E07 -

Since “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was released in 1937, princess characters have won the hearts of many generations of young girls. But, do these stories still resonate with today’s children?

Hosts
Landry Ayres
Senior Producer
Guests

Haley Victory Smith is an editorial fellow with the opinion section at USA TODAY. She is an alum of the National Journalism Center and a nationally ranked collegiate speech competitor. She is also a Young Voices contributor. A recent graduate of Concordia University Irvine, Haley has earned a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Thought and has also spent time studying Russian politics at the University of Oxford.

Brittany is a senior writer for the Foundation for Economic Education. Additionally, she is a co‐​host of Beltway Banthas, a podcast that combines Star Wars and politics. Brittany believes that the most effective way to promote individual liberty and free‐​market economics is by telling timely stories that highlight timeless principles. Her work stands out primarily because it is so diverse and has included everything from reviewing Jay-Z’s latest album through an economic lens to liveblogging each chapter of F.A. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. In addition to providing regular content to FEE, Stand Together, and the Center for Individualism, Brittany’s work has appeared in Business Insider, Zero Hedge, Newsweek, Real Clear Markets, and Mises Wire.

Madeline Fry is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner. She has contributed to the Federalist, the Heartland Institute, National Review online, and Philanthropy magazine. She studied French and journalism at Hillsdale College.

The world we live in has changed dramatically since Snow White first hit theaters in 1937. What society expects of women has changed and will continue to change. Disney has tried to evolve it’s princess stories as society has evolved, but have they been successful?

Do young girls still resonate with Disney princesses? Are Disney princesses heroines or damsels in distress? Are any princesses independent?

Transcript

[music]

00:04 Natalie Dowzicky: Welcome to Pop & Locke. I’m Natalie Dowzicky. As a young child, for seven Halloween nights in a row, my costumes all had a theme. My grammy spent countless hours sewing together fabulous dresses, and some years my mom ruined my costume by making me wear sweat pants for warmth under my gowns. I was always a princess. I was even my favorite Disney princess two years in a row, and I’m still not ashamed of it. In 1937, when Snow White hit theaters, childhoods changed forever. In the studio today, to discuss Disney’s colossal and fabulous Princess franchise is Washington Examiner’s cultural writer, Madeline Fry.

00:40 Madeline Fry: Hi.

00:40 Natalie Dowzicky: Editorial fellow at USA Today, Haley Victory Smith.

00:44 Haley Victory Smith: Hello.

00:44 Natalie Dowzicky: And senior writer at the Foundation for Economic Education, Brittany Hunter.

00:48 Brittany Hunter: Good morning.

00:49 Natalie Dowzicky: Let’s jump right in. So Disney has three, let’s call them eras of princesses: The golden era was Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, the original three, most people refer to them as, or trilogy; The renaissance era with Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, and Mulan, some of my personal favorites; and the modern era with Tiana, Rapunzel… I always mess this one up, Merida?

01:13 Madeline Fry: Merida.

01:14 Natalie Dowzicky: Merida. And unofficially, Anna and Elsa, and Moana, my favorite. But let’s take a step back. Can anyone tell me what is a princess?

01:23 Brittany Hunter: In Disney terms, this is confusing ’cause I would not consider Mulan a princess, to be honest with you. I was kind of… Not confused, but a little bit surprised to hear you say that, because she was one of the few that was not a princess. I always think of Jasmine being the stereotypical princess or even Ariel, because she was an actual princess. But we’ve just started using that interchangeably for females in the Disney kingdom. So that’s a good question I don’t know the answer to.

01:46 Natalie Dowzicky: So what would you describe as a princess, then?

01:49 Haley Victory Smith: Disney princesses are whatever Disney wants them to be.

[laughter]

01:54 Haley Victory Smith: I’m not one of those people that’s as big of a Star Wars nerd as I am. I’m not one of those people who insists that Princess Leia needs to be added to the princess canon. She is not a cartoon princess, she does not get to be a part of the canon. But, I don’t know. Yeah, there are several princesses that are not really princesses or aren’t princesses until they marry a prince. So I don’t know, it’s whatever.

02:19 Natalie Dowzicky: I also wonder. Do you think Disney sits down and has a meeting about, “Okay, this is where you get to lobby what can be officially called a Disney princess.” Because from the research I was doing, apparently Elsa and Anna haven’t made official Disney princess status yet.

02:37 Haley Victory Smith: I don’t think so.

02:38 Haley Victory Smith: Really?

02:40 Natalie Dowzicky: No, they haven’t. So when you look up Disney’s lineup, and they put all the princesses on the same nice little picture that no one can copyright because they own everything…

02:51 Haley Victory Smith: Yes, yes, yes.

02:53 Natalie Dowzicky: They don’t include Elsa and Anna, and they don’t include Moana yet. But that could also be because their stories are still unfolding, right?

03:00 Haley Victory Smith: Isn’t there an induction ceremony? Isn’t that what happens? I feel like this is a thing.

03:04 Natalie Dowzicky: Probably, yes.

03:05 Haley Victory Smith: It wouldn’t… Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me.

03:08 Haley Victory Smith: It’s like a parade.

03:09 Natalie Dowzicky: Would you all define princesses, Disney princesses, specifically ’cause they basically defined the princess brand, as heroines or damsels in distress?

03:20 Brittany Hunter: Heroines, unless we’re talking early, the earlier ones, Cinderella, Snow White, and that just reflects the culture, right? That was a little bit more of, “I need this prince to come save me.” In my era, when I was five or six, when Beauty and the Beast came out when Little Mermaid came out, that’s where you saw them being a little bit more independent and you saw them reading, or not wanting to be princess in Jasmine’s case. So it’s shifted a little bit over the years.

03:41 Natalie Dowzicky: I think, too, bouncing off of that idea is, like you said, we’ve come a really, really long way from the first princess, that was a gorgeous teenager who literally just did chores and cleaned up for seven men who were all over the place. So we’ve come a long away from that. And I think also that Disney might have taken a little bit of heat for always making the princesses damsels in distress. Do you think that type of heat is warranted? Should Disney care?

04:11 Madeline Fry: Yeah, I think so. I think that they… Like you were saying, they started portraying the women as they always need a prince to save them. And then slowly, they went through an era where it was a little bit of both. And then you have some Disney princesses who are just heroines, and they don’t have to have anyone save them. I think that’s probably why you like Moana a lot, as she is just very empowered and she doesn’t need anybody to help her. But obviously, it’s a story and there are supporting characters and everything. But she very much is the… She controls her own narrative, which is really cool. But I think Disney realized that for a long time there were a lot of women who were watching the Disney princesses and saying, “This is not the most feminist thing.” And they probably respond to that a little bit from a sense of, “Oh, this will make more money if we make our characters more empowered.” But it’s also a good thing.

04:57 Haley Victory Smith: Yeah. Okay. I wanna push back on this just a little bit. I think that the stories have evolved as society has evolved. I don’t know that there was anyone… Even though it does differ based on the era, but each of these stories, it is not just… Even I would say this about Snow White, is not just about, “Oh, this damsel in distress that needs saving.” Each of these Disney princess stories, at its heart, is this great adventure tale, where the girl, she goes out and she has this great adventure. And it’s a coming‐​of‐​age story for each one of these classic fairy tales. And that’s the other thing we have to keep in mind, too, is that these are retellings, albeit changed retellings of classic fairy‐​tale stories. And, of course, they have evolved over time, but so has society, and I just think it’s not… The original stories, which I don’t think you guys were saying, the original stories are not unworthy because they were maybe less quote‐​unquote feminist than the newer stories if that makes sense.

06:07 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah. And we also have to remember that a lot of these stories, like you were just hinting at, aren’t Disney originals, so to speak. So a lot of them come from the Brothers Grimm, which, as original tales, as original fairy tales, are extremely dark.

06:22 Haley Victory Smith: Horrifying.

06:23 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, extremely dark, and not something that you would really ever want on film or portrayed to a childhood audience. And I think Disney when it first started its princesses: One, it had no idea, especially not in 1937, had no idea it was going to become the massive industry it is today. Something online… There was guesses online that Disney Princess merchandise alone is a $5.5 billion industry, which is not surprising. But how many… Yeah.

[laughter]

06:56 Natalie Dowzicky: We have a little creature sitting on our table.

06:58 Haley Victory Smith: We have a friend.

07:00 Natalie Dowzicky: From Tangled.

[chuckle]

07:02 Haley Victory Smith: So I have a stuffed Pascal sitting on my bed at home and he was beckoning to come with me today, so I decided to bring him along. The viewers… The listeners cannot see him but I’m sure they can sense his aura.

07:16 Haley Victory Smith: Yeah.

07:16 Natalie Dowzicky: We’ll post a picture of it, too.

07:17 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah. And another element that you didn’t mention, too, that these Disney stories tend to have is, it’s always the movie’s main character, most of the time, not in all of them, is the princess, and except for Jasmine case, she’s not, in theory, the main character, but then again, the movie is called Aladdin. So I don’t know if we can really fault them for that. But they always have these cute sidekicks, and they’re always going on this wild adventure. And part of the reason that the Golden Era Princesses are looked at as not really resonating with the crowd today or with the young girls today is partially because they were made in a different time, right? How women were viewed in that time period is a reflection maybe in those movies, but girls today aren’t gonna understand that ’cause that’s not the world they are currently growing up in. You’re giving me a look here, you don’t think that…

08:14 Haley Victory Smith: Okay, well I don’t wanna dominate this part of the conversation…

08:16 Natalie Dowzicky: No, you’re fine.

08:18 Haley Victory Smith: But I don’t… I think that girls still resonate with those early stories. We all grew up playing princesses, right? Like on the playground at school.

08:29 Natalie Dowzicky: Exactly.

08:29 Haley Victory Smith: Absolutely. I think they still resonate because I do believe that there is something inherent to the heart of women that desires to see the best in men. Okay, the desire to be rescued by a man is not a wrong desire, I just don’t think there’s anything inherently bad about that. Of course, that shouldn’t be like, “Oh, we’re just gonna have men solve all our problems for us,” or, “We’re not gonna learn to take care of ourselves,” but I think that it is an inherently human thing to have that desire. We always played Kidnapper and Rescuer on the playground, and I think little girls still play those games. Maybe they don’t resonate quite as much, but I think some of that might have to do more with the graphic and visual elements of older films than it does necessarily with the stories themselves.

09:23 Brittany Hunter: And I think what you’re explaining is, Carl Jung, talks about archetypes, the Jungian archetypes, and that’s what you’re talking about. There is a female archetype that plays a role in all of our minds, whether or not we realize it or not. I disagree with John Locke in this aspect, we’re not blank slates, we come with certain codes, with certain inherent codes. And Joseph Campbell, a lot, talked about a Hero’s Journey, and that plays into these Jungian archetypes. So the reason that we do still resonate with these is because that does play a role in us as women, and, for me, I don’t necessarily… Well, not necessarily, I’ve never called myself a feminist, so I tend to resonate with the older stories even more than I do with someone like Elsa, who I just don’t really understand.

10:00 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah.

[laughter]

10:02 Haley Victory Smith: Yeah, so angsty.

10:02 Brittany Hunter: So that’s something that I can agree with.

10:03 Madeline Fry: I think what was so brilliant about Disney doing Elsa and Anna in the Frozen series is they wanted to say, “Oh, we have this woman who doesn’t need a man.” But everyone also still wants to see one of their characters end up with a guy. So they have the two women, one gets to be the empowered one, that’s what they want, and the other one gets to fulfill what people actually still do wanna see in a movie.

10:22 Haley Victory Smith: It’s true. So, there’s this book called Captivating, really great book, written by John and Stasi Eldredge… I think it’s John Eldredge, yeah. And it talks about of the heart of women, and what do women desire at their… Depths of their soul, “What do women want?” And there is this really interesting quote that Stasi writes, I’m not gonna read the whole thing, but she says, “Before doubt and accusation take hold, most little girls sense they have a vital role to play; they want to believe there is something in them that is needed and needed desperately.” That they desire to play this irreplaceable role in a great adventure. And that’s what little girls want and that is demonstrated in all of these Disney Princess films. I don’t think there’s a single exception to that.

11:09 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, I would agree with that, too, and part of it is that Disney, let’s call it, they have accentuated that adventure in the more recent films, so they’ve made it more apparent rather than Sleeping Beauty falling asleep and…

11:21 Haley Victory Smith: Yes, having only…

11:21 Madeline Fry: She’s the one that maybe…

[overlapping conversation]

11:26 Natalie Dowzicky: I read something somewhere, that in that whole movie she only has 18 lines or something.

11:32 Madeline Fry: Yes. Yeah.

11:32 Haley Victory Smith: And they’re dull lines, there’s nothing remarkable about anything she says.

11:35 Natalie Dowzicky: Right, so Disney has done an exceptional job at accentuating that adventure or that need for adventure, whether it’s Ariel feeling that she has to get out of her world and has to go see other things and doesn’t wanna be like the rest, which, I think independence is a core part of all these Disney Princess movies. But do you think… Or I’m interested in your guys take on which princesses are independent, and why do you think that way?

12:06 Brittany Hunter: I think they all are like you were saying, even Snow White had to go out and do her own thing. It gets back to, like I said, the Joseph Campbell Hero’s Journey thing, about leaving the tribe or leaving where it is you came from. Jasmine was a stand out to me because here you have somebody who’s born into privilege, who has everything, and she doesn’t want it, and that’s unheard of for young girls who think, “I wanna be a princess, I wanna marry a prince.” She does not wanna marry a prince, she wants to go out and make her own in the world. That doesn’t end up happening exactly how she wants it, but that was huge for me as a seven‐​year‐​old watching that because I thought all I wanted was to be a princess, and here you have somebody who wants more.

12:41 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah. I was the same when I was little, I thought I was gonna be a princess, and when I went to Disney World, I wanted to dress up and go get signatures from all the princesses, an integral part of my childhood. But at the same time, when I was watching it at that age, my memory is fuzzy, but I more looked at the story arc than I did about the actual characters and the agency or independence they were showing. And some of the stories, more recently especially, show that women can be independent, have strong and fierce attitudes, and they’re more than just the focus, and well, if we’re going back to Frozen 2, it’s… You don’t like Frozen?

[laughter]

13:27 Haley Victory Smith: Not the best.

13:28 Brittany Hunter: I’m not a fan of Frozen, either.

