Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Tiaras Unite!
July 15, 2012 10:41 PM   Subscribe

This fanart piece of Disney Princesses as superheroes inspired a group of cosplayers to make it real. Their latest group shot at San Diego Comic-Con features new faces: Jane, Nala, Merida, Giselle, Cinderella, and Wendy.

More from their Facebook page, and Cesar Vivid Photography has action shots.
posted by divabat (44 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeaaah... I didn't recognize any of their characters. It's like cosplay without an a functional reference point. I'm surprised that even 16-year-old girls would connect strongly with this.

(Someone should make a rule that cosplaying Disney doesn't really count as cosplaying.)
posted by markkraft at 10:59 PM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Putting princesses in skimpy-ish costume does not automagically make them superheroes. For serious.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:04 PM on July 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


But weaponised tambourines! and playing card shuriken!
posted by divabat at 11:06 PM on July 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


I love this stuff! The thing about Disney Princesses is that they're extremely carefully designed to have identifying colors and motifs, so you can mess around with the details and the silhouette to a rather extreme degree and still get the inspiration, as long as you're familiar with the source character. And the thing about "superheroes" as a sort of theme (or AU, in fandom parlance) is that there's a few standard kinds of silhouettes and details, but the motifs and identifying colors can be messed with at will. This can be most easily demonstrated via things like the City of Heroes character creator. Anyway what I'm saying is that I think these two things are a perfect match for each other, and it makes me happy.

Belle is the best, did you see that book hammer??
posted by Mizu at 11:07 PM on July 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Last night here in Sacramento we had our annual zombie walk and some brilliant friends decided to go as Zombie Disney Princesses

Pic credited to this dude cuz I don't like to steal.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:37 PM on July 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Someone should make a rule that cosplaying Disney doesn't really count as cosplaying.

Genuine curiosity here: why? Because they're too popular or is there some other reason?
posted by lesbiassparrow at 12:00 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I personally hate any rehashes of Ariel.. with legs. I know, I know, she wanted legs, she got 'em.. but to me she's a mermaid.
posted by Malice at 12:00 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeaaah... I didn't recognize any of their characters. It's like cosplay without a functional reference point. I'm surprised that even 16-year-old girls would connect strongly with this.

Yeaaah, just because it's not your fandom doesn't mean there's no functional reference point. The world is full of cosplay from the seventh instalment of a videogame franchise that wasn't ever sold in the US.

You do sneer as loudly at Marvel costumes, since Marvel's a wholly owned subsidiary of Disney? And at everything based on anything published by Kodansha, since they work closely with Disney and sponsor Tokyo Disneyland?
posted by gingerest at 12:07 AM on July 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


Don't even recognise half of the characters' names: Jane, Nala, Merida, Giselle? Who are these princesses? From what bastardised version of a public domain fairy tale do they come from?
Am I so out of touch?

I get not understanding cosplay (because I don't), I get being befuddled by obscure video game characters, but major Disney characters?

Of course, I am now wondering if I could cosplay as tarty Professor Quatermass, because I am sure some folks would find that obscure.
posted by Mezentian at 12:48 AM on July 16, 2012


Jane is from Tarzan, Nala is from Lion King, Merida is from Hercules, Giselle is from that live action thing they did.
posted by Malice at 12:51 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoops, Merida is from Brave I guess?
posted by Malice at 12:51 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Among Disney Princesses there are certain (totally arbitrary and amusing from afar but SRS BSNS up close) distinctions and groupings.

There are the ones that are considered "true" princesses, and "classic" princesses and "headlining" princesses... Those generally include Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), the ones who canonically according to the Disney version of the tale were blood nobility in some way and are the most recognizable ones to many people; and the later crop that are similarly classic and marketed in high gear like Belle, Jasmine and Ariel, the ones from the 90s Disney animation boom.

