If there was ever a Princess more obviously overlooked from the Disney Princess franchise, it’s Kida. She’s a princess for most of the film, saves her people and despite not wearing many clothes and still falling for the guy, she’s a rare example of a racially different princess who still manages to lead the show. It’s suspected that the reason she wasn’t eventually made a princess was because her film was quite the financial flop. After all, how many of your remember seeing or even hearing of Atlantis: The Lost Empire? Beyond the Disney dedicates, it’s not exactly a film that remains large in the public consciousness.
My view on Kida as a character is a mixed one. I don’t enjoy watching her on screen as much as I do Tiana or Rapunzel and I think that’s mainly because they so obviously shove it in the face of the viewers that Kida is meant to be a love interest for Milo. It’s not even done as low-key as Tiana/Naveen (which I personally think is saying something) and I think that weakens Kida’s overall redeeming strengths. She’s part of a film which is notable for its many kick-ass independent women, such as Audrey the mechanic and Lieutenant Helga. Kida’s the ultimate warrior woman who can spear her enemies, speak several languages and is educated enough to lead her people and connect with a bunch of foreigners. Even though she’s not connected with a specific race, her darker skin and white hair make her ethnically stand out from the other Disney princesses that had come before her.
She’s shown as being able to be fun and flirty with Milo (which is no bad thing) and is a charismatic leader without being coquettish or giggly. Whilst the film’s story is really Milo’s, Kida steals the show to a greater capacity than Jasmine in Aladdin simply through force of personality. I’d argue that she’s feminine without being girly, a role model that will appeal to different little girls than ones who love Cinderella or even Jasmine. As a princess, despite my mixed feelings on her portrayal in the film I enjoy her as a character and even though she is not an official member of the line-up, prefer her over quite a few of the princesses. If ever there was an opportunity to add some of the old Disney princesses to the roster, she’d be first in line for my vote!
I’ll touch on another kickass lady and potential princess in Jane, next week in The Disney Princess Series!
(photo credit: http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/295/0/e/princess_kidagakash_by_maylich-d4dn3i8.png)