• Wed, Feb 2 2011

Disney Princes Make For Abusive Boyfriends

Which Disney prince would make the best real-life boyfriend? This question is constantly up for debate; though honestly, I wonder if the answer is really any of them. I mean, think about it: would YOU really want to date any of the Disney princes?

Don’t get me wrong: I love Disney. The movies are like security blankets for me. I’ve been to both Disney World and Disneyland a disgusting amount of times. In fact, I’ve spent my birthday on Disney property once every four years from the year I turned sixteen onward (this was largely by accident, but it’s still true). But though I love the movies and maintain that you’re never to old for amusement parks, I’m still rather baffled by the whole Disney princess thing– or rather, the aggressive marketing of all things princess to little girls. And this is why I think that most, if not all, of the Disney princes should actually be filed under the category of At Least Mildly Troubling, If Not Downright Abusive, Boyfriends.

Most little girls– or at least, most American little girls– grow up these days with “the princess phase” factoring prominently in their development. This is hardly a new phenomenon; in fact, I’m pretty sure that as long as there have been fairy tales, there have been little girls (and probably little boys as well) wishing fervently that one day their prince will come. It only starts to get weird when money starts to come into it. Peggy Orenstein examines this issue in depth in her recently released book Cinderella Ate My Daughter, and she may have a point. It’s painfully obvious that the main point of all the marketing and retail hullabaloo is really all about making companies lots and lots of money; but at what psychological costs to children?

The Disney Princess line caters specifically to this dream, with its key players being Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora of Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, and most recently Tangled’s Rapunzel. Through toys, costumes, even complete makeovers at Disney’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for as much as $280, the Princess franchise seeks to turn your little princess into an actually Little Princess, often at absurd costs. Consider, though, the princes that go along with these plucky young heroines:

Prince Ferdinand
Yes, Snow White’s prince has a name. And yet, I’m not surprised that we don’t know his name, given that all he does is suddenly appear at the end, solely for the purposes of falling in love with a dead chick. He’s a plot point more than anything else, and he’s a necrophiliac plot point at that.

Cinderella’s Nameless Prince
This is the guy we usually think of as Prince Charming, but Charming is not his name. Unlike Ferdinand, he doesn’t even have one; he’s just the Prince. Furthermore, he’s a prince who doesn’t want to get married in the first place, so he’s sort of a deadbeat. I can’t really blame him– in a world of arranged marriages, who can?– but even allowing for that, he still wouldn’t make great boyfriend material, purely because it’s unlikely that he’ll stick around.

Prince Phillip
Aurora’s prince, on the other hand, DOES have a name. And you know what? In spite of the fact that he may be a little bland personality-wise, Phillip is the only prince on the list that may actually be worth the trouble. He’s just as in love with her when he thinks she’s a peasant as when he finds out she’s a princess, and he’s willing to fight for her either way. He even stands up to his dad for her. And then he fights a monster for her. That’s dedication.

Prince Eric
Ariel’s prince? Kind of a problem. You can make the argument that he falls for Ariel because she’s a free spirit who opens his eyes to a different way of living, which is in fact pretty admirable; but the bottom line is that he never hears her utter a word, so it’s unlikely that he’s interested in her for her brains. Not that there’s anything wrong with physical attraction– it’s just that physical attraction usually isn’t enough of a foundation on which to build a relationship.

The Beast
Aaaaaand you guessed it: Beast has a name too. It’s Adam. Who knew? Here, though, we’ve got what I consider to be one of the weirdest situations on the list: he kidnaps Belle, he’s got some serious anger management issues, and in spite of all that, she subsequently goes all Stockholm Syndrome. He also has no friends of his own (I’m not really sure we can count the talking candlestick as a friend, given that Lumiere lives to serve), which means that he relies on Belle for all of his human (beastly?) contact. This cannot possibly be healthy.

Aladdin
Falling for Aladdin is the equivalent of falling for one of those internet sweetheart scams. He’s not who he says he is, he’s a compulsive liar, and he’s a con man. Stay away.