Then there are sort of secondary or honorary princesses, whose nobility is questionable or not there at all, or who aren't marketed as much, like Wendy, Alice, Pocahontas, Esmerelda, Jane, Kida (the Princess of Atlantis, my favorite!). They are less cohesive in design and their movies are generally less formulaic. But they're the main female character of a Disney movie and that's pretty much what's needed to qualify. (This leads to arguments about if Tinkerbell or Wendy is the Princess in Peter Pan, however. Quick answer: both. Tinkerbell got her own spinoff series.)

And then there are crazy fights about if the Pixar princesses should be considered Disney Princesses - Rapunzel is actually officially Disney since Tangled was not technically a Pixar film. Merida is being marketed like a Disney Princess though, complete with cast member and her own little zone at the Disney parks, so I think that particular kerfuffle is being resolved.

Basically, there are a lot of different female Disney characters, and one can argue that any of them can be a Disney Princess (if not a technical princess). But you don't need to feel out of the loop if you don't immediately recognize many of them because they're either not pushed on little girls that often or they're really only prevalent in the minds of a certain niche of people. (Nala, the girl lion from the Lion King, was technically nobility, awesome and sassy and also, omg a kitty! but due to her not being easily doll-able and also not technically the main character of the movie, she's kind of fallen into a weird level of Disney fandom obscurity despite the movie being one of their most successful. I've seen really amazing anthropomorphized Nala cosplays, and she's a character that can be "accurately" portrayed by a black girl, which is sadly rare.)

Disney fandom is actually one of the more hardcore nutty fandoms one can get into. There's a lot of strong personalities involved and people take the characters really to heart, so everyone's easily offended. Making princesses into superheroes is definitely one of the cooler and least likely to offend anybody twists I've seen. A lot of the time people who cosplay Princess groups can be extremely cliquey. The fact that this group is inviting lots of people to participate and being really inclusive with what's considered a Princess as well as differing levels of cosplay and having a fun time doing it is setting an excellent example. But no, most people wouldn't recognize Giselle, either.

Megara is the woman from Hercules. Most sardonic of all Princesses.
posted by Mizu at 1:29 AM on July 16, 2012 [23 favorites]


"Don't even recognise half of the characters' names: Jane, Nala, Merida, Giselle? Who are these princesses? From what bastardised version of a public domain fairy tale do they come from?"
---------------
"Jane is from Tarzan, Nala is from Lion King, Merida is from Hercules, Giselle is from that live action thing they did."


I guess that's my biggest problem with the current crop of Disney princesses... I've seen Tarzan, Lion King, and even Hercules, but the truth is, most of the recent princesses come off as extremely cookie cutter characters, with voices that sound a lot like the prior ones, singing songs that sound like other recent songs. Even when they have non-white characters -- which they've had a lot of recently, to their credit -- oftentimes, they come off as reminiscent of a Benneton ad, with skin tones and designs that are distinctly non-threatening., idealized to white, western aesthetics.

So, they take these rather non-distinctive characters... and then they put them into a princess context that makes them even more cookie cutter.

I find it odd to see a Disney princess described as "sassy". Really, which current Disney princess isn't all about rebelling against their parents / fighting against something that's constraining their "whole new world" princess-ness, and having an adventure that leads towards a kind of "journey back home" happy correction of the status quo.

Sassy has never been so formulaic, really... and the goals/rewards of princesshood so trite.
posted by markkraft at 2:26 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


TIGER LILY is the princess from Peter Pan.
posted by brujita at 3:36 AM on July 16, 2012 [11 favorites]


There's a difference between princess and Princess.

Although it's fun, you can play the "who is more historically inaccurate and offensive?" game with Tiger Lily vs Pocahontas.
posted by Mizu at 3:40 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Someone should make a rule that cosplaying Disney doesn't really count as cosplaying.)

Done: Rule 35.
posted by hal9k at 4:09 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's kind of a bummer that female Disney characters have to be shoehorned into the DISNEY PRINCESS franchise banner instead of just renaming them all Disney Heroines.
posted by book 'em dano at 4:13 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


You guys know way too much about Disney Princesses. Are you my nieces or something?


Speaking of tiaras...
posted by louche mustachio at 4:54 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Someone should make a rule that cosplaying Disney doesn't really count as cosplaying.)

