ABOUT THE EPISODE
Disney princesses aren’t what they used to be. Instead of waiting around for a prince to come and rescue them, modern heroines are kick-ass role models in charge of their own destiny. But will it be a feminist, a fighter or a traditional favourite who wins when we ask: “Who’s the Best Disney Princess?” Joining host Sandro Monetti in this episode are two people who know what it takes to be a movie princess: Diane Franklin and Kimberley Kates, best known as the “historical babes” in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Joining the debate is actress and singer Leah Allers, whose father Roger co-directed The Lion King and co-wrote Aladdin – and real-life royal, Princess Karen Cantrell. Who gets your vote?
BILL AND TED’S BOGUS SNUB
by Sandro Monetti, host, Who’s the Best Podcast
Don’t mess with a princess!
One of the most fascinating stories to emerge from this latest episode of ‘Who’s the Best’ was the reaction of the princesses from the original Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure movie to the news that they will not be appearing in the new film.
While Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are reprising the title roles in ‘Bill and Ted 3: Face the Music’ next year, their princess sweethearts have been replaced by younger actresses. Talented and beautiful duo Diane Franklin and Kimberley Kates did not hold back when I asked them about the snub.
“I think it was a mistake,” said Diane. “There are a lot of fans out there who would have loved to have seen us come back. In my opinion, I have to say it’s agist – and most sexist.”
Kimberley agreed, adding that the casting change made by the makers of this sequel was against the spirit of the original movie, released 30 years ago.
“As a producer, I know you can make whatever changes you want in a creative endeavor. The first movie had a lot of heart and the lovely message from that film was ‘be excellent to each other’. How they have treated Diane and I is the antithesis of that; it’s hypocritical.”
And the princesses then revealed a right royal response to the news with the announcement that they are developing their own movie. They are working with top comedy writers to continue the story of their characters, in a story that Kimberley called ‘a more excellent adventure’.
Diane and Kimberley took a leaf out of Disney’s book by showing modern princesses as independent, confident, capable women who don’t wait for princes to come and rescue them, but instead take charge of situations. I for one am so excited to see it!
As I mentioned at the start of the podcast, Disney is now working from strict guidelines to ensure all the princesses in their films follow a set of modern principles a world apart from the more subservient likes of Sleeping Beauty and other early Disney animated heroines. Just look at ‘Frozen 2’ or the recent remake of Aladdin and you’ll see the progress.
Fellow guest Leah Allers, an actress and singer whose father directed The Lion King movie 25 years ago, welcomes the changes – but hopes they don’t go too far.
“I think it’s good and needed at this time, but I hope we don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater,” she said. “For me, there’s a lot of power in femininity, but women don’t need to be more like men to be empowered. I think we’re forgetting actual female empowerment is the beauty of femininity and the power that’s in that.”
That said, who will the survey of Disney fans find is the best Disney princess? A traditional one or a more modern character? Listen to ‘Who’s the Best’ find out!