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New Escapist Column! On The Spell “Wicked” Cast On a Generation of Disney Princesses…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With news that Jon M. Chu will be directing Universal’s upcoming adaptation of Wicked, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the show’s impressive, if incomplete, legacy.

Although Wicked has not been directly adapted for the screen yet, it casts a long shadow. An entire generation of Disney feature films have taken their cues from Wicked, at least superficially – it is a vital part of the conversation around live action films like Oz the Great and Powerful and Maleficent, an obvious point of comparison for Frozen. However, it is interesting that despite the superficial similarities these projects all share with Wicked – a revisionist villain-centric take on a classic property – none of them have been as bold or as radical as Wicked.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

The Princess is Dead, Long Live the Princess: Disney Won’t Be Letting Fairy Tales Live Happily Ever After…

Apparently Disney are putting an end to the production of fairy tales, which is somewhat ironic for a studio which has an iconic fairytale castle as its distinctive corporate logo. I suppose it was sort of inevitable coming from a studio that was terrified of advertising Tangled as a “princess” movie. Disney board director John Lasseter explained the decision:

Today, among little girls especially, princesses and the romanticised ideal they represent – finding the man of your dreams – have a limited shelf life.

It’s very clever to couch his argument in what might be considered modern feminist terms  – “finding the man of your dreams” is such a fifties aspiration for young girls, after all – but I’m not entirely sure I’m comfortable with what Disney plans to replace them with. I’ll admit that I am a relatively conservative individual – I just don’t like change – but there’s something unsettling about such a major refocus, and perhaps what it says about pop culture as a whole these days.

Okay, so maybe Disney needs to work on its female leads...

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