Every Disney character embarks on a journey of personal discovery and change. None are the same at the end of their movie. Usually the character is stronger and better for the effort, and we cheer when we see the ‘New Them’!
But do we always see them in their new and improved versions? Here is a list of my Top 5 Disney characters that we stubbornly insist on seeing as they started, not as they finished:
N U M B E R F I V E
Rapunzel went through quite a change in the course of her movie. From a shy, dominated shut-in to an independent go-getter with a frying pan! She chose to follow her dream and found true love by helping to redeem a lost soul. Not bad in just under 2 hours of screen time!
The most visible change was the cutting of her hair at the end of her movie, which robbed her of her healing powers (mostly) and her trademark long golden locks. But we refuse to see her as a short-haired brunette and so she is forever stuck in our minds and hearts as a blonde with mile-long strands of hair.
N U M B E R F O U R
Ariel is another Princess who had a lot to learn before she matured. Making the journey from an irresponsible daughter to a strong bridge between two worlds wasn’t easy, but Ariel made the journey one step at a time. And that brings us to our premise.
Ariel starts off as a mermaid, complete with tail and land-based mobility issues. But thanks to some undersea magic, she switches to legs and… what are those things called again? Oh yeah: feet! Ariel is lower on this list because we do see her in both configurations.
But with a nickname like The Little Mermaid, I think it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of us still see her with a tail, even though she walked into her happily ever after on two strong legs.
N U M B E R T H R E E
For the majority of his time in the movie Beauty and the Beast, the Beast was, well… a beast, not a man. It wasn’t until he won the love of Belle in the last few minutes of screen time that he became the human prince of Belle’s dreams.
But we definitely see him as he was, not as what he became. And after all, if we didn’t, we’d have to change the title of the movie to Beauty and the Prince, which we all can agree just wouldn’t be the same!
N U M B E R T W O
The Prince of the Forest made quite a transformation in his movie, actually growing up into a majestic stag before our very eyes by the end credits. But just like overly possessive parents, we still think of Bambi as our little baby!
Bambi is high on this list, although not Number One, because he made one of the most drastic transformations, but we still refuse to acknowledge it.
N U M B E R O N E
So who went through more changes than our Number One Disney character stuck in time? Pinocchio started off as just a piece of wood carved to resemble a little boy. Then, this marionette came to life, walking and talking and getting into all sorts of mischief. But this wasn’t the end of little Pinocchio’s journey!
By the end of the film, Pinocchio achieves his fondest wish: To become a real boy. The Blue Fairy deems the puppet worthy because of his selfless act to save his ‘father’, Geppetto. Now that’s a change, not only worthy of cheering, but remembering!
But poor Pinocchio! He is doomed to live out his time in our memories as an animated piece of wood, and not the real boy he worked so hard to become.
disH O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N
Yzma spends most of her screen time in The Emperor’s New Groove as a very old woman who most describe as ‘scary beyond belief’ before becoming a cute little white kitten. A cute little white kitten with homicidal tendencies, but a cute little white kitten nonetheless.
However, despite transforming into a completely different life-form, we still remember her as that scary-beyond-belief woman of our nightmares. Doesn’t seem fair somehow…
So did I miss any Disney characters that you feel are stuck in time? If so, fill us all in by leaving a comment below!