Thursday, July 01, 2010

Princesses Lose Their Crown

While real-life princesses--see previous post--are staging a comeback (I picked up a copy of Majesty magazine in Borders and I swear there was an article titled "Know Your Princesses"), apparently fictional ones are lagging in popularity.

According to an item in Entertainment Weekly, Disney was none too pleased with the relatively paltry box office for "The Princess and the Frog." So to promote its forthcoming fall animated feature, "Rapunzel," it's dialing down the estrogen and ramping up the stud quotient. All in a bid to attract more boys to the movie. Check out the trailer and you'll see what I mean.

I'm torn. On the one hand, I realize it's healthy for girls to grow up knowing they can be doctors or lawyers or sales clerks at Walgreens. Or a Crown Princess who will get to rule her country some day, not Cinderella who just looks pretty in a big poofy ballgown. It doesn't need to be all pink, all princess, all unicorns and rainbows all the time.

On the other hand, must we always pander to the guys? Something like 99.99999 percent of movies are aimed at men or boys. Women are aware of this, which is why a lot of us went to see "Sex and the City 2" even though we knew it sucked. If we don't turn out for "female" fare, no matter how bad it is, we'll never see it again. Take away a little girl's princess movie, or de-emphasize the female role in it, and you're just affirming at a young age that girls are secondary to boys. That it's a man's world and we're just along for the added date-night revenue.

The same studios that worry that boys didn't like "The Princess and the Frog" are the same ones that cast 22-year-old starlets as the love interests of 60-year-old coots. The princess phase, when girls are the center of the story, is so fleeting and now the powers that be aren't even willing to concede that modest territory to members of the fairer sex, who clearly are considered a less desirable audience.

Save the princess.


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