- Chatting about Cartoons,Looking at TV and Film,On Princesses
The Disney Princesses of Wreck-It Ralph 2
- December 16, 2019
Wreck-It Ralph 2 was… pretty good. It didn’t really resonate with me as much as the first movie did, but it had heart. Plus, it had plenty of Disney Princesses. And I don’t think I’ll get a lot of contradictions when I say that the Princesses were the best part of the movie. They were only in a few scenes, but those scenes were the absolute highlights.
I did motice that, especially for the older Princesses, they were quite different from how they’d been portrayed in their own movies. More caricatured, for one thing, bordering on self-parody at times.
We’ve seen this trait with Disney before… remember the House of Mouse cartoon? Can you think of a SINGLE appearance by Lady and the Tramp that did NOT involve them eating spaghetti? Or a single appearance by Gaston where he didn’t do the “No one [whatever the others were talking about] like Gaston!” bit?
I have to admit, though that this isn’t necessarily BAD, especially when the original character was bland and uninteresting to begin with.
Aurora, for instance; she’s the most vapid, bland and useless Disney Princess. She has zero personality and does absolutely nothing in her own movie except getting cursed and falling asleep. Okay, fine, the scene with her getting hypnotized by Maleficent spoke to the hypnofetishist in me, but as a character Aurora is dull and bland… in Wreck-it Ralph 2 she still doesn’t do a whole lot, but she HAS gained a trait, sort of: She’s either narcoleptic or just channeling Sleepy of the Seven Dwarfs, because she sleeps a LOT. You always see her nodding off or falling asleep in the background. And okay, this isn’t HUGELY interesting, and it’s clearly just a joke on her “Sleeping Beauty” title (a joke that’s been made in many other movies, including the Shrek movies), but at least it’s SOMETHING to give her a touch more individuality.
(And of course, going back to Gaston in House of Mouse: He wasn’t a bad character to begin with, but I think the caricatured take on him made him one of the highlights of the show. “No one orders decaf like Gaston” might be the best line he ever had in any incarnation.)
But, what I mainly wanted to talk about with the Disney Princesses of Wreck-it Ralph 2 was their looks. Partly it’s the girl in me, partly it’s the designer, but… a number of the princesses here don’t quite look like themselves. I did like their casual-wear outfits, and this selfie montage:
See? Some of these princesses are near-unrecognizable. And I don’t mean that they’re more lively and expressive than before… that’s a good thing. But most of them have been rather heavily redesigned, and while in some cases it works okay, in other cases it… doesn’t.
In some cases it could be blamed on the change from 2D to 3D animation… and yes, the princesses that originate from other 3D movies look almost (but not quite) identical to how they were in their original movies. The exception is Merida, who’s been SERIOUSLY cutified and made to look more feminine… pretty much like she was for the Disney Princess franchise.
But it’s not just that either. Aurora, who comes from a 2D movie, looks nearly spot-on… while there are a few notable differences in her design, she very clearly looks like the same character, just presented in a different style. But if you look at the other two “classic era” princesses, Snow White and Cinderella… apart from their iconic outfits, they look NOTHING like their original movie versions. Especially Cinderella looks like a different character altogether. Of course, those two more than any of the others were heavily Rotoscoped in their original movie and had more “normal human” proportions, but it’s also extremely noticeable with Belle, who doesn’t look much like in her original movie either.
I think, to some extent, all the princesses have been “cartoonified” compared to their original movies. Rapunzel, Anna and Elsa seem to have set the standard for how a Disney Princess should look in 3D, and those three seem the least changed. The other princesses seem to have been altered to fit in with them more; they’ve been made skinnier, “cuter,” with larger eyes and heads… and, one thing I really noticed here: All the princesses here have REALLY SKINNY NECKS. Even Moana, who otherwise looks very close to her original movie, has a skinnier neck.
I think that’s one reason why Snow White, Cinderella and Belle look so off, because in their original movie they had much thicker, more realistic necks. Here, I’ll show you a comparison picture of the three:
See? A lot of people have commented on Cinderella’s ears, which aren’t even visible in the original but are REALLY prominent in the redesign… but just LOOK at that neck, compared to the original! It’s so thin! And it’s even more extreme for both Snow White and Belle!
The other princesses seem to have taken to the redesign better… sure, there are differences (again, Merida… and yeah, I’ve heard the “whitewashing” complaints about Pocahontas, Tiana and Mulan) but at least they don’t look like TOTALLY different characters, like these three do.