Done: Rule 35.


There is already a rule 35. And... yeah. There already is one, and I do not want to think about its relationship to cosplaying Disney Princesses. Nope.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:57 AM on July 16, 2012


Yeaaah... I didn't recognize any of their characters. It's like cosplay without an a functional reference point. I'm surprised that even 16-year-old girls would connect strongly with this.
I got the reference drawing. I don't think I would have known what the girls were supposed to be if I saw them at comic con, but then I would expect a ton of stuff I had no idea what it was there anyway
posted by delmoi at 5:46 AM on July 16, 2012


I really like these and think it's a super fun and awesome and great idea. The only problem for me is that it's taking female characters who are already in some ways physically problematic and making them more straight-up sexy. I get that this is a way to signal "superhero" and as I say I really, REALLY like the idea and much of the execution, but I'm a bit uncomfortable that it feels like every cool costume for women is short, tight, or both. I know this isn't an original point but I feel like I still keeping seeing it and I'm pretty sick of it.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:22 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


The only problem for me is that it's taking female characters who are already in some ways physically problematic and making them more straight-up sexy.

Hmm... "Sexy Nurse", "Sexy Vampire", "Sexy Disney Princess"... yeah, this is basically every Halloween party ever.

Also, none of the female superheroes in the original links are posing the right way for the movie poster.
posted by rh at 6:34 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think this is interesting, in so far as it makes a clear statement on the makeup of female superhero costumes.

And by interesting, I mean 'kinda depressing'.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:37 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


TIGER LILY is the princess from Peter Pan Woody Allen.

I'm glad they are having fun, though I don't get the excitement. As someone who has not seen any of the source movies, this looks more like generic halloween costumes than anything else, but of course it would look different to someone who was involved with the material and fan culture.
posted by Forktine at 6:40 AM on July 16, 2012


I will agree that the sexualization of every possible outfit a woman can wear is problematic. There is no way I am ever letting my daughter wear a classic school outfit, for example.

However, there is a funny thing that happens once a person becomes and adult with outfits like these. Because wearing childish things is an inversion -- an invitation to liminality that can reverse the order of things -- we also invite a liminality where innocence and the child-nature can be likewise subverted into something more "adult". The rules do change, and that rule change make us uncomfortable.

It is supposed to, as this is why we all participate in these liminal experiments like cosplay, or Hallow-e'en.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:43 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I approve of arming all Disney heroines. If Cinderella had had a suiting-up sequence and had had to take out the evil stepfamily with guerilla warfare/pranksterism, I would watch the shit out of it.

In fact, the Drew Barrymore live-action version almost-kind of did that, and it's definitely watchable.

Yeah, they're skimpy outfits. Such is convention cosplay, for the most part. But also, you can't fight crime very easily in a hoop skirt. Unless it's a weaponized hoop skirt.
posted by emjaybee at 7:04 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


There is a very good chance I am going to cosplay as a version of a female cartoon character at Dragon*Con.

Also that character is a pony.

I'll go now.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:08 AM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Disney princess superhero zombie ninja wizard cowboy pirate vampire monster fairy.

help me help me
posted by Segundus at 7:12 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


This kind of breaks one of the Disney Princess visual rules, in that the Disney Princesses are not friends. Go back and look at actual official Disney Princess group shots and you'll notice that none of them interact with each other, none of them look at the same thing, and if they're looking at the camera, they're rarely standing with squared off shoulders that would imply they're truly together in one group.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:49 AM on July 16, 2012


Hmm... "Sexy Nurse", "Sexy Vampire", "Sexy Disney Princess"... yeah, this is basically every Halloween party ever.

If I was going to pay an arm and a leg for a Disney Princess costume, I want it with the massive ballgown skirt to the ground -- and no cheaping out with hoops, it has to be held out properly with masses and masses of petticoats. Also, it should change colour every few minutes.

