Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hot or Not: Classic Disney Heroes

Classic heroes. We adore them, right? And these days, with the Tom Hiddlestons of the world, we've become a little enamored with the villians as well. But today's character study is not about the baddies, so wipe the drool off your chin and let's move on.
If we confine ourselves to solely classic fairytale heroes, the fare would be rather bland (see A Beastly Beauty). Thankfully, the creative geniuses at Disney have done a masterful job of breathing life into nameless, flat characters. (I mean, think about it, she was always Cinderella, but who was he? That's right, The Prince. Stunningly unimaginagive.)

So, for the purposes of research (i.e creating new characters, arranging new meet-cutes, or fashioning the perfect hero for your heroine to ping off of) I present:

Sarah's Guide to Classic Disney Princes 
(sorry BuzzFeed, Tom Hiddleston didn't  make the list, though we do consider him perfectly princely.)

Snow White's Prince (a.k.a. Prince Florian): The first of the Disney line-up, he left the gates with little more than a pretty face. (Seriously, who even knew his name was Florian?) He represents the Romantic Dreamer and is as caught up in the land of fairytale love as the bashful Snow. Loyal and true to his first love, he will do whatever is necessary to win her hand.  No huge fireworks or dragon-battling are required, just true love's kiss from a devoted prince. His is the story of Lasting Love.

Prince Charming (a.k.a Henry): He is the cream of the crop and literally so dreamy women line the streets to catch a glimpse of him. However, when he finds the girl of his dreams, he will allow nothing to come between them.  Evil stepmothers and stepsisters combined with all the stinky feet in the land can not deter him.  He is the passionate RockStar embroiled in the Love at First Sight scenario.

Prince Phillip: Philip is the funny, handsome, Adventurer who keeps you laughing and falling more in love each second. Even though he's betrothed to a princess, when he meets a beautiful stranger in the forest, he longs to throw convention aside and wed her instead. Little does he realize she is his betrothed or that he will have to battle unforeseen odds (this is where the dragons and fireworks come in) to free her from an awful curse and secure his Happily Ever After. Philip's is the story of Love Against All Odds.

Prince Eric: If there was ever a Love Gone Wrong tale, it's Eric's. Smitten by Ariel's voice, he vows to find and marry her, only to be tricked into wooing another.  In the meantime, he has begun to appreciate the virtues of the now-mute Ariel.  When the truth is revealed, he does all in his power to ensure her safety and win a place at her side.  He is the Fighter.

The Beast...I guess his name is actually Adam:  The Beast is the Fixer-Upper. Along the path of life, his way has become...well, muddled.  He requires the love and understanding of a good woman to help him put the demons of his past behind him and emerge from the cocoon of beastliness as a new man.  He is the type of person who is initially off-putting, but on closer acquaintance becomes endearing. His is the Love Grows out of Dislike storyline.

Aladdin: As Jafar expressed so succinctly, Aladdin is the Diamond in the Rough. He is charming, witty, and possesses the ambitions of one born on the wrong side of the tracks.  All of this is enough to catch the notice of a princess, who is drawn to him not because of his wealth or power, but because he truly befriended her.  Theirs is the tale of Friendship Blossoming into Love.

Hopefully, the above list (a healthy mix of human weakness and macho, macho manness) has gotten your creative juices flowing.  I'd love to know who is your favorite hero and how these classic characters have affected your choices in reading and writing.  Please leave me a comment!
Note: Prince whosiswhatsit from The Frog Princess, Flynn Rider, the gaggle of weirdos from Brave, and the gentlemen from Frozen have been omitted for reasons of my own.  To learn about these more modern heroes, please visit The DisneyWiki, home of the above image. (However, even they omit the weirdos from Brave, probably because they are indeed weirdos.)

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