When it comes to Disney princesses, actress Whitney Avalon was always more of a Belle.
"I'm a huge dork and I would genuinely walk down the hallways of my school or my neighborhood reading a book with my little round glasses and my awkward clothing," she told MTV News. "I very much identified with somebody who felt like she didn't fit in and would always rather have her nose stuck in a book. Plus, the songs in that one are beautiful."
However, Avalon's latest claim to fame is less about Belle's literary tendencies and belted out songs, and in fact rides on a different Disney princess altogether. In late September, Avalon posted a clip to YouTube entitled "DISNEY PRINCESS RAP BATTLE: SNOW WHITE VS. ELSA." The clip, showcasing Avalon as Snow White and Katja Glieson as Elsa from "Frozen," has racked up more than 7.5 million views, inspiring numerous cover performances and translations into other languages.
Yesterday, Avalon dropped a new installment, Princess Leia (technically a Disney princess since Disney's purchase of LucasFilm) and Galadriel, pasty elf queen of "Lord of the Rings." In an interview with MTV News, Avalon revealed that there would be a full season of the series, with at least six more episodes, dropping roughly once a month.
"There will definitely be some people's favorite [princesses], there will definitely be some from other canons and other movies and characters that people won't necessarily be expecting," she said. "I'm very fortunate because I'm making them, so I get dibs on my favorite characters. I don't want to give it away, but I will say there are some magical women that I've admired since childhood that I'm excited to play coming up."
Steve Gossett, who co-writes and co-produces the series, added that the episodes will be themed to the time of year, teasing the Christmasy feel of the next video.
"We can bring anybody to rap against anybody as long as they're a strong character," he said. "So whereas you might not actually be royalty at the North Pole, we know who runs s--t up there."
According to Avalon and Gossett, the series is about celebrating the strength and wit of strong female characters whose sass may have been shrouded under the gauzy layers of pretty animated dresses and delicate tiaras. For example, when asked to name a princess with a lot of rage to rap about, Avalon quickly names two whose stories theme around beauty, secrecy and confinement.
"Rapunzel, being stuck in a tower for however many years, that's a lot of time," she said. "Princess Fiona [from "Shrek"], similarly, they both spent a lot of time in a tower with who knows what to do. That's a lot of rage I think you could get pent up, spending 20 years in a tower with no wi-fi."
In the world of Disney princess rap battles, there aren't any bad rappers. Gossett tried to think of one, musing, "What, the princess and the pea? She doesn't have much of a story, she's just weak and can feel things through mattresses."
Avalon shoots back, "Who knows? Maybe she's so sensitive that she's an amazing rapper, who knows? In my mind, every character and every princess we bring in is going to be an amazing rapper. Maybe."
What's important to Avalon and Gossett -- apart from the ability to create well-produced videos that resonate with large audiences and have what sounds like plenty of fun in the process -- is empowering young women. Avalon spoke about the girls she had seen covering the Snow White vs. Elsa rap in videos.
"I just know they're probably dropping these insults if something goes down on the playground. I hope they're busting out one of these lines that's relevant, and just feeling strong," she said. "I'm very anti-violence, I'm very peaceful and loving in real life, but if it makes some girl somewhere feel like she can stand up for herself, as cheesy as that sounds, it makes me really happy."
Find more of Avalon's videos at her YouTube page.