Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The Princess Ride
By Deborah Sharp
With tears in my eyes, I watched Rapunzel try to use her magical hair to save her dying love. Yep, there I was in a darkened theater at age well-over-fifty-something, watching Tangled, the movie that Disney claims will be its last offering in a very long line of tiara tales.
I feel like I should be standing in front of a group of fellow addicts, confessing: Hi, I'm Deborah and I have a princess obsession. Ever since I was a little girl, and watched an animated prince slip a crystal slipper on Cinderella's dainty foot, I've been taken in by the happily ever after. And it's not just cartoons, either. I'm a sucker for any story featuring a princess: Enchanted, the Princess Diaries, the Princess Bride.
P.S., I don't have kids, or grand-kids, so I can't even use that as an excuse for sneaking off to see Tangled.
So, what am I supposed to do now? Disney told the L.A. Times in November that this animated story of a princess, stolen by a wicked woman and imprisoned in a tower, would be its final fairy tale for the foreseeable future. Looks like the clock may have finally struck midnight on the genre. Disney execs fear it's too girlish to attract little boys and their daddies. Well, duh. The princess fantasy is a girl thing. Aren't there enough movies with fast cars and things that go BOOM for the boys?
Spoiler alert: Despite the imminent death of the princess tale, the story ended well for fair Rapunzel. And the fact that I cheered her on, that I loved this children's movie, got me to thinking about the endurance of this theme in books and movies. Are you pro-princess, or anti? Are princess stories a plot to delude women into waiting hopelessly for Prince Charming? Or, are they a sweet sojourn into Fantasyland? How about you men? Do you have a secret prince fantasy, where you get to save the day and end up with the beautiful girl? Wait a minute . . . isn't that the plot of every action movie ever made?