More seriously speaking: saw Brave (with my mom, even!), loved it, but rock climbing in a full-length skirt? As someone who wears ankle-length skirts regularly, everyone knows that you can't go up stairs without pulling those things up. Merida should have yanked that skirt up and tucked it into her girdle like every medieval peasant woman did. Long skirts can be very practical (cool in summer, warm in winter, good for nature breaks in the middle of a field without flashing all your neighbours), but you have to hike them up for climbing.
posted by jb at 7:57 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Facebook links in an FPP?
posted by adamdschneider at 7:59 AM on July 16, 2012


My favourite Disney film is The Sword in the Stone, but having been years since I've seen it, I can't remember if there is an actual princess in that in the end. A cameo from young Guinevere.


Disney fandom is actually one of the more hardcore nutty fandoms one can get into.

On another board on which I lurk, people are often scathing of adult women who get Disney tattoos or marry at Disneyland, for reasons from 'it's common [tacky/lower class]' to 'grow up'. It seems to be pretty girly women who do these things, which I'm not, but I don't think there's anything wrong with being a grown-up and wanting to dress up, which is what cosplaying seems to be to this non-cosplayer. I've seen how crazily the Dr Who fans take it - anything worn by Amy Pond will go for a fortune on eBay because cosplayers want the genuine article, and there are LJ communities dedicated to tracking down jacket brands, lipstick shades and nail varnish colours - and while I feel I should think it's a bit odd and childish, I actually think it's kind of awesome.

I have heard that furries are really into The Fox and the Hound.
posted by mippy at 8:01 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Facebook links in an FPP?

Nowt wrong with that if it's not the only link, surely? As far as I'm concerned, linking to Facebook is only annoying if it requires one to log in to read the page (which increasingly is the case - probably so The Man can make money out of me wanting to look at pictures of someone's crochet).
posted by mippy at 8:02 AM on July 16, 2012


I find it odd to see a Disney princess described as "sassy". Really, which current Disney princess isn't all about rebelling against their parents / fighting against something that's constraining their "whole new world" princess-ness, and having an adventure that leads towards a kind of "journey back home" happy correction of the status quo.

Sassy has never been so formulaic, really... and the goals/rewards of princesshood so trite.


Yeah, this is exactly why 'Brave' was such a phenomenal letdown after all the buildup - the trailers are all 'it's a Pixar piece with a strong independant lead and danger and such!' and the reality is 'it's a Disney piece about a princess who doesn't want to get married like her mom wants her too, and then a witch turns the mom into a bear and hijinks ensue. In the end, they learn to respect each other's views!' What a spectacularly trite and uninvolved plotline from a Pixar picture... hopefully this isn't the shape of all future things to come from the studios now that Disney is a bit more directly involved in the process.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:12 AM on July 16, 2012


Saddened that this group of friends does not include anyone who can play Tiana (although one of them does note that Tiana is one of her favorites).

I don't know if that's meta-commentary on Tiana's place in the Disney oeuvre, in popular culture, or in speculative fiction fandom, but it's somewhat depressing nonetheless.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:17 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


As far as I'm concerned, linking to Facebook is only annoying if it requires one to log in to read the page

Which it does.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:43 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


find it odd to see a Disney princess described as "sassy". Really, which current Disney princess isn't all about rebelling against their parents / fighting against something that's constraining their "whole new world" princess-ness, and having an adventure that leads towards a kind of "journey back home" happy correction of the status quo.

Well for one, Ariel doesn't journey back home. She leaves it entirely and gets what she was aiming for. Pocahontas goes to England and marries someone other than John Smith. Mulan does return home, but she never really wanted to leave to begin with, she was just trying to save her father's life. Tiana (Princess and the Frog) had a goal of having a restaurant, and she got it. I also didn't think she was all that white washed. She had typical African-American features and dark skin. Jasmine remained independent throughout the movies and the series. I think they didn't even really get married until the second or third movie.

And as for the whole rebelling thing, I can only think of three. Ariel, Jasmine, Mulan. Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella and Belle weren't rebels. Belle you might get away with but she was just 'different'.

It's easy to paint with a big brush over all the Disney movies because they're under a label, have similar styles, and all seem to have a message in them. But really, they're the same stories we've been hearing for centuries. A bit like a commercialized Aesop's Fables. People have complaints about the movies but are the complaints any more legitimate than any story told by movie? Or is it just because they're labeled "Disney" that people get so upset about them?