Captain John Smith
The guy’s a colonist. He’ll trash your family, he’ll try to change everything about you, and then he’ll drag you off to his choice of residence and display you as a trophy. Fun!

Captain Li Shang
Mulan had a pretty awesome military career in the works, but she was forced to give it up because the astoundingly sexist Captain Li Shang told her girls can’t be soldiers. Sure, he excused it by saying that in disguising herself, she dishonored herself, her family, and probably the entire nation of China; but I mean, really? Really?!

Prince Naveen
Naveen’s parents have disowned him, so he treks on down to New Orleans with the intention of marrying a rich southern belle. If he’s only after you for your money, he’s not worth it. Gold diggers are never good news.

Flynn Rider
Rapunzel’s supposed prince isn’t too dissimilar from Aladdin: he’s a thief who lies about who he is. He’s also kind of useless– Rapunzel is always saving his ass. Good for her!… but then again, she’s always having to bail out her guy. Lame.

On a case by case basis, not many of these guys are making a strong case for a caring partner. Phillip is the exception, but he’s only one out of ten. What are we supposed to take away from the other nine? Is this really the best we can expect to do in the boyfriend department? If this is what Disney is telling us, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope for finding a guy (or girl) with whom you can have a happy, healthy relationship. Furthermore, do we even need to end up with a prince in the first place? It’s possible to be perfectly happy without one. Gone are the days of the spinster aunt– it’s not a stigma we need to worry about anymore. So why not embrace it instead?

It’s true that the princesses have gotten stronger overall as time has gone on. While the earlier princesses (Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, etc.) take a mostly passive role in their own stories, the later princesses have gone on to join the army (Mulan) and run their own businesses (Tiana). And yeah, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look like a pretty pretty princess, no matter what your age or gender. Perhaps most importantly, I suppose that the flip side is that we can look at these couples as examples of love going strong even in the face of some pretty serious flaws. But I don’t know. Something still makes me go “eugh” about the whole thing. Maybe it all boils down to the fact that the princes are largely non-entities. I suspect this is why so many of them either don’t have names or have names that no one can actually remember– they’re ideas, not people. Furthermore, when they ARE people, they don’t appear to be terribly GOOD people (why, for example, are there so many thieves in the bunch?). I can only conclude that when you consider all of these supposed “Prince Charmings”, who wants to date a guy who yells at you, lies to you, steals from you, and is only interested in you for your looks?

What do you think? Can princes and princesses be a healthy reality?

Forget princes, find a real-life, fun dude who will go on a crazy date with you. Visit our dating page, brought to you in partnership with HowAboutWe and suggest anything you’ve been wanting to do!

You can reach this post's author, Lucia Peters, on twitter.
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  • D.T.

    The Paper-bag Princess anyone??

    • DRD

      Prince Ronald was a bum

  • L

    Flynn was hot, don’t ruin him for me. To date, he’s the only male character that made me see a Disney movie. When I was little, I also kind of liked Beast (Adam? Really?). My mom and I both thought he was hideous when he changed back. I guess we’re just into that kind of thing.

  • porkchop

    I was startled by Li Shang leaving Mulan to die in a snowdrift, but then I thought, “Maybe this is how any ancient warrior would have handled this. I don’t know.” However, when they decided to hook up at the end, that was AWFUL.

    • Kim

      I didn’t even notice that he left her out there…to die!!! Some ‘prince’ turned out to be.

    • shangfan

      I do not understand this hate of Li Shang. He leaves Mulan in the snowdrift with a horse and rations, so she is not going to die, she will be able to get home. Later, after he and Mulan have saved China, he is conflicted by the fact that he is not “supposed” to care for her, but does. This situation is remedied when the Emperor tells Shang that he should go for it, so he does not have to worry about shirking his duty as a soldier to pursue her, and accordingly, he respectfully does.

