Princessless Pitch: The Pitch

In honor of National Princess Day, I’m crafting a pitch for a demo that doesn’t have their own princess (or several). The explainer post is over yonder:

As a caveat, the lead is trans, but at the start of our story is still in the process of sorting themselves out, and at least still publicly identifying as he/him. While we, and somewhere deep down, the character, know better, it’s a tightrope, because I don’t want to, however inadvertently, misgender Taylor, so I have mostly been sticking with referring to the character strictly by name. This is still a first draft (might be second, by the time I post), but that’s the idea. Apologies, as well, for the shifting tense; for some reason my head really wanted it present, even while I fought to put it in past. Not sure why that was such a pain on this one.  

Princessless: The Pitch

Typical Disney animation opening, styled kind of like the stained glass intro to Beauty and the Beast, showing a magical fairy land, castles, all in hypersaturated, candy colors. “I’ve always been a fairy princess,” cut to the present day, where a shy, dorky, everybody knows they’re trans before they do kid wearing more pink that you’d typically expect of someone at least technically presenting as male, named Taylor, is fumbling awkwardly with their locker as a tide of students flows in and out around them, “just uh, not like you’d think.” Someone bumps them, and it’s unclear if it was intentional, but someone tells them to “Keep it moving, princess.” 

Taylor continues to narrate, as we see the same dorky kid’s eyes light up. The world falls away, as we zoom in as whatever they’d been feeling a moment before disappears. “Large swaths of my life were basically a fairytale.” We reverse, and see the handsome boy who caught Taylor’s eye, named Fenix, who is wearing a letterman’s jacket and is effortlessly cool as he walks towards Taylor. They kiss, and Fenix leads Taylor outside. I’m thinking Fenix should be Asian. “I found my charming prince, and he is every bit as gallant as I could hope.” Fenix opens a car door for Taylor. “Sure we can’t give you a ride somewhere?” 

“Can’t,” he says with a shrug. “Got practice.”

“Yep. I know. All those feet aren’t going to ball themselves.”

Fenix kisses Taylor goodbye. “I love how weird you are.” 

“I… I love you, too,” Taylor blurts out. We watch Fenix walk away, before the car starts to roll. 

“So,” Taylor’s dad said, Finnegan, buzzing a little bit from the driver’s seat, “first time you’ve said that?” Taylor’s dad is a big, burly man’s man, all flannel and beard, with very kind, twinkling eyes. Think a Santa origin where he’s a lumbersexual living in Portland, and I realize I’ve just accidentally cast Nick Offerman in the roll, and you should definitely offer it to him, man.

“First time for either of us,” Taylor buzzes back.

“I remember the first time I said it to your mother, just over there,” he points to a tree that they pass on the school grounds. He pauses at a stop sign, as a tear rolls down his cheek, his hand hesitating on the gearshift for a moment, until Taylor places a hand over his. 

“I miss mom, too,” Taylor says, and they hug over the gearshift. We cut to outside the car, as we see them hug through the rear windshield, as the car starts to roll. “Rolling rolling rolling,” Taylor says, before the break lights come on. 


We cut a little further into their drive. 

“Dad, there’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about.”

“Me, too. Did I ever tell you your mom wanted a daughter? I was nervous. I didn’t know how well my job was going to pay, but she told me she wanted a daughter, and it didn’t matter if it took a hundred tries, she meant to have one. Um, sorry, son; she loved you more than breathing. I’m not saying you weren’t what she wanted, at all.”

“No, I, I get it, dad,” Taylor says.

Finnegan knows he screwed up, but doesn’t know how to set it right. “You talk to your friends?”

“Their parents said so long as you’re supervising, and making sure we don’t get into any ‘monkeyshines’ they could stay the night.”

“Nope. No monkeyshines. And we’re picking up Zene on the way home?”

“Yeah, she’s all packed up. She should be ready.” 

We cut to later, Zene leading the way into Taylor’s room. I want Zene to spend part of the story in a wheelchair, but also be ambulatory. There’s plenty of people who use mobility aids part time, who might be able to get around short distances, but for longer ones need a walker or chair. Zene is from Africa (not just of African descent- since I am considering being from Africa as a separate demographic we’re trying to hit), born in Congo, raised by Muslim parents (not sure all of these will be salient story details, but they’re part of her). 

