The Real Disney Princesses…

So lately I’ve been hearing a lot about the Disney Princess brand/ franchise. First it was all of the crap in the Target dollar bins, then it was some article about Macy’s making Minnie Mouse super skinny and the scandal surrounding that. Finally, I read an article about the backlash of the powers that be at Disney “prettying up” Merida, the heroine from Brave, in their appropriation of the splendid Scottish lassie for their own use.

It made me think. Sure, I loved Ariel and Belle and the rest of the gang (Aurora and her freaking color changing dress? Us little girls didn’t really stand a chance). What stood out to me more, though, was the “real life” ladies I watched on the larger than life Disney channel- and so now I will take you on a trip down memory lane to see who else lived for these “real” gals (okay, so some were really just live action characters, but work with me…)

1. Princess Nadia Comaneci

I am embarrassed to admit that I still don’t really know the real facts about this Olympian. Until about 10 years ago I thought her name was “Nadia ComanEECH.” What I ┬áhave drilled into my brain, however, are countless quotations from Disney’s biopic about the famous gymnast and her many struggles. I thought Bela Caroli looked like Scott Baio and I didn’t understand why Tiadora (no idea who the hell she is) got the shaft most of the time. I also didn’t understand why Nadia couldn’t eat ice cream (obviously I was not a competitive athlete). All I know is that this movie inspired my sisters and I to whip our barbie dolls around in “gymnastic competitions” for years to come thanks to this gem.

2. Princess Alexia Wheaton

Okay, go ahead and pretend you’ve never seen the movie, “Wish Upon A Star,” starring a young Katherine Heigl. Sure, she was kind of a Biznotch, but I always identified with the glam older sister in this freaky friday style romp. It inspired me to buy some atrocious frosted lavender lipstick. You can find it now streaming on Netflix…




3. Princesses Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills

Why is she two? Because of the Parent Trap, obvs! I have to say it breaks my heart a bit to hear kids talk about the Lindsey Lohan remake like it has anything to do with the original. Sure, I’m charmed by the new one, and I LOVE that they named the bitchy stepmom Meredith… but it doesn’t really compare to “lets get together, yeah yeah yeah…” Oh man now I want to watch this one.

and finally….

4. Princess Sonora Webster

If you haven’t seen “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken,” you have some homework to do right now. If for no other reason, the super duper dreamy love interest is played by Sixteen Candles’ Jake Ryan (anyone know his real name? What the dickens happened to him anyway?) Sonora Webster was a total badass, and to this very day I want to travel back to depression era circuses to relive her glamour. And to put that damn Marie in her place. Also, whatshisface’s mullet is MASTERFUL, my friends…




Did you grow up loving Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine or Nadia, Hayley, and Sonora? Or are you a youngun who loves Tiana and Merida too?

Princess Meri

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17 Responses to The Real Disney Princesses…

  1. You have no idea how many times I watched Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken when I was little! I wanted to watch it the other day so I ordered it off Amazon and I’m glad I did, it was good at 24 as well!

    • Meri says:

      It is really a kickass story and movie- I read up on the real Sonora Webster a bit and apparently her sister was a horse diver too- awesome!

  2. Eric says:

    So good. Someday I hope to see all of the above if only to come closer to understanding the mysterious origins of Libby. I too am a fan of the live-action disneys. I liked Bedknobs and Broomsticks a ton and Libs and I fairly recently re-watched Escape to Witch Mountain. I have many more queued up and ready to go in Netflix for when Sylvia is ready…

  3. libby says:

    Jake Ryan is apparently Mike schoeffling sp? Was he also in Singles? This post gave me haapy warm fuzzies!

  4. Jenny White says:

    Great list, Meri! I’d also nominate Anne Shirley (okay, this was really a Canadian Broadcasting miniseries, but it was brought to me by the Disney Channel), and Niki Janus (the ill-fated heroine of a well-intentioned if melodramatic Made-for-Disney TV flick called Goodbye Miss Fourth of July). Also, can I add one more shout out for Ms. Hayley Mills in Pollyanna and the incomparable Summer Magic? Wow, I had great taste in movies as a kid. Oh, and this might be stretching the definition of Disney princess just a bit, but what about The Boy Who Could Fly?

    • Meri says:

      It would appear I have some watching to do! I feel like my memories of anne of green gables are far too hazy, although I remember the puffed sleeves part vividly because I was confused and thought matthew gave her bags of flour to put in her sleeves for some reason… never forgot after that. And I also enjoy the freaky friday with Jody Foster, another Lindsey Lohan remake on that one…

  5. Terri says:

    I’m a generation before you, but Hayley Mills as Pollyanna will always have a place in my heart.

  6. BAHAHAHA!!! I thought I was the only one who remembered Wish Upon a Star. Oh god. Everytime I bring it up with friends, they give me blank stares. Most people don’t realize Heigl had a glowing teen movie career before Grey’s Anatomy. Remember “My Father, the Hero”? I believe she was in that one too. I love this post. You always take me down memory lane. :)

    • Meri says:

      Oh yes, My Father the Hero was one of my pre-adolescent favorites :) I thought she was so fabulous and wanted to be just like her. Watching it more recently, as an adult, she seems obscenely obnoxious… oh how a few years changes your perspective haha

  7. decoybetty says:

    Seriously, I thought i was the only person who loved Wild Hearts Can’t be Broken. LOVED IT.

    I wasn’t SUPER into disney princesses.

  8. Mimi says:

    i definitely loved disney princesses… i mean, did we really have a choice? haha! ;)

    <3, Mimi

  9. Simply Life says:

    I was definitely a Belle fan growing up :)

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