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The Future of the Disney Princess

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According to Maui in Moana, “you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick; you’re a princess.” The argument around a generic stereotype depicting Disney princesses has become so pervasive, it has even made its way in a few of the films. Disney enthusiasts, who have followed and studied the 80-year legacy of Disney Princess films, have watched it transform from frivolous flights of fancy only suitable for young girls, to progressive representations of heroines who are confident, curious, and courageous. The evolution of these films has charted a growth in female heroes.

The progression of these royals is broken into three waves, “Classic”, “Renaissance” and “Modern”. Although Disney has attempted to participate in the debate by creating criteria, including having royal lineage (marriage counts), being the primary character in their movie, and being human, they have even deviated from these ground rules. In the end, what truly creates a franchised Disney Princess is if the character has a crowing ceremony at the park. The most recent was Merida in 2013, becoming the 11th official Disney princess.

The Classic Era

The earliest Disney princesses, Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora, could only be described as products of their time. The first feature-length film for the company, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, depicted a young girl (she’s 13 years old in the movie) pining for a prince and turning into a housekeeper for seven grown men (even if they were dwarfs). When matching the story to the time it was created, it predated woman joining the workforce during World War II. Many also emphasized how the character was not fleshed-out because the filmmakers were focusing on the enormous feat of developing a feature-length film.

The next two to arrive on the scene, Cinderella and Aurora, enhanced the convention of damsel in distress. Sleeping Beauty, which is the epitome of this narrative, features Aurora with only 18 lines of dialogue in an hour long movie. In Cinderella, audiences are introduced to a woman who is only able to escape an awful family if she is wed. All three women, products of their circumstance, are not the champions of their own story, do not aid in the defeat of their villain, and continue a female narrative surrounding innocent and helplessness.

The Renaissance Era

After more than 20 years without a princess film, the company began to look to its roots and a new generation of princess was introduced: Ariel, Belle, and Pocahontas. The Little Mermaid provided audiences with a female protagonist who was the first in the legacy to have her own personal independence. She is curious, defiant, and willful, all strengths that then became her downfall. Ariel spends a majority of her movie unable to speak, which causes her to rely on appearance to achieve her goals. As usual, the villain is defeated by a prince.

The next two films, Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas, make huge strides both in creating independence of their heroines. Belle and Pocahontas embodied independent thinkers who fought against traditional expectations. Although her name means beauty, Belle fought against gender norms by having a thirst for reading, and dreaming about adventure. Despite the many historical inaccuracies, Pocahontas fought against the cultural norm of arranged marriage. Both, however, cannot escape the love-story arc that continues to plague the movies.

The Modern Era

As the franchise begins to grow, the new themes adapted into films include princess actively attempt to rescue a meaningful character or redeem the villain, increasing the plot for both protagonists and antagonist. Tiana, in Princess and the Frog, attempts to save the prince, Naveen from an eternity as an amphibian. The 3D animated Tangled found a Rapunzel choosing to sacrifice her own freedom to save Flynn. Then as the scene escalates, the villain, Mother Gothel, is pushed out a window and Repunzel attempts to save her. This marks the first time a Disney Princess has tried to rescue a villain.

As the Modern Age Disney Princess stories develop, writers have started to overthrow the usual romance. Frozen, which focuses on the bond between sisters, even pokes fun at the love-at-first-sight theme in prior movies, with Hans declaring, “You can’t just marry a man you just met!” This film’s climax even differs from its predecessors; instead of a battle scene with a baddy, Anna sacrifices herself to save her sister and the kingdom. Lastly, there is the Pixar Disney movie, Brave, which features no love interest. Although the plot focuses on Merida defying her family to avoid taking a husband, she is not partnered in the end of the movie.

The Future

The culmination of “what is a princess” has started with frilly dresses and has transformed to courage and spirit in Moana. The story focuses on a defiant young girl on a mission to save her people. With the ability to see past the façade of fear around her, she helps liberate Te Fiti, whom transformed from a monstrous volcano to an Earth goddess. This movie has no romantic subplot, no prince that saves the day, and challenges the heroine to think critically, act resourcefully, all with compromise and understanding. It appears that the future of the Princess franchise is teaching the next generation that they don’t need to “wait for their prince to come”, but instead can to face their dragons themselves with real heart and compassion.

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American Horror Story: Delicate

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As most of us are already aware, the 12th Season of AHS has been fraught with all kinds of differences to the previous seasons, mainly in that this is the first one to be based entirely off a novel, ‘Delicate Condition’ by Danielle Valentine. The first half of the season aired in October 2023 to mediocre reviews, while the SAG-AFTRA strike caused production and airing delays for the latter half of the season, and the episodes of Part 2 were all cut to less than an hour long apiece. And none of that is even getting into the disjointed attempt at storytelling for Season 12, so let’s dive into this! 

