Not all female characters are pure Disney inventions. Three princesses were notably imagined by French authors, long before inspiring the Disney studios. But which ones?
THE Disney princesses have rocked the youth of several generations of children. Even today, the new princesses, like Frozen or Vaiana, still inspire young audiences. And for good reason: most children are attracted to these fictional characters because they convey a positive image. Do you think you know everything about Disney princesses and their history? Think again ! They are not all American creations: three of them are even French!
Created in 1687 by Charles Perrault, I am?
French writer and member of the French Academy Charles Perrault is known for his famous children’s stories, such as Little Red Riding Hood Or Puss in Boots, but in 1687 he also imagined an essential female character who would inspire a legendary Walt Disney cartoon years later. It is Cinderellareleased in 1950. Originally, the French author’s tale was titled The Little Glass Slipper which tells the story of a kind young girl, mistreated by her horrible stepmother, but who will be able to count on her godmother, the good fairy, to change the course of her destiny.
In 1697, a second cursed princess was born
Ten years later, in 1697, Charles Perrault published a collection, Tales of Mother Goose. In this work, a story will become one of the writer’s most famous and will be adapted by Disney studios in 1959: The Sleeping Beauty. In the broad strokes of the original story, the story is that of Princess Nuit, who was cursed at birth and put into a long sleep by an evil fairy Carabosse. Note that the American production company was also inspired by another interpretation of the tale, a German version, Dornröschenby the Brothers Grimm in 1812. The character of Nuit became Princess Aurora in the Disney film.
The 3rd Disney princess was born from two French feathers
Among all the Disney princesses, a third is the fruit of the imagination of not one but two French writers: Princess Belle in The beauty and the Beast. This tale as we know it today is about a sensitive and imaginative young girl, ready to do anything to save her father, even if it means being held prisoner in the Beast’s mansion. But it is above all the work of two female minds.
There was a first version of the tale written by Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve and published in 1740, in the collection La Jyoung American woman and seafaring tales. Later, in 1756, the author Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont puts his own rewriting of the tale on paper, through the Children’s Store. Disney Studios later adapted the screenplay into a film, which was first released in theaters in 1991.