      If anything, this is the only Disney “princess” story that has redeeming value (despite its butchering of the original myth), because this is the only one in which the “princess” shows merits like courage, ability, and intelligence. She succeeds by working hard to do things her own way. Shang comes to respect and then be attracted to her, as opposed to the “princes” who fall for the wilting-flower archetype princesses.

  • Lindsay Cross

    Maybe I just tend to be more forgiving because, honestly, I really love Disney. Watching Disney movies with my daughter is still fun for me. But I think that some of the princes deserve a little more credit than that.

    Prince Charming from Cinderella doesn’t want to be forced into marriage. He doesn’t like the pressure to married before he’s ready. I’m pretty sure most people who want to hold off on getting married right away can understand that. My husband didn’t get married til he was 30, because he needed some time to himself. That doesn’t make him a bad husband now.

    Naveen has some pretty serious flaws. But those are flaws that he addresses throughout the movie and overcomes in the end. He learns a lesson. He makes a conscious choice to put someone else’s needs before his own and work hard for what he wants. He may be a gold-digger in the beginning, but at least its a flaw that he recognizes and in the end, corrects.

    I think the best thing you point out is that even in fairytales, no one is perfect. Princesses have problems and princes have flaws, and they can all still be happy in the end. That’s not such a terrible lesson, right?

  • christine

    Now she’s not a princess but i think the only healthy-ish relationship could be kim possible and her nerdy sidekick, what’s his face. kim finally realized he was pretty cool and sweet, or something at the end. and it ended like every teen movie, her true love was her best friend but didn’t realize til his ass was almost killed by an evil blue guy. wait thats not how teen movies end. scratch the evil blue guy and put she looked at the smile his doofy face and then it was all happily ever after…or at least til prom (i am talking about teen movies…)

    that’s not really that healthy either. disney’s messed us up dude.

  • R.L.A.

    I think that the reason all little girls fantasize about becoming a princess married to a “loving” prince one day, is because they know that if a beautiful, kick-ass girl can’t get the guy, then there’s no hope for the rest of us peasants!

  • M.E.

    The princess “phase” as you called it, isn’t about the man. The men of disney aren’t models to be looked up to and the relationships they have with the princesses aren’t what little girls are watching. Little girls like the adventure, the clothes, the palaces, the intrigue, the plot; little girls want to be the ingenue. They want to be the one that everyone watches, that gets to be beautiful, that succeeds in the end, however “success” is defined. It is merely a trope of the story that a prince is what she gets in the end. I don’t think anyone actually cares about the princes at all. Like, actually. There’s a reason they don’t have names.

  • KP

    Mulan isn’t a princess in the first place. She’s a war hero. She doesn’t marry a prince and she doesn’t become a princess. She really shouldn’t be included in the princess category. Princes aren’t what the story is about, and if you really think about it, what kind of guys are usually offered up as “prince charming” in hollywood anyway? How many romcoms have healthy relationships with guys that you’d actually in real life want to be involved with? It’s not just Disney, but at least Disney makes it more about the adventure and the girl herself. I mean in general their movies’ main focus is on the princess and her own story, with the prince coming in at the end like the icing on the cake.

  • Lucia Peters

    Disney does consider Mulan a princess– the characters referenced here are the ones around which Disney has built its official “Disney Princess” line. Doubly interesting when you consider that she IS in fact a hero…

    @M.E: You’re right, the “princess phase” isn’t about the man– but the man is still a large part of it, since every princess has their prince. In some ways the princes are more like accessories than anything else. Even if it’s unintentional, I wonder what message this sends to kids about relationships, especially when they’re at an age where they’re looking to things like these movies from which to cull this sort of knowledge.

    I was talking about this whole thing with a guy friend the other day, and he brought up what the flip side of all this is for guys. For him, a lot of the whole prince thing was about the definition of what it means to “be a man”–be a hero, get the girl, save the day and all that– and how much pressure there was to grow up to be that definition. Flynn is the exception in this case– in fact, he even comments on this in how he tries to emulate the swashbuckling hero he admired as a child. I think it’s also worth noting that he’s the most recent prince on the list. I know most of the readers out there are probably women, but hey, any of the menfolk want to weigh in?

