The NY Times has an article on Disney Princesses, specifically the way they’re being transformed and repurposed, gender-bent and race-bent and everything else that crops up on tumblr and instagram. They’re also the subject of long dissertations about why a particular princess is actually awesome, what each princess signifies in terms of life lessons and admirable traits to emulate, and how they’re far more serious and important than a mere children’s film.
This sounds very familiar – it’s what nerds did with superheroes. ← This link explains it pretty thoroughly, but the overly simplified version is that nerds adultified superheroes, and made them part of mainstream culture via a two-pronged process of having the best talent create superhero stories and having a large demographic with excess cash like superheroes.
I think Disney princesses are at the stage we were in the 90s – maybe they’re a little bit more ahead, but a lot of what I see reminds me of the conversations I had with my friends while waiting for a bus. So in the coming decades we’re likely to see “Disney Princess” movies made for adults rather than children, with complex plots and ambiguous heroes, and amazing writing. They’ll be good enough that they’ll be mainstream, everyone will watch them because they’ll be the best movies with the highest production values, and even people who don’t like Disney movies – and who probably ridicule those who do – will start liking Disney Princess movies.
They’ll get remade. They’ll get rebooted. And they’ll be celebrated in a way that will annoy current fans.
I need to find a way to cash in on this.