There is something truly heartwarming about sitting down on a rainy day to watch a ‘Disney’ movie. When you’re feeling in need of some escapism, those damsel in distress met her knight in shining armor stories are just perfect. If you grew up watching the Disney classics, then you definitely had a favourite Disney princess.
And in honour of Disney’s Live Action Mulan which was released two days ago on Disney+, we’ve brought you 11 enchanting facts you didn’t know about the official Disney princesses. Think you know them all? Think again!
1. Mulan’s History Is *Kinda* Real
The badass story of Mulan was actually based on the badass ancient Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. She was a female warrior who secretly takes her father’s place in war when he’s too sick to go. Her story is told in the poem “The Ballad of Mulan.”
2. Belle’s Character Was Inspired By Multiple Hollywood Women
Is there something about Belle that maybe seems a little familiar but you just can’t put your finger on it? That’s because the inspiration for Belle’s character was partly based on Katharine Hepburn’s portrayal of Jo March in Little Women. Her physical appearance, on the other hand, was inspired by both Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music and Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. Totally fitting, right?
3. Ariel Was Almost A Blonde
Ariel’s fiery red hair is pretty much her most memorable feature—besides the tail, ofc. But apparently, she was almost a blonde. The movie Splash, featuring a very blonde Daryl Hannah playing a mermaid, had recently been released, and Disney wanted Ariel to stand out, so they made her a redhead instead. It was also a technical thing: It was easier and more aesthetically pleasing to see the darker shades of red instead of dark yellows when Ariel was in shaded spots.
4. Merida Is The Only Princess That Doesn’t Sing
Each princess is unique with their own little set of personality, especially Merida who is quirky and a bit tomboy-ish. But one thing that really highlights her character is that—Merida being Merida—she’s the only Disney Princess who doesn’t sing in her movie. Love her.
5. Snow White Is The Baby Of The Group
Disney Princesses might run around like they’re adults with their quests to find their one true love, but they’re actually just teenagers (like young teenagers, if you may). Snow White is the baby of the group at 14 years old, while Jasmine follows at 15 years old. Ariel, Aurora, Merida, and Mulan are all 16 years old, Pocahontas is 17 years old, Rapunzel is 18 years old, and Cinderella and Tiana come in as the oldies at 19 years old.
6. Tiana’s Character Was Also Based On A Real Woman
Yes true, Princess Tiana’s character in The Princess and the Frog is loosely inspired by the main character from the novel The Frog Princess and also by the Grimm fairy tale The Frog Prince. But what you may not have known is that her character is also modeled after Leah Chase, aka the Queen of Creole Cuisine. Chase, who passed away in June 2019, was the executive chef and co-owner of the legendary Dooky Chase’s Restaurant. During her time at the restaurant, Chase fed everyone from Quincy Jones to President Barack Obama. Super impressive!
7. Belle’s Blue Dress Symbolism
Notice anything different about Belle when comparing her with the rest of the townspeople in their chic French village? Aside from the fact that her nose is always stuck in a book, Belle is the only one wearing the color blue. This symbolizes the fact that she’s an outsider. And pay attention later on in the film as well: The Beast wears blue too. They’re truly made for each other, huh.
8. Cinderella’s Feet Were Tiny
You know how no one can fit in Cinderella’s glass slippers except for Cinderella? That’s because her feet were impossibly small. Supposedly, Cinderella’s shoe size was a 4½. So. Damn. Tiny. OMG.
9. Moana’s Costume Is Full On History
According to visual development artist Neysa Bové, a bunch of real-world research went into Moana’s look as it was designed. “With Moana, we did so much research with the Pacific Islands as far as what materials they had at that time,” explained Bové. “This is supposed to be taking place 2,000 years ago, so we didn’t really have any photo reference of what they were at the time, but we did get some material reference from our Oceanic Trust.”
10. Rapunzel’s Backstory Is Actually Cute AF
Glen Keane, the creator of Rapunzel, once said that she is inspired by his daughter, Claire, who used to paint the walls and ceiling in her bedroom. He called her “an uncontainable little ball of creative energy” and said that once she went to art school and became a painter, he hired her to create the look of Rapunzel’s room. AHHHHH.
11. Tinkerbell Is NOT A Princess
If you’re team, ‘Tinkerbell is not a princess!’, then you’re on the right team. The sassy fairy from Peter Pan was actually supposed to be included in the official princess lineup, before executives decided she just didn’t fit the bill. Instead, they used her to launch the Disney Fairy franchise in 2005. Surprise, surprise.
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