Disney Princesses have been an integral part of Disney animated films since time immemorial. They represent female protagonists who are either royal by birth, royal by marriage, or considered a ‘princess’ due to a significant portrayal of heroism in their respective film. Currently, the franchise officially recognizes 13 members and are portrayed heavily in their merchandising of toys and in their theme parks across the world. They have been an immense influence on popular culture and thus even Lladró has been making porcelain princesses since the 80s.
SNOW WHITE, CINDERELLA, AURORA
Disney’s Classic Era is iconic even to young children today despite being filmed as early as 1937 due to their simplicity and timeless stories. They include the films Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. All of them have very classical representation of heroines having stoic yet firm characters and inner strength.
Lladró’s Snow White Figurine in her classic Disney getup looking at a sprig of flowers (left). A more romanticized depiction in Lladró’s Cinderella Figurine holding her fabled glass shoe (middle). Lladró’s Sleeping Beauty Figurine features the iconic spindle that puts her to sleep (right).
ARIEL, BELLE, JASMINE, POCAHONTAS, MULAN
In the 90s, Disney improved its cultural representation of backstories and set pieces to include inspiration from Asian, mythological and historical sources, and unique stories with more rebellious characterizations. Ariel and Jasmine are actual princesses, Belle married into royalty, whereas Pocahontas and Mulan came from normal backgrounds and tell a more realistic story in their arcs centrally focused more on family and community.
The rebellious princess Ariel soon understands the meaning of shouldering responsibilities (left). The majestic Lladró’s Dreams of Aladdin Sculpture discontinued in 1999 (middle). Mulan has a rare and personal moment of placing flowers in her hair (right).
TIANA, RAPUNZEL, MERIDA, MOANA, RAYA
Two modern retellings (Princess and the Frog and Tangled) moved the princesses towards a more active and independent role. The films Brave, Moana, and Raya and the Last Dragon completed the Disney Princesses current roster in this era and made it easy for a young girl of any culture to empathize with a variety of heroine figures facing very vibrant challenges. The evolution of Disney princesses from a classic approach to a more self-realizing character who does not need a man or magic to realize their goals shows great progress in Disney’s storytelling.
A classic moment of Cinderella arriving at the ball by pumpkin carriage immortalized in Lladró’s Cinderella’s Arrival Sculpture, Limited Edition. This grand piece of a limited 1500 units measures a staggering 116cm wide and features intricate details such as gold-lined reins and zircon-infused harnesses. The carriage itself is meticulously crafted to include distinct wheels and a humble servant to assist Cinderella in disembarking.
Disney’s wide roster of films have many other potential ‘princesses’ that seem to fit the bill but are currently not officially part of the roster. These include characters like Tinker Bell from Peter Pan, Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Nala from The Lion King, and even Princess Leia, Rey and Queen Amidala (from the now Disney-owned Star Wars franchise). In all, these characters inspire young girls today to work hard on their dreams and follow their own path.
Tinker Bell was actually a Disney Princess for a short period before being removed (left). A stoic Elsa poses with Olaf in Lladró’s figurative rendition (middle). The Star Wars princess royalty trio celebrated in Lladró’s Star Wars Collection (right).
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