“You tell him?” Taylor doesn’t even get a chance to answer before she adds, “Chicken.”

“I’m not even sure which him you’re referring to,” Taylor responds.

“You tell either of them? Or are you a double-chicken?” 

“Like a chick-chicken?” They laugh for a moment, before Zene puts a hand on Taylor’s shoulder.

“You can’t cute your way out of this. You’ve got to be brave, and trust that they’ll be happy to know you better.”

“And if they aren’t?”

“They will be. They love you.”

“And if they don’t?” 

“Then I’ll just love you three times as much,” Zene says, and wraps her arms around Taylor. 

We’ll have a quick meal, then they pick up Fenix and go camping. Finnegan gets them all squared away. He and Taylor share a tent, the other two kids get their own separately. Finnegan gets a fire lit, and stands up, with a rumpled piece of paper. 

“Darra brought me here the first time we left town. It became our spot-” the kids all share some kind of unique ick face, “not like that. Just, we’d come here, and talk, and just listen. It didn’t surprise me that she wanted her ashes spread here. But she also asked that we come again, tonight. She never told me why, but she made me swear it, and put it in her will, too, that I bring our kids along. Bringing the two of you along was Taylor’s fare. But your mother asked me to say a Hebrew blessing. Always a sweet woman, she spelled it out for me phonetically, though the font leaves something to be desired.” He put on a pair of round spectacles. 

He still struggled, ultimately having Taylor read it, who finished by noting, “that doesn’t sound like Hebrew.” It isn’t. We watch as a spark from the fire leaps off, rising into the air, before opening a portal in the air, one that sucks them all in. 

They come to, moments later, on the floor of a cave. There’s a strange, ornate door carved into the rocks, that is not so subtly glowing white. A flying faery, about the size of a baby, buzzes about the room. Their name is Kailea. “You’re late,” they said, crossing their arms sternly. “Your mother could have brought you over any time the last year, but you waited for the last possible-” they pause, and soften, “the princess isn’t with you. My condolences. She was last here before my time, but, my father said she was… kind.”

“She was,” Finnegan said.

“But we haven’t time. The door becomes more porous with every moment. Princess, you must repeat after me.” Taylor exchanges a look with Finnegan, who shrugs. Taylor follows them in a recitation of a spell, sounding similar to the one that landed them there. 

This time, Taylor said, “There were definitely some Hebrew words in that.” 

“Somethings wrong,” Kailea said. They fly to bar the door, even as it cracks open. I have an interesting thought about the design of the villains: they are pure whiteness, think the inversion of the Nazghul as shadows from Lord of the Rings. When they slash, they tear the structure and color out of the world, replacing it with blank white (which they are also, themselves). One of them, looking like a stocky man in a hood with long talons shoves his way through the door right before Kailea manages to secure it. Finnegan pushes the children behind him, and picks up stick and swings it. The creature takes notice, and swipes at him, knocking all of them over and causing Finnegan’s knee to pop as they all fall in a pile. Suddenly, we hear Taylor whisper an incantation from offscreen, and the white creature turns his attention that direction, before popping like a bubble as he lunges. Kailea is flitting beside Taylor, then  flies back to the door, rereading the instructions carved into it. 

“Ah, I see,” Kailea said. “You’re going to have to quest, I’m afraid. The door’s instructions are quite explicit. Taylor is of the correct royal bloodline, but in this state, hardly a princess. But I know a practitioner who can help. It’s a journey, and one that must be undertaken with all haste. The machak were already able to leak into our world; and after that, I don’t think the door is truly barred anymore. But a word of warning.” Kailea flits to Finnegan; Zene and Fenix are using clothes from their bags and the stick to build a support for his leg. “Let the oaf’s lesson be your own: this is not your quest. This Kingdom is a land of fable and story. Princess Taylor is a part of and at least somewhat protected by that story; so long as you serve Taylor’s quest, you are, too. But step beyond your role, and you will be hurt, or worse.”

“I don’t think he liked being called an oaf,” Fenix remarks.

