Female Ass-Kickers Odette - "But What Else?"

Cinders posted on Nov 18, 2009 at 02:49AM
Though we all love our Disney and often-mistaken-for-Disney movies, they aren't known for their progressiveness in the roles of women. Or, at least, not until later years.

But I was thinking about Odette, from The Swan Princess. You know, that often-mistaken-for-Disney movie distributed by Columbia TriStar. I absolutely adore the line quoted in the topic of this forum post, mostly because I despise romances like Romeo and Juliet, which are entirely based on lust and raging hormones that people pass off as love *cough*Twilight*cough*.

So when Prince Derek says, "You're beautiful!" to Odette, and she replies with, "Thank you... but what else?" I think that's a turning point in fairytale cinema, perhaps even a critique. Of course, Derek's response, "What else is there?" makes him lose Odette, who refuses to marry a man who's only interested in her looks. [See the scene link.

Looking deeper into this, Odette has to have some pretty strong principals to make this decision (or she has to be pretty stubborn, at least). The marriage between her and Derek would unite and (it's implied) save the futures of their two respective kingdoms. For her to make such a political decision based on her romantic needs is probably not the type of thing that would have been done back in the time period this takes place, where most marriages were arranged solely FOR political-- and not romantic-- reasons.

However, this grand decision on her part, is still a rather romantic gesture that, in my opinion, adds to the fairy tale. After Odette is turned into a swan (presumed dead by all but Derek), Derek has to prove his love for her by finding her.

The Swan Princess was one of my childhood favorites, and not just because the music is catchy. And while I don't know if Odette qualifies as an "ass-kicker" or not, I do consider her a strong character. Not only does she stand up to Derek, make a political decision based on her romantic inclinations, and continuously refuse the advances of an evil wizard, but she also fends for herself as a swan, saving herself and Derek's friend from the dungeon, and escaping to find Derek herself.

I like Odette because she isn't a passive princess, waiting to be rescued. I was just wondering what you guys think.

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over a year ago VMars4ever said…
I completely agree. That's what I love about her too. She is certainly a strong character, and a better role model Disney-esque Princess movie wise, than certain others. That was my favourite animated movie growing up.