The guide to the often unexamined Disney Princes, preparing young girls everywhere for the douche bags they will encounter later in life.
The Disney Princes are often underappreciated. Mostly they are used as an ideal for young girls future spouses as they all seem to possess a few of the same desirable traits: strength, bravery, magnificent hair, all qualities admired by six year olds throughout America for generations. They've created such a classic model for the perfect man that we tend to forget their individual stories and attributes in favor of the superior title of a "Disney Prince." This combined with the fact that most of the girls are only interested in being the princesses that the "prince" is just another accessory, like a handbag or talking animal. Yet they do have their own individual qualities. Because all of the original myths that the movies were based on were so ancient, in all of these stories, without the prince, the princess would be dead, and Disney apparently saw nothing wrong with that.
How could Belle have gotten by if the Beast hadn't first imprisoned her and then saved her and then married her? How could Cinderella be so famous if Prince Charming hadn't danced with her and then had one of his servants save her so that he could marry her? How could Ariel have gotten legs if she hadn't sold her soul to the devil so that Eric could save her and then marry her? How would Jasmine be happy if Aladdin hadn't lied to her, resulting in her getting captured so then he could save her and then marry her? Sleeping Beauty and Snow White were already dead from a medical perspective, their princes had to drag them back from death's door with their lips alone, an arduous task. These are the reasons that Disney Princes are needed, to do the dirty work, because none of these princesses could have survived at all without a man to save them. Thus we should work to appreciate them more.
Now, some may see The Little Mermaid as the ultimate love story: a princess gives away her most prized possession, her voice, to the proverbial devil, for just one shot at attaining true love with a prince that would normally be completely unattainable. It's a pretty long shot too, she's only got three days, she can't speak, she's never had legs before, she probably smells terrible, and she has a habit of confusing silverware and hair accessories. Many men would not find this appealing, the nice ones would drive her to a mental institution, but Ariel is only concerned with Prince Eric.
Back to the long shot, when she decides to give up a pretty necessary ability, she's never even met Eric. She met his dog, watched him do an Irish jig with like 150 other men, and saved him from drowning, but never introduced herself.
His ship sinks and she swims him to shore. He was knocked unconscious, but as he's coming to she's singing to him, and he unknowingly falls in love with her. We have to give him a bit of slack at this point, if any of us woke up to find a merperson on top of us, we would probably freak the fuck out and call the Coast Guard. But he has been in what looked to be a pretty serious boat crash, and probably has a severe concussion, so yeah, he becomes obsessed with a girl whose voice he has only heard once. Meanwhile, oh for the ironic twist, Ariel gives her voice to Ursula (Roseanne Barr with tentacles) in order to obtain legs to go and find Eric. Eric and Ariel meet up on the beach soon after. She's wrapped in a sheet of some kind, cannot speak and is miming to a crab, so he decides it's a good idea to take her to his house. They have dinner and hang out the next day. Eric seems to be falling for her.
Then, boom, Ursula takes Ariel's voice, must use some pretty advanced sorcery because she makes herself hot, and puts Eric in a trance so everything will fall apart. Fake hot Ursula and Eric are about to get married on a boat when all the sea creatures riot, Ariel climbs aboard, the spell breaks and Ursula becomes the obese octopus drag queen she was before. Eric goes running to Ariel who has gotten her voice back and she turns into a mermaid again. IN HIS ARMS. Is he disgusted? No. Should he be? Probably.
By now, Eric should have a pretty strong aversion to water, but instead of hanging around what had to be the most terrifying wedding ever, he dives in and does the most impressive thing a Disney prince has ever done: fucking IMPALES the adversary with a deteriorated boat while she's 40 stories tall. All the way through too, Disney usually doesn't make deaths that graphic. He then winds up marrying a legged Ariel. So even though he's a little too obsessed with his dog, and a bit weird for accepting that the woman he loves most is half sea creature, he gets points for dedication.
We now get to what may be the creepiest movie ever made. It was Disney's first color animation movie so we're sure it wasn't intentionally petrifying, but a petition should probably be in place to keep it permanently in the vault and away from parents who value their children's ability to sleep at night. It's ironic that a film with ample tree monsters and a villainess so evil they forgot to give her hair would have the sissiest prince of any Disney movie yet. That may have just been how they played male royalty in the 30's, but in today's understanding it might be more accurate to call Snow White a dual-princess lead.
When we first see "Prince" (very original Disney, and to answer your question, no, the actual Prince did not appear in this film he was too busy recording Dirty Mind) he is wearing the fruitiest hat known to man and sporting questionably red lips. He sings with Snow White, she runs away in alarm (most likely because of the hat), and he leaves crestfallen. Snow White then commits the majority of her airtime to seven other men and various adorable woodland creatures and of course eating food given to her from people who look like this:
The next time we see Prince we learn that he has been searching for Snow White the whole time, and he comes up to her singing again. This time she's dead, and she's been dead for a while, add that to the fact that she's not yet pubescent and endure the grossest kiss in the history of morality. So we're clear, the Prince kisses an 11 year old that has been dead for like two weeks and gets applauded for it, lesson: if you ever learn how to time travel, NEVER GO BACK TO 1937 BECAUSE IT'S FUCKED UP THERE.