13:29 Madeline Fry: Oh, I love Frozen.

13:30 Madeline Fry: Yeah. Okay, thank you.

13:32 Natalie Dowzicky: I’m just bitter about it because, in many ways, it dethroned my favorite Disney film, which is Tangled. And it gets just…

13:40 Madeline Fry: Tangled is better.

13:41 Haley Victory Smith: Overshadows Tangled, and Tangled is the quality film. Sorry I get a little passionate about this stuff.

13:46 Natalie Dowzicky: I’m sorry.

13:47 Brittany Hunter: I don’t think I’ve ever even seen Tangled ’cause I just like Frozen. But also, I’m…

13:51 S?: For shame!

13:51 Brittany hunter: I’ve got some years on both of you, so I think that’s probably why.

13:55 Madeline Fry: Fair enough.

13:56 Haley Victory Smith: Still enjoy it. That’s your homework, go home and watch that. Homework.

13:57 Brittany Hunter: Yeah. Okay, I’ll have to watch it. Yes.

13:58 Madeline Fry: Yeah.

14:00 Natalie Dowzicky: So what I was gonna say is, in Frozen, particularly, there’s this element of, Elsa is not ashamed to hide what makes her special. And I know that sounds odd, but she has these powers that, at first, she hides with gloves and all of that good jazz, and then she was like, “No, wait, this could actually be good, if I can hone my skills,” so to speak, “With my magical frost.” But I think that was the first time, at least I’ve seen, in a Disney princess movie where they weren’t hiding what made them special and made… And it forces us to think about how independent Elsa is. Now Anna, it’s interesting to contrast them, though, because Anna is very not confident in herself and is very worried about keeping her relationship with her sister. And the romance in this story, so to speak, is sisterhood, not necessarily damsel‐​in‐​distress type romance, and I just think it’s interesting. Did you guys find any other instances where any of the princesses really exhibited agency or a strong sense of independence?

15:09 Madeline Fry: I think in Mulan, she goes through this experience that Elsa does, and it takes her longer, almost the whole movie, that she has to hide who she is, that she’s a woman, but she’s in combat, fighting so that she can save her dad. And she’s doing this for her family. But it’s not until the end that she’s able to reveal who she is, and then also has earned the trust of people that she’s come to know, and is able to save the day. So she gets to have both in the end, but it takes her longer, and that that’s really interesting to watch that process. Which for Elsa also, she leaves early in the movie, but then there’s still a conflict there, and then finally she’s accepted at the end.

15:46 Brittany Hunter: I feel like Belle is a good example of this, too, in a different way, in that… And this comes from my own experience, where it was hiding intellect, “Oh, I don’t wanna be smart ’cause the boys aren’t going to like me.” And here you have Gaston, who thinks she’s beautiful but thinks it’s really silly that she would read a book with no pictures. And so she’s… Belle’s not necessarily wanting to hide it, she’s always been more fiercely independent than other Disney princesses may have been in the beginning. But there’s this feeling of, “Oh, no, there is somebody who’s going… ” Just like she had to learn to love The Beast for who he was, The Beast loved her, even though she was a woman with her own brain. So there’s a little bit of that going on there.

16:20 Haley Victory Smith: Of all of these films, in my opinion, the one that you could maybe argue as the least feminist is The Little Mermaid, in a certain way, because she gives up her voice to…

16:32 Madeline Fry: Yep.

[chuckle]

16:33 Haley Victory Smith: It’s like a feminist… What their horror nightmare scenario could dream up for a princess story, this would be it. Gives up her voice to chase a man she barely knows. And then the worst part is they have to kiss for her to get her voice back. It’s just a whole thing. But the interesting thing about this is that in the end, she does have to give up her life in the sea in order to be with Prince Eric. And that was something that I didn’t consider until adulthood, I mean I’d thought of this as a kid, but that she doesn’t get to have both. And so it’s that idea of leaving the tribe, right? That in the end, she ultimately does have to sacrifice something in order to have her fairy‐​tale ending, it’s actually one of the few… Although Disney doesn’t really highlight this fact, is one of the few Disney films where the character, in the end, doesn’t actually get to have it all, she does have to compromise a little bit.

[music]

17:42 Natalie Dowzicky: It’s interesting you bring that up, ’cause I had written a question about, is there an issue or a problem with stories always ending with, “And then they lived happily ever after.”

17:51 Brittany Hunter: Yes and no. Yes, because that’s not life, right? And as somebody who has been married and divorced, I can tell you that’s not what happens. But the interesting thing about that is that’s what we wanna see in a story. We want to see the happy ending because life is hard, life is suffering. We don’t want that portrayed, we want to go home at the end of seeing this movie and think, “Okay, there’s some good in the world, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.” And that that’s really important for us, especially as young kids. Otherwise, we’re gonna be set up for failure and disappointment.

18:18 Brittany Hunter: Yeah, you don’t wanna tell your eight‐​year‐​old, “Life sucks, sorry.”

18:21 Madeline Fry: Yeah.

18:23 Natalie Dowzicky: “Sorry.”

18:25 Haley Victory Smith: I think kids realize pretty quickly that life is not going to be all unicorns and rainbows. I, as a kid, so between the ages of seven and eight, so within the course of a year, I had three grandparents pass away. So I experienced quite a bit of grief at a very early age. I get a little frustrated when Hollywood elites, and as someone who studied in Southern California, I think I could say that, Hollywood elites, when they tell me what real life is, “How do you know what real life is?” You do, but not real, real life. And I just don’t know that… I think you’re exactly right. When we come to the movie theaters, we want to see movies that end well. Oftentimes, if I knew a movie is going to end poorly and I’m gonna be sad, I don’t watch it. I had times growing up where I asked my mom to watch a movie before I did so that if it ended badly I didn’t have to watch it, ’cause I just have no desire to put myself through that.

19:23 Madeline Fry: Did you guys see Into the Woods?

19:23 Brittany Hunter: Yes, I’m a Broadway theater, or a musical theater enthusiast, so that’s… Yeah.

19:34 Madeline Fry: I was thinking about that, though, I didn’t really like it because I hadn’t seen it on Broadway, but I saw the Disney adaptation, which came out in 2014. And I think it’s really interesting to watch as an adult. But I would see kids in the theater and I would think, “Why would you take your kid to see this?” ‘Cause it basically takes all of these fairy tales, and then Prince Charming cheats on Cinderella, and it’s just very sad, and it’s not the kinda thing you wanna see as a child. The point is there are no happy endings, really.

19:57 Haley Victory Smith: Right. It’s closer to the original stories than it is to the Disney versions, which, I think, are a product of capitalism. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, it’s probably a good thing that these classic fairytales were transformed into these classic stories. The film that made me really mad recently was La La Land. La La Land did not need to end poorly, folks. They could have had a happily ever after, and they didn’t, and I’m still bitter about it, and that’s why I’ve only seen it once.

20:27 Natalie Dowzicky: I don’t think there’s necessarily a problem like you were saying, from an entertainment standpoint, “And they lived happily ever after,” is a heartwarming feeling, right?

20:37 Madeline Fry: Yes.

20:38 Natalie Dowzicky: And no one wants… Yes, I do go to movies that make me scared or cry whatever, but that’s not what I’m expecting from a Disney Princess movie, you know what I mean? I go to forget reality for a little bit. And then this next Disney movie, it’s going to end in death.

