Disney Challenge

Disney Challenge: Modern Princesses

January means it’s time for another set of challenges. Get ready for a year of Disney animated movies, starting with the modern princesses!!

Hitting up the modern princesses to start off the year. I think the best part about the more recent royalty is the diversity of the characters and stories. From the bayou to the original settlers, follow along throughout January to learn a little more about the newest additions to the Disney court!

Week 1: The Princess and the Frog

Sad to say I’ve never seen this one before! Which is shocking considering how much I love Cajun food, southern culture, and Jennifer Lewis.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Disney movie without a single-parent household, and a musical score. Dig a Little Deeper is quite catchy, even if the others aren’t. I think it probably suffers from lack of big name voiceover talent—aside from the brilliant Keith David and aforementioned Jennifer Lewis—but New Orleans is such a fabulous backdrop for a movie like this. The bayou, the swamp, the French Quarter, the voodoo overtones, and the fooooood.

I’m going to Tiana’s for dinner.

Week 2: Tangled

I don’t want to say that Tangled is my favorite of the modern princesses because I don’t play favorites…but she totally is.

It’s one of the few I can remember in recent history where the animal sidekicks are anthropomorphized, but yet don’t talk. There’s something to be said for facial expressions in animations, and I think Pascal and Maximus are just fantastic. And even though it still falls into the old “princess requires saving” trope of previous Disney movies, I’d like to think they’re getting better. The music is great—thank you, Mandy Moore—and the supporting cast of outlaws and ruffians are far funnier than you’d expect.

“Your dream stinks, I was talkin’ to her.”

Week 3: Frozen

With the weather being what it is here, there’s no better time to return to Arendelle!!

Frozen definitely ranks high among my favorite Disney movies, especially the modern ones, and holy Idina Menzel, the soundtrack! Everyone loves Let it Go, but Do You Want to Build a Snowman is just my favorite. I always sing along…IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A SNOWMAN.

It’s not without its issues. I don’t understand the inclusion of the troll storyline, or the humans gathering ice at the beginning? And then we never returned to the humans again. Why not combine them and have Anna and Elsa’s parents travel into town for the humans’ help? And don’t get me started on the wanting-to-change-your-man song…

BUT…the twist ending was fantastic. It’s such a turn of the trope to have the princess save herself and her sister, and for the “true love” aspect to be between siblings rather than a dumb prince.

It’s Coronation Day!!

Week 4: Pocahontas

I’m not gonna lie, this one is rough. I wince every time they say “savage” and it feels pretty insensitive all around…

All that aside, I do love the music. It feels like there was a gap before the Disney Renaissance where the music just wasn’t very good. But with the return of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, and now Pocahontas, I think the music really jumped up a notch. I don’t think Pocahontas has as many consistently good songs as the previous four, but I always sing along to Just Around the Riverbend!!

Week 5: Moana

Image result for moana

This is only my second time seeing Moana, which is clearly a mistake on my part!! Music from Lin Manuel Miranda, and a demigod voiced  by the Rock? We know how I feel about him

I’ve clearly mentioned how I like diverting typical Disney tropes, and they do it again here. Moana is already a proven leader within the community, so there’s not the typical “journey to become an adult/leader” story line that you’re used to. Not to mention, the fascinating mythology of the Pacific!!

“If you wear a dress, and you have an animal sidekick…you’re a princess.”

That’s it for January! Hope you all enjoyed this month of Disney movies, now it’s on to February!!