  • sara g

    I was mad that at the end she got knocked out and still had to be rescued by a boy. Don’t get me wrong, I loved seeing the sidekick step up monkey style, but did that have to be the end of the last fight?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLICJSRPRXLKIC55CNDNSRLGH4 Miss Anthropy

      Oh get over it.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLICJSRPRXLKIC55CNDNSRLGH4 Miss Anthropy

      You didn’t get to be born a man, deal with it. I’ll bet your ass would be pretty pissed if you were sitting in a burning house and that male firefighter refused to rescue you. And I bet you wouldn’t take the spot of any of the millions of men and ONLY men who have been forcibly drafted into battle.

  • sara g

    I guess good boyfriends in healthy relationships just make lousy adventure stories.

  • Ingrid

    Totally agree with your article, the chauvinistic society we live in has made its way with us…subliminally sending us wrong messages. Its time to change and to embrace the equal rights we deserve.
    Great article ;)

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLICJSRPRXLKIC55CNDNSRLGH4 Miss Anthropy

      Yeah, nothing like “changing and embracing equal rights” by complaining about beloved cartoons, that no one but a tiny minority of over-entitled misandric lesbians criticize as sexist.
      Hooray for white western problems.

  • Mae

    What a misandric article!

    1) Prince Ferdinand- Being a plot point doesn’t make you abusive. As far as him kissing her after she died….I don’t see any articles griping about Buffy or Sookie….who also kissed dead people.

    2) Cinderellas nameless prince- So not wanting to get married makes a man a deadbeat? Do you call women who don’t want to get married deadbeats as well? No? And how do you know he won’t stick around? Jut because he didn’t he didn’t want to get married at one point in time that means he cant EVER change his mind? Because he didn’t want to get married before he even met Cinderella he’s ALWAYS going to be a deadbeat bachelor? Give me a break, this is just ridiculous.

    3) Prince Phillip- Nothing to say there. You didn’t totally screw that one up.

    Prince Eric- Again with the double standard. Ariel ALSO fell for Prince Eric at first sight, she didn’t exactly care to what was on his mind before she went to Ursula and signed away her soul (or voice.) I’m also failing to see how this makes Eric abusive.

    The Beast- I actually agree with you. I’m pretty sure Belle developed Stockholm syndrome.

    Aladdin-I agree that he’s a liar and con man…but failing to see how this makes him abusive. Also, he lied because he didn’t think Princess Jasmine would love him if he wasn’t a prince. I could argue that if women didn’t care about petty things like money that he wouldn’t have had to lie. Remember he changed who he was for HER. Which would make Jasmine the abusive one.

    Captain John Smith-Agreed. He’s a jerk.

    Captain Li Shang- Agreed he was a jerk at the beginning but if I recall correctly he saw the error in his ways and helped Mulan save the day the apologized (kinda) in actual ancient China that probably would have gotten him killed.

    Prince Naveen and Flynn Ryder- Never seen the movies so I can’t comment although now I’m tempted to watch them.

    • Susan

      I agree with you.

      I think the idea that Eric falls in love with Ariel when she can’t speak is endearingly perceptive – he is obviously paying so much attention to her that he can tell how smart she is *anyway*.

      Cinderella’s prince didn’t want to *just* get married, he wanted to fall in love first! He didn’t want an *arranged* marriage. I say this makes him sensitive & therefore the opposite of abusive. (Besides, Disney fixed any possible deficiencies in both his & her characters in the sequel “Cinderella 3″ (-: )

      Yeah, Naveen wanted to marry a rich girl – AT FIRST. He learned how wrong he was, and that it was even fulfilling to work for a living.

      I agree how the Beauty & the Beast movie seems like Stockholm Syndrome. Unfortunately, they *wanted* it to appear as tho’ the Beast was growing in character & Belle was falling in love with *that* aspect of him, but the writing just wasn’t good enough.

