EVEN MORE EYES’ retrospective series ‘Nostalgia Hits Differently‘ has two very opinionated critics, James and Imo, learn that nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.
This third episode has the friends take on the late Disney Renaissance and confront their (just) pre-adulthood memories of the post-Disney Renaissance Princesses.
Our critics confront something they did not expect: a positive turn.
How ‘Mulan’ (1998) reflects intelligently on gender roles…
… where Disney works cultural tourism and meta-narratives into ‘The Princess and the Frog’ (2009)…
…and when ‘Tangled’ (2009) straightens out some toxic relationships while having some major hair problems.
This is the third of four episodes that charts a journey with the Disney Princesses from the Classic Era (mid-20th Century) through the Renaissance (late 20th Century to early 21st) and into the Revival (early 2010s onward).
Listen to Episode 1 on Classic Disney here and Episode 2 on the early Disney Renaissance here.
Click here to listen to Episode # 3 or on Spotify below:
If you enjoyed this episode, please like and/or follow on Spotify. Got feedback, criticism or complaints? Your voice can be heard in the comment section below.
To follow James on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JLHump
Also, visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/4eyesonthescreen
This was a another good episode for your podcast series. I remember watching Mulan when it was in theaters when I was a kid. In hindsight, Mulan was a more progressive heroine than a lot of female Disney protagonists. However, not everything was accurate to the culture, obviously. I would recommend the 2009 Mulan: Rise of a Warrior live action movie from China. That was a very fascinating watch.
Princess and the Frog is something I feel ambivalent about. Disney REALLY downplayed the racism especially with the South (keep in mind Jim Crow would’ve been the law of the land) by only focusing on classism. Imo was right that race and class are tied in. Yes, gumbo is a big thing in the South especially in Louisiana, but it’s obviously not the only kind of soup dish from that part of the country. I also wondered with the Tiana character being a frog for over half the movie since I doubt they would put a white princess in that position. I also hate to be THAT guy, but Tiana isn’t the first Black Disney princess. The first one is the clone of Nadia from Nadia: Secret of Blue Water…I mean Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire. The difference is that Tiana is in what I call the Disney Princess Breakfast Club and Kida isn’t.
I never saw Tangled, but I did hear about the different things about that movie. One of my friends is a huge fan of it and considered it the last “really good” Disney movie in her opinion. It’s cool that Rapunzel has some agency compared to other princesses which is nice. I do have to correct you that Tangled wasn’t the first 3D Disney movie. First 3D movie with a princess? Yes, but Disney did their own CGI movies (not counting Pixar, obviously) with Dinosaur, Chicken Little, and Bolt back in the 00s. It’s also weird that Princess and the Frog was their last 2D/hand-drawn animated film which is kind of a shame because I’m more of a fan of traditional animation over CGI. At least I have anime and some international animated films to help in that regard (Cartoon Saloon being a serious studio to watch from Ireland).
Great work, and I’m going to check out the final episode when I have time.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for listening again, glad to hear you’re still enjoying our series. As I said on the podcast, Mulan was a pleasant surprise for me when I watched it again recently. So many aspects that are brilliant, but then you’re right – I can’t say I understood anything nuanced about China (ancient of present) except a real dedication to filial piety (which is very much part of Confucianism). I know the movie bombed in the country at the time. I will give the film you recommended a watch.
Yes, we both felt that Princess & the Frog downplayed the racism considering the time and location (it’s clear specificity is very telling). I agree that it’s very unlikely that a white Disney Princess would be stuck in frog form either, though I saw this as getting around the ‘immediate physical attraction love-trope’ on the part of the romance (though the Frog Prince clearly is attracted to the beautiful Tiana when he sees her). Thanks for reminding us about Atlantis: The Lost Empire! I totally forgot about that film – I’d like to revisit (maybe a future episode).
Thanks for also reminding me about those 3-D adventures. I think I meant specifically that it was the first movie of the Disney Princess franchise in 3-D animation, but I may have misspoke. It is a shame that Disney have moved away from the 2-D animation, but then what they’ve done in recent 3-D movies (just seen Raya and it’s gorgeously animated) is pretty incredible too.
LikeLiked by 1 person
No problem! They’ve been entertaining to listen to. I can definitely see that with the original Disney Mulan movie. Good point about filial piety, but some parts were more accurate than others from what I know. It didn’t do that well in China? Huh. I guess it’s kind of like Hercules not doing well in Greece from what I heard. Sure thing. That could be a good compare/contrast element with the Disney version. Also, I just saw Jean Cocteau’s version of Beauty and the Beast which predates the Disney version by decades.
That’s good you noticed it, too. This is especially important that people outside of America realize that. That time and location was at the height of Jim Crow (side note: that’s also the lead crow’s name in Dumbo. That is a HORRIBLY racist joke!), lynchings, and it was even legal for white people to rape and abuse African-Americans at the time. Thanks for realizing that with the implications. No problem! I remember watching it back then, but I wasn’t aware about the Nadia plagiarism controversy. Disney…can you stop stealing from anime, please?
Sure thing! I figured that’s what you meant, but I get it. Things happen. I do miss 2D animation in the mainstream. They’ve certainly improved with 3D animation compared to Chicken Little for example.