Meet Anna Victoria Alcott (Emma Roberts), former young ling star of Hollywood now struggling to recapture fame as an adult, who wants a baby, very very badly. Bad enough to drive herself and her husband Dex (Matt Czuchry) through multiple unsuccessful rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilization), bad enough to keep trying no matter how crushing each failure turns out to be, bad enough to involve her purported best friend and bougie publicist Siobhan Corbyn (Kim Kardashian) in her struggles, and maybe, just maybe, bad enough to give up on a burgeoning resurgence of her career after interest in her comeback role for The Auteur begins garnering her Oscar-worthy attention. 

So, Anna and Dex are going to go through yet another round of IVF, likely one of their last attempts at it, from a different doctor, Dr. Andrew Hill (Denis O’Hare), and clinic based on Siobhan’s recommendation. And already, strange things are beginning to happen to Anna – her appointments that she set herself begin springing up incorrectly, a doom saying woman called Preacher (Julia White) shows up spouting warnings about trusting no one, dire warnings appear in unlikely places, and BTW, it seems as though long-suffering but good-nurtured Dex has a side-piece too. It doesn’t help that Dex’s new partner at his art gallery, Sonia Shawcross (Annabelle Dexter-Jones), bears a striking resemblance to his dead ex-wife Adeline, either. Those spiked emerald heels start appearing weirdly too, and it seems as though no one will listen to Anna as she grows more and more suspicious that some sort of sinister cult has designs on her as-yet-unborn baby. At the same time, Anna tries to live the life of a successful returning actress, attending parties and gallery openings while draping her rapidly-expanding middle in shimmering fabrics and actively ‘campaigning’ for that little golden statue that most actors covet. Competition is fierce, even among her co-stars of The Auteur, and while Anna wants to be supportive of her fellow entertainers, she clearly appears to be incapable of doing both at the same time – wanting the baby and the little gold award at the same time is too much to ask, apparently. 

Elsewhere, mostly in the past, various women in states of desperation formed from one situation or another are visited by sinister-looking women in prim black dresses, headgear reminiscent of – to me anyway – an odd cross betwixt birds and bunnies, my guess is an ostensive nod to fertility in general, and a general feeling of blood-bound witchery about them at critical moments of crossroad choices. 

Though the second half of the season moves a good deal faster than the first, the attempts at callbacks and reminder flashes to Part 1 hit with all the impact of a dropped bag of garbage onto their friends Talia’s (Julia Canfield) borrowed bougie kitchen floor – splat, into incomprehensible silence, from all parties, both characters and audience, concerned. Even the reminders that, in Part 1 of Delicate Dex’s mother Virginia Harding (Debra Monk) did indeed have perfectly valid memories of abuse at the hands of a black cult and Dex’s own father Dex Sr. (Reed Birney), the revelation pales and peels away in the face of Dex’s true parentage. 

Which brings us back around full circle kinda sorta, to the only real character worth a damn in this entire miserable season of strange feminism and aspirations of world domination through a kind of idiotic Rosemary’s Baby nightmare scenario, we should have known she’d steal the show when Kardashian was cast for it, Siobhan Corbyn, leader of the blood cult her high and mighty (old) self. Throughout the whole show her character has remained exactly the same, and it’s a wonder Anna can stare at her all stupefied while Siobhan does her villain speech at the end of the last episode. Siobhan never masked her ambition or greed, her mysterious protective vibe and even deep love for Anna, and can always be counted on to have secret plans of her own, already in motion, bitch. 

The idea that Anna herself was used as a surrogate for Siobhan and her incestuous eugenicist plans, plus the sweet little demon baby she just birthed, has an ironic the-world-is-tilting-the-wrong-way kind of witchy madness to it. Sure, Anna really can have it all, the baby and the golden statue, if only she joins the patriarchy-crushing cabal of blood witches with world domination plans, got it. 

I have questions, or I would have, but things are moving on and Anna is being saved by … Dex’s dead ex, Adaline the former member of the coven right okay her, she’s going to show back up and offer Anna a simple chant to Hestia her patron Goddess, and that is somehow enough to deal with Siobhan entirely – poof. And finally, after all that rigamarole, decades of planning and scheming and witchy plotting finally settled, Anna really can have it all as a White Witch of Hollywood, heaven help us, with her perfectly human baby and that damned little golden statue, clutched in an only slightly desperate grip. 

