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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Not So Charming Prince...

A Not So Charming Prince…

Last Friday night I took my almost two-year-old daughter to see Disney’s new animated movie, “The Princess and the Frog”. I have to be honest, I was sorely disappointed with this film. Having grown up in the generation of, “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “Aladdin”; I felt that Disney’s return to hand-drawn animation left much to be desired.

My biggest concern with the movie was the lack of positive character development and connection, specifically speaking, Prince Naveen. What happened to Prince Charming? Well, there was nothing charming about this Prince - in fact, he was the opposite of charming. A better name for him might be Prince Self-indulged, or Prince Entitlement.

Prince Naveen’s opening scene in the movie depicts him mucking it up with lots of woman. He was coming to visit New Orleans for the sole purpose of finding a rich girl to marry. He was, what my family calls, a “schmoozer”. Now, I don’t have a problem with a character having flaws, but generally, there is some deep reason for their issues, or there is a moment of clarity in which they realize they are wrong and change their ways. Neither of these things happened in this movie. There was simply no redeeming quality about Prince Naveen. He was not likeable. Out of nowhere, he was in love with Tiana, despite the fact that he was still the indulgent, entitled, schmoozer that he was when the movie began. What is more disturbing, is that Tiana loved him back!

They depict Tiana as a strong, independent, smart young woman. I find it hard to believe that she would settle for someone like Naveen, but miraculously, without him doing anything to deserve it, she falls for him.

While, my daughter is still too young to understand all of that (she just liked the music!), it did make me think. If my daughter was older and could understand, I am not sure I would want her to see this movie. I do not want my daughter thinking that Prince Naveen is what a “Prince” should look like. I want my daughter to grow up with high expectations for the man who one day wins her heart. I want him to work hard to deserve her love. Bottom line, I hope that he is nothing like Prince Naveen, because every girl deserves better than that!

I consider my husband to be my Prince Charming. I am not trying to glorify him into something that he is not…because he is human, and has flaws, but he did work hard to win my heart. Very hard. He had been somewhat of a “schmoozer” himself before we dated, having had many girlfriends, but he knew that he would have to change if he wanted something real with me. And that he did. As did some of the Princes that we have come to love from Disney over the years. The Beast, was grumpy and mean because he had been alone and ugly for so long…but Belle changed him. And, Aladdin only did the things he did because he wanted to see more of Jasmine, and then he saved her in the end. These characters were likeable, Prince Naveen was not.

In my opinion, there was absolutely nothing “Charming” about this Prince…

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