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The Funny Thing About Princess Movies of Today Versus Yesterday

I finally broke the seal and let June watch her very first princess movie, Frozen…have you heard of it? It’s only like the top grossing kids movie of all time. Yeah, you could say I’m a little behind the times. I just upgraded to my first Walkman! In fact, I think it’s the first princess movie I’ve seen myself since The Beauty and the Beast. (Yikes.) And I noticed something funny about this mega popular princess hit of today versus all the princess movies of yore (Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc.)

The princesses of today are so freakin’ in touch with their feelings! Watching Elsa and Anna try to get to the bottom of their sibling beef was like sitting in on a therapy session.

See, it’s like this: Elsa had to reject Anna because Elsa has special powers and Elsa is afraid of hurting her but the only reason she has hang ups in the first place is because her dad was always on her case to be the good girl and and never let her true feelings show and it finally  got to the point where Elsa had to let it go, LET IT GO! — commence Vegas floor show sequence — then Oprah enters stage left to mediate this Norse family drama.

Back in the day, cartoons didn’t go this deep. It was only good versus evil. That’s it. There were no psychological underpinnings. There was no exploration of feelings. There were no unresolved daddy issues. It was all about evil stepmothers trying to cut the hearts out of fair stepdaughters and eating them. The good ole days! All childhood trauma was remedied by one big kiss from one strapping dude. The end.

I’m not saying one is worse than the other — I enjoy Dr. Phil as much as any gruesome Grimms fairy tale — but it illustrates how enmeshed we as a society are in the language of feelings; the vernacular of Oprah. Do kids notice? Do they care? Given Frozen’s monstrous success, I suspect they do. But give me a good one dimensional Snow White any day!

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