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The Princess and the Frog: your predictions
Hawk at 5:23PM, May 27, 2009
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Cell animation or digital, they still have to draw out every movement that their characters make.

While it's considerably harder to make a proper 3D model of a character, the work is done as soon as he's ready. After that they can just set him up to do the movements and poses that they want him to portray.

That is at least my theory. If someone around has a better idea how 3D animation works, please correct me.

I majored in Animation, and you're basically right. I mean, after a certain process you have an infinitely reusable model, resulting in cheaper sequels. Somebody builds a model, somebody adds textures to it, then somebody else adds a skeleton for animation purposes. They also add a system that can account for hundreds of facial expressions and mouth movements.

After that, it's basically ready to be used as much as needed. Animators place the character in the scene and animate it to their heart's desire. This part is much easier to do than traditional animation, but it's challenging to make it look natural. After somebody else comes along to add lights, the rendering phase begins. It can take a computer anywhere from an hour to days to render a single frame (depending on its complexity) and it isn't effortless because it requires people to constantly troubleshoot the lighting, layers, and cameras.

Traditional animation varies a LOT depending on the studio and budget. Some studios entirely ink and paint cels, some paint cels copied from cleaned-up pencil sketches, some do most of the work with a stylus on a computer, and some just go the cheap route and use Flash. But for most cases 2D animation is tedious and not a job I would want. I guess that's why so much animation is outsourced to Korea.

3D animation of the Pixar quality costs around $1,000,000 per minute of footage. 2D animation of the Disney quality costs even more. 11 minutes of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” probably costs about $10 and a bag of marijuana.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
lefarce at 8:04PM, May 27, 2009
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11 minutes of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” probably costs about $10 and a bag of marijuana.

New season is still some damn good TV.

I wonder what my humor is while I'm high. It's been a while, but I mean I have a stoner's humor as it is.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:33PM
the2ndredbaron at 10:56PM, May 27, 2009
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Yeah, I'm told that Pixar reuses its models (or at least their designs) for all its films, hence the “sameness” of all the movies in look/feel.



Cause Toy Story, Cars, The Incredibles, Wall*E, and Up all look alike?

I like Pixar, not so much Dream Works. But I second the complaint in the music department. No Jazz, really? But hey, John Goodman is in it so I am happy.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:16PM
NickGuy at 11:25PM, May 27, 2009
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this looks fun. like the twist of the girl becoming the frog haha

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:15PM
DAJB at 11:31PM, May 27, 2009
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2D/3D doesn't matter, it's all superficial. It's about the story and how good the writing is.
Yup - that says it all.

Just because there are a lot of poor quality 3D animated films, it isn't the 3D element that makes them poor. There are a lot of poor quality 2D animated films, too.

As for the race issue, this (as always) is being overplayed by people with an agenda. Whether you like the films or not, in recent years Disney has tried to make characters true to the place in which the story occurs. Mulan was Chinese, Pocahontas was native American (or whatever it's PC to call them, now that it's generally accepted they're not native to America!) and the Mediaeval European princesses were white European. Hell, even back in the 1960s, Mowgli was allowed to be Indian.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
mlai at 11:44PM, May 27, 2009
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Cause Toy Story, Cars, The Incredibles, Wall*E, and Up all look alike?
Yes. But we might have been talking about Dreamworks. Because I remember the discussion stemming from criticism of The Bee Movie.

As for the race issue, this (as always) is being overplayed by people with an agenda. Whether you like the films or not, in recent years Disney has tried to make characters true to the place in which the story occurs.
Um I have no problem with Mulan being Chinese and Brother Bear being Eskimo/Inuit/something. My point is, a black princess in Louisiana?? What exactly is she a princess of? Why couldn't she be the daughter of a rich black tycoon, or something of that nature that makes sense?

Ozone gave some possible explanations, and I'll have newfound respect for Disney if the movie actually uses 1 of them.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
lefarce at 11:51PM, May 27, 2009
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In all fairness, a lot of 2D Disney films look the same. In fact they heavily borrowed from old cels of animation when making new films. Robin Hood took a shitload of old animation from Jungle Book.

I just really want something to break the norm for once. Which is that we keep getting these 3D movies year after year. It was kind of like how refreshing Toy Story was.

