Disney girls, aka “Meg’s the best; forget the rest”…

My son has recently been watching old Disney movies. The most recent one on the repeat cycle has been the 1997 movie Hercules. He loves it because Hercules is really strong and beats up monsters, something a little boy who’s afraid of the dark can fully appreciate.

I like it, though, because it’s the only Disney “princess” movie where the leading lady isn’t a sweet little princess. In fact, I doubt she’s actually a princess, although they never reveal anything about her family origins.

I realised, watching it, that Meg was my ideal novel protagonist as well. She’s sassy and self-sufficient, not innocent and naive (and probably not a virgin, although this is Disney so that’s suggested rather than stated outright). She does her damnedest to take charge and get herself out of problems, although that sometimes gets her straight into them. Which is called life, really—we all do it.

Image copyright Disney

The image copyright belongs to Disney

When you compare her to the other Disney girls, she’s streets ahead. Some of them aren’t too offensive as female role-models (Jasmine is ok; at least she’s trying to have some independence, even if it’s not working); others make me deeply uneasy (Belle, although I love her bookish habits, basically teaches girls that if you love a man enough he’ll be “cured” of his abusive tendencies; Cinderella teaches girls the only way out of a shitty home situation is through marriage).

My characters come with varying levels of sass, but so far I haven’t had a wet noodle for a main character, and I don’t intend to start.

Here are a few choice quotes from Meg:

Hercules: “Aren’t you … a damsel in distress?”
Meg: “I’m a damsel, I’m in distress. I can handle this. Have a nice day.”

Meg: “I’m a big tough girl. I tie my own sandals and everything.”

Hercules: “You know, when I was a kid, I would have given anything to be exactly like everybody else.”
Meg: “You wanted to be petty and dishonest?”

Who’s your favourite kids movie leading lady and why?

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10 Comments on “Disney girls, aka “Meg’s the best; forget the rest”…”

  1. Nikki says:

    Totally agreed. Even as a kid, I remember liking Meg more than the other Disney gals, because she had her own agenda. She’s a more of a realist, too, which I can appreciate. 🙂

  2. I agree completely, Cassandra. When I started writing erotica, one of my first decisions was No Victims! The heroines are smart, alert, and get themselves out of whatever trouble they manage to get themselves into.

    I don’t remember seeing Hercules. I think it fell into the time between my kids’ Disney viewing years. I’ll look it up this weekend. Thanks!

    Carole

  3. You hit the nail on the head! Disney was force-fed to me as a kid too, and I hated all of the princesses. Until Meg. She was okay because she wasn’t a whiny daddy’s girl who relied on men to solve her problems. Ariel was the worst! Omg all of her daddy issues…

  4. I’ve always really adored Meg simply because she wasn’t one of those cookie cutter damsels in distress. My favorite disney “princess” would have to be Mulan though 😀

  5. Megara was always my absolute favourite. I love her. I still watch Hercules now purely because of Meg – she was part of the inspiration for my MC’s name.


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