The recent Beauty and the Beast reimagined the animated classic in live-action — and hoped to redraw its heroine in the process. As Disney continues to give every beloved animated classic a shiny live-action remake (or in the case of The Lion King, photorealistic animation wash), the company has taken the opportunity to correct the issues of the originals that don’t stand up under a modern eye.
There’s a reason why the Jim Crow scenes are absent from the latest Dumbo and why Maleficent gave a twist to ol’ true love’s kiss. On the heels of more female-focused movies like Frozen and Moana, it would appear that Disney also felt the need to update Beauty and the Beast. Emma Watson’s version of Belle wasn’t just a pretty bookworm in the new version, she also invented things, and without a corset.
The change wasn’t entirely successful. Belle’s “empowerment” missed the mark of what made Belle such an appealing heroine in the first place: she was a heroine with specific interests and wants, who played an active part in the movie. Disney sought to update her to make her more of a heroine of the 2010s than a heroine of the 1990s by giving her more to do. Unfortunately, hobbies are not the pillars of a character arc.
In comparison, Aladdin, Disney’s latest live-action remake, gets the “fix” right, giving Princess Jasmine an arc that doesn’t feel like set dressing. It stays true to the character and what made her appealing, but also gives her more agency and a story that is not entirely reliant on Aladdin.
Why the Disney princesses meant so much, but don’t hold up
The Disney heroines from the early Disney Renaissance — Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine —represented a new type of Disney heroine. Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora, the princesses of Disney’s Golden Age, were passive. While they had some wants of their own, they didn’t pursue those goals. Things happened to them; they reacted.
Ariel was the first Disney princess character who unapologetically went after what she wanted. Whether viewers today interpret that as living with humans or getting with Eric, Ariel was still active in her own story. She sought out the sea witch, and she made the deal that cost her her voice. By contrast, Snow White wished for a prince, but most of the movie is the Huntsman chasing her, the Queen pursuing her, and the prince kissing her. Every plot point is something done to her.
With Disney’s history littered with passive princesses, Ariel, a 16-year-old defying her father for true love, going after her dreams, and getting her happy ending, felt revolutionary.
Belle and Jasmine followed Ariel’s lead. Both expressed desire for something more. Belle sang a whole song about wanting adventure. Jasmine despised the idea of an arranged marriage and longed for life outside the palace walls. And both took active roles in making that change happen: Belle made the agreement with the Beast to take her father’s place; Jasmine snuck out of the palace in order to see more of the world. These were not the classic Disney princesses.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, budding bookworms, would-be collectors, and little rebels found themselves drawn to the new princesses, earning them special places in the hearts of nostalgic fans. Today, these princesses fall short of where modern female audiences want them to go. All three movies, ultimately, are love stories. Instead of the heroines fully getting what they seek, they fall in love. In the end, Ariel lives on land, but by tying herself to a man; Belle never gets adventure in the great wide somewhere and instead marries the Beast; Jasmine goes beyond the palace walls for the duration of a song and then returns to her royal lifestyle to be with Aladdin.
The endings are romantic and, in context, fulfilling, but when we look at the standard that the newer, modern Disney heroines set, it’s easy to see why a modern audience isn’t as happy with the final romantic couplings coming at the expense of the heroine’s dreams.
The new Disney heroine has specific wants. Her journey is about going after her dreams and learning from her flaws. If the movie has a love interest, it is rarely about him. The Frozen sisters and Moana are the two big tent poles, but the driven, flawed Disney heroine goes back as early as Mulan.
The Disney heroines who become role models today have clear goals that define their stories from beginning to end. The most direct case in point: Moana. Like Belle and Jasmine before, she dreams of a great wide open, but unlike them, she spends the entire movie learning how to sail and navigate, and eventually how to save her island. She tries, she fails, and she experiences moments of insecurity before she finally rises up and realizes what she needs to do.
