Disney princesses are some of the most beloved figures in pop culture. Millennials especially have noted How Old Is Snow White? was in their development during formative childhood years, and today they often serve as role models for young girls.
Disney princess films often depict heroines overcoming hardship to pursue true love and find happiness. While these stories may seem idealistic when you’re a kid, when rewatching these classic films as an adult one thing becomes abundantly clear: How young these characters truly were!
These characters are getting married and making major life decisions before they even reach legal drinking age.
Here is a brief list of the 11 characters from Disney Princess fame: Snow White (age 14), Jasmine (15), Ariel (16), Aurora (16), Mulan (16), Merida (16), Belle (17), Pocahontas (18), Rapunzel (18), Cinderella (19) and Tiana (19).
The signature films conclude with weddings or marriage plans for Ariel, Jasmine, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Tiana (and hint of this type of “fairytale ending” for most others). Merida, however, stands out without having a love interest – though she begins the film competing among all of the kingdom’s firstborn sons to win her hand in marriage.
“What strikes me most as disconcerting is their lack of life experience. They seem so innocent to the ways of the world – many have never even met a boy before they fall in love and marry their prince,” blogger Julie Sprankles noted in her post entitled “Things Only Adults Notice in Disney Princess Movies.”
“You never really understand the implications until later in life, when it’s like, where’s the fire, ladies? You have your whole lives to get hitched!” she exclaimed.
Disney Princesses often make questionable judgments, such as eating poisoned apples from sketchy strangers or giving their voice to a sea witch in hopes that a cute boy will fall in love with them. As any former teen can attest, these years can be full of terrible decisions.
“The next time you contemplate the epic romance of a Disney classic like ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ try not to get too caught up in whether Princess Aurora should really be studying for ninth-grade math class instead of getting married to Prince Phillip,” wrote MTV News’ Scott Harris.
Furthermore, critics have voiced concerns about their appearances – in that they appear to be voiced by adult women and don’t look particularly like teens.
In 2015, Loryn Brantz redrew the Disney princesses to reflect their actual ages, creating hilarious images such as “Snow White as an actual 14-year-old dealing with puberty and all its acne and bad eyebrows”; “Mulan experimenting with hair and makeup like an actual 16-year-old”; and “Aurora being rightfully freaked out as a 16-year-old being approached by an odd man in the woods”.
Disney princesses are fictional characters from animated fairy tales, not real teenagers living in our time. Many Disney films draw from old folktales from a time when arranged marriages and teen brides were more commonplace. And perhaps the experience of fleeing from a murderous villain, engaging in battle, or breaking a witch’s spell gives girls inner maturity beyond their years.
However, times are changing and more recent Disney projects are beginning to address these issues. In 2013’s “Frozen,” Queen Elsa (age 21) tells her 18-year-old sister Anna: “You can’t marry a man you just met!” The film’s magic spell plotline also centers on their sisterly love rather than any romantic connection – an interesting twist on the savior narrative which both critics and parents appreciated.
Moana, the 16-year-old protagonist of “Moana,” shares many similarities to Merida in that she lacks any romantic interest. Disney made efforts to give Moana a more realistic body by hiring an actual teenager as her voice actor.
The classic princesses have been given the 2018 upgrade in the “Wreck-It Ralph” sequel’s new trailer.
In one video, the princesses can be seen sleeping in pajamas during a slumber party – which might be more appropriate for teens than, say, getting married.
Cindy Crawford Daughter Kaia Gerber Looked Exactly Like Her Mom