Almost every little girl dreams of growing up to be just like a Disney Princess — and why shouldn’t she?
From Belle to Jasmine to Tiana, Disney’s lineup of leading ladies is filled with sweet, smart, and beautiful heroines who always manage to land a happily ever after. They’re the perfect role models… or are they?
In a now-viral Twitter thread, actress Zelda Williams went through the plots of several classic Disney movies to make the argument that Disney Princesses aren’t that great at all; instead, we should be learning from Disney’s villains. Williams goes so far as to argue that characters like Ursula and Scar aren’t actually villains at all — just misunderstood heroes.
Let’s hear her out…
The Case for Ursula
“Screw those unachievable paradigms we called Disney Princesses,” Williams begins. “I only ever related to the smart but overlooked three dimensional [sic] characters they called villains.”
Our tweeter has a point: Ariel does come off as a little entitled. Time to forget everything we’ve ever thought about The Little Mermaid.
That last part is SUCH a good point: If Ariel had just written a note to Prince Eric, everyone could have gotten on with their lives. That’s quite the plot hole there, Disney.
She’s got a point here, too. So does this “misunderstood hero” thing apply to other Disney villains, too, or is Ursula an anomaly?
The Case for Scar
According to Williams, Scar from The Lion King was totally justified in his anger toward Simba, “another snooty royal who’s told from a very young age that he owns the entire planet.” (She’s not wrong!)
Mufasa did seem unnecessarily strict at times, and you can’t deny the fact that the pride of wives thing was kind of messy.
This sort of makes sense. After all, isn’t a cleansing forest fire often the best thing for an overgrown forest?
She’s right: Simba totally went AWOL and abandoned his pride for a looong time. It was such a jerk move — not to mention irresponsible.
And now our collective childhood is ruined.
The Case for Maleficent
And who among us hasn’t overreacted to being excluded from a party?
Once you grow up and truly consider the plot of Sleeping Beauty, there’s no way of avoiding the fact that Prince Phillip was definitely a creep.
This is so true, it hurts. Every last one of Disney’s villains was serving a look.
Was Gaston a jerk? Yes. Was he also a body hair activist? I mean… kind of!
This face screams, “You were supposed to put the pizza in the oven a half hour ago but I still love you anyway.” (We’ve all been there.)
Williams’ last point is arguably her best: Unrealistic body standards have been pushed on young girls via Disney Princesses since, well, forever.
Perhaps it really is time to start rooting for the bad guys.