Surrounded by plenty of female-driven stories, bringing the ’90s molds of Belle and Jasmine to the live-action table wasn’t going to hold up. Disney knew it had to do something, especially as criticism of the Disney princess line mounted in the 2010s: critics wrote essays and books, researchers conducted studies about the effects of the line on young girls, and actresses declared they don’t let their daughters watch certain princess movies. But based on initial remake attempts, Disney didn’t really know what the problem was.
What Beauty and the Beast did wrong, and Aladdin did right
Instead of sharpening Belle’s nebulous “adventure in the great wide somewhere,” the 2017 Beauty and the Beast tacks on other hobbies. In addition to being a budding adventurer, she’s also a proponent for literacy and an inventor. None of this setup is negative — female protagonists can have varying interests. In fact, they should have varying interests.
But Belle’s interests don’t shape the plot, which more or less sticks to the original. Beyond one scene, Belle’s inventing prowess is never brought up again; other than a brief trip to Paris by way of a magical book, her desire to see more of the world is never explored; her love of reading, her most notable trait, gets regressed — instead of bonding with the Beast by inspiring him to read, he mansplains Romeo and Juliet to her and she finds it charming.
In the end, she marries the Beast and seems content to live the rest of her life in a cushy castle. But what of her literacy campaign for the small town? No mention of her inventions? Not even a throwaway line about seeing the great wide somewhere for their honeymoon?
For those initially drawn to Belle because of her love of books and her dreams of adventure, seeing the random science hobby tacked on because her original personality wasn’t “feminist” enough is another falling rose petal. After all, it wasn’t Belle’s quirks and personality that dated the original Beauty and the Beast, rather the fact that those quirks and personality did not get a resolution worthy of her character. Nothing about Belle’s resolution changes in the live-action take.
The 2019 Jasmine could very easily fall into this trap, but Aladdin elevates the princess by giving her a parallel arc with the hero. Instead of accumulating hobbies, Jasmine’s original wants are fleshed out: she doesn’t want to just voice her opinion, she wants to be in a position of power where her voice will be heard.
“It felt right that we should challenge Jasmine in this incarnation,” director Guy Ritchie told Polygon during the press tour for the film. “She needed the equivalent of a challenge that, say, Aladdin has, but in her own way.”
This Jasmine doesn’t reject an arranged marriage because she wants to fall in love; she rejects an arranged marriage because then a foreign husband will assume the position of sultan, when really she is the best person for the role. No one will care for her people like she does — certainly not a man who only wants to marry her for her beauty, and the power and money that come with the title of sultan. Jasmine wishes to be a good ruler for the people of Agrabah.
In the new Aladdin, the reason she’s outside the palace isn’t to escape an arranged marriage, but to familiarize herself with the people of Agrabah. She despises the fact that her father keeps her locked up, not just because she wants to see more of the world, but because she cannot help her people unless she knows what they need.
The setup echoes the original Jasmine, but brings specificity to her general desires. Aladdin gives her a goal that — like a Moana or an Elsa — she works towards and eventually sees through.
In the beginning, pressure from her father, Jafar, and the general state of Agrabah society for thousands of years weighs on Jasmine, and while she wants more, she is still hesitant to defy them. Sneaking out of the palace, meeting Aladdin, and eventually facing Jafar are all moments of genuine bravery. The plot of the original Aladdin focused on Aladdin finding the courage to be true to himself; the redux also has Jasmine finding the courage to stand up for herself and, eventually, for who she loves.
As Jafar’s power grows out of control, Jasmine belts out “Speechless” — the only song added to the movie — and gives a rousing speech to rally the people around her to defy Jafar. The moment feels earned. Her personality and interests aren’t just there to check items off of a list; they drive the princess’ story forward and give it a resolution worthy of her. Instead of her father letting her marry Aladdin, she proves herself as a worthy leader and, with her newfound confidence, makes the active choice to go after the man she loves.
What is the famous line of Princess Jasmine? ›
Best Princess Jasmine Quotes
Standing around deciding my future." "I choose you, Aladdin." "You cannot break into a palace, like you own the place." "If I do marry, I want it to be for love."
