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Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a King and Queen longed for a child. So begins Sleeping Beauty (re-released this week by Disney for the first time in six years), the classic fairy tale that has bewitched little girls for generations. Like all good fairy tales, the royal couple is blessed with a beautiful baby, and in this kingdom, fairies are invited to a bash to bestow wonderful gifts upon the new Princess Aurora. Unfortunately, an evil fairy delivers a curse -- that Aurora will prick her finger on a spindle when she turns 16, and die. Although one fairy is able to mitigate the death sentence to one of sleep, the royal couple banishes all spinning wheels from the kingdom and sends their beloved babe deep into the wood to be raised by peasants until her sixteenth birthday passes. Alas, the spell comes true, and the despairing king and queen put the entire castle to sleep, only to awake when Aurora does. Surprise, surprise, Aurora's true love breaks the curse with a kiss, a royal wedding ensures, and everyone lives happily ever after. A classic is a classic for a reason, and we expect to see lots of Princess Auroras trick-or-treating this Halloween!
Need an antidote to Princess-mania? Here are our tips for giving your princess-wanna-be a dose of girl power. First, sit on the couch with your little royal (it's fun to introduce a classic tale, after all), reminding her that Princess Aurora's sole dream of falling in love with a prince is a bit passe; after all, Aurora has left no room for other life goals, like going to school, playing sports and becoming the first female President of the United States. Next, stock your book shelf with a variety of counter-princess books -- scroll to our KOTC Kernels below for kid-approved literature featuring characters who have bigger dreams than being swept off their feet. Finally, continue counter-programming with a trick right out of Sleeping Beauty: when Aurora wakes up, time has passed. Play the time travel game with your daughter by asking her what she imagines her life will be like in 20 years, and make a time capsule of her life goals. Who knows? If your little princess ever decides to marry, that list may just come in handy as a toast to her accomplishments. (We'd love to hear your favorite counter-princess measures. Click here to share your family's tips with other readers on our blog).
Our Buttery Bits of Wisdom about this Film:
Our Tips for Talking with your Kids about this film:
Counter Programming for Princesses
Books and Family Activities to Add a Modern Filter to Princess-Mania
Lucy's Book List: Our KOTC librarian has compiled an extensive list of books. For more information, or to purchase our counter-princess tales, please click here for our Amazon store.
Our Tips for Extending this Experience: