The latest from Disney studios, Raya and the Last Dragon, has been available on Disney + since June 4. Close-up on 5 heroines of the studio, inspiring and courageous.
Released in our theaters in 1998, and having recently had a live version based on a Chinese poem from the 4th century, Mulan is one of the first Disney heroines to take up arms and choose her destiny.
Here there is no question of a princess who wisely awaits the arrival of her prince. When the Emperor of China issues a decree stipulating that a man from each family must join the imperial army to fight invaders, Hua Mulan, eldest daughter of a warrior now suffering from the disease, decides to take his place in combat. .
Showing courage and self-sacrifice, the young woman is one of the studio’s first heroines to go into battle. Until now, the female protagonists (Pocahontas in the lead) tried to calm conflicts and change mentalities, but none had yet taken action in the true sense of the term.
Mulan wields the sword with as much dexterity (see more) as any other soldier and has to fight twice as hard to find her place.
Strong and independent, she goes beyond her father’s orders (like Belle and Ariel), but to save her family’s honor and help her country. Like a true warrior, she stands up against the established order. (In Chinese legend, Mulan would rather kill herself than marry the Prince and not be free of her destiny).
A real first for a Disney heroine who has inspired a whole generation of children.
MERIDA – REBEL
Merida is the quintessential rebel heroine! A forced marriage? No way ! And when a contest is organized among her suitors to win her hand, the Scottish princess does not hesitate to enter it to win her freedom.
Once again, the heroine will disobey orders, which will also cause a whole lot of catastrophic events. But in the end, Merida will have had what she wants: to stay single and not tie her life to that of a man she did not choose.
Far from Snow White, Cinderella and other Sleeping Beauty, Mérida is part of the 3rd generation of Disney Princesses. Those who don’t just fall in love but want to discover the world and are ready to question the order established for generations.
Courageous and determined, she is the perfect example of the modern woman who does not let herself be trodden on and prefers to take up arms in order to change mentalities.
ELSA – THE SNOW QUEEN
Not content with having made us understand that she was “Liberated, delivered”, The Snow Queen is a real fighter. From a young age, Elsa shows self-sacrifice and prefers to isolate herself in her room rather than risk hurting her little sister again.
And if Anna resents him, it doesn’t matter, she’s the one protecting her sister. No need for guards or Prince with questionable intentions. Showing courage and great mental strength, the Nordic princess will do everything to protect her family and her kingdom.
Love stories ? Very little for her, she has a kingdom to manage! Because here the chef is really her! No King or Prince to stand up to or disobey. A first for a Disney studios film. The representatives of the male gente are here either perfect calculators or kind naive with a big heart (Olaf, Sven and Kristoff).
The pride of place is therefore given to the two heroines of the film. The personalities of the sisters complement each other perfectly and their relationship takes precedence above all else despite the differences. Elsa is an accomplished woman, a working-girl who doesn’t need anyone to free herself other than just being herself.
The mischievous Polynesian heroine must make a choice: become the head of her village or go on an adventure in the footsteps of her ancestors. And since her father forbids her to cross the coral reef, it is this path that she will choose! But this thirst for adventure and discovery resonates within her too strongly not to be listened to.
Accompanied by a demigod, a pig and a somewhat silly rooster, Vaiana will live her dreams and listen to her heart to discover why her island is dying. With the help of her grandmother, the young woman will take responsibility and discover the greatest jewel: her strength.
If in many aspects the film by John Musker and Ron Clements recalls The Little Mermaid, one of their previous works (the marine world, the heroine who thirsts for discovery and who disobeys her father), the similarities end. here because it is also a question of freedom and choice, but for the love of his island and his people and not for the beautiful eyes of a Prince.
Like Rebel, Vaiana, the legend of the end of the world does not include a love story. Even better: no one wants to force the heroine to marry anyone (but we still want to force her to play a role that does not interest her).
It should also be noted that this is the first time that we have seen a Disney “princess” using an elastic to hold her hair, because, yes, having hair in the face is not practical. . The action takes precedence over femininity. A detail for many but a real sign for all the little girls. With this feature film, Disney offers us an endearing and modern heroine.
This initiatory story allows the studio to take a further step in the evolution of its films and mentalities. The fearless hero on whom everything rests, and who will rescue a distressed demigod stuck on an island for years, is a woman.
Raya is not a princess and even less a lover, she is a warrior, a real one. Trained from an early age by her father, the wise Chief Benja, the heroine will do everything to find Sisu, the last dragon and save the Kingdom of Kumandra …
Having nothing to envy of Lara Croft or Indiana Jones, Raya is a courageous, stubborn young woman who does not easily give her trust. A complex, lonely and modern heroine.
Raya and the Last Dragon reflects the evolution of our society, both in terms of representation and the very definition of the term “Disney Princess”.
Asked by us for the promotion of the film, Geraldine Nakache, the French voice of the dragon Sisu, underlines that today “being a warrior is constitutive of the princess. We are that more beautiful princess when we are a great warrior. “A complementarity has always been present but so far, little highlighted. It was time for things to change.
Disney seems to have understood this perfectly with its latest films. If, for years, little girls who did not want to be princesses had to identify with male characters, today, thanks to Raya and her recent sisters, it is the little boys who identify with these strong and ambitious heroines.
And kids make no mistake about it: it doesn’t matter what kind of hero the hero is, when it comes to courage and adventure.