20:52 Madeline Fry: Yeah.

20:52 Natalie Dowzicky: So you go in with the expectation that you’re not gonna have the same feelings you would have if you went to go see The Conjuring.

20:58 Brittany Hunter: Or Joker. Right.

21:00 Natalie Dowzicky: So part of it is in keeping with the legacy of the story arc, in general. But do you think, going back to what you were saying, interesting, about the Hollywood elite. The Hollywood elite or even a lot of stars, in general, seem to give very strong opinions towards our older Disney Princess films, and older Disney films in general. Some have said, I’m blanking on which actress had said this, wasn’t letting her children watch The Little Mermaid.

21:29 Brittany Hunter: Yes, this just happened.

21:30 Haley Victory Smith: Yeah.

21:31 Natalie Dowzicky: So, this was recently, and there’s been a few other actresses who have said that partially just because of the… Like you were saying, at the very core, this is the story’s message. But do you think that is okay, and do you think Disney should care?

21:45 Brittany Hunter: I think it’s absurd, and this is coming from someone… I don’t even want kids, I’m not even like somebody who’s like, “Oh my goodness, think of the children,” and like I said, I’m not a feminist, but just let your kids watch the movie. You’re not going… They’re not going to be completely switched over to some right‐​wing political philosophy or something because Ariel has to kiss a guy to break the spell. So people like having a cause, this is the main problem with Hollywood elites. People love to get outraged, and they love to have a cause, and now that we have… Elsa’s such a radical juxtaposition from Ariel, that you have these, “Okay, this is better for my lifestyle, and people are gonna get angry no matter what.” But I think it’s so absurd.

22:23 Madeline Fry: On the flip side, I was not, really, I was sort of allowed to watch The Little Mermaid, growing up. I had a very… Grew up in a very conservative household, and she wore a bikini.

22:34 Natalie Dowzicky: Yes.

22:35 Madeline Fry: Oh, yes.

[laughter]

22:35 Madeline Fry: And she was very rebellious to her… And disrespectful to her parents.

22:37 Natalie Dowzicky: Interesting. Oh, that is right, yeah, ’cause she runs away. Yeah, yeah.

22:41 Madeline Fry: Yeah. So I did end up watching it, and it didn’t… I’m okay today, so I think any of the Disney films are totally fine to show to your kids, but some of them you may wanna have a conversation about. “Oh, should they have done this thing? How could it have been better?” And that’s a way to participate in the culture, and then also be able to evaluate these stories that we tell each other.

23:00 Natalie Dowzicky: And going down that road, so a majority of our Disney Princesses are flawless, they’re young, their originals are all white, abnormally thin. I’ve seen those dolls that I’ve tried to… If you took the animation and put it into real life, what the person would actually look like. And is there a message that sends to young girls? Do you think representation matters in these types of movies?

23:23 Brittany Hunter: I don’t. And I think we forget that Jasmine was ahead of her time.

23:25 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh yeah, she was.

23:25 Brittany Hunter: Jasmine was not a white princess, and nobody seems to remember that. It goes like, “Oh, blonde princesses.” Haven’t had a blonde princess in a while, by the way, aside from Elsa. But it’s the same as they would say with Barbies and with the happily ever after. We’re not going… We’re not escaping or playing pretend or seeing these movies to reinforce what’s going on in real life, that’s not the purpose of entertainment.

23:45 Natalie Dowzicky: They’re fairytales.

23:46 Brittany Hunter: They’re fairy tales. And I don’t… I’m just gonna be blunt, I don’t want to see somebody who isn’t necessarily beautiful representing a Disney princess. I wanna go in for two hours, think everything is great, and there is even a comfortable conflict, it’s nothing where someone’s gonna die at the end unless it’s the bad guy. I like going and seeing beauty on screen, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

24:07 Haley Victory Smith: So, I have a friend who has an adopted little girl from India, and she, from a very early age, gravitated towards dolls that looked like her, and she wanted toys that looked like her, which makes sense. Little girls like to see themselves represented. When we played Disney princesses in school, I don’t know about y’all, but for us, most of the time, you played the Disney princess that you looked like, you had the same hair color as. No, you can’t be this princess ’cause you don’t look like them. And that’s just something that I think is really integral to this. I also think, particularly on The Little Mermaid, there’s the new film coming out where… I’m forgetting the name of the actress but…

24:54 Brittany Hunter: She was in The Greatest Showman, right? Isn’t it that…

24:57 Haley Victory Smith: No, no, it’s not Zendaya. It’s not Zendaya, it’s a different actress.

25:00 Madeline Fry: She and her sister are singers, but I can’t remember her name.

25:02 Haley Victory Smith: Yes.

25:02 Madeline Fry: Yeah.

25:03 Haley Victory Smith: Regardless of who it is, she is African American. And I am actually really excited about this. And the reason is because she… So, there’s extreme disparities in the United States among accidental… Victims of accidental drowning and this is one of the top causes of death for children in the United States. And so, in African American communities, particularly because they were not allowed in public pools for so long, or were segregated, there are lots of people in the black community who never learned how to swim, and so their children subsequently didn’t learn how to swim either.

25:43 Brittany Hunter: It’s fascinating.

25:44 Haley Victory Smith: Yeah, it’s really interesting stuff. And I am hopeful that with this new film, there will be lots of little black girls out there who see her and decide, “I wanna learn how to swim,” and maybe ask their parents, “Can I get swimming lessons this summer?” ‘Cause I always played like mermaids in the pool in the summer when I was a kid, and I’m hopeful that that will be something that’s encouraging to other young girls.

26:08 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah.

26:08 Natalie Dowzicky: So well, part of it is, too, all of us sitting here, we all look like some of the princesses that exist, right? So there’s a little bit of inherent bias in that. So I agree with Haley, in the sense that I like to… I think It’s important that there’s representation in the sense that little girls can look and see, “Oh, that could be me because she looks like me, or because she talks like me, or… ” That is extremely important. So from an entertainment’s perspective, like Moana is a great example of this. First Polynesian princess. I also love the music in that movie.

26:45 Brittany Hunter: It’s by Lin‐​Manuel Miranda, right? Hamilton.

26:45 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah.

[chuckle]

26:45 Natalie Dowzicky: Loved it. Love it. And that was the first… Well, Tiana didn’t do as well in the theaters, Princess and the Frog, Moana certainly did better. I think it was the first time that little girls saw a princess that wasn’t thin, that was just normal stature…

27:03 Haley Victory Smith: Yes.

27:03 Natalie Dowzicky: Average. When I say average‐​looking, she’s still beautiful, but average.

27:07 Madeline Fry: She’s realistic.

27:08 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, she’s realistic. And that’s what’s important, is like if… I agree that, from an entertainment standpoint, it’s great to see someone that’s beautiful, but I think we need to be realistic about that beauty, right? And I don’t think… Just like we’re having that conversation with what a model should look like, and how that shows women or females, and how it’s grossly affecting the way girls feel about themselves, especially at a young age, I think it’s important that we’re realistic in our representation, ’cause there are some like… I am not… There are some movies like… We were talking about this in the Star Wars episode, too, that there are strong fan bases that think that certain movies should look a certain way. So the Star Wars fan base is a great example of this because there are Stars Wars fans sector that doesn’t think that women or females should be Jedi. And we were talking about, we are… Yeah…

28:00 Brittany Hunter: Oh dear.