Cinderella, the fundamental underdog story, or as Disney calls it "the sweetest story ever," is so widely told that it was just be repetitive to relay it again, unless we brought Brandi back to act it out. First off, let's all agree that "Prince Charming" really is an unfortunate name. What if he wasn't charming for a day? He would never live it down. He literally could never be unpleasant. What if he was getting mugged? Would he still have to be charming? It's downright unfair, he should have been called Prince Put Under an Insane Amount of Pressure For No Reason, but this is all beside the point.
At the beginning of the story, Prince Charming has astonishingly been avoiding marriage, so he's having a ball thrown for him. From the looks of it, it's the ultimate mixer, he's the only guy in about 400 single women. He could probably just put one hand over his eyes, point the other hand, and spin around until he has to stop, then immediately propose to whomever he lands on. Sadly, before that can happen, Charming spots Cinderella wandering near the doorway, and they twirl wildly about until they're in love. He's about to hit first base when she inexplicably runs away like her ass is on fire, understandably leaving one of her glass slippers behind, as running on glass would hurt like a bitch. He runs after her, but apparently a girl running in one high heel is too much for him, and she gets away.
Summing up his character in the four minutes of movie he's in, Charming's kind of a douche nozzle. He waves off responsibility until the last moment, then has literally everyone in the kingdom drive over to his house so he can hastily choose one girl to spend the rest of his life with just because he has to. Not that any of them were complaining. But once he spots Cinderella he "falls in love with her" straightaway, but when she sprints off right when they're getting into it, he jogs about four paces before saying "fuck it I'll send the horses." He then has his valets go out to find her, because he's busy doing other really important shit rather than finding the one girl he wants to be united with forever. Charming? Funny.
Much later in the story, the slipper fits, and Charming and Cinderella get married. Cinderella is then free to have scores of grandchildren for the King, which is the only reason he wants her around. Happily Ever After.
Aladdin, the most controversial Disney film since their escapades with Songs of the South, begins with our befriending a young man pent on stealing a loaf of bread. Disney's not endorsing thievery here, they make it very clear that the boy is in abject poverty and doesn't have any role models or friends other than his small pet monkey (and adorably they have the same matching outfits so who couldn't like them?). The guards chase him through the city shouting obscenities until he finally loses them, and then he ends up giving the bread to children who are rooting through a trashcan and starving to death.
He encounters one of the suitors going to meet the princess who makes the comment, "You were born a street rat, you will die a street rat, and only your fleas will mourn you," before kicking him into a gutter. This pretty much sums up Aladdin's life at this point, in the real world he'd have probably already turned to cocaine to make his sordid existence a bit more bearable by now, but this is Disney so he meets the love of his life about 12 hours later.
Jasmine has escaped the palace in disguise because she hates automatically getting everything she wants all the time always, and feels the need to have more interesting adventures among the common populace. She's about to get her hand chopped off for giving an apple to another starving child because apparently she's never heard of money before (really boosting Middle Eastern tourism there Disney) when Aladdin saves her. They connect on being ambiguously trapped within the socioeconomic class system when the guards come and arrest Aladdin, but not before Jasmine reveals herself and makes Aladdin feel like an asshole.
He gets put in palace jail and this person:
Yeah, creepy as fuck right? Anyway, this person convinces Aladdin to follow him down through a secret passageway in the dungeon to the cave of wonders where he can get some treasure- all of this should send up flags for impending sexual assault by the way, there is no way anyone could read that sentence and not automatically reach for the mace, but Aladdin is desperate and follows the guy despite any innuendos. He is told to steal a lamp and he can have all of the treasure he wants, he attempts it, and gets buried in the process. He rubs the lamp, and a genie appears to perform a lively musical number.
When they get out of the cave, Aladdin admits that what he wants most in the world is Jasmine, but she can only marry a prince. Here is where the pattern of pathological lying begins, genie makes him into a prince with some fancy clothes and an elephant, but Jasmine is not impressed (little does he know, she's still longing for the lovable hobo she met in the city). They go on a carpet ride and she softens up, when he lies yet again, and tells her that he was only pretending to be homeless before. He's not really. He then also admits to the genie that he lied to him when he said he'd set him free, because he still needs the genie's powers in order to lie to Jasmine.
Jafar (the embodiment of a pedophile) finds the lamp, uses it to gain control, reveals that literally nothing Aladdin has said has been true this whole time, and then sends him to Antarctica. Meanwhile, Jafar rules on high and asks Jasmine to marry him (he's like 50 and she's like 16, that's child marriage by the way). Aladdin comes back and tricks Jafar into asking the genie to make him a genie, thus enslaving him for eternity. Everyone forgives Aladdin for lying his ass off repeatedly, and Jasmine and Aladdin can be happy forever, teaching children that they can lie as long as it's for a good reason.