As with any season of AHS there are a great deal of statements that could be implied just under the skin of the season – the canker way of ambition, the millenia-old pain of a woman giving birth, the savagery and bloodshed that comes with bringing forth life, pushback against both the patriarchy and ultra-feminism, the absolute desperation of humans wanting to have a child, and perhaps strangest and most open to interpretation of all, what it means to be feminine. The worlds population of women who can’t or don’t or simply won’t have children, for any reason or none, are relegated to servants, expendable servants at that, for this new world order that Siobhan is proposing, and that is far too close a comfort to things like outright slavery. A dictator is a dictator, no matter how great she looks in those emerald spiked heels. 

It’s not the really beautiful grotesquerie that Ryan Murphy and his AHS gang are often known for, nor is it utterly terrible and should be burned at the stake. What Delicate should be, is put back together with missing and cut footage, an hour long per episode again come on folks, fleshed some more of Siobhan’s baby-stealing adventures in the past and given us an actual reason to like anything about the whiny Anna, at least the Part 2 we as longtime AHS fans deserve. Toss in some more spidery hijinks! Give us the actual origin of those weird feather bunny-ear headdresses! 

American Horror Story Delicate the whole season can be seen on FX! 

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Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery in a World Gone Prehistoric!

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Hold onto your hats, dino fans! The highly anticipated sequel to the adrenaline-pumping Camp Cretaceous saga is here, and it’s taking us on a wild ride six years in the making. Following the harrowing events of Camp Cretaceous, our beloved “Nublar Six” are back, but they’re not out of the woods just yet. In fact, they’re about to plunge headfirst into a world where dinosaurs roam freely alongside dangerous humans, and trust us when we say, it’s a Jurassic jungle out there!

Picture this: a world where survival isn’t just about avoiding sharp-toothed predators but also navigating the treacherous waters of human greed and deceit. As our resilient heroes reunite in the aftermath of a heart-wrenching tragedy, they quickly realize that danger lurks around every corner, and trust is a luxury they can’t afford. 

But wait, there’s more! Prepare to embark on a globetrotting adventure like no other as the Nublar Six find themselves thrust into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens not only the fragile balance between dinosaurs and humanity but also their very existence. From the lush jungles of Isla Nublar to the bustling streets of bustling cities, buckle up for a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions as our intrepid group races against time to uncover the truth about one of their own and, ultimately, save both dinosaur and humankind from certain doom.

So, dear readers, if you thought you’d seen it all in Jurassic Park, think again! With heart-stopping action, pulse-pounding suspense, and jaw-dropping revelations, this latest installment promises to be a game-changer in the Jurassic universe. Get ready to roar with excitement because Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery is about to take a bite out of your imagination and leave you hungry for more!

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Netflix’s Upcoming Thriller ‘Trigger Warning’ Promises Action-Packed Intrigue”

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Get ready to buckle up for an adrenaline-fueled ride as Netflix prepares to drop its latest original thriller, “Trigger Warning,” on June 21, 2024. Directed by Mouly Surya and boasting an all-star cast, including Jessica Alba, Mark Webber, Tone Bell, Jake Weary, Gabriel Basso, Anthony Michael Hall, Kaiwi Lyman, and Hari Dhillon, this film is set to keep viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

The plot centers around Special Forces commando Parker, portrayed by the talented Jessica Alba. Parker’s life takes an unexpected turn when she receives the heartbreaking news of her father’s sudden passing, prompting her to return to her hometown. As she steps into her new role as the owner of the family bar, Parker quickly realizes that there’s more to her father’s death than meets the eye.

Reconnecting with figures from her past, including her former flame turned sheriff, Jesse (Mark Webber), and his volatile brother, Elvis (Jake Weary), Parker finds herself embroiled in a dangerous web of deceit and violence. With the influential Senator Swann (Anthony Michael Hall) casting a shadow over the town, Parker must navigate treacherous waters to uncover the truth about her father’s demise.

As tensions rise and alliances shift, Parker taps into her elite commando training, determined to unravel the mysteries plaguing Swann County. Assisted by her covert ops partner and hacker, Spider (Tone Bell), and the enigmatic local dealer, Mike (Gabriel Basso), Parker embarks on a perilous journey filled with twists and turns.

Penned by John Brancato & Josh Olson and Halley Gross, “Trigger Warning” promises to deliver a gripping narrative packed with action, suspense, and unexpected revelations. With a powerhouse cast bringing the characters to life and a talented creative team behind the scenes, this Netflix original is primed to captivate audiences worldwide.

Produced by Erica Lee, Basil Iwanyk, and Esther Hornstein, “Trigger Warning” offers a thrilling glimpse into the murky depths of small-town politics and criminal underworlds. With its pulse-pounding action sequences and compelling storyline, this film is sure to leave viewers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

Mark your calendars for June 21, 2024, as “Trigger Warning” arrives on Netflix, ready to ignite your senses and keep you guessing until the credits roll. Don’t miss out on this adrenaline-charged cinematic experience that promises to be the ultimate summer blockbuster.

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