We need something that is now considered out of the ordinary. Even if it may be generic with what came before the new normal.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:33PM
skoolmunkee at 3:30AM, May 28, 2009
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mlai
Um I have no problem with Mulan being Chinese and Brother Bear being Eskimo/Inuit/something. My point is, a black princess in Louisiana?? What exactly is she a princess of? Why couldn't she be the daughter of a rich black tycoon, or something of that nature that makes sense?
I think you are making a big deal of a relatively minor technical issue. She is a Disney ‘princess’ because it's a cash cow and they want a black character in it. Mulan is a princess because she is Chinese although she only married a general. Pocahontas is a princess because she is Native American and was a chief's daughter (which is not the same as a princess). Kida (who was a princess) isn't in it because Atlantis did badly at the box office and she has a bad haircut.

You don't know anything about the story or characters at this point, so they may be using ‘princess’ broadly and she is a debutante or otherwise special somehow; or perhaps she is princess of some fantasy element like a magical realm. 1920s New Orleans is only the setting of the film, not the film's reality. You didn't get upset because there was ‘no such thing in history’ as a mermaid kingdom, I'm not sure why you'd want to be so strict about this one just because the setting is more realistic. Beauty and the Beast had a realistic setting of rural France, but still had a guy who was transformed into a beast and a castle full of talking appliances.

Also, some of the Disney princesses weren't princesses until they married the prince, like Belle. They don't have to start out as princesses.


Anyway, I'll go and see it because I usually like Disney films and this one looks decent enough. I do think the moronic Cajun firefly is unfortunate though. :/
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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
mlai at 4:00AM, May 28, 2009
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Then it's a matter of opinion because I think you're too lenient with Disney's butchery of fairy tales.

Regarding princesses… all the offical Disney ‘princesses’ are legit classic fairy tale princesses: Snow White, Cinderella (by marriage), Sleeping Beauty, and Belle (by marriage). Mulan is not a Disney princess because (1)she had nothing to do with royalty, and (2)she's a historical figure rather than a character from a princess-themed classic fairy tale. Kida and Pocahontas are not Disney princesses because they're not characters from princess-themed classic fairy tales.

And, except Snow White, a Disney princess must have put on an European ballroom gown at least once in her movie.

We know this Louisiana girl is a ‘princess’ because the fairy tale required that the frog (a legit prince) must be kissed by a princess for the spell to break, and she's wearing a ballroom gown (with a little crown). I like the idea of a story set in New Orleans featuring black characters, but The Frog Prince is the wrong fairy tale to shoehorn it with. How do you have a princess in an isolationist country that has been without a monarchy for 200 years?

I think what Disney will/should do is to make her a Louisiana debutante, and the Frog Prince sees her as ‘close enough’ to a princess (which could explain why the cure backfired…).

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
lastcall at 4:51AM, May 28, 2009
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People's scope must be pretty limited if 2d animation like this is something of a relief. So good stuff from France and Japan is irrelevant then?
I think that's just it – 2D animation in other countries like Japan is still going strong, but in America every animated movie to have come out in the last few years are in 3D. Don't get me wrong, I have no qualms with 3D animation…but why does it mean that 2D animation has to go by the wayside? Can't we have both? I almost feel that the fate of 2D animated movies in America rests on the success of The Princess and the Frog. If it does well in theaters, then there's a chance of seeing more of them in the future.

Agreed. I'm hoping it does well.

Also, some nice things to read about on WIki:

While the Goofy short How to Hook Up Your Home Theater experimented with paperless animation, the artists on The Princess and the Frog will use traditional pencil and paper that is scanned into the computers. Although a new pipeline for hand-drawn animation has been developed at the studio, like digital coloring without CAPS, the actual animation process remains the same. The visual effects on the other hand, as well as lot of the backgrounds, will be created digitally.

The former trend in Disney's hand-drawn features where the characters were influenced by a CGI-look has been abandoned. Andreas Deja says "I always thought that maybe we should distinguish ourselves to go back to what 2D is good at, which is focusing on what the line can do rather than volume, which is a CG kind of thing. So we are doing less extravagant Treasure Planet kind of treatments. You have to create a world but . What we're trying to do with Princess and the Frog is hook up with things that the old guys did earlier. It's not going to be graphic…“. He also mentiones that Lasseter is aiming for the Disney sculptural and dimensional look of the '50s. ”He quoted all those things that were non graphic, which means go easy on the straight lines and have one volume flow into the other – an organic feel to the drawing."
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:28PM
Hakoshen at 5:22AM, May 28, 2009
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mlai
Then it's a matter of opinion because I think you're too lenient with Disney's butchery of fairy tales.

Regarding princesses… all the offical Disney ‘princesses’ are legit classic fairy tale princesses: Snow White, Cinderella (by marriage), Sleeping Beauty, and Belle (by marriage). Mulan is not a Disney princess because (1)she had nothing to do with royalty, and (2)she's a historical figure rather than a character from a princess-themed classic fairy tale. Kida and Pocahontas are not Disney princesses because they're not characters from princess-themed classic fairy tales.

