I was a little girl in the 70s, and a tween and a teen in the 80s. I remember playing with Barbies, but I also remember having matchbox cars and Star Wars action figures. Legos and Lincoln Logs.
Lately, I've found myself thinking, what the heck happened in the 90s while I was busy working? Suddenly, toys marketed to girls got really, really pink.
I played Careers, my friends, not the absolutely horror that is Careers for Girls. I have fleetingly glimpsed the phenomena that is the "Disney Princesses" with suspicion and concern for what the heck they're teaching girls these days.
So I let Disney send me a DVD:Disney Princess Enchanted Tales - Follow Your Dreams. Yes, my friends, this was just in my DVD player:
Now, while I was genuinely curious, and perhaps a bit trepidatious about the Disney Princess thing, I was also inspired to check out the DVD - "Featuring Sleeping Beauty's First New Story Since The Beloved Classic" btw - because of the blurb I read on Amazon:
Believing in oneself and persevering in the face of difficulties is challenging whether you're a princess or an everyday person. In the two stories included in Follow Your Dreams, Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty and Princess Jasmine from Aladdin discover that they must work hard and believe in their abilities if they are to reach the goals they've set for themselves. When Princess Aurora is put in charge of the kingdom for the day, the workload proves impossibly huge and the villagers' many problems seem too difficult for her to solve. Resorting to some magical help from the fairy Merryweather seems like the perfect answer, but in the end Princess Aurora's own hard work and ingenuity prove far more effective than magic. When Princess Jasmine yearns for something important to do with her life, her father gives her a position in the local school, but it proves much more challenging than she ever could have imagined. Add in an escaped wild horse and the prospect of letting her father down and Princess Jasmine feels overwhelmed and ready to give up. Can perseverance and hard work help Princess Jasmine realize her dreams? This nicely animated presentation features two favorite Disney Princesses, lots of new songs, and great messages about the value of self-confidence, hard work, and perseverance.
Well, that sounded kinda great, actually. You really can't beat the value of self-confidence, hard work, and perseverance in life.
The DVD does indeed feature two shorts - one with Aurora and one with Jasmine. I enjoyed both of them! I think my favorite bit is when Jasmine finds herself suddenly left with a classroom of children and is completely overrun. That rang true to me - she doesn't just naturally get it; the classroom is a challenge. And she goes on an adventure and tames a horse before she tackles kids again.
There's really a lot to like in these shorts, from the princess's relationships and responsibilities to their determination and thought processes. And I have to admit I laughed out loud in more than one spot. The shorts are very good natured and brimming with positive message.
Young me would have liked them back in the wild, wild 70s and 80s.
I was going to forward the DVD on to some young girl or another (friend's kid or some such), but I liked it so much I've decided to keep it. Just in case I've got a little girl to give it to someday who's a little closer to home. ;)