Don't get me wrong. I love the Disney Princesses
. They are all wonderful characters that symbolize the beautiful animated films they represent. However, I have to wonder, would Disney executives be sending a better message to their young fans if they instead called the line Disney Heroines
? The reason I say this is because there are so many wonderful animated women in our favourite Disney films that are excluded from this branch of Disney entirely. Luckily, Pocahontas and Mulan were made exceptions which I think was a much needed change. If every
girl can be a princess, as one of the company's logos suggests, shouldn't all of the women who inspired us in an animated Disney film be recognized equally? Calling the line Disney Heroines
wouldn't do any damage to the nine official princesses, they would still have their spot in the lineup. I just think that if all the focus wasn't on the "princess" aspect of the characters, kids would have a better chance of learning what's truly important. Because let's face it, more little girls say they aspire to be like Aurora than Esmeralda. Some of the many strong and interesting women that starred in successful Disney films include: Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Megara (Hercules) and Jane (Tarzan). If these characters and others I didn't mention were to be incorporated into the Disney Princess
line, maybe little girls would respond more to them and see a wider variety of characters to emulate. Unfortunately, the top-selling princesses tend to be the ones who wear big, glittery gowns and tiaras which is why Disney doesn't include them...proving that they really have lost sight of what Walt started the company for in the first place, which was not just to make money but to make dreams come true.
Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) was a gorgeous gypsy who fought for racial justice and saw past Quasimodo's fearsome exterior.
Megara from Hercules (1997) was a sarcastic, sassy diva with a tragic past who learned to love again.
Jane Porter from Tarzan (1999) was an intelligent, charming British woman who studied animals and went on an adventure that ultimately changed her life.