      And to blame Li Shang for the laws of his country? Just plain stupid. Yes, those were laws back then – or, at least, that’s what the story says. How anyone can blame *him* for them – or even if they were just customs, blaming *him* for them, again, is just ridiculous.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLICJSRPRXLKIC55CNDNSRLGH4 Miss Anthropy

      Well first thing, no need to be agreeing that John Smith was an abusive jerk, since he never did abuse Pocahantas. And there’s no evidence of his being destined to do the things the author predicted as ‘likely of him’ (eg. “dragging her off and showing her as a trophy”).

      With that said, good point about Cinderella’s prince, which if I recall was very similar to Jasmine’s story. She would actively put her foot down about being forced into marriage, even wishing not to be a princess for the reason of what it has inspired.Turns out that what she wants of course is to be able to marry someone she feels true love for. Would the author call her abusive or a deadbeat?

      No, of course not. I can guarantee that nowhere in the author’s nutty mind would room be allowed for the idea that women can be abusive, men can be abused. The very premise of her article gives away her disgusting, sexist mindset. Basically, few to none of the Disney princes AND princesses were without human flaws, but she decided to run with both the biggest and most minor of flaws in the princes. It appears her sickly mind is prone to pre-judging all males in terms of “their potential to abuse a woman”, and pre-judging the dynamics any male-female relationships in terms of the his potential to abuse her. So why wouldn’t she take it so much to heart as to project this obsessive mindset onto friggin’ Disney cartoon characters? Although, with the exception of maybe Beast and Li Shang, all I recall seeing were young gentlemen who did nothing but love and cherish their princesses, who would risk their lives for their princesses, who treated them like Gold and worshipped at their feet. That is apparently still conducive to abuse, though. Who in God’s name could know what it is feminists/badly scorned man-haters expect from men, then?
      Sick stuff all around.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLICJSRPRXLKIC55CNDNSRLGH4 Miss Anthropy

      I also want to add you should read Sherlock’s interpretation of Belle and Beast above. It isn’t very fair or insightful to narrow it down to Stockholm Syndrome. You should give the love story and the movie more credit than that (and the author who you have recognized as misandric, less credit)

  • Sherlock

    Alright, so let’s break this down.

    Prince Ferdinand
    “Yes, Snow White’s prince has a name.”

    Actually you’re already wrong. We are going off of movie canon here, are we not? He doesn’t officially have a name. I believe Ferdinand may have been mentioned in the original script, as the Prince actually did have more scenes which were unfortunately not added in because of a) time and b) he was difficult to animate.

    “And yet, I’m not surprised that we don’t know his name, given that all he does is suddenly appear at the end, solely for the purposes of falling in love with a dead chick.”

    Actually, our prince is seen before the end. Way before the end, almost at the very beginning. He sings a duet with our lovely Snow, and then sends a kiss to her through a dove. He’s very sweet and respectful of her, not forcing her out of her tower but singing back and forth and being, well, a gentleman. From what we see in this scene, one could probably assume he was already in love with her. Even if it wasn’t the case and it was only a fondness, he did not simply fall in love with a ‘dead chick’.

    “He’s a plot point more than anything else, and he’s a necrophiliac plot point at that.”

    Plot point? Romantic interest with a very small role, but just a plot point? He obviously cares for Snow White. And if he had begun making out with her unconscious, perhaps necrophiliac would be an appropriate title, however he gave her a kiss. If you’ve ever been to a funeral, you’ll notice this can be a way to say goodbye to a loved one that has passed.
    There’s no abuse in this situation. He had a very small role, but it was nothing near anything that would be considered abusive.

    Cinderella’s Nameless Prince
    “This is the guy we usually think of as Prince Charming, but Charming is not his name. Unlike Ferdinand, he doesn’t even have one; he’s just the Prince.”

