A new Disney live-action film may center on a charming prince – or someone related to him, anyway.
Disney has reportedly acquired a script for a film about Prince Charming. The move follows live-action movies by the studios that are based on some of its classic tales, including “Cinderella,” which was released this past March and is already one of the highest-grossing movies of 2015, and the successful 2014 film “Maleficent” as well as the forthcoming live-action versions of “Beauty and the Beast,” “Dumbo,” and a new take on the “Peter Pan” character Tinkerbell.
This “Charming” movie is rumored to center not on the famous prince but on a brother who struggles to get anything right.
However, since more on the plot isn’t public knowledge, movie fans don’t even know in what fictional universe this story will be set, because there are multiple Disney princes who went nameless in the studio’s early history. The royal suitor in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” never got a name, nor did the male character who romanced the protagonist in “Cinderella.” The prince in 1959’s “Sleeping Beauty” got a major upgrade merely by having his name spoken onscreen – it's Philip.
The contrast between the early, vaguely defined character of Snow White’s prince and such romantic heroes as Aladdin is noticeable. Early Disney male leads like Cinderella’s prince had little more to do than fight the villain at the end and deliver lines like “Wait, you can’t go now!” Female characters like Snow White aren’t the deepest, either, but at least you know what to call them.
By contrast, male leads like the Beast in 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast” and the 1992 movie “Aladdin” are conflicted characters – the Beast is working to overcome his temper and initial selfishness, while Aladdin must learn that he’s still a worthwhile person without being rich.
Of course, this “misfit brother” summary, if true, brings to mind another recent Disney hero: Flynn Rider of the 2011 movie “Tangled.” Flynn (also known as Eugene, his real name) was another interesting character, who hid his insecurity and good heart with wisecracks and who must learn to be less conceited and concerned with wealth. Disney could do worse than to emulate him. Few could forget Flynn’s name.