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Chapter 3 Handsome Princes

Amy M. Davis John Libbey Publishing ePub

In The Witch Must Die: The Hidden Meaning of Fairy Tales, Sheldon Cashdan claims that, “In contrast [to witches, godmothers, and other female characters], male figures are relatively minor figures in most fairy tales. The prince tends to be a cardboard character, almost an afterthought, who materializes at the end of the story to ensure a happy ending.”119 Certainly, in terms of public perception of the princes and heroes in Disney animation, there are grounds for thinking this applies. After all, the Hero/Prince is overlooked in many ways by Disney audiences, and one might perceive, when looking at the role which the Hero/Prince figure plays in Disney merchandising schemes, that he is not important as a figure to the Disney studio. There is the hugely-successful (and now relatively long-lived) Disney Princess line of products and placements, ranging from very inexpensive and practical items like notebooks featuring the characters, all the way up to being able to book an appointment at the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutique at Walt Disney World, a session which can cost (as of 2013) nearly $200. By way of backing up my claim that the princess overshadows the prince, one need only look at the “packages” on offer at the boutique, which is located inside Cinderella’s castle in the Magic Kingdom.120 There are four “Princess Packages”, each in a different price bracket. Depending upon the package, they offer hair styling, make up, a dress and accessories to correspond with one of the Disney princesses, as well as photographs of the girl once she has been outfitted fully so as to preserve her memory of the experience. That this is very popular can be attested to by the number of little girls one sees everyday throughout the park who clearly have had a visit to the salon. When I enquired during my visit to Walt Disney World in August 2012, I was told that the next available appointment was not until close to Christmas; that this is the case is easy to believe. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a visitor to Walt Disney World who has not noticed the number of little girls in full princess gear, hair and make-up included, given how ubiquitous they have become. Notable by their absence, however, were boys who had been dressed as the prince (or hero) of their choice. The salon does offer a package for boys. One. It is called the “Knight” package, and, according to Walt Disney World’s official website, it includes “hair styling as well as a mighty sword and shield for $15.95 plus tax”.121 But in no way is what is offered for boys as big of an experience as the options for girls, nor is there any indication on the Disney website that the boys get to choose to be a particular male character. It is particularly interesting that they are “Knights”, not “Princes”. The image of the Knight is of a figure who is daring, brave, fierce, and strong, charging into battle or jousting in tournaments. The Prince, however, fulfils potentially a more liminal role – he is potentially a future king, but is not king yet – or else is more of a supporting player: he marries the heroine and lives happily ever after at her side.

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Disney films analysed in this study, with plot summaries335

Davis, Amy M. John Libbey Publishing ePub


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

An evil queen asks the slave in her magic mirror ‘who is the fairest one of all?’ to which the slave replies that Snow White is. Made jealous by the subsequent sight of Snow White being wooed by the prince, she orders her huntsman to take Snow White into the woods and kill her. The huntsman, overcome by Snow White’s goodness, tells her of the Queen’s rage, bidding her to flee. Later, Snow White is led by the animals to the seven dwarfs’ cottage. Snow White and the animals clean the house, hoping to persuade the dwarfs to let her stay. Snow White becomes tired and goes upstairs to sleep. The dwarfs return home, and a comic scene ensues as the dwarfs notice that everything is clean and assume ‘there’s dirty work afoot’ and in which we learn each of the dwarfs’ personalities. They then find Snow White, asleep, laying across several of their beds. Upon awakening, she tells them of the Queen’s jealousy, asking if she can live with them. They agree. Leaving for work the next morning, they warn Snow White to be on guard. The Queen, meanwhile, has used her black magic to disguise herself and has learned Snow White’s whereabouts. The Queen goes to the Seven Dwarfs’ cottage, bringing Snow White a poisoned apple. Snow White takes a bite and falls unconscious. Meanwhile, the dwarfs, alerted by the animals that the Queen is with Snow White, hurry to the cottage to protect her, but succeed only in chasing the Queen to her death. We are then told (by means of an inter-title) that because she was so beautiful the dwarfs did not bury Snow White (whom they think is dead). The prince, having searched for Snow White all along, arrives and sees the dwarfs and the animals praying around Snow White’s coffin. He lifts the cover, kisses her, and kneels down. Snow White awakens. After bidding good-bye to the dwarfs, she and the prince head into the sunset to live happily ever after.

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Chapter 7 Cameramen with the Entente

James W Castellan John Libbey Publishing ePub

It was noted in Chapter 1 that the French, Russian and British armies did not allow foreign correspondents at the front. This remained the case throughout the war.

There was one way that correspondents could circumvent this and that was by gaining entry to the battlefront by private means. Edwin Weigle was smart enough to have figured this out in Belgium. If a journalist or cameraman could establish a relationship with a non-governmental organization, such as a private charity or the Red Cross, or alternatively, approach an individual with so much clout that he could make his own rules, the cameraman would be able to make an end run around the government. And the few individuals featured in this chapter did just that.

Varges was the major exception to the ban on non-official and foreign correspondents in Britain, which is all the more ironic as Varges started the war as a Hearst photographer. Hearst was such an anathema to the British that in 1916 all Hearst representatives were banned from any British theater of war. But it is the exception that proves the rule, because it came about in an extremely British way: by pressure from an individual too rich and prominent to ignore.

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Back Cover

Boyd-Barrett, Oliver John Libbey Publishing ePub
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Chapter 10

Tony Grey John Libbey Publishing ePub

The Hsiung-nu seem to be showing a concern for the safety of the Romans above what might be expected. Of course it’s in their interests to have the potential mercenaries arrive intact but they could just leave them to their own devices along the way and defend them only if an attack materializes. Instead, Jiyu has split his escort so that it protects the Romans in both front and rear. Just what they’re protecting them from isn’t clear. Perhaps it’s the Parthians who might catch up once they notice the escape but that’s not likely now that so much time has passed. It’s certainly not the peaceful Sogdians, nor the usual marauders of the Road; it’s the Hsiung-nu themselves who’re the bandits. Anyway, it’s refreshing to see Roman soldiers valued again – something not evident for such a long time.

Jiyu rides in front by himself, silent and aloof. Just behind are Marcus and Lushan. The merchant is riding competently and is as voluble as ever. As the sun comes up he says;

“We are entering the fearsome Red Desert, home of cobras. Tell your men to be on their guard. These snakes can be very aggressive. Sometimes they even spit their venom. They are liable to slither into the camp looking for food and warmth, even sliding into the bedclothes. Check them every night before you get in. Stamping around usually gets rid of them. Be careful. Their bite out here in the desert will mean certain death”.

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