I am liking the latest trend in fairy tales from Disney, first from Frozen and now Maleficent. In both instances, the central bond is between women, and that bond is powerful and positive. Evil does not have a chance.
But first, the female characters in these films must overcome any doubt or suspicion that plagues their relationships.
In Frozen, the sisters are driven to quarrel:
Anna: [also desperate] Elsa, please! Please! I can’t LIVE like this anymore!
Elsa: [pauses] Then leave.[Anna looks at her with a hurt expression; Elsa then turns to leave]
Anna: [calling after her] What did I ever do to you?
Elsa: [impatiently] Enough, Anna.
Anna: No! Why? Why do you shut me out? Why do you shut THE WORLD out? What are you so AFRAID of?
Elsa: I said ENOUGH!
In Maleficent, the young Aurora confronts the ever-watchful Maleficent:
As the story of their respective relationships unfold, there is a fierce devotion that emerges in these new breed of princesses and their female counterparts. They are not relying on a rescue. Their “true love” is rich and complex, transcending the limits of romance, effectively sidelining the princes in happily-ever-after retellings.
A powerful lesson to the “princesses” watching in the audience, imagining their own “once upon a dream.”