It's not unusual for Disney Princesses to catch the ire of those looking for an easy target, but this time the call is coming from inside the house. Kristen Bell, the voice of Princess Anna in Frozen, recently gave an interview to Parents Magazine where she discussed her feelings on Disney's first princess.
“Every time we close ‘Snow White,’ I look at my girls and ask, ‘Don’t you think it’s weird that Snow White didn’t ask the old witch why she needed to eat the apple? Or where she got that apple?’" Bell said during the interview. "I say, ‘I would never take food from a stranger, would you?’ And my kids are like, ‘No!’ And I’m like, ‘OK, I’m doing something right.'"
Bell went on to say that she also wants to make sure her kids know it is not okay to kiss sleeping people. So there's that.
On the one hand, it's hard to criticize Bell. She is using the story exactly the way it was intended. Most of the fairy tales that Disney movies are based on are designed to teach children something about life. As a parent, it is her job — not Disney's — to teach her kids lessons that she feels are appropriate. That's exactly what she is doing. She's also picking an easy target.
These fairy tales are hundreds of years old and, put simply, they haven't aged well in the age of #LeanIn. Still, many of the current movies have some of the exact same themes as the older ones. I highly doubt Bell pauses Frozen to ask her daughters if it's weird that Princess Anna gets engaged to Hans after one day.
A few years ago a BYU Study made a lot of noise by claiming that Disney Princess movies magnified stereotypes in girls. You probably don't need a study to see that, since fantasy movies tend to magnify everything about the lead characters. In addition, men and women are scientifically different, which affects the way they tend approach situations. The princess movies tend to amplify that, so they are easy targets in 2018. Bell's comments are just a little friendly fire.
One studio's controversy they refuse to touch is another one's treasure. Especially when that treasure is James Gunn and the studio getting him has struggled to create a popular cinematic universe to rival the MCU. Gunn could change all of that.
Warner Brothers just did not find Gunn as toxic as Disney did, after those old inappropriate tweets resurfaced in a political hit job. DC appears to have accepted Gunn's apology for his past behavior, while Disney was a little less understanding. That lack of understanding could come back to haunt them if Gunn becomes a linchpin in the DC Universe.