Kailea flits into his face. “Do not push me, oafling.” 

I think there’s a brief, whispered discussion, Fenix wants to go, Finnegan determined to leave him and Zene behind. Taylor interrupts, and tells them they’re staying together, that there’s some protection to being in a group. Kailea makes it clear that Taylor’s proclamation carries magical weight- that going against the decree could have dire consequences. Finnegan relents; he’s not trying to be controlling, he’s just trying to be an adult in a situation that is way beyond normal parenting. 

As they leave, Fenix asked if they’re off to see a wizard, should they follow a yellow brick road. No one bites, and he adds that he couldn’t have been the only one thinking it. Kailea accompanies them, and they travel until it’s dark, and they make camp. There’s some cute fish out of water things happening between Kailea and Finnegan, as the faery is fascinated by all of the modern camping gear that was sucked through the portal with them. Later, as Kailea is mooning over smores, Zene asked what their roles are, that they aren’t supposed to deviate from.

“Whatever Taylor needs. Protectors. Distractions. Decoys.” Zene’s a little freaked out by the description. 

“And what are the machak?” Fenix asked. 

“They want to live in a world without us. They want to erase us, and replace this with a world we never knew. Millenia ago our magic was enough to seal them away, in their own dimension, one where they could create without us. It could have been anything they wanted. But the point was never wanting a blank canvas for them; they wanted us gone. They’ve been trying to break free every since.”

A wolf howled in the distance, making most of them start. Fenix languidly poked at the fire. “Almost makes it feel normal,” he said, “that you’ve got wolves here.”

Kailea is overserious, “We do not have wolves here.”  

We intercut, as the horror spreads throughout their faces, with images of pure white wolves, almost glowing due to their lack of darkness or shadow, running through the forest towards them. 

Taylor asks if there’s any way they can cement their roles? Kailea explains that he knows enough spells to work the seals, and start a princess off on a quest where one’s needed, and they’re butting up against the edge of their knowledge. “But magic is about intention– giving shape and purpose to the formless through will.” Taylor tells Kailea to show them, and asks Zene if she’s kept up with her bowmanship. 

Zene gives a flip reply, “That’s like asking him if he’s stopped trying to get concussions.”

“Hey,” Fenix said, “I don’t have to try.” Him playing along doesn’t endear her any more to him. A bow appears in her lap, with a quiver slung across the back of her chair. She notches an arrow and lets fly, striking the first wolf, even as rogueish cloaks weave out of the air around her. The arrow seems to pierce through the wolf, pulling color back inside the wolf as it pops. She fires another arrow, and we cut back to Taylor and Kailea, chanting. Kailea leads, asking what Finnegan’s role is. “My knight protector,” the magic works faster this time, and Finnegan manages to bash a wolf back with a shield, even as his plate armor assembles around him. Kailea asks about Fenix, and Taylor said, “My prince.” 

Fenix is a little perturbed by the slightly courtly clothing that appears for him. “Feels a bit poncey.” Finnegan gives him a quizzical look. “What? I can say that.” At least, he feels that way until the a rapier appears on his belt, and he draws it. “Withdrawn.” He runs through a wolf as it lunges at him. Finnegan lunges past him, wielding a big axe, cleaving one of the wolves in half. “That the last of them?” Fenix asked. 

We hear a yelp, and turn, back towards Kailea. There’s a strange person in robes standing where Taylor had been, cloaked in shadow, holding a wizard’s staff that’s most of the way to a scepter, and had been slammed through the final wolf, as color seeps into its white body. We might not be able to get to the magical transformation any quicker, but this will let us get partway there; Taylor becomes a wizard, but it’s also kind of a midway point between wizard and princess, so the robes look like a dress with a hood, the staff looks more like a scepter, and the way the hood lays it looks like long hair and a crown.

Taylor tells them to break camp; the machak know where they are, and they likely aren’t sleeping again while it’s dark, anyway. They can rest at dawn, some distance from there. 

We do an establishing shot, to show they’ve stopped on the edge of tended fields, with better sight lights and vantages to watch for danger from. Later, they take turns at watch, Finnegan first. Fenix has to lean on him hard to get him to rest when his turn is up. “You’re the knight protector. You’ve got to be fresh tomorrow, because your role is keeping Taylor safe. And I think that’s both of our priorities.”

