Disney’s “Wreck it Ralph 2: Ralph Break’s the Internet” comes out in November, but has already inspired lots of excitement, particularly among classic Disney princess fans thanks to this trailer, which features the first ever official portrayal of all the princesses in a single room, art style, and universe — all being portrayed by their original voice actresses:
(The princesses first appear at 1:32, if you’re feeling impatient.)
But the excitement was kicked up a notch this week, when Entertainment Weekly obtained a new still from the movie that looks a lot like a Disney princess slumber party, complete with now-canon casual wear for each beloved character.
Here’s the picture again, for your viewing pleasure:
The internet (including me) is going crazy over the tiniest, but most meaningful details of this image, a few of which I’ve outlined here:
1.The simple idea that all the princesses would be friends who hang out together in a large, diverse group — away from all their respective love interests — is a lovely site to behold, and so important for young girls to see depicted on screen.
2.The animators chose to depict Tiana with her naturally curly hair. This was an incredibly important decision that they could have easily overlooked, but made a conscious decision to portray. While the skeptical part of me wonders whether they were simply looking for an opportunity to use their new hair-animation tech (developed during production for Brave and perfected for Moana), the hopeful part of me wants to believe that the decision was made with young viewers in mind, who notice more than we adults realize when their heroes look like them. This tweet sums it up nicely:
Everyone is talking about mulan’s casual clothes but im like
PLEASE CAN WE TALK ABOUT TIANA’S NATURAL HAIR AND HOW GREAT IT IS FOR THE FIRST BLACK DISNEY PRINCESS SHOW HER NATURAL HAIR??? BITCH I WISH A BLACK PRINCESS USED NATURAL HAIR WHEN I WAS A KID IT WOULD BE AMAZING FOR ME
— hi im: gous and im: trying my best (@gous_art) August 11, 2018
3.Cinderella is wearing leggings / yoga pants. The OG Disney princess, the literal icon of feminine purity, beauty and poise, is wearing the exact clothing item that adults — particularly grown-ass men — have ridiculed and mocked and prohibited young women from wearing for years now. Girls everywhere have been sent home from school, punished, and teased for wearing pants that are generally just more comfortable than denim, and Disney knows that. As a grown woman that wears leggings regularly, and often worries about being ogled or not taken seriously while doing so, I feel validated by Cinderella’s leggings. Accurate representation of women and girls is important, and canon leggings are a step in the right direction.
4.Mulan’s outfit is being praised by Asian women as being a hyper-accurate representation of modern fashion. The actual movie that Mulan stars in is nearly 20 years old now, but she is arguably the strongest and most accomplished princess of the group, so it’s so important that Disney make her feel modern and relevant for the younger audience. Here’s a tweet from a woman that I admire very much that I think is representative of a lot of the reactions that I’ve seen on Twitter to Mulan’s new look:
I already loved Mulan but seeing her in my frequently worn outfit of a red bomber jacket, black jeans & hi-tops is the most I’ve ever felt like I was looking at myself in a Hollywood animated film. Also please sell that jacket, Disney- I want it. #RalphBreaksTheInternet pic.twitter.com/jbD4Hu9tEA
— Chastity Vicencio (@chastity_v) August 10, 2018
5.Tiana, Anna, Elsa and Cinderella are eating junk food. This seems like an obvious thing to add to the scene, because that’s what people do at sleep-overs..but hear me out. The Disney princesses have a long history of presenting unrealistic body proportions for young viewers (particularly, massive eyes and ridiculously tiny waists) and it is wildly important that the princesses demonstrate that it is OK to eat sweets. Childhood concern with weight and body image is on the rise, and studies show that one in five teenage girls (ages 12 – 18) surveyed claimed to already be dieting regularly. That’s ridiculous. The teenage years are a vital time for body development and growth, which both require adequate nutrition. The need to “diet” or watch one’s figure is learned at a very early age, and little girls have no business believing that it’s not ok to eat popcorn or the occasional frappuccino. If it takes the Disney princesses to instill that lesson, so be it.
6.Just, as a general note, there’s something beautiful about seeing the classic, 2-D princesses rendered in the new Disney 3-D animation style. Seeing Pocahontas, Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White, Tiana and Mulan beautifully adapted for the style, and effortlessly standing alongside Rapunzel, Moana and the Frozen sisters just warms my cold, dead heart.
What’s your favorite part of the new princess promo?