Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Word for Teens Blog: Thoughts On: Disney Princesses (And, you know, YA books.)

The Little Mermaid (Two-Disc Platinum Edition) Beauty and the Beast (Five Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy) Sleeping Beauty (Two-Disc Platinum Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo + BD Live) [Blu-ray]

A blog, Word for Teens, had an interesting post last week on Disney Princesses and YA books, titled: Thoughts On: Disney Princesses (And, you know, YA books.). No, there's nothing overly profound but I enjoyed the entry and wanted to share. Essentially she breaks down the Disney Princesses to types and then offers YA books that use the same types of heroines/love stories.

From her introduction:

You know the ones I'm talking about. Snow White. Sleeping Beauty. Jasmine from "Aladdin". Mulan. Belle from "Beauty and the Beast". Ariel from "The Little Mermaid". Rapunzel from "Tangled". Cinderella. Pocahontas.

They all get the happy ending with the guy they love.

And you know what? That's GREAT. But it's the way the princesses themselves fall in love that worries me, not their characters or anything. (Note, however, that Disney doesn't have love triangles. Take a lesson, YA writers.) And you can see how this influences YA writing.

Let me explain.

The most interesting is Little Mermaid which she saves for last.

Obsessive Love
Or, my annoyance with Ariel.

Ariel is a lot of my friend's favorite princess. She's spunky; like Jasmine and Belle, she longs to explore and be somewhere she's not. And she's a red head!

But unlike Jasmine and Belle, when it comes to love, she's a bit of a moron.

Part of her falls under the concept of "love at first sight," which is a concept I loathe. Don't get me wrong - I get instant attraction and the instant feeling that you're going to love someone. That this is "the one."

But Ariel takes that a step further to where most paranormal romances are right now, minus the love triangle. She gives up everything for a man she hasn't even talked to. Yes, part of it is her longing to live on the shore, but that's just an added bonus for this girl - the big thing is getting the guy.

There's more, click through to read it, and it's funny just how many books she pulled to compare to Little Mermaid vs the other princesses, such as Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) and Evermore: The Immortals and Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls) and Sea Change. I also enjoyed it because while I enjoy Little Mermaid as a musical--if you like musicals it's hard not to enjoy Disney's Little Mermaid on that level--I dislike the story and Ariel for many of the reasons discussed here. I wasn't this type of girl, was never this type of girl and don't see myself becoming one. These types of girls annoyed me.

Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) Evermore: The Immortals Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls) Sea Change

And I'm not dissing the HCA version either which has an entirely different message, ending and purpose from the Disney version of his tale. I don't love either version, but I accept HCA's much more easily.

Anyway, I don't have time to delve further into this, but it stuck with me for a few hours after I read it and thus deemed it quite worthy of sharing here on SurLaLune.


  1. Fairy tales and YA lit, two of my favorite things! Thanks for pointing out this post.

  2. I was kind of disappointed that she didn't bring up the original HCA version of The Little Mermaid. Maybe that's what I appreciate with the fairy tale--unlike Ariel, the original little mermaid acts as much if not more from her desire to gain a soul than she does from her fascination with the prince whom she hasn't even spoken to. (Though you can see she wasn't acting entirely selfishly by the ending--there was love there, too. Just maybe not at first.)
    Anyway, thanks for the link! It's certainly gotten me thinking.

  3. Kelsey - that's why it was Disney and not the original story! (If so, I would not have counted Pocahontas. *twitches*)

    And I'm glad you liked the post! :)