Saturday, January 31, 2015

Disney Goes Latina

This minority report from the Mickey Mouse House got plenty of mention in my Twitter feed on Thursday.  Disney has its first Latina princess.  Excellent news!  She is Elena of Avalor.  I believe that she hails from Enchancia.  Enchancia is a fantasy kingdom "inspired by Latin cultures."  Here she is.
I have a question.  Princess Jasmine from Disney's 1992 hit, ALADDIN, do you now feel like you hail from a fantasy kingdom called WhaDaFukYall?
Look at Jasmine.
Look at Elena.
Is it just me or did Disney just draw some 1950s Rita Moreno pre-West Side Story movie costume on the Middle Eastern Jasmine and think we wouldn't notice?  Or do they simply look like twins?

And what does that mean "inspired by Latin cultures"?  Is Elena a Latina or not?  "Inspired by Latin cultures" sounds like Anderson Cooper when he was still single, dating and lived in the Chelsea section of New York City.  That was my neighborhood.  I used to see him with a different inspiration every week.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm thrilled that Disney wants to give attention to the Latino market.  It's about time.  And I hope that Elena doesn't do one big feature and then get a ticket to the Land of Obscuria to be neighbors with other ethnic Disney female leads like strong, brave Mulan...
...and it's first African-American princess, seen in The Princess and The Frog.
Last year, network TV showed us little black girls dressed up like the very popular, very high-profile Elsa from Frozen for Halloween.  It would've been nice to see a couple dressed up like the lovely Tiana from 2009's The Princess and The Frog.  Has she been incorporated into ABC/Disney's Once Upon a Time the way the Frozen blonde has?


Viva Diversity!," as we people inspired by Latin cultures would say.  But doesn't Elena look like Jasmine with hoop earrings and hair that has brown highlights?  Or is it just me?



4 comments:

  1. I really think Disney should make more use of all of the minority princesses. Tiana is possibly my favourite Disney Princess. For one thing, she starred in the one of the best---if not THE best--Disney animated features of the past few years. For another thing, unlike many of the Disney Princesses, she actually has a personality! Anyhow, I have to agree with you. Elena looks an awful lot like Jasmine.

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  2. Thanks for this - hilarious, especially for the digs at "inspired by Latin cultures" - which cultures? What does this even mean?! ha!

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  3. I figured they said 'inspired by' so that all little girls could relate to her and no one would feel excluded.

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