Moana And Elena Of Avalor To Not Join The Disney Princess Lineup

Moana And Elena Of Avalor To Not Join The Disney Princess Lineup

What does this mean for Moana and Elena and the Disney Princess lineup in the present and the future?
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This is the biggest year for the Disney Princesses. Disney is not adding one princess, but two. Later this month, Disney will introduce the very first Latina Princess, Elena in Disney Junior’s brand new series, “Elena of Avalor”. Then, this Thanksgiving, Disney will introduce the first Polynesian princess, “Moana” in theaters. To make Moana more special, Disney cast a random Hawaiian teenager, 15-year-old Auli’l Cravalho to voice this feisty princess. Not only is Disney getting more diverse, but also little Hispanic and Polynesian girls get their own princess to celebrate themselves. But, wait a minute.

In late May, the creator of Elena, Craig Gember announced that Elena will not join Snow White, Tiana, and Merida at the big Disney Princess castle. Now, this is very expected because unlike the other girls, Elena is in a TV show. TV shows fade and expire. I thought this was the reason why Elena isn’t joining the lineup, but then I read something extremely shocking. In early July, a Disney spokesperson announced that Moana is not joining the Disney Princess lineup. This is shocking beyond belief because a. Pocahontas is a daughter of a chief, just like Moana and b. Mulan, the only current Asian “princess”, is not even a princess and yet she’s still in the lineup. She’s clearly only there to add diversity in the lineup. The reason why Moana isn’t joining? Because “they don’t speak of her lineage in the movie.” This is clearly a lie since most of the princesses don’t speak of their lineages in their movies. Meanwhile, Elena will be here for a while because they’re planning five seasons of “Elena of Avalor.” Hence, the show will end in the late 2010’s/early 2020’s. Because of this, Elena can join the lineup for a while. It’s one thing that a TV character isn’t joining the lineup because of her numbered days, but an actual princess with a movie that will last forever not joining? Something is off.

1. Merchandise + Race

Let’s discuss the elephant in the room and no, it’s not Jasmine’s friend Abu as an elephant. Could it be possible that Elena and Moana aren’t joining the lineup because…they’re not white? What will it mean for Hispanic and Polynesian girls to see their girls not with the famous white princesses? That Elena and Moana aren’t beautiful enough to be with the white girls? Or Polynesian and Hispanic women are not important as white women? There have been complaints on the Internet that there is not enough merchandise of the "Princesses of Color" (Jasmine [who’s Arabic], Pocahontas, Mulan, and Tiana [who’s black]). One angry poster on Tumblr pointed out that there was no Tiana merchandise to be found when she was at Target with an employee checking back and everything, but yet Target was flooding with Frozenmerchandise. Another angry poster revealed that while visiting the Disney Princess aisle at Target, there was not one mention of the POC Princesses, even in the packaging, except for a Tiana doll who was packaged with six white dolls. Does Disney ignore the "Princesses of Color" altogether?

In 2014, a chart revealed that the most-selling princesses were Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Ariel while two of some of the least selling princesses were Tiana and Jasmine with shockingly Belle as the least-selling princess with only $6,687 worth of merchandise. So, does Disney not believe that diversity sells?

2. Franchise=$$

This is the most realistic possibility. It should be noted that the Frozen” princesses (with one becoming queen), Anna and Queen Elsa are not in the Disney Princess lineup. As a result of the shocking popularity of the movie, Anna and Elsa have their own franchise that includes toys, books, and more. It is clear that Disney’s logic is if Anna and Elsa are with the other princesses, little girls will focus on the sisters more than the other princesses. Hence, girls would rather want to buy Anna and Elsa separately. Disney’s logic is very successful -- Frozenmerchandise made $107 billion dollars as of May 2015. Like Anna and Elsa, Moana is the main star of her movie and might be popular, so thus little girls will want to focus on her more than the princesses. If “Moana” is successful like Frozen,you can bet that Disney will be rolling in the money. Meanwhile, Elena already has her own franchise that includes nightgowns, costumes, dolls, backpacks, and books. If franchise is the reasons why Moana and Elena are not going to be in the lineup, that is very smart on the behalf of Disney’s business side. But, it would still be excellent to see even more diverse princesses standing with the white princesses.

