“Rejected” Disney Princesses We Wish Had Their Own Movies

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Sick of the same old same old when it comes to the Disney Princess mold? While we are slowly starting to see a slight change with the portrayal of female characters in not just Disney, but every type of animated film, the status quo still largely remains the same.

With the huge success of Disney’s ‘Frozen’ which had to female lead protagonists and whose story didn’t hinge on the traditional type of love between a man and a woman, it has ushered in a new era of what people want to see. Frozen, c0-directed by Jennifer Lee has also now officially become the 5th biggest selling film of ALL TIME. So there’s proof audiences are ready to see something different and bold when it comes to animated female characters, as well as live action.

We’ve seen various artists and illustrators create their own take on the Disney Princess series, some where all of them have disabilities (since none of the existing ones have any) and some where the entire range is based on real life female heroes such as Malala, Hillary Clinton, and the first female US Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

There was also a petition started by a 17 year old girl who wants to see a plus size Disney Princess range. That story caused a lot of controversy because many critics said creating a range of plus size Disney princesses would only perpetuate unhealthy eating habits. The main message behind that petition was representation for all types of girls, no matter what their size, and that is what’s important when it comes to a huge cultural icon that has been influencing young girls for decades.

And now we’d like to introduce you to the latest range of anti-Disney Princess artist impressions called ‘Rejected Princess’, created by ex-Dreamworks animator Jason Porath. He quit his job at the studio shortly after the release of ‘Frozen’, to pursue other ventures. he started a ‘Rejected Princesses’ blog on Tumblr and has amassed quite a loyal following, yet more evidence that audiences are hungry for something different from what we are used to.

He told E! Online where the idea came from, saying:

“It all spun out of a lunchtime conversation I was having a while back when I was working as an effects artist at DreamWorks Animation. Frozen had just come out, and there was an online article going around about how the Frozen princesses weren’t good role models. So, I posited to the lunch group, one could do WAY worse than the Frozen girls—so who would come up with the woman least suitable to be an animated princess?”

From there it snowballed out into a personal passion. I found myself really fascinated by how narrowly-defined the animated princess mold was, and the massive spectrum of women across history and literature that just end up winnowed down to this tiny sliver of what ends up in the mainstream.”

Since starting the blog, he has been uploading new artwork each week, and each princess has their own back story. The reason these princesses are “rejects” is because they don’t fit the cookie cutter mold and have somewhat of a dark side to them. Some of these girls are created from real life stories from various cultures around the world who are rarely taught to children in history lessons, however they do exist, and some are taken from popular novels.

The range includes Mai Bhago, 18th century Sikh warrior-saint and only survivor of the Battle of Khidrana, Wu Zetian, first and only female Emperor of China, Sergeant Mariya Oktyabrskaya, the first female tanker to ever win the Hero of the Soviet Union award, Nzinga Mbande, 17th-century African queen of what is now Angola, Hatshepsut, arguably the greatest pharaoh in history, and Lolita who has become the poster girl for childhood sexual abuse.

There has been a bit of artistic license taken in the way they are depicted of course, but Jason’s stories are fascinating to read, and give his audience a greater sense of global culture, strong females throughout history, and are the antithesis of what the Disney girls are doing. The Rejected Princesses go to war, have important callings upon their lives which affect their countries, and ignite imaginations in a much more multi-dimensional way than the “damsel in distress with a pretty dress” tired storyline we see in the Disney range.

“Most everyone knows that the commonly-reproduced versions of fairy tales are a far cry from their horrific origins,” he writes under the story of Rejected Princess Penta.

“The idea behind the illustrations falls under two categories: it’s part satire of the narrow mold that mainstream animated movies have historically fallen under, and part putting the spotlight on lesser-known stories that I, at least, find super interesting,”Jason told The Huffington Post about his project.

“Disney (or DreamWorks, or Blue Sky, or whomever else) could totally make sanitized versions of these stories if they wanted to — I think there’s ample evidence of that out there,” he continued. “The point is that most of the women I’ve illustrated don’t fit the ‘kid-friendly animated princess’ template, and the resulting marriage of that idea with their stories is often hilariously incongruous.”

“The animation industry in general is gradually moving forward with more interesting and varied depictions of women … and I’m excited to see where that takes us.”

The tagline on the homepage of the blog reads: “Women too awesome, awful or offbeat for the movies” which is exactly why we love Jason’s impressions! Be sure to follow ‘Rejected Princesses’ as he has not yet finished uploading stories. We hope for the sake of the next generation of impressionable young minds, animated films revolving around Princesses will progress to be a cultural icon that teaches young boys and girls what women throughout history have done and that our stories need to be told more.

Our question is, if these types of women have existed throughout history, why shouldn’t their stories be told in film? If men are allowed to be strong, bold, awful, and badass in the movies, why shouldn’t women be depicted the same way?

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