    Actually in this case Charming is what movie canon considers his name. There’s no reason to believe that just because it doesn’t seem like a real name, it’s not. Perhaps it’s a widely known/accepted nickname he’s picked up along the way? We’re not sure, however, movie canon over all and his name is Charming.

    “Furthermore, he’s a prince who doesn’t want to get married in the first place, so he’s sort of a deadbeat.”

    Wait, what? So the only perfect, unabusive prince is one that wishes to be forced into marrying? Charming doesn’t want to be rushed into marriage, no, but that by no means is a reason to call him a deadbeat.

    “I can’t really blame him– in a world of arranged marriages, who can?– but even allowing for that, he still wouldn’t make great boyfriend material, purely because it’s unlikely that he’ll stick around.”

    Arranged marriages were common, at least for royalty. It’s probably nothing his relatives hadn’t done, and he was most likely aware that was how he was going to find his bride. Just because he was unenthusiastic about being married doesn’t mean he’s not going to make a good spouse. And… unlikely he’ll stick around? Right, because obviously a prince will just up and leave his entire kingdom for the sake of escaping a marriage that, by the end of the movie, he was very much into?
    Again, I’m failing to see how any of this would make him abusive.

    Prince Phillip
    “Aurora’s prince, on the other hand, DOES have a name. And you know what? In spite of the fact that he may be a little bland personality-wise, Phillip is the only prince on the list that may actually be worth the trouble.”

    Bland personality-wise. What is considered an interesting personality? He’s polite, he’s spontaneous (dancing with her in the woods), he’s a gentleman, he’s brave, he doesn’t give up in seemingly impossible odds. I don’t call that bland at all.

    “He’s just as in love with her when he thinks she’s a peasant as when he finds out she’s a princess, and he’s willing to fight for her either way. He even stands up to his dad for her. And then he fights a monster for her. That’s dedication.”

    Considering that a lot of the other princesses and princes have fought for their love, I suppose I can’t argue with you there.
    Still, you didn’t at all address why he would, or would not, be abusive, and wasn’t that the entire point of this article?

    Prince Eric
    “Ariel’s prince? Kind of a problem. You can make the argument that he falls for Ariel because she’s a free spirit who opens his eyes to a different way of living, which is in fact pretty admirable; but the bottom line is that he never hears her utter a word, so it’s unlikely that he’s interested in her for her brains. Not that there’s anything wrong with physical attraction– it’s just that physical attraction usually isn’t enough of a foundation on which to build a relationship.”

    He’s a romantic and he’s looking for love. We’ve been shown this about him in the movie. And I think the main thing that attracted him to her was the fact that she saved his life. Not always a basis for love, but I’d be pretty interested in finding a beautiful, heroic young woman if I was a young bachelor with romance on the heart who had just been saved by said beautiful, heroic young woman.
    Then, after all that happens, he meets her and doesn’t even think it’s the same woman, because he knows the other woman can sing. He falls for her personality during this time, not looks. If it was all about looks he would have fallen for her right away and not had the “other woman who saved him” still on his mind. But it takes time and he eventually falls in love with Ariel not even knowing she was the woman that saved him.
    After falling for this silent girl, he’s put under a spell by Ursula, who is parading around as Vanessa, and under this spell thinks he’s in love with someone else. You can’t put blame on someone for doing anything if they’re not in control. After the spell breaks he immediately wants Ariel again and then SAVES HER LIFE, selflessly placing himself in harm’s way to do so.
    Physical beauty is important, like you said, there’s nothing wrong with it! However there’s a great deal more to their relationship that we’re shown very clearly throughout the movie. Again, I fail to see how this makes him abusive. Even if you had it right, which you very clearly did not, it wouldn’t make him abusive.

    The Beast
    “Aaaaaand you guessed it: Beast has a name too. It’s Adam. Who knew?”

    No, he does not. This isn’t even from the script. He is called Adam in a video game. Nowhere in the movie or anything even close to movie canon calls him Adam.

