The most recent Disney movie to be released in cinemas is ‘Frozen’ and already I’ve heard great commentary about it. Hailing it the best Disney movie since ‘Tangled’. I’ve also seen it described as the first Disney movie to show girls that they don’t need a guy to save them, this one’s about ‘sisters before misters’ read one such review.
In other words, it passes the secular feminist test which most of the other Disney movies, especially the originals, don’t.
I must admit that I don’t have any issues with the earlier Disney movies and in fact, my children watch a number of them at home.
What I take issue with is the way that these iconic princesses are now depicted in the Disney Princess range of merchandise. Their come hither looks, sultry expressions and unnatural poses drive me up the wall. Why would someone like Cinderella be depicted in such a way? Anyway, perhaps it’s best if I don’t get started on that…
My daughters love the Disney Princesses. So much so that I made them each a Disney Princess costume. Miss 3 chose Cinderella and Miss 2 chose Rapunzel. You can find a tutorial for these dresses here.
Miss 2 was given ‘The Princess and the Frog’ on DVD for her recent birthday and it has quickly become a favourite in our house. Master 5 and Miss 3 love the trumpet playing alligator and Miss 2 laughs her way through the adventures of the frogs.
And me, well, upon watching the movie I discovered that ‘The Princess and the Frog’ actually gets it right. And by that I mean love, as in real, self-sacrificing love.
I don’t want to spoil the ending for those of you who have not seen this movie but I want to explain what I mean. Basically the two lead characters Prince Naveen and Tiana the waitress, who are of course destined to fall in love, are both avoiding love and marriage in their own ways. He is a spoiled and philandering prince unwilling to settle down and she has her heart set on owning and running her own restaurant and love would only get in the way now.
At the movie’s climax Naveen, realising his love for Tiana, puts her happiness ahead of his own. He acts selflessly, the first time this selfish prince has even done so. “Yes!” I thought watching this with my children, this is how I want them to see real love depicted on screen. Naveen was willing to lay down his life for Tiana – the biblical allusions here made me wonder if one or both of the screen writers was a Catholic, or at least practising Christian – and she, as it turned out, was willing to do the same for him.
As is usually the case in Disney movies, neither of these alternatives proved to be the final one and they were able to marry and live happily ever after. And this time around I can almost see it, not in a magical fairy tale way, but in a willing the good of the other way.
So I will continue to watch this with my children, aside from it being an entertaining movie anyway, because ‘The Princess and the Frog’ really does get this right!
Here in I must say that this movie does feature voodoo magic, but paints it as evil so if you have any issues with magic or its portrayal in films you could watch it without your children first. I have always told my children that magic is not real, and say the same of voodoo but I realise it’s a personal choice so please make your own decision regarding its suitability for your family.
About the Author: I am a reformed perfectionist who is now a stay at home mum with five children under nine years of age. I am a qualified journalist and graphic designer with a decided creative streak, and run a hobby business called Emily Shaw Design + Write. I will attempt most craft activities and love to write about topical - and especially controversial - issues.