Please spare us the ‘Disney princess’ programming

Carlene M. Dean
8 min readSep 25, 2020

The media needs to show more diversity rather than the rigid gender roles of old

Photo by Katherine McAdoo on Unsplash

The other day — one on which I was lucky enough to be playing great auntie to one of my awesome great nieces — I watched the Disney movie “Ralph Breaks the Internet” with said great niece. It was my second time seeing it, the first being a few years ago with a male friend (who is now in his late 50s … we both still love “kid’s movies”) and really enjoyed it.

While viewing it the other day, this occurred to me: one, “how awesome it is that this movie shows a male and female as simply good friends, with no romantic undertones” — at least as far as I could tell anyway. In most films you can tell almost right away who is going to eventually hook up and/or end up together as the credits roll. It’s so obvious.

But in “Ralph Breaks the Internet” the two main characters, Ralph and Vanellope start and end as friends (although at a distance due to her pursuing her dreams in another video game more exciting than her own, Sugar Rush). So instead of having romantic tension — or the predictable ole Disney theme of “beautiful princess waits for her prince to come sweep her away from her mundane life and they live happily ever after” — this movie teaches good lessons about friendship.

And seriously, isn’t that a really, really vital part of life, to have friends? Yes, some people may say “But having romance is also a very important part of life” and I cannot disagree. I just think, after decades of living, that people should place a greater priority should be placed on having and nurturing friendships rather than on romantic pursuits. Plus, I wish the movie industry would back off the with romantic story line with which most of us are familiar.

This spoken by a 50-something women for whom having and/or chasing and/or keeping a boyfriend has admittedly been a focus of most of my life. Yes it’s great to find someone to connect with and (hopefully) have a healthy, non-controlling ‘happily ever after’ (“ya, like that’s ever going to happen!!” — Shrek, a delightful example of a more “real world” couplehood in an animated movie). However, it probably should not be so narrow-mindedly focused on to the exclusion of any other life goals (take notes, parents of young people, or any…



Carlene M. Dean

Experienced professional writer/freelancer and former newspaper reporter-turned-online writer/blogger. Thinker. “Old soul”, young hippie, empath.