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"someone who is beautiful and gets to do whatever she wants all day"
August 20, 2014 1:55 PM   Subscribe

So if Thor is a woman now, and Marvel is a Disney subsidiary, does that make her a Disney Princess? For Tor.com, historian and geek Ada Palmer answers this joke question seriously and thoroughly while using it as a springboard to look at what makes a Disney Princess and what it says about us.
posted by MartinWisse (47 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, I fucking hope so.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:14 PM on August 20


What makes a Disney Princess is, whether Disney can make money selling things stamped with her image, and if their ad people can twist the definition enough. That's what makes Pocahontas a Disney Princess, when her tribe didn't have traditional royalty, and Jasmine, when her father wasn't a king but a sultan.
posted by JHarris at 2:15 PM on August 20


Still waiting on Gamora.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:17 PM on August 20 [7 favorites]


The Disney Princesses are also, I would say, part of crossover culture, that tendency to combine a media conglomerate's fiction properties into one ball, respect for narrative and milieu be dammed, in order to get some more delicious fanboy dollars. Disney's been doing this a lot in the video gaming sphere lately, ranging from Disney Infinity to Kingdom Hearts to Epic Mickey. (Kingdom Hearts... does this mean we get to see that excruciatingly annoying Sora kid trying to beat Galactus? It seems sometimes like I'm the only person in the world who loathes Kingdom Hearts and all that it stands for.)

Of course, they might have gotten the idea from Nintendo, who's done this for a while with things like Smash Bros. and, to a lesser extent, Mario Kart.
posted by JHarris at 2:20 PM on August 20


Damnit Disney if you keep coronating Princesses you're gonna get all Austro-Hungarian empire with too many well-kept daughters and not enough suitable political matches to go around! Time to start putting a few in a convent or hope for a smallpox outbreak or something.
posted by The Whelk at 2:20 PM on August 20 [20 favorites]


Still waiting on Gamora.

Gamora! Gamora! Gamora is really neat! She is filled with turtle meat!
posted by JHarris at 2:21 PM on August 20 [13 favorites]


I hope the costume in the first pic isn't accurate. If Marvel is going to bother to take a step towards female inclusion, they should go the extra mile and get rid of the chain mail bikinis and bullet bras. Female Thor should be a bad ass, she should dress like a warrior not an attendee of the Exotic/Erotic Ball.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:26 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


Amy Mebberson's Pocket Princesses are all the Disney princesses I shall ever need.
posted by bouvin at 2:26 PM on August 20 [4 favorites]


What about Princess Leia, now that Star Wars is Disney too?
(actually, I could see that).
posted by matcha action at 2:27 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


(Kingdom Hearts... does this mean we get to see that excruciatingly annoying Sora kid trying to beat Galactus? It seems sometimes like I'm the only person in the world who loathes Kingdom Hearts and all that it stands for.)

No I'm with you.
posted by dismas at 2:33 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Disney says the Marvel movieverse is separate from their Princess line

THANKS FOR THE CLARIFICATION DIZ. What about Star Wars? I bet you can't wait to sell pink lunchboxes with Ariel (in a fishtank) paling around with Leia.
posted by JHarris at 2:37 PM on August 20


Ah, matcha action beat me to it.
posted by JHarris at 2:38 PM on August 20


We're all Disney Princesses in our hearts, aren't we? And that's what matters.
posted by Segundus at 2:39 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


We're all Disney Princesses in our hearts, aren't we?

Deadpool certainly is!
posted by JHarris at 2:41 PM on August 20 [10 favorites]


I'm not totally caught up on the current run (Thor: God of Thunder), but what I've read has been excellent so far, so I have a pretty good feeling about whatever is coming. This run actually feels like a story, about a god, told through comic books.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:41 PM on August 20


I hope the costume in the first pic isn't accurate. If Marvel is going to bother to take a step towards female inclusion, they should go the extra mile and get rid of the chain mail bikinis and bullet bras.

QFMFT. I haven't been reading Thor, but I saw that first pic and immediately thought, "ah christ, we're not still doing that are we?"
posted by nushustu at 2:45 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


At what point do the Disney's Princess have enough numbers to become a separate regulatory body, processesing Princess Applications and judging on and drafting Princess Law?
posted by The Whelk at 2:47 PM on August 20 [7 favorites]


"ah christ, we're not still doing that are we?"
posted by Navelgazer at 2:48 PM on August 20 [4 favorites]


I need Disney Princess Deadpool merchandise STAT.
posted by Hermione Granger at 2:48 PM on August 20 [11 favorites]


Thor may or may not qualify.

Gunnhild (Hildy), two-fisted daughter of Volstagg the Voluminous, awaits her call from Disney.
posted by delfin at 2:49 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


Thor, God of Thunder has been really good, so I look forward to female Thor whenever she shows up on Marvel Unlimited.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:53 PM on August 20


Based on the filename, the picture in the article is from Earth X, a Marvel series in the 90s. There were a couple of teaser images from the announcement of the new Thor.
posted by kmz at 2:56 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


I am reminded that I want to see a "The Princess and the Throg" mashup.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:03 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


The article left out the seemingly most unifying quality of the Princess lineup which is that all of the characters are the main characters of their movies. The characters that are left out of the lineup are secondary characters in male-led movies. On that point, Female Thor would be in, except for the fact that the Disney Animated Features are their own genre, of which the Thor movie(s) will probably not be a part.
posted by bleep at 3:13 PM on August 20


Thor ....do do do do ...you'll be a woman ...soon *cue guitar*
posted by The Whelk at 3:17 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


I question the historical accuracy of this portrayal of the God of Thursday.
posted by sfenders at 3:23 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


I hope the costume in the first pic isn't accurate. If Marvel is going to bother to take a step towards female inclusion, they should go the extra mile and get rid of the chain mail bikinis and bullet bras. Female Thor should be a bad ass, she should dress like a warrior not an attendee of the Exotic/Erotic Ball.