28:02 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah.

28:02 Madeline Fry: Anyway, so, sorry.

28:03 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, yeah.

28:03 Natalie Dowzicky: I think it’s important that movies like this, and especially movies that are geared towards females, Disney princesses has female written all over it, that there’s accurate representation.

28:14 Madeline Fry: Yeah, representation really does matter. And people… Conservatives don’t like to say that, people on the right don’t like to say that because they think that means, “Oh, identity politics,” or something. But it’s not about hitting quotas, it’s just about telling stories about people who are gonna be listening to those stories and watching those movies. And it’s important also, Disney has been able to have a lot of non‐​white actresses, who may not have been able to have roles in the Disney franchise because they have had characters like Jasmine and Mulan and Moana, who they specifically were looking for, like an unknown, a new, young actress.

28:49 Madeline Fry: My hobby horse about this is, more realistic hair expectations from the Disney films.

[laughter]

28:56 Haley Victory Smith: Now, this is coming from someone who… Rapunzel is my favorite princess, but here’s the thing that’s unrealistic about her hair. It is not the length, it is the thickness, okay? So when you look at her hair, it’s like it takes up her whole head, her braid does not taper, it is one thickness, and that… It just… It’s very unrealistic and makes me very sad. So yeah, more realistic hair expectations for Disney.

29:23 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah. And jumping off of what Madeline said as well, I think that if we’re… Disney should… I don’t want Disney to participate in tokenism. So I don’t want it to be, “Okay, we had our one Polynesian princess, now we’re gonna have our one… And we’re gonna just move down the line.”

29:41 Haley Victory Smith: Yes. Yeah.

29:41 Natalie Dowzicky: I would rather them pick the best actress, right? And if… I suspect it has happened for the live‐​action remake of Little Mermaid. They had all of these people get interviews and get auditions. And they picked the best actress. Yes, the public outcry was a little bit unsettling, to be honest. But I would like to see the best actress for the best entertainment, not… ‘Cause in our mind, yes, I know the Little Mermaid has red hair, and that’s just something I’ve seen because that’s one I have been seeing since I was seven years old. But I think it doesn’t matter, they’re telling the story and we’re still gonna get a good story out of it and we’re still gonna have the good actress. So it doesn’t matter, anyone can be put into this role.

30:26 Brittany Hunter: It’s funny you say that because when the live‐​action Beauty and the Beast came out, I was a little mad because she was not a real brunette, because, as a little girl, that was my thing, right?

30:34 Haley Victory Smith: Yeah.

30:34 Brittany Hunter: As Belle was a brown‐​haired, like, “Bring it on!” And then you had, Emma Watson.

30:39 Natalie Dowzicky: Emma… Oh, I love her, though.

30:40 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah.

30:41 Brittany Hunter: And she’s wonderful. She’s not a singer, she should never have been allowed to sing.

30:44 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh, well yeah.

30:44 Brittany Hunter: But she’s somebody who’s blondish, and I’m thinking like, “This is not my Disney princess.” And I don’t know that she was necessarily the right one for the role. But Little Mermaid excites me, because, again, like you said, the singing talent is what excites me, is I’m like, “Okay, this person’s going to do a really great portrayal.”

30:58 Haley Victory Smith: Did you see the doll that they created for Emma Watson?

31:01 Natalie Dowzicky: No.

31:01 Haley Victory Smith: It was horrifying.

31:04 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh, I did not see that.

31:04 Haley Victory Smith: I saw it at Disneyland, and it was so bad, I don’t know how that got approved, but anyway, side note.

[music]

31:14 Natalie Dowzicky: Alright, so I have some… I pulled out some quotes from some of the movies. And I just wanted to get your feedback/​if you remember these quotes being said, and if…

31:25 Haley Victory Smith: Pop quiz.

31:26 Natalie Dowzicky: No. We have trivia later. We couldn’t have done this episode without trivia.

31:29 Haley Victory Smith: Yes.

31:31 Natalie Dowzicky: Okay. So in Aladdin, Jasmine says, “How dare you, all of you, standing around deciding my future, I am not a prize to be won.” So does that surprise you that came out of that movie?

31:41 Haley Victory Smith: No.

31:42 Natalie Dowzicky: It doesn’t, why?

31:42 Brittany Hunter: At that year, no.

31:42 Madeline Fry: No? Yeah.

31:44 Madeline Fry: So, I was doing a little bit of research on Jasmine, ’cause she’s one of my favorites. And apparently, they had originally written her as bratty, and then they were like, “Oh no, wait, that’s a terrible idea, she needs to be this strong, empowered woman.” And that’s what she ended up becoming, which, they take that even a step further in the new live‐​action remake if you’ve seen that. But she was definitely a product of the ‘90s, is when the film came out, is that female empowerment, she wants to take control of her own life kind of thing.

32:13 Natalie Dowzicky: And like we mentioned earlier, she’s the only one that doesn’t necessarily want to be a princess, it’s forced upon her, which is interesting because all the little girls watching wanna be her. So, the next one I had was, in Moana, Maui, who is obviously not Moana, who’s The Rock, says, “If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess.” So do you think they played a little… Were they playing a little bit funny at the more traditional princess movies, ’cause remember, Moana is convinced she’s not a princess, she’s a great adventurer, she’s this sailor… Learning to be a sailor. And she has this cool sidekick Hei Hei, he’s a chicken, it’s funny.

[laughter]

33:00 Natalie Dowzicky: And he’s always trying to drown himself. But how do you think that… Is Disney making fun of their own stereotype?

33:05 Brittany Hunter: Absolutely, which… Good for them, that’s just a good marketing ploy because you’re appeasing people who maybe didn’t hate that model, to begin with, because you’re giving them a callback. And then people who might be a little bit more on the feminist side or more female‐​empowerment side are gonna get a kick out of that, so that’s just good capitalism.

[chuckle]

33:21 Haley Victory Smith: Yeah, I have no problem with that.

33:23 Natalie Dowzicky: Okay, good. So a lot of the conversation we’ve been having has been about female empowerment through the Disney Princess movies. Do you think the Disney Princess movies need to be about female empowerment?

33:35 Brittany Hunter: It’s weird that you mentioned the Aladdin thing, and Hercules maybe would be the other example, but even though these had boy names and they were about men, I never considered them movies for boys. I’ve always felt like the entire genre has been for little girls because it is, there is always this amazing female character. So yeah, that’s an interesting question you bring up, I’m not sure.

33:54 Madeline Fry: But I feel like if you set out to make a movie about female empowerment, it’s gonna be terrible.

33:58 Brittany Hunter: Yes, yes.

33:58 Madeline Fry: You’re gonna be super preachy. But if you want to make a movie about a… Realistic, in the sense of the way people actually act about a woman, then it’s going to be empowering and it’s gonna be a good film.

34:09 Haley Victory Smith: All of these films are, like we said earlier, about the great adventure, the girl goes out and has a great adventure. I think that is naturally about female empowerment. I don’t think you have to force it to be about female empowerment, it just is. And so Maddie is right to say, you set out on that mission, it’s just, “That’s gonna be bad, don’t do that.”

