leaked designs for the next 6 disney princesses
ugh I’m sorry buit this just ticks me off because I know this has to do with Anna from “Frozen” Looking like Rapunzel but omg seriously?
Ana doesn’t look THAT much liek Rapunzel! Like— damn!
Their eye shapes are different, Anna has a smaller nose, and it concaves inward more, her face is rounder, Rapunzel has more of a jaw!
Yes— they do look similar, but so what? People look similar. That’s just how things are! But this is ridiculous. It just makes me mad that people are getting all up and frumpy about this. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I want to work for disney, but it just makes me mad.
okay I don’t usually reply to these sorts of posts but the whole “THEY’RE DIFFERENT REALLY” thing is exhausting so I’m for once gonna speak my mind on the matter.
It’s not about the fact that Anna has a “smaller nose and slightly rounder face and OH MY GOD BLUE EYES AND SLIGHTLY DARKER HAIR” it’s about the fact that Disney CAN but it DOESN’T.
What do I mean by this? Let’s take a look at the official Disney Princess lineup why don’t we.
There we see a total of 11 Princesses, 7 out of which are white (and front and center mind you) and 4 WOC. Disney CAN include more WOC in their movies, Ana could’ve been any ethnicity, any body type, any ANYTHING, but instead she’s a slightly modified version of Rapunzel. Disney CAN do it, but it doesn’t.
Where’s a fat princess? Where’s a latina princess? And don’t even tell me that THIS ABOMINATION is supposed to be a representation of my community because I can’t even begin on THAT subject Where’s ANYTHING but another stereotypical white princess? When you have something as iconic as the Disney Princesses that all little kids grow up looking at, you must be careful and understand that representation is crucial. For example how come there’s 7 white princesses but only 1 black? Why can’t there be 2, or 3, or 7 for that matter?
Or someone like Mulan, yeah she’s a Chinese princess, but what about the rest of east asians? Are they all supposed to identify with the Chinese princess?
It’s not about Anna looking slightly different than Rapunzel, it’s about misrepresentation. Women all over the world come in all sizes, shapes and colors, yet Disney princesses come in predominantly white colors and all the same shape and size. NOT TO MENTION THAT WOC Princesses usually get WAY less merchandise and representation than the white princesses, and the movies for the WOC princesses, all touch very controversial topics and perpetrate stereotypes about POC. So please, understand that it’s not “being anal” about Disney’s character design choices, it’s being really fucking done and tired about Disney’s character design choices.
What’s kinda interesting is if you think about it on the basest of terms, it’s kinda like people complaining that a popular artists only draws kawaii tiny anime girls and needs more variety.
This is actually an age-old character design problem that’s exacerbated by 3D.
We haven’t really nailed 3D animation yet, and it’s still pretty limiting in regards to things like the uncanny valley. We have to be cartoony, but since the objects have to exist in 3D space with textures and real lighting, it would look totally out of place if the characters were too stylized. The result is a very narrow spectrum of what looks good in 3D. Even Pixar struggles with this, but it’s especially evident in studios of less renown.
These are major characters from various 3D movies released over the last 5 years. They all look the same. Nice smooth oval face, small rounded nose, and large eyes like rounded lemon wedges. If you told me that these were all designed by the same person I would believe it. This similarity is due to to the small spectrum of what looks good in 3D.
“But why not go super stylized? There are films where the main character has a wacky and very different design!”
The answer to that lies in the art of character design itself. Characters with those designs are always over the top, true characters. You are meant to laugh at their antics, or see them as evil, or whatever the design presents. We are not meant to connect with them on a level where we see ourselves in their shoes, and sympathize with them as main characters.
As humans we have a very limited range of visual traits that we subconsciously make a connection with. That is why character design for protagonists is often bland in comparison to the supporting cast- the more unique you make them the less the audience will sympathize with them. Again I stress that this is an unconscious phenomenon, but it has been proven and used to the advantage of any professional character designer out there.
Hotel Transylvania has characters by Genndy Tartakovsky, originally a 2D animator, so it suffers less from the boring 3D design problem. Dracula, in the center there, may be the “main character” and have a unique design, but he is a funny caricature who is meant to entertain us. The two who we are meant to connect with, who carry the emotional plot of the movie and serve as gateways to the world, are the two teenagers who follow the same 3D design template as the protagonists in every other 3D movie.
We naturally prefer attractive people (look at hollywood) and those who appear similar to ourselves for evolutionary breeding purposes. It makes more sense to cast a wide net then to pinpoint increasingly specific races and ethnicities and risk alienating everyone else. And I can’t really blame them for doing this. Of course it’s good to have plenty of diversity in your movie lineup, but you also want to draw as few lines of possible between an audience member and the character.
Calling for a princess of every different race and ethnicity is just silly. If a little Korean girl can’t connect with Mulan because she’s Chinese, or Cinderella because she’s British, that’s a problem with the girl, not the movie. I have never not been able to sympathize with a character because they’re black, or a woman, or a talking dog. I want to see all peoples represented fairly, and whitewashing is not something that should happen. However arguing that the next princess should be X race so that people of X race can identify with her is flawed thinking. In that case I call for the next princess to be a short Scottish-Polish American male with an interest in art and science, because I am incapable of enjoying a movie unless my identity is pasted onto the screen. Damn is it ever hard to find a movie I like.
TLDR; Disney isn’t doing this because they’re sexist or racist. They’re using a strategy to ensure as many people can put themselves in the shoes of a princess as possible. It isn’t their fault, it’s just the way our brain works. We’ve only noticed the great similarity because the limitations of 3D animation have really brought it out. I don’t want whitewashing, but if you need your own race to be a Disney princess in order to enjoy the movie… you’re probably a bit racist yourself.