Last week (on the advice of a legendary Hollywood producer of kids’ television), I watched the latest (and, despite reports, not last) Disney princess movie, Tangled. It was wonderfully Disney, very sweet, very touching and often very funny (e.g., the scene in the “Snuggly Duckling”).
Perhaps, I enjoyed it more because I imagined how my soon-to-be three-year-old niece would love it, recalling how her face lit up when each of the Disney princesses came up to our table at Ariel’s Grotto in Disney’s California Adventure this past July. I wondered that she, like her sister and each of her cousins once did, is going through this princess phase, getting all goofy over such Disney movies and dressing up in regal regalia.
It’s not just my nieces. On Saturday, Glenn Reynolds, linking an insightful piece by Virginia Postrel wrote that his “4-year-old niece is getting a princess costume for Christmas, because that’s what she’s into these days.” “Why,” Postrel asks, “in a society without princesses, does this archetype remain so intensely glamorous to girls with all sorts of backgrounds and personalities?” Great question. I’m not quite sure the answer, but I will note that it has been fun watching my nieces go through the princess phase while their brothers and male cousins invariably pass through the superhero phase.