Monday, July 8, 2013

Period Accurate Princesses

So, okay, it's a Disney Princess thing, and I apologize for that, but it's really, really cool, by an artist who does right by the costumes, and had a great sense of humor.

Actually, I've been kind of fascinated by Dinsey princesses lately, since that whole mess with Merida (I still haven't actually seen Brave, but I did love Tangled). I even went to their site and played with their digital paper dolls. Mulan, Rapunzel, and Pocahontas have also gotten some kind of objectionable make-overs, and there's sparkle animation all over the place, but honestly? I kind of like it there. The splash page is iffy, but once you get past that, it's all coloring and java games, and, okay, the Pocahontas paper doll kind of hurts (it's kind of a grab bag of any Native American-ish look they could think of (oddy, Snow White's is, for my money, by far the best)), but generally it all seems pretty harmless, even positive.

But the Princesses. Man. It's this weird thing where they transcend themselves and their sometimes mediocre movies, and they're not just brands, they're kind of icons. Dense cores of cultural signifiers. Avatars. Semiotic cluster bombs. That can be endlessly recombined into things that are both lovingly and criticizingly askew. Maybe it's because they're sold to us so hard, or because we first run across them in our childhood, or because they're such powerfully distilled archetypes. Or some combination. I dunno. It's late at night.

Anyway. Princesses. 

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