It’s hard to figure out why some characters from Disney films are official Disney Princesses, and why other characters have been left out from the group. It’s a designation that is more important for marketing and licensing than anything else, but there is a good amount of cultural weight that comes from being an officially ordained Disney Princess.
Which is why Disney’s inability to instantly welcome the Xenomorph Queen into their ranks the moment the merger was announced is is such ridiculous bullshit.
The rules are against her
The Disney Wiki lists four official-ish rules for who gets to be a Disney Princess:
- The character must be human, or human-like in the case of Ariel and formerly Tinker Bell.
- The character must have a primary role in an animated Disney/Pixar film.
- The character must not have been introduced in a sequel.
- The character must have either been born royal, married royal, or have performed an act of heroism.
This won’t be an easy sell. The Alien Queen is certainly not a human, although she does have certain human-like characteristics. She’s bipedal in certain scenes, and can communicate with the drones around her.
She has never been in an animated Disney or Pixar film, sure, but someone laid those eggs in the first Alien film. You can’t argue the Alien Queen was introduced in a sequel, even if that’s the first time we get to see her with our own two eyes.
As for the fourth requirement? She is born a queen. She doesn’t need to get married for her title, and she spends a number of films protecting her children. Those are acts of heroism.
Jon Negroni, author of the Pixar Theory, pointed out that Moana’s Maui himself argued against any kind of enforceable rules when it comes to being a princess. If you have a dress and are friends with an animal? You’re a princess.
“Moving forward, I like to think that this line by Maui was allowed in the movie because they’re acknowledging how limiting it is to hold back the Disney Princess inclusivity for the sake of being so literal,” Negroni wrote. “It’s not relevant how these characters look on a family tree, but rather that they’re interesting characters who follow a consistent aesthetic and type of storytelling that’s proven incredibly successful for Disney since the 30s. Maybe one day, it won’t even be questioned whether or not a Disney princess is one because she wears a dress, especially if you consider the fact that they included Merida, a princess who is usually shown with her bow and arrow rather than a bucket of glitter.”
The rules are arbitrary anyway, as Disney seems to be willing to make up its mind and then defend its decision later. The idea you have to wear a dress, that these official princesses have to conform to some outdated idea of femininity? Let’s do away with it right now. Why is an armor-like exoskeleton worth less than more formal attire?
You have a beautiful woman who is a wonderful mother, has explored multiple planets while defending her children from people who want to see her people destroyed. She’s a strong woman who is born royalty, complete with royal guard to prepare her chambers and keep her safe, but she doesn’t mind kicking ass when she needs to. She’s an inspirational figure from a far-off, magical land? What else is a Disney Princess?
We have to take a step away from the arbitrary rules that are keeping Princess Leia (because she’s not animated) from joining the squad, and once that door is open it will not be closed. Soon there will be Xenomorph Queens taking pictures with children at Disney World, hissing their happiness at being invited to the big show.
This would be a gift not just for her, but for us. Making everyone happy is Disney’s brand, after all, and this decision would go a long way toward doing just that. There must be no further delays; she’s already a Disney Princess in our hearts.