With his love for her having been proven by the time of the film's finale, Jasmine forgives Aladdin for his lies and accepts him as a lover, though Aladdin uses his third wish to free the Genie, as opposed to turning himself into a prince once again.Why did Disney change Jasmine's costume? ›
So there was a rule on the "Aladdin" set to make sure the movie achieved that goal: "No midriff," Lin says. Naomi Scott, 26, who plays Jasmine in the updated film, says the costume decision "was about what makes the most sense for this movie and this time, and that's what we landed on.Why is Jasmine a Disney Princess? ›
Jasmine is the deuteragonist of the three Aladdin feature films and the subsequent television series. Jasmine is the daughter of the Sultan of Agrabah, and thus, is a Princess.What is the most famous line ever? ›
- “ May the Force be with you.” - Star Wars, 1977.
- “ There's no place like home.” - The Wizard of Oz, 1939.
- “ I'm the king of the world!” - ...
- “ Carpe diem. ...
- “ Elementary, my dear Watson.” - ...
- “ It's alive! ...
- “ My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. ...
- “ I'll be back.” -
Walt Disney Quotes
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." "If you can visualize it, if you can dream it, there's some way to do it." "Why worry? If you've done the very best you can, then worrying won't make it any better."
Back at the palace, Prince Ali and Jasmine kiss. Oh, Jasmine is so marrying this one. But before Jasmine can tell her father the good news, the Sultan announces that she has to marry Jafar.Are Yasmine and Aladdin married? ›
The Sultan told Jasmine that she could marry whomever she chose. Princess Jasmine chose to marry her one true love—Aladdin!Who married Aladdin? ›
Wear a Costume as an Adult
Why? Well, a lot of costumes can make you look a whole lot like a character when you're exploring the parks, and Disney doesn't want guests and kids to confuse the real Disney characters in the parks with guests who are dressed up.
Why does Disney's Aladdin have a warning? ›
15, Disney Plus introduced a new disclaimer that appears before older films like Dumbo (1941) and Aladdin (1992), warning viewers that the films include harmful stereotypes. The new message replaces the one that came with the original launch of Disney Plus late last year.Is Disney Princess Jasmine Arab or Indian? ›
While some claim Jasmine is Arab because the movie opens with a song called Arabian Nights, others believe that the architecture in Agrabah is clearly based on the Taj Mahal, making Jasmine Indian. It's a debate that has fueled speculation that in Hollywood, Indians and Arabs are interchangeable.Is Princess Jasmine 15 years old? ›
But still, that doesn't mean when you're watching a favorite like "Aladdin" you're actually conscious of the fact that Jasmine is actually only 15 years old, which would result in Aladdin getting arrested in just about every state in the Union. Or that Snow White is just 14.How old was Aladdin when he married Jasmine? ›
The article also notes that none of the Disney princes, including Aladdin, have official ages. The official Fandom page for Aladdin lists Aladdin as 18 years old. Jasmine, however, is listed as having an unknown age.Is Jasmine the only princess wearing pants? ›
Only five Disney princesses have ever worn pants.
But in 1992, Jasmine became the first to wear pants. Mulan followed as the second in 1998 and then came Anna and Elsa in 2019 for "Frozen 2" — though, technically, they're both queens by the end of the film, not princesses.
- The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - ...
- The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. - ...
- Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. ...
- If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor. -
- “We need much less than we think we need.” ~ Maya Angelou.
- “If things go wrong, don't go with them.” ~ Roger Babson.
- “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” ~ Confucius.
- “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci.
- “There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way.”
- “The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” ...
- “If you want to overcome the whole world, overcome yourself.” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
- “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. ...
- “Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.”
- "All it takes is faith and trust." - Peter Pan (Peter Pan)
- "Don't just fly, soar." - Dumbo (Dumbo)
- "Life's not a spectator sport. ...
- "The problem is not the problem. ...
- "Believe you can, then you will." - Mulan (Princess Stories)
The official tagline for Disneyland is "The Happiest Place On Earth", while the tagline for Magic Kingdom is "The Most Magical Place On Earth". Up until the early 1990s, Magic Kingdom was officially known as "Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom", and was never printed without the Walt Disney World prefix.
