The Pocket Princesses are indeed fantastic. The artist works for Disney, so that makes them...semi-canon? Potentially canon (since she could pitch it to the higher-ups and there's a non-zero chance they might greenlight an official project)? Anyway...
I figure I might as well give my opinions of the individual Princesses. Keep in mind that I am going only
by the original films
, and not any sequels or other supplementary products.
Snow White: I don't have much of an opinion of her one way or the other. She's hard to get a handle on, but I can forgive Disney if she comes off flat because the movie was basically an experiment. I'm a little surprised that they've never tried to develop her further, though.
Cinderella: I do not like her. At all. Of all the Princesses, she demonstrates the least
initiative and personality—at least Snow made the move to approach the Dwarfs' cottage and basically installed herself as the head of the their household. Cindy does nothing
to drive her own story. The mice do basically all of it for her. Worse, the marketing seems to favor her the most. The castle at Walt Disney World is named after her, she has her own line of fantasy wedding stuff, and her story is supposed to be the
archetypal fairytale romance. *headdesk* The worst part is that one of the writers for the film wanted to make her a stronger character, but was overruled in favor of Incorruptible Pure Pureness
Aurora: While she's hardly any more active than Cinderella, at least she evinces a bit of personality and humor in the few scenes where she has any speaking lines. Or rather, Briar Rose
does, because if you go back over the movie you'll notice that once she puts on the princess gown and becomes Aurora, she doesn't. Say. A word
for the rest of the film. Still, I have a soft spot for her because Sleeping Beauty
is one of the Disney movies I watched the most as a child and for a long time, Aurora was
"beauty" to me. But the marketing really needs to stop depicting her in a pink dress. It was blue for most of its screentime!
Ariel: She's a twit. A likeable enough twit, but still a twit. A teenager, in other words. She's very sympathetic, but I still want to reach into the screen and throttle her sometimes. I see her as a necessary growing pain for the Renaissance-era Disney heroines.
Belle: She is, for lack of a better term, my "personal Princess"—the one I always identified with the most as a fellow bookworm and outcast intellectual. I still consider her one of the best of the lot—the first Disney heroine to demonstrate real courage, self-determination, and responsibility.
Jasmine: A step back from Belle in some ways, but then again she wasn't really the star of the movie. Like Cinderella, she had one writer pushing for a stronger characterization that was overruled. What endears her to me is the line "If I do marry, I want it to be for love." The second half is what everyone remembers, but think about how revolutionary the first half is! A fairytale princess treating the entire question of marriage as a maybe, and 20 years before Merida, no less!
Pocahontas: The whole movie is a mess, and its leads are frankly boring, flattened out under the huge weight of sociopolitical commentary that they are expected to provide. Pocahontas is so busy being a Magical Native American
that she has no time left to be an actual character. We learn plenty about what she doesn't
want—she doesn't want to marry the grouchy brave her father picked out for her, she doesn't want a predictable life—but it seems like there's nothing she does
want until Smith makes the scene.
Mulan: Another of my favorites, and not just because she kicks so much ass. Actually, one of her most endearing traits is her awkwardness at the start of the movie, both when she tries to fulfill the feminine expectations placed on her and when she attempts a masculine presentation. Mulan is the first—and perhaps so far only—Princess whom we see primarily through her own eyes, and not someone else's. We get to see the male lead through her eyes
too, making her the only Princess to date with a confirmed libido.
Tiana: She seems to be the only Princess to have actually made plans for her own life rather than simply waiting for things to happen to her or living in the moment. Unfortunately, I think the writers went a bit too far in the other direction—she's so
focused on her goals, so
dedicated to hard work, and so
sure that she has life figured out, that there isn't much room for her to develop. Loosening up over the course of the movie makes her happier, but it feels like it really happens in order to make her more likeable to other people.
Rapunzel: Boy oh boy, where to start? Punzie is like a brilliant medley of those who have gone before her. Her basic personality is very similar to Ariel's, though her sensibility approaches Belle's. Like Aurora, she was raised in ignorance of her royal heritage. Like Jasmine, she marries a smooth-talking, larcenous commoner. Like Mulan, she's an Action Girl
who undergoes an Important Haircut
. Like Pocahontas, she prefers to go barefoot. (Glen Keane, the leader animator for both of them and Ariel, seems to have a thing for feet. And long, swooshy hair.
) Like Snow White and Cinderella, she is victimized by her surrogate mother. Like Tiana, she actually knows what she wants in life. And on top of all that, she has true power of her own instead of borrowing the power of a magical benefactor. No wonder she's such a popular character.
Merida: I am assuming here that Merida will eventually join the lineup. She was designed with the aim in mind of making her an "anti-Princess"—a heroine who eschews romance and frilly clothes entirely and whose most important relationship is with her (natural) mother—and it shows. She's not a bad character, but it's a little
too obvious what Pixar was doing with her. On top of that, if you're familiar with Mulan she's not that unprecedented. Still, I like her. It warms my heart to see little girls walking around with toy archery sets. And I like that she's not really pretty—adorable, yes, but in a gawkish, childlike way.
EDIT: Apparently I dislike Cinderella so much that I subconsciously forgot to capitalize her name.
edited 21st Nov '12 7:01:08 PM by Karalora