Thanks to the internet's obsession with Disney princesses, you probably know everything there is to know about them, from weird trivia to dark origin stories. But there's still more to Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine than you might think, and when you dig into their stories or analyze parts of their films, you'll really start to notice. Below, a few facts about your Disney faves that might make you see their films in a different light.
1. They're all teenagers.
All the Disney princesses might look like they're in their early 20s, but they're actually all shockingly young. Snow White? 14. Princess Jasmine and Ariel? 15 and 16, respectively. In fact, the oldest Disney princess is Frozen's Elsa who's the ripe old age of 21. With their real ages known, their stories seem extra creepy. Snow White was way too young to be living in a house with seven old men, and Ariel clearly had no business running off with some guy she barely knew when she was still just a teenager.
As for Disney animators, they intentionally designed princesses to look older to avoid revealing their true ages. For example, Walt Disney once famously instructed his animators to make Snow White look "old enough to marry." As for the Disney princes, they're all much older. Snow White's prince was 20! And now I'm going to be sick.
2. And speaking of Snow White, the voice actress was completely mistreated by Disney.
Adriana Caselotti was only 18 when she was employed by Disney to voice Snow White. She was only paid $20 a day and only made $970 in total for her role. That might seem like a lot for the 1930s, but Adriana wasn't entirely sure what she signed up for. Not only did she not know she was voicing a full-length film, she also signed a contract with the studio forbidding her from taking other voice work. The reason Walt did this was because he wanted to "own" the voice of Snow White. Although she later dabbled in opera and real estate, Disney pretty much killed her voice-acting career before it really began.
3. Oh yeah, and one more thing about Snow White — she was Hitler's favorite Disney princess.
And if I didn't ruin Snow White enough for you, the film was the dictator's favorite movie of all time. He considered it an animation marvel and loved that the story harkened back to the old days of simple "Aryan folk." Some watercolors he painted of the seven dwarfs were even found in his home after the war. Eww.
4. Cinderella's actual shoe size is legit insane.
Everyone knows Cinderella has the "tiniest feet in the land," but did you know her foot size is kind of impossible for a woman of her age and height? Her shoe size is a tiny 4 1/2, and considering the average woman has a shoe size of 7, it makes Cinderella look like a freakish oddity. How does she stand up and balance on those tiny feet? Considering there are women cosmetically hacking up their feet to fit into tiny designer shoes, a phenomenon called "Cinderella surgery," the whole thing is a tad disturbing, to say the least.
5. Belle preferred Beast in his animal form instead of his human one.
Although the magic of Belle's love got Beast his human form back, according to animator Glen Keane, Belle actually preferred him in his animalistic state. "I wish he could have stayed the Beast," he revealed in 2010. "In fact, I did have us record a line at the end of the movie where Beast and Belle, the prince – who knows what his name is, I mean you know his name was Beast – were dancing. And I knew that the audience was going to be disappointed that here was – what happened to our Beast? So I had them record Belle saying, 'Do you think you could grow a beard?' [Laughter] See? You're laughing. It was a good idea. It's not in the movie. We should have put it in there."
Another weird fact? Beast has a "rainbow bum," but "nobody knows that but Belle."
Be right back, vomiting.
6. Mulan was originally supposed to be a movie called 'China Doll.'
Before Mulan became the movie you know today, it was initially drafted as a straight-to-video film called China Doll about a poor, oppressed Chinese girl who is whisked away by a white guy to a live a happier life in the West. Fortunately, when a writer came across the Chinese poem "The Song of Fa Mu Lan," the studio decided to combine both projects and create Mulan. However, knowing the film's slightly racist, tone-deaf origins kind of casts the movie in a whole new light.
7. And speaking of Mulan, she killed an insane amount of people.
Despite being a princess, Mulan has a savage confirmed kill count of 1,995 people, which was mostly caused by an avalanche she triggered with a rocket during a battle. I guess you don't realize the gravity of death when you're just a dumb kid who's being distracted by a talking dragon.
8. Because of Tiana, 50 children were hospitalized.
The Princess and the Frog progressively introduced the first black Disney princess, but the movie unfortunately had some negative side effects. For one, it sent 50 children, mostly girls under the age of 10, to the hospital for salmonella when they attempted to kiss toads like the movie's heroine. "Reptiles aren't ideal kissing partners," Liz Neporent of AOLHealth wrote back then.
9. Disney princesses speak less than their male counterparts
Although the the '90s Disney princesses get credited for being more feminist than the old school ones, a surprising study revealed that that's not entirely true. Despite making princesses bolder, more independent, and less reliant on men, they still speak 40 percent less than their male counterparts. More recent Disney princesses, like Tangled's Rapunzel and Brave's Merida, are more equal, but even Frozen, a movie about two sisters, still had 59 percent male dialogue.
10. Disney/Pixar princesses all have the same look because they have to look pretty.
Ever since Disney bought Pixar, the new computer-animated princesses all have a certain "look" to them. You know the one, that smirking-with-large-eyes-and-tiny-nose Pixar look. When a Tumblr user brought this up in a now-viral post, they noticed that Disney princesses have the same shaped face, while male characters had a larger variety of facial characteristics.
To make matters worse, the head of animation on Frozen didn't have the best response to the backlash. "Historically speaking, animating female characters are really, really difficult, because they have to go through these range of emotions, but you have to keep them pretty," Lino DiSalvo said. "So, having a film with two hero female characters was really tough, [especially] having them both in the scene and look[ing] very different if they’re echoing the same expression."
This prompted Twitter user Faith Erin Hicks to tweet, "I dunno, I've been drawing women emoting for 14 years and I've never worried about them looking pretty."
11. Statistically, at least two princesses have had abortions.
Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood landed themselves in hot water when they tweeted that they wanted to see a Disney princess who's had an abortion. Although they deleted the tweet, Jezebel later wrote that two out of the 11 "official" princesses have already had abortions, at least according to statistics. Not to say this is a bad thing, but it is kind of weird to think about within the extremely conservative Disney universe. Although the Jezebel article was being tongue-in-cheek, you have to admit, the stats don't lie.
12. The Disney princesses don't make eye contact with each other.
Have you noticed Disney princesses don't look at each other in promotional photos and marketing materials? There's a reason for that. "To ensure the sanctity of what [Andy] Mooney called their individual 'mythologies,' the princesses never make eye contact when they’re grouped," the New York Times reported in 2006. "Each stares off in a slightly different direction as if unaware of the others’ presence." However, this might change with the release of Wreck-It Ralph 2, which shows all the princesses hanging out together.
There, now you know everything.
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