Love them or hate them, Disney Princesses act as role models for little children around the world. What a role model should be is constantly changing though and today I think there is no character that better embodies this role than the star of Disney Pixar's latest film Finding Dory, so today I'm asking: Should Dory be a Disney Princess?
You can check out my full video discussing this topic here, or continue below for the rest of the article.
Right out of the gate it doesn’t seem like Dory would be a great candidate for a Disney Princess, mostly due to the couple and utter lack of a royal presence in either Finding Nemo or Finding Dory.
True, BUT royalty is not all that counts when it comes to earning this title, in fact it takes more than just being a princess in a Disney movie to become a Disney Princess. Heck, you don’t even have to be an actual princess! There is a loop hole!
And oh how we love loop holes at Super Carlin Brothers.
So what does it take to become a disney princess? First you must meet all three of the following requirements:
1. You must be human
2. You must be a leading role in an animated Disney movie.
3. You must not be featured primarily in a sequel.
That third rule is a little tricky to understand, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be in a sequel it means you can’t be introduced in one and you need to have had a leading role in the first movie. For example, Ariel;s daughter can’t be a Disney Princess because although she is the lead in her movie, she was introduced in The Little Mermaid 2.
Then if you meet the first three requirements you must also meet at least one of the following criteria:
1. Be born royal
2. Marry royal
3. Perform an act of heroism
BOOM! There is our loophole: Perform an act of heroism. Thank you Mulan for (well, first for saving the Han Dynasty from the invading Huns) opening the door for Dory to swim her way to royalty.
Now that you know the requirements lets see how Dory stacks up.
First is she human? — No.
Admittedly not a great start, unless — Loop hole??
Let me show you several princesses in a row and you tell me which one is not like the others:
That's right; it's option ARIEL IS A MERMAID!
Mermaids are part fish, Dory is a fish — LOOP HOLED!
OK, I know that is hard to rationalize, BUT stick with me, I've got better reasoning for this later on. Until then, let's continue moving down the list.
Is Dory the lead in an animated movie? YES!
Was she introduced in a sequel? NO!
Was she either born royal? Married royal or perform any acts of heroism?
Well not the first two, but do you count:
Crossing the ocean to rescue and handicapped child she's never met heroic?
Or fighting off sharks?
Or talking her way out of whale?
Or driving a mac truck off a cliff and saving a hundreds of fish from CLEVELAND?
How about overcoming disability?
How about how she accomplished all of that while dealing with her own severe handicap?
Dory suffers from short term memory loss and while not everyone has this particular affliction, everyone has their own personal limitations and demons they are battling.
Dory is an amazing example of every single one of us in some way or another, of facing your limitations head on and letting nothing stand in your way. By all accounts, an amazing character to be a role model.
But, she’s not human. Well I say SO WHAT?!
Throughout the history of the Disney Princess franchise the goal of these characters has been to serve as role models, and over time as cultural ideals change, so has the personality of the princesses.
They started out as reactionary characters who don’t take much action, the plot happens to them — the damsel in distress.
Then they changed into much more feisty and adventurous characters, but all had stories angled towards finding their prince charming.
And nowadays they are extremely independent, curious, hard-working and their romances are based on getting to know someone, if they are interested in anyone at all.
Dory is the next step in the evolution of Disney Princesses. NONE of her actions are driven by romance; she’s perfectly imperfect. She’s super independent and yet also dependent on her friends at the same time. She finds a way to accomplish her own goals while constantly helping others. She is arguably one of the most widely relatable characters in a Disney film ever.
I mean I’m sure some of you had to deal with being born with ice powers and almost destroying your entire kingdom, but personally I couldn’t relate.
But I’ll tell you what: I forget stuff all the time. I have felt lost and like nobody would help, yet Dory shows us someone who against all odds is constantly remaining positive; someone who doesn’t dwell on their limitations; someone who does the best she can despite her circumstances.
That is all of us; that is a role model; that is what a Princess should be.
Human? Who cares, Dory has been breaking barriers her whole life and this is just one more barrier.