“And you’re not concerned about being a fresh prince?” Finnegan asked.

“I’m sure that’s a reference to something from before I was born, but I’m not screwing around. You’re Taylor’s shield. We all need you strong enough to lift it come the morning. I’m a prince. I think I just need to be able to kiss Taylor if there’s a sleeping spell or something.” 

“And star in Purple Rain,” Finnegan added. 

“Again, your cultural touchstones are as esoteric to me as Kailea’s.”

“You’re busting my chops to get me to go to bed.”

Not sure if it’s better to have Fenix whistle, hum or sing the chorus to “Electric Chair” by Prince, but it would definitely include the line, “Oh, if a man is considered guilty…”

We cut ahead, to Fenix getting sleepy. Zene takes over. “I figured if I let Taylor take watch after you, the both of you would stay up the whole time.”

“Probably smart,” Fenix said. 

“You remember our pact?”

“Think it might qualify more as a threat, but you said if I ever hurt Taylor, you’d cut my eyes out.”

“That’s the pact. But I’ve got a bow, now. So I think I’m amending it to shoot.” 

“I appreciate the forewarning. But you know if it’s in my power, I’d never let anything hurt Taylor- myself included.”

“I think people surprise you. So far, you’ve surprised both of us in good ways. You’re not the dumb, callous jock I took you for.”

“Am I blushing?”

“My point was, sometimes people surprise you, and when they do, sometimes you’ll surprise yourself with your reaction. Taylor deserves you- the best you. So long as you can be that, you and I are Kosher.”

“I agree. Taylor does. That’s why I’m choosing to see all of this as the misguided but sweet gesture I think you intend. I’ll get some rest, so I can be the best me tomorrow I can.”

The next day they embark. We probably do a montage of some typical fantasy problem solving, hopping across rocks in a bleak, bubbling swamp, that kind of thing. 

They arrive at a somewhat sinister looking cottage. The garden is twisted and grotesque, but still natural; the plants just grow in slightly menacing shapes and proportions.  

They open the door, and we see a plump, older witch in clothing that feels split somewhere between old world pagan and practical medieval. She’s a little intimidating as she runs about the room, casting frantically, oblivious to her guests’ arrival. 

“Grandma Hara?” Taylor asked, confused. Hara stops, dropping a vial that lets a skull-shaped purple plume loose. Finnegan steps forward, in part protectively, but also because he and Hara always had a good, supportive relationship. 

“You always had her eyes,” Finnegan said.

“And you always had her heart,” Hara said, and they embraced. 

“I miss her,” he said.

“Me, too.” Hara released him, and turned to Taylor. “And you, my dear, have shot up like a weed. And I see you’ve brought the guide. This is not, I gather, a social call.”

“The incantation failed,” Taylor said. 

“Of course,” Hara said, “it was looking for a princess. I knew there would be a problem; old spells weren’t woven with the same flexibility we come to take for granted… they’re like legalese, overly literal. I have just the spell prepared; I meant to meet you at the seal, but I lost track of time. Or perhaps I didn’t want to think about doing this without your mother. Everyone, I need a moment with Taylor. You’ll be safe outside, in the garden. Take what you like, but eat all you take; the garden is very particular about waste.”

Hara explains that intention is key in this spell. If Taylor is doing this to save those around them, to protect the kingdom from the machak, that’s enough. But it has to be what Taylor wants; in kind, the spell should be entirely reversible, provided, again, that’s what Taylor wants. Taylor asks for a moment, and walks in the garden with Fenix. Taylor is struggling, wanting to tell him everything, but also caught up in so much uncertainty and anxiety. Fenix turns to Taylor, and they kiss. “I just wanted to say how cool you’ve been,” Fenix said. “I have spent a lot of moments just quietly freaking out, and all of that without everything riding on my shoulders. And I’m not saying you can’t be freaking out internally, too, but you got us this far, you kept your head, and the reason I’m only freaking out on the inside is that I feel like you’re going to get us the rest of the way through, too. And it’s pretty damn cool that I’m going to be able to say my boyfriend saved the world.”