35:00 Natalie Dowzicky: And I think, too, with the adventure aspect, especially with these later films, they… Or actually, this happened in Little Mermaid, too, though, they encourage… Or not encourage, but they recognize that there are sacrifices that need to be made like you have to make sacrifices and there are trade‐​offs in the decisions you make, which I think are important ’cause… You had said earlier about The Little Mermaid sacrificing her voice, which… Well, yeah, that’s bad.

34:58 Haley Victory Smith: Bad.

[laughter]

35:00 Natalie Dowzicky: But there’s a realistic aspect to that, that not everything you wanna do or everything you wanna accomplish is gonna come without sacrifice. What other sacrifices do you think princesses have made?

35:12 Haley Victory Smith: So the interesting one for me has been… So I’m gonna talk about Tangled for a sec, ’cause I have to.

35:19 Natalie Dowzicky: Go ahead. We wanna hear your whole diatribe.

35:21 Haley Victory Smith: I love it so, so much. It’s my favorite. So Tangled, to me, is really interesting ’cause it follows the classic in a way, but in a different way, the classic Disney trope of not having a mother. Now, side note, I heard that apparently the reason, this is a rumor, the reason why Walt Disney decided so many times to not have a maternal character was because apparently he bought a house for his parents, and the furnace leaked one evening and his mother passed away, and his father… But his father survived, and so apparently, the rumor is he was so haunted by that story that he… Not a story, his life, that he decided not to include these maternal characters. But in Rapunzel, it’s interesting that the way it’s different is that the mother character is not her mother obviously and is abusive, it’s a classic example of emotional child abuse, and… Do you guys know who Gypsy Rose Blanchard is?

36:26 Brittany Hunter: Yes, yes.

36:28 Haley Victory Smith: Okay, so for the listeners who may not know, this is the girl whose mother lied to her about being sick for so many years and kept her locked up and told her she had all these terrible diseases, and eventually, she just didn’t see any other way out and so she asked the boy she was talking to online to kill her mother for her. And she has said that Tangled is her favorite Disney movie. Makes sense ’cause it’s basically her life.

36:54 Madeline Fry: I did not know that oh my gosh.

36:55 Haley Victory Smith: Yes, yes, and so yeah, she has this whole interview that she’s done about it. And the idea that for Rapunzel what she has to do is she basically makes the sacrifice of this mother character. You see at the end when Mother Gothel, you know she gets tripped by Pascal and she falls out the window, Rapunzel in this like really interesting moment, they don’t have any dialogue about it, it’s like very subtle, but at the same time very apparent, she reaches for her as she’s falling out the window and it’s like still this woman who has just attempted to murder the love of her life, she still loves her, but ultimately she kind of has to make that sacrifice. And I don’t know I just have found that really interesting.

37:46 Natalie Dowzicky: It’s also interesting how they highlight, I hadn’t thought about that scene, I just watched it last night with the kids I babysit, but I hadn’t thought about that scene moreso, but it’s also interesting now that you talk about it that it’s showing conflict that she’s having in her mind, so she’s around 16, 17‐​ish?

38:05 Haley Victory Smith: No, she’s 18.

38:06 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh.

38:06 Haley Victory Smith: Because the film is about her 18th birthday.

38:09 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh yes, yes, yes, you’re right. So she’s 18 and so she’s spent the last 18 years considering that this Mother Gothel is like her mom.

38:18 Haley Victory Smith: Her mom, yeah.

38:18 Natalie Dowzicky: And they have a great relationship.

38:20 Haley Victory Smith: Yep.

38:20 Natalie Dowzicky: She’s confused why she’s stuck in this tower which shouldn’t have taken 18 years to figure out, but whatever. But it’s interesting ’cause the mother she sees in her head isn’t how she now sees her, and I think that’s an interesting conflict, and it’s another great example of the princesses having to make hard decisions are coming across conflict, sacrifice in order to achieve what they want in the end. Does anyone else have any other examples of that? I mean Sleeping Beauty just falls asleep.

38:50 Madeline Fry: Yeah, I was gonna say I’m drawing a blank with Sleeping Beauty.

[laughter]

[overlapping conversation]

38:52 Brittany Hunter: Snow White gets a better life after cleaning for the dwarfs or whatever, and getting woken up by a prince, so yeah, it doesn’t seem…

38:58 Haley Victory Smith: Well, but she also has to like, in a weird way it’s actually she has to be really brave because she’s facing up to her, to the evil…

39:08 Brittany Hunter: Her stepmother.

39:09 Brittany Hunter: Evil queen.

39:09 Haley Victory Smith: Evil stepmother, yeah, sorry. I always misremember if the woman was her stepmother I haven’t seen it in so long, but she does have to be brave and stick‐​up to her, and also in that show, what’s the… Oh wow, why am I forgetting the name of it, Once Upon a Time.

39:24 Natalie Dowzicky: Once Upon on a Time, yes.

39:25 Natalie Dowzicky: Good show.

39:26 Haley Victory Smith: Super good the first couple of seasons and then…

[vocalization]

39:29 Haley Victory Smith: You know. But they make Snow White, obviously, in that series into I think a character with much more agency. Which was a word you used as we were discussing this.

39:39 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, a dynamic character for sure.

39:41 Haley Victory Smith: Yes. Yes.

39:42 Natalie Dowzicky: And I think part of it too, and even we haven’t mentioned it yet, but Disney starting to do these remakes and coming up with niche stories that were in their Disney princess world. So Maleficent is a good example of that, right? So we were just talking about Sleeping Beauty, there wasn’t a whole lot that went on in that movie other than her falling asleep and needing to be saved. But they’ve made a few movies now that, I think they’re on their second one about Maleficent, which is fascinating. I mean, I really like Angelina Jolie, but I think it’s fascinating to look at how they’re spinning off of their original movies. Partially because they show so much background to Maleficent about the struggles and stuff she had as a childhood and stuff we would have never… That was never thought of and would never have been recognized for someone that was evil in an original movie. So what do you guys make of all these remakes, of these live actions? Are they adding value to the originals? Are they just trying to do lip service to the fans? What do you think?

40:39 Brittany Hunter: I think they’re playing off nostalgia, and nostalgia is a huge moneymaker. Especially right now, you have to consider especially with these movies, millennials are having kids now. Millennials went to see these movies as children, now we have a reason to take our kids to see these movies and get them to like the same things we liked. And so I think it’s 100% a play on nostalgia, and good on them. I don’t necessarily think everyone is a success, or that they should be made. Sometimes I’m like, “Stop ruining my childhood.” But I think it’s a great money‐​maker. So, yeah.

41:07 Madeline Fry: Speaking more broadly about Disney, something like over half of the top 10 films that were released last year were all Disney films. And most of them were the remake of The Lion King, all of these just either remakes or spinoffs of something that’s already in their franchise. So they’ve definitely been investing more in their old stories than their new stories ’cause they know that people are familiar with that, and they have that nostalgia factor. But I haven’t seen as much of the remakes and that’s what personally doesn’t interest me, so I can’t speak to that as much.

41:37 Natalie Dowzicky: Same.

41:38 Haley Victory Smith: Yeah.

