‘Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara’ Book Review

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Disney Princesses hold a special place in my heart, having grown up in the rapid Princess age of the ’80s and ’90s when princesses like Ariel, Belle, Mulan, Pocahontas, and Jasmine graced our screen, changing the course for the Princess genre in animation. In the newly released book, Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara, you get an in-depth look at everything from the origins of the stories to the super fandom. The book started with a beautiful foreword from Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel. She is the ultimate Disney Princess in my mind because she was the first princess I was introduced to, and her love for this character has no bounds. She “never expected the lasting impact the role have” on her or had no idea the magnitude that The Little Mermaid would touch viewers back then and how it continues to with new generations. Benson points out that Walt Disney Animation Studios “didn’t really call attention to the voice talents,” so the fanfare that followed changed the franchise. Sequels and spin-offs were createdOne of the things I loved about this book is that it highlights some of the great strides Disney is making with diversity and inclusion initiatives. Did you know that Disney formed the Oceanic Story Trust, a cultural advisory group, to ensure accuracy in Moana? Or that real actors have been used to give animators a baseline for their drawings. The book features concept art, memorabilia, original interviews with voice talent, animators, composer Alan Menken, and more. Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara explores the legacies of the Princesses and what they represent today. We are shifting from a time of Princesses that a man rescues only to live as happy Queens after they marry to strong female leads that don’t even have many men in the story and include other women to lift them up. 

Disney Princesses have become cultural icons, and the character’s influence has expanded beyond their original films. Each of their unique, individual stories create a fabric with the power to inspire our imaginations, spark social conversations, and empower us. The book was finished before the addition of Raya and the Last Dragon to the Princess list.

Featured Disney Princesses include:

  • Moana
  • Merida
  • Rapunzel
  • Tiana
  • Mulan
  • Pocahontas
  • Jasmine
  • Belle
  • Ariel
  • Aurora
  • Cinderella
  • Snow White

This list of Disney Princesses paved the way for newcomers like Vanelope in Wreck-It Ralph. While she isn’t an official Disney Princess, the Princess scene in Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph Break the Internet was one of the film’s most anticipated and favorite aspects.  The Disney Princess franchise will continue to grow as live-action remakes happen and new stories are written. Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara is the perfect book for Princess fans or animation aficionados. The ideal coffee table book to spark a conversation with fellow Disney fans. 

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

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