Why Belle is the Best Disney Princess – Part 1


Many of you are aware that I am not a huge fan of Disney movies. They certainly have their place and most of them are decent, wholesome movies for little kids to enjoy. I enjoyed many when I was growing up too, but now that I have two little god daughters to think about I often look at these movies and think “They don’t have that great of a message.”

Take for instance, Cinderella. The story changes depending on the origin, but in Disney’s version Cinderella’s mother dies and her father remarries a mean woman. This woman has daughters of her own and they treat Cinderella badly and make her clean the floors, etc. When a young prince has a huge gala little, unfortunate Cinderella now has no gown to wear. But HAVE NO FEAR! Her fairy god mother to the rescue! She gets her a gown, a horse driven coach, some rodent attendants and off she goes. The prince (of course) falls for Cinderella, but she must leave abruptly at midnight and he never gets her name. (Huh?) The next day he must scour the land for her using her lost shoe. (Really?)

Questions for consideration:

1) Why didn’t he get her name if he was so enamored with her?

2) Why didn’t her shoe disintegrate along with her gown at midnight?


3) Does the prince truly not even remember what she looks like that he has to use her SHOE to identify her?

4) Why does Cinderella need a man to help her out of her situation? (This really doesn’t teach our young women to do for themselves…) (…although I’m happy to be my girls Fairy God Mother if they need me!)

Now let’s look at Sleeping Beauty. Puleeze. First of all – she’s a Princess from the start and has not one, but THREE fairy God Mothers (aren’t the real mothers good enough for these women?) – once again. She is betrothed to a prince, but the evil fairy Maleficent curses her that she’ll prick her finger on her sixteenth birthday and fall into a death like sleep. So the god mothers take her away and pretend she isn’t a princess, but the evil fairy finds her, tricks her into touching the cursed spindle and, despite the fairy god mothers “best” efforts, she falls into the deep sleep anyway. Then the god mothers lock her in a tower. (huh?)(these aren’t very good god mothers…)

Questions for consideration:

1) The only way to break the spell is to be kissed by her true love. How is he going to find her in a tower sequestered from everyone? (Oh right, the god mothers find him, arm him, get him to come to the castle… seriously look this up on Wikipedia or rent the movie. It takes them forever.)

3) Because some dude kissed her everything falls into place and she gets to still be a princess and live “happily ever after.” Is this the message we want to be sending to our little girls?


Now onto Snow White… where do I start? She is cursed by an evil queen (once again a step mother. No wonder step moms get such a bad rap!) and runs away and goes to live with seven dwarves named Happy, Dopey, Sleepy, Bashful, Doc, Grumpy and Sneezy (who say she can stay if she does all their cooking, cleaning, etc. [the same things Cinderella ran away from] and who apparently replace the fairy god mothers in this story and don’t do much more in the protection business because the queen finds her and poisons her anyway.) The dwarves lock her in a glass coffin (huh?) and essentially “wait it out.” They have no clue what will cause her to awaken. She could be dead for all they know. But HAVE NO FEAR! A handsome prince hears of this odd glass coffin freak show and goes to see her. (Admission price unknown.) Then he KISSES HER and she awakens.


Questions for consideration:

1) She cooks, cleans and keeps house for these dwarves and all they can do is befit her in a glass coffin? Did they continue to go about their business day after day or were they seeking a solution?

2) What kind of freak is this prince going around kissing dead girls?

3) Where do the fathers go in these stories?!?

So that’s three down and a couple more to go. Tune in to my Friday blog for Part 2 and to find out why Belle is really the best princess!



8 thoughts on “Why Belle is the Best Disney Princess – Part 1

    1. Thanks for your comment! I have a lot of Disney lovers in my life so I wasn’t sure how this would be taken. I do think Disney has a place for kids, but as we grow up we kind of say “Huh?” to some of the stuff. LOL

      1. In no way wanting to ruin the current magic for my preschoolers I think the questions happen pretty young and I hope to answer them as honestly as I can without ruining “fairy-land”. For what it’s worth – I remember writing a speech in Grade 6 sort of about fairy tales where I asked why any woman would want to “hang around tending house with seven dopey guys waiting desperately for a prince.”

  1. I enjoyed fairy tales as a child, maybe because I liked reading and they were the only stories at my disposal. In retrospect, I believe all of these stories present to us hollow female protagonists who are always in want of a man to fight their battles. Also, there is a persistent attempt to glorify the notions of beauty and charming appearances. Cinderella could only meet her true love when she was dressed in an elegant outfit; now that is lame. Shouldn’t the lesson be that your true love will discover you on the basis of the kindness of your deeds and the strength of your character?

    1. Totally! That’s why I love Belle and the Beast so much. She was kind to him and he to her (after a time…) and that’s how their love grew. It wasn’t just “Look at that pretty dress!” Kids like pretty dresses though and the catchy songs so I get why Disney is so beloved… but as kids grow older I think it’s important to instill some common sense! (I have a few adult friends who are still clinging to these fairy tales and I worry that one day life is going to smack them hard in the face…)

  2. Agreed. My god daughter loves the princesses so I try to keep my comments to myself around her and I try to encourage her with self worth statements that don’t involve clothes, men or make believe. 🙂

    1. I’m sure the story tellers would have come up with another way for the prince to find her (like, perhaps, he would have actually remembered what she LOOKED LIKE?), but in actuality the shoe should have disappeared at midnight like the coach and the dress… and the other shoe! As a writer it’s one of those “how could that happen” moments in a work that just takes me completely out of the story. But it makes for a good fairy tale I guess. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.