As you may already of noticed I am a bit of a fan of the Disney Princesses and their films. One aspect about these films that I find really interesting is the kingdoms in which their stories take place, including the buildings and the general surroundings. So I decided to write an article discussing each Princesses kingdom. In this article I am looking at Walt Disney's princesses ie. the original three.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Specific name unknown
(Snow White's castle)
First on the agenda is Snow White, the "lovely little princess".. but Princess of where? Pre Happily Ever After she lived in her inherited castle with her stepmother The Evil Queen and I can only assume that Snow White is next in line to the throne of the beautifully animated kingdom she dwells in. I love the original castle, its simple, however still regal and it looks over a very small village as well as having a sea side view. Sounds like my dream property.
(The Dwarf's cottage)
Apart from the very small village we see on the shot of the Queen's castle the rest of the kingdom that is shown during the film is forest lands, inhabited with cute animals, dark magic, a diamond mine and seven dwarfs. Of course a lot of time Snow White spends during the film is in the cottage of the seven dwarfs that she describes as being like "a little doll's house" which is a perfect description, the Dwarf's humble home is situated over the seven jewelled hills and beyond the seventh fall.
(Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany)
The country in which Snow White is set in is debatable but the common belief is that it is in Germany. Disney's Snow White is most notably based on Brother Grimm's adaption, who are German writers and are thought to of base this particular fairy tale in Germany. Also based on visual value I think that Snow White's inherited castle is very reminiscent of that in German history.
This kingdom represented in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is very significant, given that its the first feature length animated film to be released theatrically influencing all fairytale story lands from the 1930s onwards. Snow White's kingdom is one of my favourites out of all of the princesses. It is heavily based on the natural world, consisting mainly of adorable forest animals, the film doesn't try and be too realistic but rather very child like with un-naturalistic uses of colour and design most notable in the dwarfs.
(The Prince's palace)
Snow White's love interest who is only ever referred to as "The Prince" I assume has a kingdom of his own, at the end of the film he takes Snow White off into the distance, we see a shot of his palace which some believe is a Palace in the sky, while others think it is just simply in the far distance, either way it is a beautiful ending shot to Snow White's enduring tale and even though there isn't much detail in this palace that can be noted we all know that this will be the home of Snow White's happily ever after.
"A tiny kingdom in a far away land"
Next up is ball gown and slippers. Cinderella who isn't princess by birth but rather marries into royalty lives in quite possibly the most iconic kingdom out of all the princesses. Like Snow White, Cinderella is brought up by an Evil Stepmother, living in the inherited estate previously owned by her father of whom was an aristocrat of some sort. It is a very beautiful estate that we are made aware that Cinderella grew of age in. The vast majority of the film takes place within this house which allowed the animators to display some beautiful interior designs for the building.
The general kingdom displayed in this film is simply stunning, a very archetypal approach to the visuals of a fairytale kingdom but still very effective and beautiful. The kingdom that is displayed in the film is heavily reliant on blue, white and just a splash of red and pink. The film consists of a very vertical orientation with all the buildings seeming as if they are reaching as high as possible and a constant awareness of symmetry and preciseness.
The palace in which the royal family live is possibly the most iconic palace ever. However the design of this palace is constantly being changed, throughout the film, the sequels, the merchandise and the palace at Disney World but the way in which the palace is shown in the initial film is simply beautiful, it is essentially the dream palace, an ideal image of what our palace should look like in our very own happily ever afters.
Cinderella's kingdom seems to be very reliant on high society, aristocracy, fancy balls and beautiful man made scenery which contrasts against Disney's previous princess film Snow White which is associated with the natural world. I am a fan of the film but the story of Cinderella is a very shallow one and the kingdom that she lives in almost matches it with a "style over substance" sense.
(French Interior Designs)
The country in which Cinderella is set in is also debatable; some people believe that it is set in England while others say France. What seems to be the most likely is France given that Disney's adaption is most notably based on French takes of the story and most of the visuals in the film simply send off more French "vibes" rather than English.
Quite simply Cinderella is the most iconic Disney Princess living in the most iconic kingdom, the kingdom where she becomes the princess bride and lives out her happily ever after.
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
"A far away land"
Aurora is in my opinion the most beautiful princess of them all and I love her kingdom and just the general design of the film. Aurora was born princess of a fairy tale kingdom in her parents palace, a palace that is possibly my least favourite of all the princesses however it has a look all of its own which creates a rather peculiar shape a bit on the chunky side which actually suits the shapes used throughout the entire film but it is a palace that is easily forgotten.
I really enjoy the musical number "Hail to the Princess Aurora" in which we see the kingdom rejoice in the birth of the leading lady. The small scene is a feast of colour, character, excitement and bouncy music. For the first time in a Princess film we see a mass amount of people whom live in the Princess' respective kingdom.
(The Woodcutter's cottage)
Like Snow White, Aurora's kingdom mainly consists of the main castle/palace, the small village it over looks and forestlands inhabited with cute animals and random cottages, in Aurora's case the "Woodcutter's cottage" that Aurora lives in with the three good fairies until her 16th birthday. The cottage is simply adorable which is indeed tiny but still includes great detail, simplistic colours, it is the kind of home you would some day want to retire to.
As already stated; Aurora's kingdom mainly consists of forest lands, which differs greatly to the kind of woodlands that Disney have previously created. This time they have experimented greatly with every shape under the sun represented in a very sharp manner in the way of bushes, trees, lakes, cliffs etc gives a very imperfect, pointy elegance corresponding with Aurora's visual details.
(Eltz Castle, Germany)
Like the previous two kingdoms talked about the country in which Sleeping Beauty is set is debatable, peoples opinions varies between England, Germany and France, I'm unsure if Disney have actually specified.
Sleeping Beauty has a very specific visual design and I think that out of all of Disney's films this is the one that is most influenced by external artistic sources. It is this kingdom out of all the princesses that is animated in the most unique manner.