“I,” Taylor hesitated, “I think things are about to get weird, and before they did, I just needed a moment of normal, first.” Fenix rests his head on Taylor’s shoulder. 

We cut to Taylor returning to Hara’s spell room. Hara guides Taylor through- this magic is deep enough, invasive enough, that it’s dangerous to work it on someone else- that’s why Taylor’s intention was so important. Taylor’s peach/cream colored robes turn pink/purple, her hood becomes long hair with a crown atop it. Taylor admits she feels funny. Hara strokes her hair, and tells her she looks beautiful, but then, she always did. Then Hara begins to pack. Taylor asks what’s going on. Hara tells her that the rest of their journey could be quite perilous, and there are many unknowns approaching- and Hara would prefer to help her granddaughter see it through. I think, with the grandmother, at least, she immediately latches on to the idea that this is the real Taylor, who Taylor was always meant to be, that she sees what only Zene has been told to this point. It’s subtle, but it also acts as a clue for Finnegan and Fenix, who stop using male pronouns or anything of the sort (Fenix won’t call her his boyfriend anymore).

If we needed the extra action scene for length (or just because it’s fun), we can have Finnegan having picked one too many pomegranates, his eyes being just a little too big for his stomach. The garden attacks, and we get a big fight scene, as the three try to fight plants to no real effect. Hara comes out, and tries to tell the garden to behave. It doesn’t respond, so, reluctantly, she starts working on a fire spell to burn the garden out and replant. She’s about halfway through the spell when the garden stops, and we see Taylor finishing off the last of the pomegranate. Hara is thankful; she’s had to burn the garden down before because someone stepped on a tomato and couldn’t eat the whole thing, no matter how much mud they swallowed. 

Taylor’s mouth is still full of pomegranate seeds when she tells Finnegan, “These were always mom’s favorite.” 

“No,” he says, and tousled her hair, “you were. But they were a close second.” 

“How’s the dress fit?” Zene asked, circling her in her chair. 

“Like a glove. Like it was made for me.”

“Magical tailoring, dear,” Hara said, “it was made for you.” 

Fenix is really amused; it makes Taylor self-consciously ask what he’s smiling about. “For the first time since you put me in tights, I feel like someone else is sharing that pain. M’lady,” he says, and offers her his elbow. 

“M’lord,” Taylor responds, with a shallow, and awkward, curtsy, before threading her arm through his.

They camp partway to the door, again taking turns on watch. Despite the watch, they’re awoken by the earth shaking. It’s a stampede, white beasts of many different sizes and shapes, some bull, some buffalo, elk, moose. Fenix and Finnegan get the women up into the tree, where they can be relatively safe while carving a swath through the herding menagerie with arrows and magic, while they defend the tree’s base. This takes enough time they’ll have to stop once again the next night before they arrive. 

By now, Finnegan and Fenix are having some fun talking. The conversation turns to all of them being ready for things to go back to normal, and them assuming that Taylor most of all must want things to go back to normal; it’s playful, and what under other circumstances would be harmless banter, mostly about missing indoor plumbing and not having layer upon layer of uncomfortable clothes, or Finnegan discovering a whole new level of chafing possible under plate mail. 

But in this circumstance, this hits too close to home for Taylor. She looks frantically to Zene, whose heart is so full for her friend but knows this is not the right time or the right way to do this- but also that there’s no way to tell Taylor that won’t let the cat out of the bag, anyway. And Taylor just bursts. “I’m really not in any hurry to go back to normal,” she said. Then quieter, deflated, “Maybe this is normal for me,” before storming away. 

Finnegan and Fenix both stand at the same time, and their eyes meet. 

“Do I need to protect her?” Finnegan asked, and his hand went unconsciously to his shield. 

“Never from me,” Fenix said. He takes out his sword and hands it to Finnegan as a gesture of good faith, before running after Taylor.

She’s sitting at the edge of a slowly moving creek, looking down at her reflection. “Hey,” Fenix said.

“Hey,” she replied. She paused, trailing her hand delicately across the water. “So this is the part where you leave.” 