What is Disney's current slogan? ›
Disneyland's trademarked slogan is “The Happiest Place on Earth” while Walt Disney World's is “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” On top of that, the slogan for all of the Disney Parks is “Where Dreams Come True.” Consider yourself well-armed if you ever come across a round of Disney Parks trivia!Who is Jasmine's child? ›
Prince Aziz is a deleted character who was originally going to appear in the Disney Channel movie Descendants. He is the son of Aladdin and Jasmine.Who is Jasmine's daughter? ›
Yasmine is the new character in Ever After High season 3, she'll be a supportive triagonist and is a Royal for unspecified reasons, though she's the daughter of Jasmine and Aladdin, her younger brother is Aziz.Who is the oldest Disney Princess? ›
1937: Snow White
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs came out in 1937, debuting the very first Disney princess with Snow White herself. Voiced by Adriana Caselotti, she's incredibly of her time (i.e. dated af). Her whole deal is she's, like, really pretty.
Prince Aziz is a deleted character who was originally planned to appear in the Disney Channel Original movie Descendants, but was cut out for unknown reasons, and instead appearing in the books. He is the son of Aladdin and Jasmine.When did Aladdin fall in love with Jasmine? ›
15/18 Aladdin Fell In Love At First Sight; Jasmine Didn't
Jasmine, on the other hand, didn't. He was a stranger injecting himself in a dangerous situation. While she was happy to save her hand, she didn't know if she could trust him. It was only when they started talking that she became attracted to him.
They take up the names Ali (Aladdin), a merchant from Ankara, his siblings Sara (Genie Meanie), Chand Changezi (ChaCha), and their servant Jhumru (Anguthi Chaap) to foil Zafar's evil intentions.Does Genie have a girlfriend? ›
Eden is Genie's girlfriend, voiced by Valery Pappas.
While Aladdin is a lazy, unmotivated young man, his sister, Maliha, is resourceful, courageous, and compassionate, looking after him upon the death of their parents.Is Aladdin Indian or Arabic? ›
The original Aladdin story was actually set in China. Aladdin is one of the stories compiled in The Thousand and One Nights — a collection of Middle Eastern and Indian folk tales, however, it did not appear in the original Arabic text. It was added by a French translator.
Can you hug at Disney? ›
Can I Get Close to the Characters? Yes, you absolutely can. Since April 18, 2022, you can get right up next to the characters to hug them, get autographs from them, and get regular photographs.Can you go shirtless in Disney? ›
Proper attire, including shoes and shirts, must be worn at all times. The parks are a casual, family-oriented environment. Ensuring that the parks are family-friendly is an important part of the Disney experience. In that spirit, we ask you to use your discretion and common sense.Can you get tampons at Disney? ›
You will be pleased to know that you can typically find feminine hygiene products, like sanitary pads, for purchase either individually in the bathrooms of the theme parks or in many of the shops located in Disney Resort hotels.What is the darkest Disney moment? ›
- #8: The Bear Attack. ...
- #7: Giant Ursula. ...
- #6: Pink Elephants on Parade. ...
- #5: The Shoe Dip. ...
- #4: Clayton's Hanging. “Tarzan” (1999) ...
- #3: Lampwick's Transformation. “Pinocchio” (1941) ...
- #2: Bambi's Mother Dies. “Bambi” (1942) ...
- #1: Scar Kills Mufasa. “The Lion King” (1994)
It's a bit of a long shot with the “teenagers”, but I can sort of hear the “take off their clothes.” The theory behind the clip has previously raised so much attention that a spokesperson for Disney had to officially deny it. Aladdin was said to have actually whispered, “Good kitty, take off and go.”What are the 3 wishes of Aladdin? ›
In the animated Disney version of Aladdin, Aladdin's three wishes were: 1) to make him a prince; 2) to save him from drowning; and 3) for the Genie to be free.Who is the black princess? ›
Tiana is notable for being Disney's first black princess.Are there any Indian Disney Princess? ›
Disney set to launch an Indian princess for the first time ever. Princess Ananya, has been confirmed by the team, but they have also added that it's quite in the early stages and the team isn't even close to launching her.What race is Aladdin? ›
In the earliest version of the story we have, Aladdin is a poor youth living on the streets of China. And he's no foreigner abroad either: he's a native Chinese boy, not an Arabian youth who's ended up in China.Is Princess Jasmine sexualized? ›
As if that wasn't disturbing enough, The Mary Sue also noted that Jasmine is a highly sexualized character, with Jafar (a middle-aged man) even commanding the genie to make her fall in love with him (um, problematic much?).
