Disney Presents New Princess

Princess Anna joins the Disney Princess franchise on November 27th

By: Arya Sureshbabu

Walt Disney Animation Studios plans to introduce Princess Anna, the protagonist of the company’s upcoming movie, as the newest addition to the Disney princess franchise upon the film’s release on November 27th. Anna was first seen in early concept art released in December 2012, but her status as a princess was not widely confirmed until stills from her film and corresponding character profiles were released in June 2013. Anna stars in Frozen, a loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, as the second-born princess of the fictitious land of Arrendele. According to the movie’s official website, the plot of the film centers around Anna’s attempts to mend her relationship with her elder sister Elsa and convince her to retract the curse which caused Arrendele to be enveloped in perpetual winter. Like several of the older Disney princesses, Anna is described as being both optimistic and caring, but she is also characterized by a sense of adventure and an outgoing personality similar to that displayed by the more recent Disney princesses. Anna is the second Disney princess to be rendered in 3-D animation. She is portrayed as a slender young woman with freckles, blue eyes, and a medium to light skin tone. Her hair differs from that of other Disney princesses in that it has visible highlights; although the majority of Anna’s hair is strawberry blonde, a streak of a far lighter platinum blonde is noticeable in one of her braids.

The character of Anna has garnered some criticism from groups of Disney fans. Several amateur artists were disconcerted by what they considered a lack of ethnic diversity in the movie and were disappointed that Disney had chosen to portray its latest princess as Caucasian. According to CBC News, such discontent with the character’s race led to the establishment of a blog titled This Could Have Been Frozen, in which such artists re-imagined Anna and other characters in the film as people of other ethnicities. Other members of the blogosphere pointed out that Anna physically resembled Rapunzel and criticized Disney for the apparent similarities between the two characters. Some, however, did not believe that Disney should be accused of purposefully creating two characters who closely resemble one another. One blogger in particular, identified as Emma on her webpage Emma’s Disney World, posted an article in which she attributed the likeness between the two characters to the similar methods of animation used to develop them, saying, “People confuse similarities and resemblances most likely because of the style.”

Although Anna’s relationship with Elsa forms the crux of her story, she also has two potential love interests in the film. The first is a foreign prince named Hans whom Anna meets before her sister places a curse upon the kingdom, while the second is a mountaineer named Kristoff who assists her in her quest to find her sister.

Actress Kristen Bell voices Anna in the English version of the movie. Overall, Bell felt very positive about her character and took pride in the personality she was able to bring to the newest Disney princess. “I feel like I really made [Anna] much more relatable and weirder,” she said in an interview with MTV, “and scrappier and more excitable and awkward.”