Monday, February 23, 2015

My Favorite Disney Princess

  I've read many little articles and writes on the forgotten Disney princesses. Mostly referring to all the princesses who aren't Cinderella, Snow White, Elsa, and Belle. As I read through the list, I see many old princesses who I loved to watch during my childhood, Maid Marian from Robin Hood, Princess 'Kida' Kidagakash from Atlantis, Venellope Von' Schweetz  from Wreck it Ralph, Nala from Lion King, or even Princess Ada from Bugs Life. There's so many that they leave out of the list and of the Disney Princess circle, but there is one girl, however, that is left out entirely.

  My favorite Disney princess is Jane Porter from the film Tarzan. She originally comes from the book series called, "Tarzan of the Apes", then later in the books that followed. Throughout this series, we learn of Tarzan, an orphaned man who was adopted into a family of gorillas (or apes), and later, becomes their chief (king). And within the stories, he and Jane become married (technically) making her Tarzan's queen. So I guess, she is actually a queen.

    Whatever the case, I count Jane in the large group of Disney princesses. And reasoning to why she is my favorite? This can be explained easily.

    Jane is, in my opinion one of the most relatable princesses. Unlike the perfectionists like Aurora of Sleeping Beauty, she is clumsy, bashful, and very open toward her feelings. I also love the fact that she traveled all the way from London to Africa just to study gorillas. To pursue her passion and do something she loves. This is what I think a Disney princess should be to a young girl, a fine example of someone who lives their life and lives their dream.  And Jane doesn't stop there, Jane shows girls that you don't need to be perfect, that you don't have to be proper all the time, and that being imperfect doesn't make you any less of a person.

    I know I mentioned this before, but Jane is clumsy. As she is dressed for a Sunday stroll through London, she realizes quickly that the jungle is not a fit place to where heels, a laced gown, or carry an umbrella. Even her first interacting with a simple monkey goes horribly wrong as the monkey rips through her drawing journal, steals her boot, and she is later a mess from running after him.

Despite being clumsy, she is very stern toward the gentleman she is associated with, and does not let them walk over her. When she and Tarzan first meet, she is already aware of his lack of personal space. But, as the two connect more, she becomes his tutor and teaches him English and the ways of a civilized man.

     Throughout the Tarzan film, Jane is sketching the animals that she sees and one includes Tarzan, a wild man of the land who has found them intriguing. But the two learn off of each other, giving the other what the other half needs. And though their love relationship is a bit "odd" being a young artist and an orphaned gorilla man, it's no different than Beauty and the Beast. If anything, it's a bit more romantic; and here's why. As the boat arrives to take Jane and her father back to London after their long expedition in Africa, Jane has a choice. She can either stay with Tarzan, her new love and companion or, return to her high class society life in London. And she gives up everything, turning away the life she knew, for the life in the jungle. Which honestly, that took some serious guts.

   It saddens me that Jane is so under appreciated. She would teach girls so much; from social interactions, to traveling, to art, and the study of animals, and overall, she's just an awesome forgotten Disney princess. I hope that she may catch on someday, as with the many other princesses that sit behind the more popular ones of today. But it makes me happy to be a bit different, to like something not of the same crowd. Like Jane, I want to be different, to reach out and be inspired. To be artistic and live life to the fullest! That's what a Disney princess should be.
(Also, has anyone else noticed Disney's lack in English girl names? Jane Banks from Mary Poppins, Jane Porter from Tarzan, Jane from Peter Pan)

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