, , , , , , , , ,

Just found an article on Yahoo!News that made me cringe: Disney Will Stop Making Princess Movies Because Boys Think They’re Icky

The message? That Disney will stop making Princess Movies in favor of movies geared toward guys. Part of me is glad that boys may get some quality movies coming their way- because often they get the short end of the stick. But the rest of me is very annoyed. Starting with the reasons behind this announcement:

One reason is because the studio is fearful of alienating young boys, who supposedly won’t see something like last year’s “The Princess and the Frog.” The other reason, frighteningly, is that young girls consider themselves too cool to want to be princesses.

Though the article’s title “Because Boys think They’re icky” the boy perspective is mostly ignored in favor of the difficulties of marketing to today’s girls. For instance:

Media critic Dafna Lemish, who has written about the influence of film and television on children, said in the same article, “By the time they’re 5 or 6, [girls are] not interested in being princesses. They’re interested in being hot, in being cool. Clearly, they see this is what society values.” (That’s right: A girl born in 2005 already is worrying about how “hot” she is. Have fun with that, moms and dads of the world.)

So what do movie-makers do when girls are no longer interested in being princesses? Make childish femme fatales? Go all-out on boy action movies? Is there not some kind of in-between for girls? Some kind of HEALTHY middle ground for girls to emulate? Kick-butt independent girls? Girls who can do adventures and fight dragons and surprise everyone? Girls who don’t have to be sexy and dress mature for their age- who can just be girls and don’t have to be anything else? Girls like

Ellie from Up

Sarah From Liberty’s Kids
Or even…

I honestly had a hard time coming up with strong female characters who rely more on themselves than a random handsome prince to save them. But they exist. And they could have great stories. I completely agreed with the article when it pointed out that

a commitment to quality and a fresh approach is what made Lasseter’s Pixar so fantastic in the first place: It wasn’t just the animation but the storytelling and heart that give their films their special aura. You would have hoped that Lasseter would have remembered those lessons when he moved over to Disney in 2006

Hopefully Lasseter will remember that Pixar motto of “Story is King” and that desire to think outside the box to bring the great story to life. And I sincerely hope that he can do so and bring some admirable female characters to the table.