This is the picture that has been circulating of the new Thor's costume.
Not nearly as bad as the one in TFA, but still with boobplate and a little bit of exposed stomach. I guess the fact that she's wearing pants is a minor win?
posted by IAmUnaware at 3:28 PM on August 20


I hope the costume in the first pic isn't accurate.

That's Male Thor's classic costume.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:50 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


Still waiting on Kida, the Disney Princess who saved her own people all by her damn self, through self sacrifice, and not only without a man's help but in spite of her bumbling male love interest who almost got everyone in Atlantis killed. *sigh*
posted by trackofalljades at 3:50 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Why does she have Dalek Bumps?
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:07 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


a little bit of exposed stomach

HIDE THE STOMACH AWAY

NOONE MUST KNOW

NO

ONE

A topical link from Mefi's own assassinprincess, on Disney showering Australian party princesses with badly-written C&D extortion notes (SEND US ALL YOUR COSTUMES AND $1K, HAVE A DISNEY DAY!)
posted by Sebmojo at 5:12 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


I put it way differently up above, but maybe I should restate it, be clearer about what I mean. Text from the FPP:

[...]to look at what makes a Disney Princess and what it says about us.

It doesn't say anything about "us." It's entirely a Disney creation. It says nothing about anyone except Disney's marketing people.

I'm cranky about this because Disney makes concerted efforts to become identified with imagination and wonder in the people's minds. And they buy up all the pop culture icons they can. Then they do crap like sue people who apply imagination to their Owned Intellectual Properties. To hell with that.
posted by JHarris at 5:22 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Previously
posted by kagredon at 5:33 PM on August 20


It's a bit of a stretch, but Studio Ghibli films are also distributed by Disney. And what princess is at the forefront of Studio Ghibli? Why Princess Mononoke of course!

If she does qualify, Princess Mononoke would be the only Disney Princess that warpaints her face with the blood of her enemies. Sleeping Beauty should take note.
posted by Loudmax at 7:38 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


Wait, maybe my memory is rusty...when does San paint her face with "the blood of her enemies" exactly?

I remember her sucking the blood out of the wolf god's wound, and I remember her having red war paint on, but I don't remember her like...reaching down to a corpse inside the mining camp and wiping her cheeks or anything. Did that happen? Maybe I need to break out the DVD.
posted by trackofalljades at 8:01 PM on August 20


Princess Mononoke is only distributed by Disney, it is solidly not owned by the Mouse.
posted by JHarris at 8:15 PM on August 20


I was hanging around with a bunch of 7-9 year old girls from the Big City lately and noticed a lot of backlash against all things princess. They were adamantly opposed to pink, princesses, fairies or things that are only for girls. Those are totally out with that crowd. Calvin and Hobbes was big, although they didn't get half the jokes, also Harry Potter and frankly terrifying ghost stories.

I think the writings of Machiavelli might have been more aligned with their interests than Disney to be honest.
posted by fshgrl at 9:38 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


Loudmax, "Princess Mononoke" isn't a character any more than "Metroid" is a robot who hunts aliens. The character's name is San, and the movie's title fell victim to Blind Idiot Translation (it should have been translated as "princess of the Mononoke"), similar to Ghibli's earlier "The Cat Returns" being the translated title of a movie whose title really meant "the cat's gratitude," essentially.
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:57 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


Gunnhild (Hildy), two-fisted daughter of Volstagg the Voluminous, awaits her call from Disney.

Hildy has deserved her own solo title since the mid-'80s.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:40 AM on August 21 [1 favorite]


Sam Wilson is an actual Disney Prince and you will not convince me otherwise.
posted by kalimac at 1:13 AM on August 21


The picture at the top of the article looked more like Valkyrie than Thor to me. I think someone less familiar with c-list marvel heroes may have grabbed a shot of the wrong character.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:52 AM on August 21


As kmz noted, the top picture is the Thor of Earth X, an alternate universe Thor who was transformed into a woman to teach him humility.

Earth X is interesting because it was a completely stand-alone universe, but Marvel writers keep mining it for details to fold into the main universe. This Thor is apparently a variant on the Earth X idea (splitting the humility lesson and female Thor bits into separate story lines.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:30 AM on August 21


I think Metroid is a pretty neat guy. She kills aliens and doesn't afraid of anything.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 8:54 AM on August 22 [3 favorites]


The pronoun nonsense in the article is bugging me. Thor, in this context, is female. Just use she/her/hers already and stop with the "himher" and "himher" crap. I feel like it veers uncomfortably close to transphobic language.
posted by chaosys at 11:10 AM on August 22 [3 favorites]


fshgrl, I just found my 9 year old reading one of my old Calvin and Hobbes books too. I guess it's a thing again. She also has not princess backlash but general girly doll backlash. When I asked her to pick stuff for Goodwill, she set out two things:

1) A Barbie doll something gave her as a present. Statement: "It creeps me out".

2) Some little My Little Pony figures. That conversation went like this:

Me: But My Little Pony is your favorite!

Her: Those are Generation 3. It makes me sick to look at them.
posted by freecellwizard at 1:24 PM on August 22 [4 favorites]


Her: Those are Generation 3. It makes me sick to look at them.

The kids are alright.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:02 PM on August 22


Indeed they are. That's a mighty discerning nine-year-old you have there freecellwizard. Thumbs up.
posted by JHarris at 8:09 PM on August 22


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