And, except Snow White, a Disney princess must have put on an European ballroom gown at least once in her movie.

We know this Louisiana girl is a ‘princess’ because the fairy tale required that the frog (a legit prince) must be kissed by a princess for the spell to break, and she's wearing a ballroom gown (with a little crown). I like the idea of a story set in New Orleans featuring black characters, but The Frog Prince is the wrong fairy tale to shoehorn it with. How do you have a princess in an isolationist country that has been without a monarchy for 200 years?

I think what Disney will/should do is to make her a Louisiana debutante, and the Frog Prince sees her as ‘close enough’ to a princess (which could explain why the cure backfired…).

I'm asking all the same questions you are, but I'm more or less just waiting to hear the story.

Considering it's pretty much a Louisiana staple, I too wonder at why there wouldn't be any jazz music. Then again, it's New Orleans in the 1920s, so we should also expect a healthy amount of Zydeco too, which thankfully there isn't. Yet. There may be some of both as background material, but don't all these movies typically have more symphonic scores?

Also, an interesting thing I've noticed about the whole Disney Princess thing is that it wasn't until just recently it only featured Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Belle, Arielle, and Jasmine. It's only been recently that Pocahontas and Mulan started being included in some of the art work.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:41PM
isukun at 8:26AM, May 28, 2009
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Of course, these days, I'm pretty sure that most of 2D animations are done digitally as well, to some degree. (But correct me if I'm wrong.)

To some degree. Princess and the Frog was originally supposed to be the first “paperless” 2D animated film, but that kind of fell through when the animators complained about the tools they were using and Disney fell back on the classic pencil on paper approach. While digital methods have made some parts of 2D easier, the parts that generally take the most time, are still done by hand. Even if you draw out your characters completely on the computer, it doesn't necessarily make it any easier than drawing them out on a piece of animation paper.

I use the same techniques on the cintiqes we use at the studio where I work as I did on paper in school and it really doesn't speed anything along.

and some just go the cheap route and use Flash. But for most cases 2D animation is tedious and not a job I would want.

Flash can be a pretty versatile program. Not everything done in flash is cheap. I would also have to argue, it depends on the project. The show I just finished working on used a more traditional approach, so while animated in Flash, we still had to draw out most of the frames. Flash helps as a way or archiving assets we can use to keep the show looking consistent, but it doesn't make the actual act of animating any easier. Look at stuff like Romeo & Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss.

I would also argue that it's not tedious if you like to draw. I actually find 3D to be for more tedious since all you're doing is going through the motions. It feels more like work and less like art. And there are very different approaches to both which do create very different looks. To get the same look in 3D that you are capable of in 2D requires a lot more work than most studios are willing to put into their models. One of Disney's major goals with 3D animation IS to drive down production costs. Many of their more recent films have cost significantly less than their previous 2D animated features and a lot of the failure or success of one format or another is to some extent manufactured by Disney.

While I would like to see a movie like this be good, do well, and succeed, I don't think Disney does and I have a feeling they are going to stack the deck against this film doing well in theaters. It's kind of like the big business version of the Producers.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
mlai at 8:49AM, May 28, 2009
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While I would like to see a movie like this be good, do well, and succeed, I don't think Disney does and I have a feeling they are going to stack the deck against this film doing well in theaters..
What do you mean? Why would Disney “stack the deck against” a film that they're going through the trouble of financing and producing?

The trailer looks like the animation is of the same general caliber as Disney's other 2D films.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
ozoneocean at 9:00AM, May 28, 2009
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mlai
While I would like to see a movie like this be good, do well, and succeed, I don't think Disney does and I have a feeling they are going to stack the deck against this film doing well in theaters..
What do you mean? Why would Disney “stack the deck against” a film that they're going through the trouble of financing and producing?

The trailer looks like the animation is of the same general caliber as Disney's other 2D films.
Come on Mlai, that sort of thing happens all the time. :(
These big companies aren't united forces all pushing for the same goal. They're full of politics and completing interests.
Making the movie is only part of the battle. If it doesn't get distributed widely enough, or promoted widely enough, or have a long enough run in the theatres, that could all lead to nasty failure. Or even if they put out something else to take the focus from it. Disney has it in their power to hurt their own film in all those ways.
Companies have done that to their productions before… maybe the 3D backers will make a move? :)

I don't think Disney will do anything to harm it though.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
TheMidge28 at 10:47AM, May 28, 2009
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Being one who has recently visited the Magic Kingdom, I can confirm that Mulan, Pocohantas, and any other chick characters are not part of the elite princess six clique: i.e. Princess Aurora, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, and Jasmine.

