Summer of the Self-Rescuing Princess

In my dreams, I could be a Princess, and that’s what I was. Like most little girls, I believed nothing less than a Prince could make my dreams come true. — Loretta Young

We are trying to raise our little girl to not need a Prince, or any man for that matter, as the only way to make her life whole.  Just like E.D. Kain points out, I am also excited about Pixar’s summer release, Brave.

So I was already excited about this movie before the latest trailer, but now I can barely stand the thought of waiting until June 22nd to see the 13th Pixar film.

For one thing, Princess Merida looks tough and fiery, and we finally get a strong female lead in a Pixar flick.

This is awesome for those of us with young daughters who need all the good role models they can get, even animated ones. I’ve told my daughter similar stories, of princesses destined to be married off to some knight or other who become knights themselves instead.

At home, as it has been released to the public, I’ve gradually exposed Katelyn to the film, to the point that she was already recognizing the film’s initial film poster even before she had seen the film’s trailer.

 While my wife sheepishly admits to not necessarily wanting to turn our daughter into one of the acolytes of the cult of the Disney Princess, our kid has nonetheless become a devotee.  As such, the release of Pixar’s latest this summer, has given me the opportunity to show Katelyn that princesses can also kick rear end and take names.  After all, a long while back, when Katelyn asked me which was my favorite Princess, she was totally confused when, instead of answering “Snow White” or “Cinderella”, I answered, “Leia”.

Yes, granted, we should not be necessarily looking to film to find strong female role models for Katelyn. At least however, she realizes that in something like Sleeping Beauty, it’s not Aurora who carries the bulk of that narrative, but rather Prince Phillip and the three Good Fairies.  (Aurora is only on screen for about 18 minutes!) But after seeing how much she enjoyed Tigress in the latest of the Kung Fu Panda films, we get how much she will like a strong-willed proactive character with an entire movie built around her.  Seeing her respond even more excitedly at the prospect of finally “meeting” Princess Merida in Brave, has both my wife and I reconfiguring our plans for our little girl’s upcoming 5th birthday in May.  With a big wedding of a family friend scheduled for around the same time, putting our own plans for Kate’s real-time birthday celebration on hold, we’re gearing up to try to do something instead, around the film’s release in late June.

Granted though, Pixar is just bit late to the party, as Dreamworks’ Shrek quartet of films basically got it right about the self-rescuing princess concept in the first film (and please excuse the Finnish singing, even while my point is made…):

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