“Dude,” he said somberly, “bi.” Which she hears as, “Bye,” and for a moment her heart starts to break, just a little, but she tries to put on a brave face, anyway, because she’s a rock star, and because she loves him enough to let him go if that’s what he needs. “As in I am,” he clarified, “and as in I am completely, hopelessly in love with you, and thrilled that you can live as a more authentic you.” She falls into his arms. “If that means you, a princess in a dress, which you wear the hell out of, or you, as my prince, in a pair of matching tights. You are the only part that isn’t negotiable.”

They hear the snap of a twig. Finnegan followed, at some distance. “Sorry,” he said, “ I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“It’s okay,” Fenix said, “I’m not going anywhere. But I will give you two a moment.” As he’s leaving, he said, “Be gentle with her,” to Finnegan.

“I’ll try,” he said. “Your mother always wanted a girl,” Finnegan started. “I did, too. All that stuff that’s supposed to scare fathers, all the things I won’t know to share with them… I looked forward to learning. And we both loved you, as much as we’d have loved a daughter. We loved having a family. We loved starting it with you. And I feel like a fool that I didn’t see it, that I didn’t see you… but I do now, and I want you to know I love you even more the more of you I know.” She grabs onto him. “I know there’s a lot more to say, and in time, I hope you’ll feel supported enough to be able to say it. But for tonight, for now, you should come back to the fire.”

“One minute,” she said. “I’ll be right behind you.” Finnegan starts back, and she goes back to the creek, looking at her reflection. This is a big moment, her finally, truly, being and accepting herself as she is. She smiles at herself, before heading back to the others.      

The next morning, while taking the last watch, Hara uses an enchanted bird to recon ahead. It’s this way that she discovered that a large army of machak have surrounded the door. When she shares this information, Taylor instructs Kailea to rouse the other faeries, that they might have to fight. Hara’s bird finds something else- the door will not hold- they cannot wait for reinforcements, and have to go, now

Hara conjuries some impressive magic that provides a distraction for them to slip towards the door. Taylor’s defenders guard the door from outside the cave it’s in, while they prepare the spell. Taylor expresses hurt that she wasn’t able to renew the seal earlier because she wasn’t ‘really’ a girl before. As they’re preparing for the ritual, her grandmother takes a moment, and locates a single word on the inscription, the word for princess. She explains that the guide is too young to understand: the word he translated has often, colloquially, been translated in their tongue as ‘princess,’ but it has an older meaning, and a deeper one, “to be true, as oneself.”

Taylor asks then, why her grandmother couldn’t fix the seal herself. Hara explains, “I spent time as the Queen Mother before abdicating, preferring the quiet of my remote magic to rule. I never attempted it, because I was no longer a princess, nor even a queen. But even now, I suspect the instructions captured a dual meaning: authenticity, yes, but also the need for youth. Because as you grow, you compromise, giving little pieces of yourself away, until you’re left hiding away who you truly are from all that you’ve lost.”

Intercut with this is a great battle, Taylor’s friends and father doing what they can to safeguard the door, only to be nearly overrun, rescued eventually by the armies of the fae; they do not turn back the tide, but buy time. Personally, I’d throw in a dragon, one that Fenix and Finnegan board with a rope arrow from Zene, that they fight together. 

Ultimately, it is Hara and Taylor who manage to renew the seal, tearing all of the machak back into their white void.

They celebrate with the faeries, in a big feast. Taylor asks Hara why her- why did they need women from their bloodline. Hara tells her this old magic required very specific intention, the care of a woman who loved that world but was not of it, whose connection to her home allowed her to tap into a still larger repository of strength. She posits it might have been a safeguard, to ensure that the spell could not be used in anger, could not be used to oppress, but only to protect. Or perhaps it was all a mistake, their entire family bearing generational burdens for the mistake of one of their elders. She says their family have been coming here for a long time- long enough that elements of Hebrew made it into this culture’s magic.

We cut back to the same, crowded school hallway from the beginning (this will all echo the beginning). Taylor, in more modern attire, collects her books from her locker. The same person who knocked into Taylor in the beginning is about to do it again, only this time Fenix shoulder-checks them into the wall of lockers. He turns to the bruiser’s friend and says, “Keep it moving.” Then Fenix turned to Taylor, and offered his arm. “M’lady?”