This Princess and the Frog is the introduction of african american female character and may not be invited into the clique.

I have met the princesses, they are snobs.
They like to haze.
I can only imagine what this new “princess” will need to go through to join.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
HippieVan at 11:04AM, May 28, 2009
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The movie doesn't look great.

I think it's funny that she turns into a frog, but what everyone thinks is odd is that she's black.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:49PM
korosu at 11:10AM, May 28, 2009
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I have met the princesses, they are snobs.
They like to haze.
Considering the “princesses” we have running around our junior/high schools, that sounds about right…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:21PM
lefarce at 12:19PM, May 28, 2009
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TheMidge28
Being one who has recently visited the Magic Kingdom, I can confirm that Mulan, Pocohantas, and any other chick characters are not part of the elite princess six clique: i.e. Princess Aurora, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, and Jasmine.

Outraged.

Jasmine and Mulan were easily the hottest. Exotic young women curious of the world around them, and oblivious to the wonders of the elusive wild weenie.


 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:33PM
TheMidge28 at 3:04PM, May 28, 2009
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lefarce
TheMidge28
Being one who has recently visited the Magic Kingdom, I can confirm that Mulan, Pocohantas, and any other chick characters are not part of the elite princess six clique: i.e. Princess Aurora, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, and Jasmine.

Outraged.

Jasmine and Mulan were easily the hottest. Exotic young women curious of the world around them, and oblivious to the wonders of the elusive wild weenie.



Jasmine.. yes.
Mulan… no.
plus, Ariel smells like fish.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
Skullbie at 3:17PM, May 28, 2009
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Mulan is my favorite disney ‘princess’, i like that she has an actual personality.

Actually my favorite Disney heroine isn't a princess but Esmeralda from hunchback:


last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM
Product Placement at 3:42PM, May 28, 2009
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Why is Jasmine being labeled as a white princess? She's middle eastern.

Edit. Ok. She's hasn't specifically been labeled as a white princess but you're pairing her up with Aurora, Snow White and rest of the gang and nobody has mentioned that she's not white while this black princess discussion seems to be a hot topic.

If this cartoon does well, I'm sure this debutant/princess girl gets accepted into the fold. Although she's probably gonna get teased for being the new girl.

It's funny, really. Yes I understand the Irony of complaining about the validity of this new girl being a princess or not while we accept a mermaid from her underwater kingdom, a woman with a serious case of bestiality fetish who dates a beast and a princes who lives in a kingdom where genies pop out of lamps. I don't think it's because she's black, specifically speaking. At least that's not the reason behind my pondering. I guess since the story seems to take place in modern America, my mind becomes less open for fantasy and more critical to historical detail.

However, if it isn't New Orleans but a magic-fairydust-utopia land that just so happens to look like New Orleans, then I'll shut up.

But I did like the Mlais idea about her not actually being a princess which gives you a fairly good reason why the kiss backfired.
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korosu at 3:51PM, May 28, 2009
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Actually my favorite Disney heroine isn't a princess but Esmeralda from hunchback:
Yeah! I'm with Skullbie on this one. As far as the actual princesses go, I'm not a big fan of any of them… But if I had to pick one, I'd go with either Belle or Ariel.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:21PM
TheMidge28 at 5:42PM, May 28, 2009
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Skullbie
Actually my favorite Disney heroine isn't a princess but Esmeralda from hunchback:




Esmeralda actually is part of Disney's Whores, along with Jessica Rabbit, Alice, Jane, and its hard to believe, Tinkerbell.
small but she gets around.
They are trying to compete with Bratz.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
mlai at 6:34PM, May 28, 2009
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LOL “Princess 6.” Sounds like a good name for the antagonist clique in a high school shoujo.

Jasmine is not a white princess. Nor does she look white in the movie; ppl who think she looks white must be blind. Look at her skin tone. Eyebrows. Eyes. Nose. She looks less white than Pocahontas. Anyways, she doesn't have to be white to be a Princess. Just need actual royalty title (check) and her movie to have done well (check).

Esmerelda… Demi Moore is her VA. Automatic fail.

I guess since the story seems to take place in modern America, my mind becomes less open for fantasy and more critical to historical detail.
Exactly! Thank you!!

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
skoolmunkee at 2:59AM, May 29, 2009
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mlai
Then it's a matter of opinion because I think you're too lenient with Disney's butchery of fairy tales.

Regarding princesses… all the offical Disney ‘princesses’ are legit classic fairy tale princesses: Snow White, Cinderella (by marriage), Sleeping Beauty, and Belle (by marriage). Mulan is not a Disney princess because (1)she had nothing to do with royalty, and (2)she's a historical figure rather than a character from a princess-themed classic fairy tale. Kida and Pocahontas are not Disney princesses because they're not characters from princess-themed classic fairy tales.
Well, when you go to the Disney princesses site and info, Mulan and Pocahontas are in there. So I'm not sure why your definition of Disney's princesses differs from Disney's. :] I think they are right and you are wrong. Maybe you don't consider them one of the ‘official’ princesses, but Disney clearly prefers the looser interpretation. Tinkerbell even used to be a Princess before they moved her to her own spinoff group Fairies.


To me this ‘princess’ thing is just an argument over semantics. I think the word can be used broadly, others think it should apply to a strict definition.

I don't really care if Disney butchers fairy tales either. :] On the contrary I'd find a straight-up version of a common fairy tale a very boring watch. There are a lot of ways to tell a story, and fairy tales themselves have changed over the years.

I agree that her NOT being a real princess would be an interesting twist (like maybe she is just a parade princess or something), but maybe by the end she'll have earned the title somehow and get to transform back into a human, which is a pretty common fairy tale theme too.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
Custard Trout at 3:16AM, May 29, 2009
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I agree that her NOT being a real princess would be an interesting twist (like maybe she is just a parade princess or something), but maybe by the end she'll have earned the title somehow and get to transform back into a human, which is a pretty common fairy tale theme too.

Or they might pull a Shrek and have her turn out to be a frog princess or something.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:02PM
lefarce at 9:27PM, May 29, 2009
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TheMidge28
Mulan… no.




MULAN DOESNT QUALIFY AND ALSO IM INSANE INSANE INSANE

Someone
Esmeralda actually is part of Disney's Whores, along with Jessica Rabbit, Alice, Jane, and its hard to believe, Tinkerbell.

And I would argue that makes them better than the Disney princesses.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:33PM
mlai at 10:27PM, May 29, 2009
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Well, when you go to the Disney princesses site and info, Mulan and Pocahontas are in there.
I bought the complete line of Disney princess snowglobes for Mom and they are: Snow White, Sleepy Beauty, Cinderella, and Belle.
Maybe Disney got a little more liberal and shameless, since that Mother's Day many years ago.

Tinkerbell even used to be a Princess before they moved her
From that alone, it means Disney is not always right.

I don't really care if Disney butchers fairy tales either. :] On the contrary I'd find a straight-up version of a common fairy tale a very boring watch.
Others can say that the Grimms wrote/transcribed a fairy tale a certain way for a reason.

I don't mind when Disney puts a modern spin on a classic. But there are limits, such as common sense. We'll see what this story of “Princess of Louisiana” is all about. It might be intelligent. Or we might see King Washington.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
Hawk at 10:49PM, May 29, 2009
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Disney includes into their Princess line whoever pulls in enough attention and money from little girls, regardless of their technical qualification. Mulan and Pocahontas have both been in the Princess group at a certain point, however, they were some of the least popular and were not very profitable. I don't think they're excluded now, but they're not as frequently included in the merchandise.

To Disney, a “Princess” isn't necessarily a daughter of royalty. She's a time-tested icon that little girls can admire like a Barbie Doll. Questioning Disney's definition of “Princess” is like asking why Donald isn't anatomically correct. Who cares? It turns out girls like pretty ladies in fancy dresses who also have adventures, and Disney is in the business of creating them.

By the way, I don't mind at all that Disney reinterprets fairy tales. Reinterpretation is one of the great privileges of film making, and I think rote reproductions of fairy tails would be short, boring, and pointless. And it keeps the Muppets busy too. Besides, if kids want to know that Ariel turned into sea foam or Mulan got decapitated, they're always free to look up the orginal stories. They'll always be around.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
Skullbie at 10:55PM, May 29, 2009
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Hawk
To Disney, a “Princess” isn't necessarily a daughter of royalty. She's a time-tested icon that little girls can admire like a Barbie Doll. Questioning Disney's definition of “Princess” is like asking why Donald isn't anatomically correct. Who cares? It turns out girls like pretty ladies in fancy dresses who also have adventures, and Disney is in the business of creating them.

By the way, I don't mind at all that Disney reinterprets fairy tales. Reinterpretation is one of the great privileges of film making, and I think rote reproductions of fairy tails would be short, boring, and pointless. And it keeps the Muppets busy too. Besides, if kids want to know that Ariel turned into sea foam or Mulan got decapitated, they're always free to look up the orginal stories. They'll always be around.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM

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