Yeah, I’m going obscure again! Let’s talk about this film before we get to the character of choice!
Like we discussed in the last post, Disney had major competition with Don Bluth during the ’80s.
The fate of animation at the Disney Studios was being questioned and talk was arising suggesting that the animation department of Disney be shut down!
Disney would have to do something that would let the people and world know that Disney is still a powerhouse for animation! So, two things happen!
First, Disney partners with Robert Zemeckis and they make a half live-action/half animated film called “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. Released in 1988, this film is an instant success and renews the public’s love for animation, in general!
But, Disney still needs to show the world that the Disney Canon itself can be an instant success, and not just depend on live-action/animated hybrid films! This brings us to the year, 1989!
Don Bluth is still in the picture and both animation studios decide to release their respective animated films on THE SAME DAY AGAIN! Don Bluth’s contender is “All Dogs Go to Heaven” and Disney’s contender is…let’s call it “Project X” for now! Both films are released, both films are successful, but which is more successful? “Project X”!
Disney’s movie becomes the HIGHEST GROSSING ANIMATED FILM EVER, taking the title away from Don Bluth’s “The Land Before Time”! The public and critics fall in love with Disney’s film! Don Bluth is not seen as a competitor anymore! And this film starts the beginning of one of the best ages in Disney animation, often known as “The Disney Renaissance”!
The Disney Renaissance was a period of 10 years, from 1989 to 1999, where every animated Disney film released (except one) would be massive critical and commercial successes and bring Disney back to a golden era! So, what is this “Project X” film that starts this amazing age?
It’s “The Little Mermaid”!
“The Little Mermaid” returned Disney animation to the fairy tale formula, last seen in “Sleeping Beauty”. The film, about a teenage mermaid girl who falls in love with a human prince and makes a bargain with a sea witch to transform her into a human, is pretty well-known; so I won’t spend much time on the story.
And because this 28th film in the canon is so well-known, it implies that its characters are quite well-known as well! And like all famous animated Disney films, it was a struggle to come up with a forgotten/minor character for this film! I really only had 3 choices!
The first was Harold, the seahorse!
He is pretty much King Triton’s royal announcer and doesn’t appear much in the film! The reason that I didn’t choose him was because although he doesn’t appear much; he appears in three scenes! And if a character is in three scenes, no matter how brief they may be; it means that the character can not be forgotten or minor! So, away with Harold!
The second choice was the royal…clothes-washers!
They wash and hang up dirty laundry from the kingdom (both literally and figuratively). And…that’s pretty much all I could have said about them, so they were struck off as well!
The third choice was the one I chose today, the Princess of Glowerhaven!
Well, it’s a she actually! Yeah, I know this seems similar to my “The Sword in the Stone” and “The Jungle Book” posts! She is an unseen character and is only mentioned once! Prince Eric mentions in the beginning of the movie that this particular princess was brought to him to be considered for marriage, and he didn’t fall for her!
Ok, now since she’s not a seen character, we have a free license to imagine what she’s like. In my imagination, I see her as incredibly hurt by being rejected by Prince Eric. So now, imagine what this princess must be thinking when she hears that Prince Eric is marrying SOME OTHER PRINCESS…WHO’S NOT EVEN A HUMAN BEING!
In the end, I always tend to feel more sympathetic towards the spurned loves in romantic tales, and this is no exception! So, we honor the Princess of Glowerhaven with the royal award of being the forgotten/minor character for this film!