When Prince Phillip meets Sleeping...sorry, Aurora he doesn't immediately like her, probably because he's four, signaling the beginning of her bad luck. She's like a day old when the poor girl gets her "We Have a New Princess!" party crashed by the witch Maleficent, who is seriously pissed off that she wasn't invited. She gives a "gift" to Aurora, the promise that on her sixteenth birthday she gets to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. Well naturally everyone freaks out, and one of the three fairies amends the situation by adding "not die, but be in a coma forever until true love's kiss." They then immediately give the princess to the fairies to take to the middle of messing nowhere, an odd decision given that "until true love's kiss" bit, you'd think they'd want her to grow up around a bunch of available men so that when she's knocked out they can remedy it as quickly as possible. But whatever.
We don't see Phillip again until Aurora is sixteen. He's on his horse, just trotting around the woods when he hears Aurora singing to the attentive forest animals. He argues with his horse for a while about whether to go over to her (the horse drives a hard bargain), but finally they agree. The horse drops him when they get to some water, and then they begin to fight again. The animals make off with his clothes, dress in them, and start to dance around with Aurora. Strangely, he's not off put by this, in fact he's a little intrigued.
We all know "Once Upon a Dream" is supposed to be one of the most romantic songs in the Disney universe, but watching closely, it's a little disturbing. First of all, she keeps making it blatantly obvious that she doesn't want to hang out. She tries pulling away but he keeps grabbing onto her hands. She hides behind a tree and he makes fun of the fact that she dreams about men. They begin to dance once Phillip stops singing and the atmospheric Disney chorus chimes in. When he starts asking for her contact information, she panics and runs for it. He asks when he can see her again, and she replies with a highly committed "maybe someday." Then gives in a little and yells "this evening at the cottage in the glen." Leaving it up to him to find out which glen she's referring to.
He tells his dad about meeting a girl (not knowing that he's actually already betrothed to her) and the dad freaks out because he's already betrothed (to the same girl, but he doesn't know that either). Aurora tells the fairies that she met a boy, and they freak out and take her back to her parents, there again contradicting the fact that she's about to be in a coma for a very long time and needs a boy to get out of it. They then leave her ALONE to mourn her lost crush, and Maleficent appears and convinces her to touch the spindle by saying: "touch the spindle." Then the fairies put everyone in the kingdom to sleep, until they can sort it all out.
Meanwhile, Phillip finds the glen and gets captured by Maleficent's orcs. The fairies go to rescue Phillip, and watch as Maleficent tortures him with the possibility of having to live with her for 100 years, and rhyming as she does it. They rescue him after she leaves, and give him the "Sword of Truth" and "Shield of Virtue," which he then uses to run away with. Maleficent stops him by creating a forest of thorns around Aurora's castle, which isn't that harmful, just a pain in the ass. When he weedwacks his way through it, Maleficent herself turns up with "all the powers of Hell" as she puts it. An accurate statement, considering she already had horns, and then she turns herself into a dragon.
Phillip slays her obvs, then makes his way up to Aurora. She's asleep, and for the second time in Disney history a Prince makes out with an unconscious princess with no consent given. She wakes up and looks at him for a minute before slightly smiling. Now that the important people are good everyone can wake up, and they meet each other's in-laws (including Aurora's dad, who has the coolest mustache ever).
Frankly the name says it all. The Beast (or "Prince Adam," back when he was a pantywaist) is basically a domestic abuser in the form of Chewbacca with a long undiagnosed bipolar disorder. He doesn't exactly fit the archetype Disney prince; in fact, his character is so contrastive to the rest that whoever originally provided the storyline development should be in shock therapy. If Disney wasn't Disney, the Beast would probably be an alcoholic, and Belle would have definitely been mauled to death very early on.
But it didn't happen that way, and as his princess counterpart, Belle is forced to bear the brunt of his maltreatment, as she feared to escape a castle the size of Rhode Island from a captor who could easily rip off her face. Their romance begins when she gives up her liberty to save her father's life after the Beast locks him in a dungeon. You'd think that after his last encounter with a whimpering senior citizen at his front door (aka the reason he's a yeti now), he'd show a little kindness, but unfortunately, an asshole is an asshole is an asshole. So Belle ends up voluntarily incarcerated in a castle of singing furniture, and of course, the Beast. Initially, they don't take to each other, keep in mind he's basically Mo'Nique's character from Precious, the statement "If she doesn't eat with me, then she doesn't eat at all" is a good example, and, you know, he's constantly terrifying her by screaming and breaking shit and being 12 feet tall.
However, over time, either by the Beast's softening heart or a legitimate case of Stockholm syndrome, the hostility between them diminishes. Remember, Beast's sole purpose in life is to find someone on earth that can look at his face and not shit themselves in terror, so things finally starting to work out for him when Gaston (the antagonist with a ponytail) decides to invade the castle because he's racist. It all ends in a death match on the roof, and even though Beast saves Gaston by grabbing onto his Ralph Lauran Polo dress before he can plunge to his death, Beast still ends up getting knifed. Gaston falls off the roof anyway, and Belle (who, like any good Disney princess has just been screaming and standing around this whole time) is left to weep over Beast as he dies. But it's Disney, so the spell breaks, Beast's wound is magically healed and everyone turns pretty again.
All in all, though Beast spends the majority of the movie snarling at something, he is seen as the good guy, because he tricks the woman he's imprisoned into loving him.