41:38 Haley Victory Smith: I’ve only seen two of the remakes. I saw the two of the Princess ones. I saw Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella and I thought they were both fantastic. I think one of the things they’ve done really well is the visual elements in these films are really stunning. The costumes and the… I felt like the cast they’ve used as well for these films have been pretty good. I, personally, the remakes are not a huge draw for me unless I kinda see the trailer and it, I don’t know, tickles my fancy and I’d like to go. I wish, though, Disney would spend a little more time on creating new stories. Obviously, they’re doing that as well, but we haven’t had a new princess in a little bit. I think that Disney kind of went all in for Frozen for a little while. It’s like everyone saying, “All the movies are sequels now.” No, that’s great, if anything new I wished we would do that a little bit more.

42:36 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, and I think it’s two‐​fold, right? So I think a remake for them is safe, which I don’t think is a good thing for creativity. I saw Beauty and the Beast. Mainly the big draw for me seeing that was Emma Watson, wasn’t actually the movie. And I’ve also seen the remake of Aladdin, which is interesting because Jasmine gets a little bit more screen time, and they develop her character more. But I think a big thing is Disney know it’s safe and knows people are familiar with the story, and there’s enough of a generational divide like you were hinting at that now, millennials will take their children to go see the movies they saw as kids. That’s why they keep doing these Toy Story movies, and they’re releasing them with really weird wait times. But I think it’s safe, but I think for creativity like you were hinting at, it really hurts. Partially because we wanna see new movies, like audiences, wanna see new movies, but Disney ultimately is not…

43:34 Natalie Dowzicky: Unless they come up with another Frozen, not a sequel to Frozen, like another movie of that magnitude, it’s gonna take a long time for them to recoup the benefits from that. So I am optimistic that we’re gonna see a new princess in the future, but I think it takes a lot of development time. And Disney has, at this point, it’s a capitalist machine, right? It has its hands in… Not that that’s a bad thing, it has its hands in a lot of different worlds and especially now that we have Disney+, I’m gonna watch even more of the remakes but that’s only a side note. I think because it has its hands in so much, its original content, what it was founded on is not getting as much focus, if that makes sense. So, they’re worrying about Star Wars and paying lip service to that huge fan base and we’ve got Avatar now, which I never thought they should have bought or made sequels for or…

44:33 S?: [44:33] ____.

44:33 Haley Victory Smith: Yeah.

44:34 Haley Victory Smith: Not interested.

44:35 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, that movie also cost $5 billion to make. And they’re in so many universes now that I think they’re getting plenty enough money to not make another Disney princess movie is what I’m trying to say.

44:49 Haley Victory Smith: Do you guys like any of the sequels?

44:51 Madeline Fry: Okay, yeah. I was actually gonna say that because I kind of dissed spinoffs, but I have actually really liked all of the remakes that I’ve seen of the Disney princesses because I feel like they’ve taken the good elements of the stories and then updated them in a way that didn’t seem preachy, but also seemed a little bit more modern. I especially liked Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast was good. Aladdin was really good.

45:11 Natalie Dowzicky: But of the cartoon sequels, are there any where you’re like, “I like that one”?

45:16 Madeline Fry: Oh, the sequels…

45:17 Brittany hunter: I remember liking Return of Jafar as a kid, but that was so long ago.

45:20 Madeline Fry: Oh yeah, I forgot those were a thing.

45:22 Haley Victory Smith: I did, now maybe this was just because… So Ariel was my favorite princess growing up.

45:28 Natalie Dowzicky: Oh, yeah they made a second one of that, didn’t they?

45:29 Haley Victory Smith: Yes, they did.

45:30 Haley Victory Smith: She had a daughter.

45:31 Haley Victory Smith: And okay, now I’ve been saying that she wasn’t able to have her life in the sea and on land. The reason I know this is because in the sequel it’s this whole big thing that she’s going back to the sea to, spoiler alert, go after her daughter.

45:46 Madeline Fry: This movie has been out for a while.

45:49 Haley Victory Smith: To go after her daughter. And I loved it as a kid. Now, maybe that’s just because you’re a kid and you like to see your favorite characters again in a new story, which I think is probably why Frozen 2 was a good idea for Disney. You know maybe now watching it as an adult it wouldn’t be as entertaining but I really liked it as a kid. I thought it was great.

46:11 Natalie Dowzicky: I honestly forgot there were sequels to a lot of those. Now I’m just recalling that there’s a Beauty and the Beast Christmas one.

46:16 Brittany Hunter: Some of them have good songs too. Yes, but they never went to theaters and I think that’s why for me, they didn’t have the magic. I remember seeing Little Mermaid in the theater when I was five years old, and I remember just like, wow, seeing Ursula become giant and die on screen was like so you know, terrifying for me. But then when the other one came to video it was like, “Oh this is just my TV.”

46:32 Natalie Dowzicky: To VHS?

46:33 Haley Victory Smith: Yeah, to VHS.

46:34 Haley Victory Smith: There’s a second Mulan that’s pretty good. I think there are some fun songs that come out of the sequels. There are a couple of really good songs in the second Mulan and in the Broadway versions of these Disney films. The Broadway version of Aladdin has a few really good songs.

46:51 Brittany Hunter: Same as Beauty and the Beast.

46:52 Haley Victory Smith: Yeah the song, Proud of your Boy, oh my gosh, like you cannot listen to that song without crying. Very, very good stuff.

47:00 Natalie Dowzicky: And I think that’s something we didn’t hit on earlier, but a lot of these movies, the large fan base comes from the music, right?

47:05 Haley Victory Smith: Yes, yeah.

47:05 Natalie Dowzicky: And they spend a ton of time developing and coming up with correct music that makes sense.

47:12 Haley Victory Smith: Alan Menken.

47:13 Madeline Fry: Yeah.

47:14 Natalie Dowzicky: Genius.

47:14 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, they deserve a ton of credit as much as some of us don’t like Frozen, Let It Go, like was…

47:21 Natalie Dowzicky: Let It Go was great, and I think the fact that they got…

47:24 Haley Victory Smith: Okay, but she was screeching. She was screaming.

47:25 Brittany Hunter: Oh but I love that actress, Idina Menzel. A goddess. She’s amazing.

47:30 Madeline Fry: Yeah, it’s Idina Menzel, I love her.

47:31 Haley Victory Smith: I’m gonna say just really fast that I think Tangled has the best soundtrack, and I think that the song with the ruffians, where they’re listing out their dreams, yes! And when they list out what their side hustles are, if their day job is being a thug but what their side hustle is. And then the line is the best which is, it’s kind of a throwaway line but it’s so good, “Call us brutal, sick, sadistic, and grotesquely optimistic, but way down deep inside we have a dream.” So good, anyway, I have to get as much Tangled content in there as I can.

48:08 Natalie Dowzicky: We’ll definitely have to put a picture of Tangled on this.

48:10 Haley Victory Smith: Thank you.

[laughter]

[music]

48:13 Natalie Dowzicky: Alright, so I thought it would not be appropriate to talk all this Disney and not do a little bit of trivia.

48:19 Haley Victroy Smith: I won’t look.

48:19 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, don’t look at the answers, jeez.

48:19 Haley Victroy Smith: Okay.

48:21 Madeline Fry: Okay. There’s actually two Tangled questions on here. Alright, so, number one, can you guess which Disney princess movie has made the most money for Disney and how much money did it make? Go ahead.

48:33 Haley Victroy Smith: Okay. Well, I think it’s Frozen.

48:35 Natalie Dowzicky: Okay. How much money?