3. Disney just doesn’t want any more Princesses in the lineup.

When Merida from Pixar’s “Brave” joined the lineup, I frequently thought to myself, “How many more princesses Disney will take after “Frozen?” As of right now, there are 11 princesses in the lineup. If you add Anna & Elsa, Elena, and Moana, it would climb to 15 princesses. That would be princess overload. Can you imagine try to stuff 15 girls in one package, website, or commercial? And then trying to break them up into groups for merchandise? Talk about stress! Then, with possibly more princesses in the near future, there would be even more cramming. There’s a reason why past Disney heroines, such as Tinker Bell, Esmeralda from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and Meg from "Hercules" were removed after a while and even princesses such as Vanellope from “Wreck-It Ralph,” Elionwy from “The Black Cauldron” and Kida from “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” didn’t make the cut (It should be noted that Giselle from “Enchanted” was slated to join the lineup until Disney realized that they would have to pay the actress, Amy Adams for royalty). “Elena of Avalor” creator Gember added in a tweet, “Being an "official Disney Princess" is not determined by the "line-up" anymore,” so it sounds like Disney isn’t taking any more “Disney Princesses” for now. However, Disney has one final test, so we can understand what’s going on.

Disney’s next fairy tale is “Jack and the Beanstalk” and it’s titled “Gigantic.” Because of even more story problems (which also delayed “Gigantic” from this November to 2018), “Gigantic” is moved to Thanksgiving 2018, having “Wreck-It Ralph 2” take the March 2018 slot. And since this is a fairy tale, we need to have a princess. Meet Imna.

(c) Disney

Unless Disney dramatically changes the movie during the delay a la Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur,” Imna is planned to be a princess. According to a live feed from the D23 Expo while the announcement was going on, she is the princess of the Storm Giants and her currently-unnamed father, who happens to be the villain, is the cruel King of the Storm Giants. And she’ll be another ground breaker. Obviously, Imna would be the only non-human Disney princess, as she is a giantess. Since “Gigantic” takes place in Spain, Imna will be the first “real” Spanish Disney Princess. Plus, she is only 11, being the “first” real child Disney Princess, despite Vanellope, “Sofia the First” from Disney Junior, and Melody, Ariel’s daughter as seen in “The Little Mermaid 2.” This will be a test because connecting to my points:

1. Imna is Spanish.

2. Because Jack is, of course, the real focus of “Gigantic,” Imna might be useless for her own franchise.

3. Disney could possibly squeeze one in last princess since she is from a movie unlike Elena and not the central focus, unlike Moana.

Really, at this point, the only things that might mess up Imna’s chances are the fact that she’s a 60-foot giantess and her young age since the princesses, including Elena and Moana who are both 16, are 14 and up. But, we will find out Imna’s royal fate in mid 2018 or early 2019. In fact, we will find out at the Disney Expo next year if Imna is officially a princess in the film or not.

Despite not being in the lineup as of right now, this could certainly change within the next 10 years. It is quite possible that at least Moana (along with Anna and Elsa) will join the lineup when her buzz dies out. The important thing is that being excluded in the lineup does not make Moana and Elsa any less of a princess than Snow White, Pocahontas, and Tiana and even Giselle and Kida. All of the Disney Princesses have something to be celebrated about, lineup or not, and I’ll be sure to celebrate these two fine diverse princesses when they are released to the public this year. Hispanic and Polynesian girls should celebrate because of the wonderful role models they’ll have. Long live Elena and Moana!

Cover Image Credit: The Walt Disney Company

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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