Over a course of some months, I had a series of posts in which I analyzed the Disney princesses. Mostly I was defending them by pointing out the ways in which they are positive role models; I also looked at the ways in which specific characters offered more or less of the various things we might want from role model types. Given that those posts were popular (and I do enjoy talking Disney), now it's time to turn from the girls to the boys. I think that it's important for both girls and boys (and for women and men, for that matter) to see both girls and boys (and women and men) in fiction.
So while it was easy to just do a dozen posts on the twelve official Disney princesses, what am I planning for the Disney menfolk? I've made up my own set of rules. All Disney feature length animated films--no Pixar. Mainly only human characters, but a couple of animal characters made it in, too (The Lion King transcends animal/human and in Robin Hood they're basically just animals playing people, so that works). I've chosen twelve of them to match the twelve Disney princesses and make them both even numbers. No princes from Disney princess movies (though I could easily talk about Philip from Sleeping Beauty, the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, Shang from Mulan, and Flynn Ryder from Tangled), mostly because I don't want to repeat things that I might have already touched on in the other set of posts. The one exception is Aladdin because that movie both is and isn't a princess movie and since it's named after Aladdin instead of Jasmine, it's the perfect subject for this series. (Moana isn't an exception because Moana isn't even considered an official Disney princess, anyway.) And I'm choosing only characters who are the main part of their story and who represent something positive (either their identity or their personal journey).
Here are the films I've chosen: Pinocchio, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book, Robin Hood, The Black Cauldron, Aladdin, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Tarzan, and Moana. I confess that I haven't watched Wreck-It Ralph yet (I kind of thought it was Pixar, and I don't keep up as much with Pixar because I don't usually like Pixar much); I think it will be part of this series, but if I watch it and decide that it doesn't, I'll go with Peter Pan instead (though honestly that wouldn't work perfectly because the film is more about the Darling family than about Peter himself--he's just a symbol, really).
I don't know to what degree I'll be comparing the male characters to the princesses. Going in, I'll have so many different sub-topics that I don't know what will be the main focuses by the time I've finished the series. I'm going to aim to do at least a couple of these a month, possibly more depending on how it goes. So this series could run anywhere from three to six months long.
While you wait for the first post, you can start over again with my Disney Princess Analysis. Click here to read what I had to say about Snow White.
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