Who is the 2 youngest Disney princess? ›
Snow White is only 14 years old, making her the youngest. Jasmine, who is supposed to be 15, is the second youngest. Cinderella and Tiana are the oldest, both 19 years old.Why did Aladdin fall in love with Jasmine? ›
These traits were relatable to Aladdin, who noted Jasmine's personality—being "smart and fun" as he described—to be the first example as to why he fell in love with her when he confessed his admiration for the princess to Genie.Is Aladdin Arab or Chinese? ›
Aladdin doesn't come from Agrabah.
In the both Galland's text and Richard Burton's popular 1885 English translation, Aladdin lives “in a city of the cities in China.” Illustrations of the tales from the Victorian era depict the story and its characters as Chinese.
There were a few changes in the latest version empowering Jasmine quite a bit more, which was great to see, but ultimately, the most critical scenes, as well as the ending, remained the same. Jarfar was defeated, Genie was freed, and Aladdin and Jasmine ended up together.Which Disney princess doesn t wear a dress? ›
Tiana, The Princess and the Frog
Tiana is a frog for a lot of her movie, and as such she wears no clothes.
Disney Princesses is the fastest-growing brand for the company's Consumer Products division. Disney introduced its first non-white animated heroine in 1992's “Aladdin”: a Middle Eastern character named Jasmine.What does Jasmine say in Aladdin? ›
Jasmine: “Good night, my handsome prince.” Aladdin: “Sleep well, princess.”What is Rapunzel's famous line? ›
"I could go running, and racing, and dancing, and chasing, and leaping, and bounding, hair flying, heart pounding, and splashing, and reeling, and finally feeling now's when my life begins!" –Rapunzel.What is Moana's line? ›
"There's a whole ocean!" "There's more beyond the reef." "We were voyagers!" "The Ocean chose me."Why Jasmine is the best princess? ›
Not only is Jasmine courageous, but she perseveres despite other people telling her she can't do something. All the voices around her tell her that because she's a woman she can't be a ruler, but she doesn't listen to the negativity, and she doesn't give up. She pursues her ambitions.
What is Rapunzel's daughter called? ›
In the past, Rapunzel had two daughters, Anastasia and Drizella, and made a deal with Mother Gothel to be locked in a tower in exchange for the safety of her family. Six years later, Rapunzel frees herself and when she returns to her family, she discovers she has gained a stepdaughter named Ella.What is the first line in Tangled? ›
This is the story of a girl, named Rapunzel. And it starts, with the sun. Flynn: Now, once upon a time, a single drop of sunlight fell from the heavens.What was the last wish of Aladdin? ›
Being very generous he wants to set Genie free by giving him his freedom. But there are certain conditions that are placed on the lamp before one can set Genie free.What was Aladdin's 2 wish? ›
The three wishes Aladdin "asks" for in the film are to be a prince, be saved from drowning and free the Genie.Does Aladdin get unlimited wishes? ›
In the film, Aladdin doesn't just get one wish – he gets three of them. While it's clear that Aladdin hasn't quite thought through how to maximise his wishes (and for that matter, neither does the villainous Jafar) and get the most bang for his buck – we have.What is Maui's famous line? ›
Maui : It's call Wayfinding, Princess. It's not just sails and knots, It's seeing where you're going in your mind. Knowing where you are, by knowing where you've been.What is Moana's gender? ›
Moana has been portrayed as a strong female character that defies gender stereotypes.What is Princess Moana's last name? ›
For instance, her full name is Moana Waialiki, which has a Hawaiian ring to it because of the "W", uncommon in the rest of Polynesia.