    “Here, though, we’ve got what I consider to be one of the weirdest situations on the list: he kidnaps Belle,”

    Belle went to his castle and, seeing that her father was not only imprisoned but sick, she willingly traded places to be there instead of her father. That’s still not a good situation but he doesn’t kidnap her.

    “he’s got some serious anger management issues, and in spite of all that, she subsequently goes all Stockholm Syndrome.”

    If he had stayed the same throughout the entire movie then I would agree. However, you can see development as it happens. She’s not there for a few days or weeks and then rescued. She gets there before winter, and is there the entire winter season. During this entire time Beast, at first, is as you say. He has anger issues. But she CALLS HIM ON IT. She refuses dinner, she even yells back. She isn’t automatically in love with him. He goes through more development than almost any prince, and she notices this and when he starts showing his human, non beast personality, that is when she begins to fall for him.

    “He also has no friends of his own (I’m not really sure we can count the talking candlestick as a friend, given that Lumiere lives to serve), which means that he relies on Belle for all of his human (beastly?) contact. This cannot possibly be healthy.”

    It wasn’t just Lumiere. Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth both had established friendships with the Beast. He even asks for their advice during parts of the movie. And doesn’t just ask, but he takes it, too. It’s not simply serving, they have a friendship, and probably well developed at that. At the end of the movie when the curse had ended they all stayed very happily in his castle. If they didn’t have an established friendship, why would they remain there after the curse had ended?
    At least this time you, without clearly stating it, somewhat addressed why someone might assume it was an abusive relationship. It was a wrong assumption, nonetheless.

    Aladdin
    “Falling for Aladdin is the equivalent of falling for one of those internet sweetheart scams. He’s not who he says he is, he’s a compulsive liar, and he’s a con man. Stay away.”

    He was a con man to survive, so I’m not sure how that plays into his relationship at all. He fell in love with Jasmine before he ever knew she was a princess, in fact, the only reason he lied to her is because he was afraid of being rejected. Was it a bad thing to do? Yes. Had he had other relationship experience to know that this was a bad thing to do? Probably not. Does he learn this and develop by the end of the movie? YES! He developed and bettered himself because of his love interest, I call that a successful relationship.
    I suppose the negative traits you listed were supposed to be proof of why he’s an abusive significant other, but seeing as he developed out of the lying (or how dare a person have a flaw to work on?), and only ever conned to survive, then again you’re wrong.

    Captain John Smith
    “The guy’s a colonist. He’ll trash your family,”

    John Smith was the most respectful colonist out of any of them. Recall him fighting with Ratcliffe, stating the exact words: “This is their land!”. He didn’t trash their family, to be fair her family almost killed him and he still had respect for them.

    “he’ll try to change everything about you,”

    What did he try to change about her? If anything, she changed him. Not personality so much as his point of view. He had the idea that “uncivilized” people would be happier if they were “civilized” and she showed him the error in his thinking.

    “and then he’ll drag you off to his choice of residence and display you as a trophy. Fun!”

    WHAT? Where is this even from? At the end of the movie, he goes back to England to get care for his gunshot wound. He doesn’t drag her back. He offers her a chance to come back with him, but she declines. End. If you’re referring to the second movie, he’s not even the love interest, so again, I’m missing your point.
    He was not at all abusive to her.

    Captain Li Shang
    “Mulan had a pretty awesome military career in the works,”

    No. No she did not. She wasn’t in the military to build a career. She was in the military, in her father’s place, to save his life. That was the only reason. She had no interest in the military itself.

    “but she was forced to give it up because the astoundingly sexist Captain Li Shang told her girls can’t be soldiers.”

    Forced to give it up? She was wounded. Even if they hadn’t found out that she was a woman, there was no way she was going to continue fighting. And yes, he kicked her out, not for his own beliefs. She had shown that she was as good as any of the men soldiers, thus why he spared her life when Chinese law would have normally required her to be executed.