I've heard some complaints that it teaches girls to have wrong expectations, but I never had that trouble. Humans are lucky in that we have a brain that can distinguish between fantasy and reality, although granted some people have more trouble with that than others. But is it because a lot of the movies are for "girls" that they get so much shit? Think of all the "male" oriented shows that cater to stereotypes even harder than a Disney does?

And if a girl or woman (or man) decides they like that type of story, does that make them less of a person for liking storylines that you describe as a "happy correction of the status quo"?

This isn't entirely aimed at you, I'm just ranting a bit from other threads where I've seen people basically condemn all Disney movies and condescend anyone who likes them.

I'm not obsessed with them, I don't have a Disney collection, BUT, I AM a woman, and I DO love Disney movies. (I also love shows like Dexter, Walking Dead, movies like God Bless America..) It really is okay for women to like girly things. We don't have to rebel against something we actually like. And if you don't, that's great too. You don't have to!
posted by Malice at 8:50 AM on July 16, 2012 [15 favorites]


I prefer the MLP cosplay from that Facebook gallery link
posted by Windigo at 9:20 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Someone should make a rule that cosplaying Disney doesn't really count as cosplaying.)

Just as soon as you post photos of *your* cosplay efforts. Looks like a lot of love and attention went into these costumes.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:01 AM on July 16, 2012


I'm just ranting a bit from other threads where I've seen people basically condemn all Disney movies and condescend anyone who likes them.

It's common on Metafilter. To repeat myself from another thread:

I have noticed with Metafilter, as well as my more intellectually inclined friends, that there is a general disdain toward Disney and the common people who enjoy Disney stuff, with quite a bit of GRAR regarding the company's business dealings. On the other hand, I don't think it's quite as bad as all the GRAR, and there are more shades of grey than most are willing to admit or recognize. I don't think the evilness of their Big Business Suit VPs extends all the way down to every staff member, Imagineer, or character suited Mickey.
posted by Fleebnork at 11:00 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


As far as I'm concerned, linking to Facebook is only annoying if it requires one to log in to read the page

Which it does.


No, it doesn't.

I guess that's my biggest problem with the current crop of Disney princesses... I've seen Tarzan, Lion King, and even Hercules, but the truth is, most of the recent princesses come off as extremely cookie cutter characters, with voices that sound a lot like the prior ones, singing songs that sound like other recent songs.

Honestly, though, is that unique to the "current" crop of Disney princesses? Compared to the "classics" of Aurora and Snow White, both of whom are non-entities in their own stories? There's a lot that's still problematic about Disney's approach to female characters, but I think that characters like Mulan or Megara are a definite step forward.

Though, I have to contest whoever advanced Megara as the sassiest of Disney ladies, because Esmeralda.

And finally, last week I found this, and there's not enough here for an FPP, but the people in this thread should get a kick out of it: Project Pomegranate
posted by kagredon at 1:08 PM on July 16, 2012


Lord_wolf : they acknowledged that they were missing Tiana, Kida couldn't make it at the last minute, and Ariel showed up later.
posted by divabat at 2:37 PM on July 16, 2012


No, it doesn't.

Yes, on the phone (which is basically the only place I access MetaFilter) it absolutely does. I just checked on a desktop machine, and it didn't there. Not sure why the disparity.
posted by adamdschneider at 3:22 PM on July 16, 2012


I did not say Megara was the sassiest, I said she was the most sardonic. Esmerelda is definitely high in sass-factor, but Megara is cynical to a fault. Which is a big reason why I love her.

I'm having facebook sign-in demands too, and since I don't have a facebook account I haven't been able to see half of the links. Luckily I've seen these photos floating around tumblr and can see about half the links anyway. I wish there were mirrors of the images somewhere, though?
posted by Mizu at 3:27 PM on July 16, 2012


« Older Officers in the United States Marine Corps face a ...  |  "We thought we were hosts like... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments