of an elected Queen and Darth Vader). I will also concede that Leia showed her badass chops earlier than modern ones do but again it was the 70s. Maybe Luke should be a Disney princess, a kid who grows up a poor farm boy to find out he is jedi and Naboo royalty**.
The words above come directly from the studio. You cannot deny that they are as true of Leia as they are of Jasmine, Snow, Mulan, Aurora, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Belle and Ariel.
There is no denying that I hope our daughters will be nerd girls. But it would be nice if our nerd daughters could also appreciate that there is magic in this world of ours, and that to believe in the impossible is to be alive. Maybe that is what Disney was trying to tell us all along.
*no letters, I know that the Disney version of all fairytales is weak compared to the originals but my point still stands. ** don’t google that as Naboo royalty is elected so the story is very long and complicated, ekk!