One of Disney’s most classic tales, of the Cinderella princess, has a lot in common with the newest of the Disney princesses. Princess Tiana from the new movie, The Princess and the Frog, takes aspects of the exceptional tale of the Cinderella princess and gives it a refreshingly modern twist.
Both stories begin with hard-working young women. Cinderella is over-worked, trying to meet the demands of her stepmother, step-sisters, and the seemingly endless chores she is assigned to. The death of her newly remarried father left Cinderella with her new family, and she wants to fulfill her father’s desire of being good to her new family.
Likewise, Princess Tiana is also over-worked. The story opens with her working two jobs in 1912 New Orleans. Tiana tries to save to purchase an old sugar-mill to create her own restaurant, which was part of her father’s dreams. Both girls enter their stories over-worked and faithful to their father’s wishes.
The opportunity for a ball also enters both girls lives quickly, and so does the Prince Charming. Cinderella is enthralled with the idea of a ball, and immediately begins work on a simple gown to wear. Just before its time to leave for the ball, Cinderella’s stepsisters ruin her gown and leave her with more chores than she can handle. A fairy godmother steps in and, bippity-boppity-boo, enables Cinderella to attend the ball in a beautiful blue gown. The Prince fell in love with Cinderella immediately.
Unlike the prince in Cinderella princess story, Prince Naveen did not fall in love with Tiana immediately. Tiana had intended on going to the costume party to help work at it, and after a ruined costume, she felt unable to attend. A friend lent her a tiara, and Tiana was able to attend the party dressed as princess. Confusing her with a real princess, Prince Naveen, in the shape of a frog, approaches her.
The princess Disney costumes for these two princesses is incredibly similar. It is almost like Tiana was dressing up as a Cinderella princess at the ball! Both Disney princesses wore a pastel blue gown with a contoured bodice and a full, long skirt. A princess Disney costume for Cinderella could be used as a dress-up costume of Princess Tiana in the first ball scene. Although the sleeves and accessories of the dresses differ for the Disney princesses, it is notable that both girls meet their Prince Charming and enter the ball scene wearing a similarly shaped pastel blue gown.
Princess Tiana and Princess Cinderella also had a plethora of animal friends. Animals were drawn to Cinderella’s gentle, loving nature, and became helpful friends to her. Children loved the characters of these animals. Once Tiana becomes a frog, she too makes friends with animals and other unusual beings. The relationship of human and animals makes these Disney princesses unique.
Despite the similar story elements and the similar princess Disney costumes, only time will tell if Princess Tiana will reach the epic place as a favorite Disney princess like Cinderella. Both stories feature elements that will delight children as well as encourage the value of friendship and a solid work ethic. As the newest Disney Princess, I think we all hope Princess Tiana lives up to her predecessor Princess Cinderella.