Have too many animated fairytale films about imprisoned princesses, distressed damsels, and heartsick mermaids left you feeling disgruntled? Are you tired of whimsical singing animals, happy endings, and love that conquers all? Have you had it up to here with doe-eyed, wasp-waisted women starring in tame, toothless, bowdlerized versions of stories that should have been wildly exciting?
Then Jason Porath’s Rejected Princesses are the fairytale heroines you’ve been waiting for.
Porath, a former effects animator from Dreamworks, has turned his artistic talents to some of history’s more interesting women, in a new illustrated series called Rejected Princesses. Each installment depicts a famous historical or mythical woman in the guise of a classic Disney princess, with a focus exclusively on ladies who are “too awesome, offbeat, or awful” to ever merit their own major motion picture or line of brightly-colored tie-in merchandise.
Which is understandable, at least in certain cases (we’re looking at you, Lolita.) But we would also totally watch a movie about Rejected Princesses like…
The saintly princesses of the fairytale canon have nothing on the fictional Penta, who chopped off her own hands in order to make her brother, the King, stop lusting after her. (We’re guessing he must have had a manicure fetish.) It worked, in that instead of marrying his sister, the King opted to try and murder her — kicking off a long, weird tale of woe that would make for a helluva movie.
A Sikh warrior and the sole survivor of the 1705 Mughal massacre and attempted assassination of the Sikh Guru, Mai Bhago blows Mulan out of the water in terms of pure bad-assery.
The evil queen from Snow White could have had a real-life historical predecessor in Fredegund, a 6th century Merovingian queen with a penchant for murdering anyone and everyone who got in her way. (Notice that she’s wearing the same color palette as The Joker? That’s not an accident.) Forget Maleficent; if Hollywood wants to give a bad girl her big break, this lunatic royal is ripe for the taking.