“M’lord,” she said, and threaded her arm through his. He walked her out to her father’s car. Inside, we could see Hara in the front seat, and Zene waiting in the back. Taylor slipped into the back, and it started to rain, and Fenix shrugged and got in next to her. Taylor narrates, as she exchanges smiles and looks with her friends and family. “I was always a faery princess. It took me a while to understand that, and share it with all those I love.”

And we roll credits.

Princessless Pitch: The Intro

Tomorrow, 11/18, is National Princess Day, and so I’m embarking upon a Princessless Pitch.

No, it’s nothing to do with the comic book of the same name (haven’t read it, sorry). This is me trying to think up pitches for stories for Disney Princesses for demographics that have typically been left out of the usual Disney Princess game. Sure, with the Fox and Lucasfilm acquisitions, Disney Princesses now cover Alderanians and also Xenomorphs, but there are still a surprising amount of people left out. So first things first, I did some quick number crunching of people in the world without a princess, and what percent of global populations they made up. These numbers come from all over the damned place, and nothing about this process is likely to be all that scientific, anyway. I imagine next year I’ll put up a poll, asking people what they’d like to see, and if I missed anyone (which is the opposite of my intent).   

Islam 20.51%

Indian 17.5%

African 17.21%

Disabled 15%

Hindu 14.23%

Gay 10%

Latino 8.42%

Middle/South American Native 5.32%

Jewish 1.88%

Trans .355%

First things first, this isn’t purely about numbers; obviously the relative power/oppression factors into who gets priority- not to mention me needing to figure out a good idea to go along with it- which will likely include culture-specific research.

For reasons that frankly irk me, this holiday takes place smack dab in the middle of November, during NaNo and in the middle of my apparently annual Pitchgiving/Pitchmas cluster. Apparently this is just contentmageddon, and if you want to see a man do an entire year’s worth of writing over the course of a month or so, just waiting for the inevitable meltdown, well, I suppose you can do that. I’ll resume regular NaNo posting on Monday. 

As far as tomorrow, I’ll be posting the pitch itself… once I finish writing the blasted thing. But first I’ll do a quick run-down of the demographics the pitch is hopefully going to cover, here; and a note, that I’m only counting the demos of the princess herself, even if I hope the casts will be more representative overall. We’re not going to get this done in one movie- this is a project of years.

1. Trans

Like I said, this isn’t strictly a numbers thing. But what we have seen is a systemic, years-long crusade against trans rights, and even trans personhood, one that is steady in the US and seems to be accelerating in the UK. The most important idea behind this project is power to the powerless- at least in the area of demography. If I had more clout in other realms, I’d exercise it there, too- and I do think representation matters, both to the represented and to those who learn about the personhood of others through representation- which is why the forces of bigotry resist representation so strongly. Plus, it’s Transgender Awareness Week.

2. Jewish

The entire reason I’m breaking out these demographics is because of the asterisk involved with this one. The main character is Jewish. But, you might argue, with the addition of Princess Leia into the Disney family, isn’t she Jewish, too? Carrie Fischer definitely identified as Jewish later in life, so the actress certainly was. But we’re going by the stricter definition, here, that the character themselves needs to fill the demographic. This is the same reason that, while Princess Jasmine could be Muslim, she is never explicitly shown saying or doing anything that would make it clear this was the case, so she could also be from a pre-Islamic portion of the Ottoman Empire, or given the story’s traditions spanning from the Middle East to India, Hindu, some other faith, or even areligious. Note: I’m not telling Jewish girls they can’t consider Leia their princess, or anyone they can’t consider Jasmine to be theirs; what I am stating is that I don’t want a debate, I want everyone to have a princess of their own, one that no one can try to take away from them.

3. Queer/Gay

I would argue that the central romance is a queer one, and at least for portions, a gay one, as well. Given the ultimate outcome, it’s certainly possible to not see it as an authentically gay narrative, so I won’t, for my own tally, consider the box marked off, but it’s certainly in the mix, all the same.