48:38 Haley Victroy Smith: I’m so bad at this. Let’s do $2 billion.

48:41 Natalie Dowzicky: You’re close, it was $100,072,402,000.

48:48 Haley Victory Smith: Hey‐​o!

[laughter]

48:49 Haley Victory Smith: Thank you.

48:49 Natalie Dowzicky: The second one, the next highest‐​grossing was Moana, box office sales.

48:54 Haley Victory Smith: Okay, okay, so we’re not including merchandise?

48:55 Natalie Dowzicky: Not including merchandise.

48:55 Haley Victory Smith: Okay, yeah.

48:55 Natalie Dowzicky: The next one was Moana $643,331,111.

49:03 Haley Victory Smith: That surprises me. I wouldn’t have pegged Moana as being the next one. I guess I’m…

49:06 Natalie Dowzicky: And then after that was Tangled, $591,794,936.

49:13 Natalie Dowzicky: I kind of wonder to be honest though, because I come from Broadway world, the two that you mentioned have crossover in Broadway world because Lin‐​Manuel Miranda and Idina Menzel that I’m wondering if that brings in new fans who will see it, that they wouldn’t normally have seen it.

49:22 Haley Victory Smith: That’s true. So does Tangled because there are a couple of characters in it, I can’t remember the names besides the main actresses, but there are… Or main actors, but there’s one voice actor in it who has a little Broadway, I can’t remember, sorry, that’s a side note.

49:40 Natalie Dowzicky: No, you’re fine. So the next one, who is depicted as the youngest Disney princess? Go ahead.

49:47 Haley Victory Smith: Moana?

49:48 Natalie Dowzicky: No.

49:48 Brittany Hunter: Is it Snow White?

49:49 Natalie Dowzicky: Yes.

49:50 Haley Victory Smith: That was my second guess.

49:54 Brittany Hunter: Alice is not a princess, right? ‘Cause I almost said Alice, like wait, she’s not…

[overlapping conversation]

49:58 Haley Victory Smith: She doesn’t have an animal sidekick.

49:58 Natalie Dowzicky: That’s right.

50:00 Brittany Hunter: She doesn’t have an animal sidekick.

[overlapping conversation]

50:01 Haley Victory Smith: It’s just a weird cat. Also, you realize how old that film is if you go back and watch it and they’ve even remastered the animation, it still looks bad.

50:06 Haley Victory Smith: It’s bad.

50:07 Natalie Dowzicky: Interesting, the voice actress for her only made a $1000 off that movie. Such an iconic voice, too. It’s not my favorite, but very recognizable. Alright, so which Disney Princess is the only one, we’ve mentioned this earlier, to not be her film’s main character?

50:24 Brittany Hunter: Oh, Jasmine.

50:24 Natalie Dowzicky: Jasmine, right? Yeah. This one’s kind of fun. Which Disney Princess has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

50:29 Haley Victory smith: Snow White?

50:30 Madeline Fry: Yeah.

50:31 Haley Victory Smith: I’ve seen it.

50:32 Natalie Dowzicky: She was also the only Disney princess that Walt was alive for when the movie came out.

50:36 Madeline Fry: Really?

50:37 Brittany Hunter: Cinderella’s the ‘60s right?

50:40 Madeline Fry: Yep.

50:40 Haley Victory Smith: I did not know that.

50:41 Natalie Dowzicky: So, Cinderella was his favorite princess, he had come up with the concept and everything of her. There’s pictures of him standing next to the drawings of her, but he was not alive when it came out.

50:50 Haley Victory Smith: So then I wonder if this rumor then is true about like the characters?

50:56 Haley Victory Smith: So I had heard after they remade the Lion King, I had heard that…

51:00 S?: Characters not having Mothers…

[overlapping conversation]

51:00 Haley Victory Smith: Yeah, character’s not having parents, in general, was something Walt wanted.

51:06 S?: Yeah. Interesting.

51:07 Natalie Dowzicky: It’s kinda dark…

51:07 Haley Victory Smith: Like there’s this idea that if a female character doesn’t have a mother, that she’s kind of forced to grow up faster. But I don’t know.

51:15 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, it’s weird. Okay, so how long is Rapunzel’s hair in Tangled…

51:22 Haley Victory Smith: How long?

51:22 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, and how many animators did it take to animate it?

51:28 Haley Victory Smith: When we’re talking about length, are we meaning like… What’s the ratio here?

51:33 Natalie Dowzicky: So this is on Disney’s website. I know, so they think they know everything about their films.

51:39 Haley Victory Smith: Okay, well, I’m just gonna give it a guess if that’s okay.

51:42 Natalie Dowzicky: Okay, go ahead.

51:43 Haley Victory Smith: I think her hair… But it changes length throughout the film. It definitely does. I’m gonna guess like 20 feet.

51:51 Natalie Dowzicky: Her hair is 70 feet long. And it took 30 engineers to animate it.

51:56 Haley Victory Smith: Yes I’d heard about this. Insane.

51:57 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah. And that’s the most animators that Disney has used for a single aspect of one of their films.

52:07 Haley Victory smith: Yeah, makes sense, that hair has a life of its own.

52:08 Madeline Fry: Yeah. It was worth it.

52:09 Haley Victory Smith: One unsung, non‐​Disney princess that deserves a shoutout for being independent is Esmeralda and granted Hunchback is one of my favorite musically that she doesn’t get enough recognition for being who she is because she’s not a princess, she’s literally a homeless Gypsy. But credit where credit is due.

52:24 Madeline Fry: Who’s the Megara, in Hercules.

52:28 Brittany Hunter: Megara is also good.

52:30 Natalie Dowzicky: She’s definitely not a princess per se, but she kind of… She is in the canon sometimes.

52:37 S?: Also, Maid Marian from Robin Hood.

52:39 S?: Yes.

52:42 S?: She’s a fox but you know…

52:43 S?: Hey, still counts.

52:45 S?: I’m trying to think is there anyone else?

52:46 Natalie Dowzicky: I don’t think there’s any… Well, the recent articles I was reading was trying to argue that they were using all females from Star Wars, so like Princess Leia came, not from Star Wars, from Disney. Princess Leia should be an official Disney Princess. Then like the girl from Wreck‐​it‐​Ralph, I’m blanking on her name, but like…

53:05 Haley Victory Smith: Oh, Vanellope something.

53:06 Natalie Dowzicky: Yeah, and like technically, if you look at her story, her story’s all about adventure, and Ralph is her sidekick. But no, not buying it.

53:16 Haley Victory Smith: She’s not.

53:16 Haley Victory Smith: Well, if the rule is you have to wear a dress and have a pet companion, Leia does not qualify for this because her companion is a droid.

53:24 Natalie Dowzicky: That’s right.

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53:29 Natalie Dowzicky: Thanks for listening. As you may have noticed there is quite a debate over which Disney princess should rule them all. If you want to campaign for your favorite Disney character be sure to let us know on Twitter, @PopnLockePod. That’s Pop, the letter N, Locke with an E, Pod. Make sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen. We look forward to unraveling your favorite show or movie next time. Pop & Locke is produced by Tess Terrible and Landry Ayres as a project of lib​er​tar​i​an​ism​.org. To learn more, visit us on the web at www​.lib​er​tar​i​an​ism​.org.

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