There is allegedly a spec script floating around Hollywood called “Princesses,” which has fairy tale princesses teaming up a la the Avengers. It immediately piqued my interest, in both positive and negative ways. I’ll just go with the negative first, since there is far less of that.
I was a Disney fan as a kid. Though I never aspired to be a princess (unless we’re talking about Princess Leia), I certainly loved the films. And yet there was something that bothered me, even as a kid. I wanted to be an actress, an astronaut, a writer, a paleontologist, an anthropologist — and all at once, as young children often do. None of the princesses when I was a kid ended up doing anything other than being the wife of some prince. It wasn’t until I was much older that we got Belle, Elsa, Merida, Mulan, etc. I would have loved them as a kid, but they just weren’t there yet.
Then I thought about the fact that, though I didn’t aspire to be a princess, I did enjoy watching them. I thought about kids I know who love those stories. I thought about my initial reaction to “DC Superhero Girls,” which was, “Why are we separate from the boys?” Then one of the writers told me it was her goal to make sure little girls knew all the female DC superheroes and how empowering they were. I was willing to change my mind.
Looking at the way Disney princesses have changed, I fell in love with this idea. There is something powerful about seeing a character that may once have been weak or who thought only about her prince change into something kick-ass. How cool would it be to see Snow White be something other than a housekeeper for dwarves? The “Sleeping Beauty” story is creepy on its face (read the original sometime; she wakes up pregnant with twins!), but look what the film “Maleficent” did for both characters.
There is no way we’d accept a weak princess anymore. Now we have the amazing Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog.” There’s the Disney version of Pocahontas, who is powerful. (Again, the real story: unpleasant.) We have the new Rapunzel. Emma Watson’s Belle is not just the well-read, strong princess from the animated film. Now we see her teaching other girls to read and not being OK with captivity.
I would love to see these ladies team up and save the world. I’d love to see them change the perceptions of even more little girls. I’d love to see them live up to Princess Leia (though some of them, like Mulan, already do). So, go for it. Bring us a princess Avengers film. Princesses assemble!