Rapunzel from Tangled, Anna from Frozen, and Moana from Moana

You Won’t Be Able To Unsee This Common Trope Within Recent Disney Princesses

When you think of a Disney princess, you might conjure up an image of a damsel in distress who needs a prince to save the day. And while that might be true to an extent, you might also think of a strong young woman who wants more out of life and is willing to go on an adventure to find her purpose.

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Either way, Disney princesses are pretty distinct from one another thanks to their unique stories and the obstacles they have to overcome. However, it’s come to my attention that the more recent Disney princesses share an interesting personality trait that makes them act incredibly similar.

Thanks to a very detailed mini YouTube essay, the personality similarities in recent Disney princesses have become incredibly hard to ignore.

Disney princesses are all “adorkable”

YouTuber ModernGurlz is known for her in-depth fashion and media videos where she dissects the clothing or themes in different shows and movies. And, in her most recent video, ModernGurlz pointed out and then broke down the issue she has with modern Disney princesses: they’re all “adorkable”.

ModernGurlz was inspired to make the video after reviewing the trailer for the upcoming Disney movie Wish, which follows a teenage girl named Asha as she tries to save her kingdom from the wish-stealing king. After watching the latest trailer for it, ModernGurlz came to the realization that modern Disney princesses have the same personality traits. They’re clumsy, awkward, and weird but in a cute, endearing way. She traced the beginning back to Rapunzel in Tangled, as she was created to be the opposite from Tiana in The Princess and the Frog. Where Tiana was hardworking, mature, and down-to-Earth, Rapunzel was naive, sassy, and always dreaming.

After Rapunzel became incredibly popular, Disney saw the opportunity to recreate her personality in the characters who followed: Anna from Frozen, Judy Hopps from Zootopia, Moana from Moana, and Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon. ModernGurlz detailed how each of these characters, despite being from different time periods and being different ages, acts the same way, which doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Now, no one is saying there’s anything wrong with being “adorkable” or having a personality similar to Rapunzel or Anna or Mirabel from Encanto, but it is a bit disheartening to see a company that was once known for breaking stereotypes playing into the same one over and over just because it happens to make them money. As ModernGurlz points out, capitalism is to blame for this trend of “adorkable” Disney princesses because Disney will keep doing the same thing as long as audiences keep watching.

And there’s nothing wrong with asking more of your media, especially when it’s aimed at people of all ages, but especially young people. The youth of today aren’t oblivious; they don’t need Disney to make the same long-winded jokes or have their princesses be the same shade of cute yet awkward yet approachable yet effortlessly beautiful. You can have an adorkable princess, but you can also have a stubborn, ill-tempered, and standoffish princess. Just because something makes you money doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try something new every once in a while, because if you just stay in the same mold, it’ll get old very quickly.

(feature image: Disney)

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Kayla Harrington
Kayla Harrington (she/her) is a staff writer who has been working in digital media since 2017, starting at Mashable before moving to BuzzFeed and now here at The Mary Sue. She specializes in Marvel (Wanda Maximoff did nothing wrong!), pop culture, and politics. When she's not writing or lurking on TikTok, you can find Kayla reading the many unread books on her shelves or cuddling with one of her four pets. She's also a world class chef (according to her wife) and loves to try any recipe she can find.