    “Sure, he excused it by saying that in disguising herself, she dishonored herself, her family, and probably the entire nation of China; but I mean, really? Really?!”

    I don’t recall him saying that. I believe it was “You saved my life, now I will spare yours.” And then he walks away. He still respects her, and this is clear later when he is able to talk to her on a personal level at the end of the movie, and isn’t busy leading an entire army.
    Not sure how this is a reason to call him abusive? Because he… followed the law? Except bending it in order to save her life.

    Prince Naveen
    “Naveen’s parents have disowned him, so he treks on down to New Orleans with the intention of marrying a rich southern belle.”

    Yes. This is his intention at the beginning of the movie.

    “If he’s only after you for your money, he’s not worth it. Gold diggers are never good news.”

    Again, you ignore the development that happens during the movie. She doesn’t develop any feelings for him when he original has come around, it’s all after he has developed real feelings and no longer cares about the financial situation. If it were not the case, then why would he, after all that, choose someone who at the time still didn’t have much money? Your own argument against him shows us that he truly does love her because she’s not a good source for an aspiring gold digger.
    So he beings the movie wishing to find a rich wife, and by the end he develops into having better morals and truly falling in love with Tiana. I don’t see any abuse in that.

    Flynn Rider
    “Rapunzel’s supposed prince isn’t too dissimilar from Aladdin: he’s a thief who lies about who he is.”

    Yes, so perhaps I can just redirect you to my defense for Aladdin, because I agree, they are rather similar.

    “He’s also kind of useless– Rapunzel is always saving his ass. Good for her!… but then again, she’s always having to bail out her guy. Lame”

    You contradict yourself. “good for her, but it’s lame.” She’s not the first princess to save her prince, Ariel, Pocahontas, Mulan. It’s not lame at all, it speaks a lot for the character of the princess that, when given the opportunity, they will save the one they love. The princes do this too! There’s nothing wrong with either of those situations, someone is saving the life of someone they love. Male or female, I think that makes for a pretty awesome story.

    I broke it down and showed you the flaws in your arguments. There are no princes in the official line-up that we should assume are at all abusive, because there’s no canon evidence to suggest it. Furthermore, it appears that you didn’t even rewatch these movies to be sure of the accuracy of your assumptions, because some of the things you wrote to support your arguments were very, very wrong.

    • “D”

      I don’t think anyone mentioned the fact that Flynn chose death over freedom. He died so that Rapunzel didn’t have to keep her promise to Gothel. I know the Beast died as well but he wasn’t really given the choice.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLICJSRPRXLKIC55CNDNSRLGH4 Miss Anthropy

    This sounds like a perfect Jezebel/Feministing/Feminist blogger piss-take article, except that it would be probably posted on a site aimed at criticizing them if it was.

    So, I could add more to the already well-stated criticisms posted in response, but they already summed it up fine, and besides, since I was actually made SPEECHLESS by this little piece of f**ed up, deranged mess in the first place, mind is still recovering and probably isn’t at it’s most focused yet.

    Okay okay do I can’t resist adding this: If you absolutely have to project every last one of your neurotic problems with trusting men onto everything in life, you could at least try leaving cartoon characters out of it. That’s taking the sickness a little bit too far, don’t you think? Even if you aren’t able to be concerned about how behaviors like this feed into your misery, how can you not be concerned with how BATTY it makes you look? Believe it or not, these character actually weren’t designed with the purpose of making you afraid of men. Trust me…they are cartoons, and you don’t even have to watch them nor show them to your future daughters. I’ll assume that having children is still possible for you since even women who hate and distrust men have unprotected sex with them (for some reason).

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLICJSRPRXLKIC55CNDNSRLGH4 Miss Anthropy

      Okay so I ended up having a lot more to say, except directed mostly to other posters below, lol. Yes, feminst misandry really gets me going, I mean really. One of the most offensively deranged institutions ever created in my opinion.

  • Michaela Chan

    Of course the beast has no friends who in that simple minded ignorant village would ever try to be his friend besides Belle.