Next in our series of Disney Princesses, we come to a princess who is, like Leia, not considered a Disney Princess. But, unlike Leia, Eilonwy is a princess who actually appeared in a Disney-produced animated film, just like all of the official Disney Princesses. So why isn’t Eilonwy considered an official Disney Princess? Well, to answer that question, I think we really need to take a look at the film in which she appeared.
In 1985, Walt Disney Pictures was proud to release its 25th animated feature film, The Black Cauldron. And kids, things got dark. See, somewhere in the early 1980s, the suits at Disney felt that it was important to get less fairy taley and more Heart of Darknessy with their lineup of films. This is easily seen in releases like The Watcher in the Woods, Return to Oz, and One Magic Christmas.
Sure, you can argue that One Magic Christmas has a nice happy ending. But that’s only because Santa Claus goes back in time and changes history so that Mary Steenburgen’s husband isn’t killed in a botched bank robbery. But you’ve gotta give me Return to Oz. That junk is just the stuff of childhood nightmares.
Stop getting me on tangents! This isn’t an essay about the Dark Days of Disney. Though that would make for a pretty clever blog title. This is about Princess Eilonwy. Whom you’ve probably never heard of unless you’ve actually watched The Black Cauldron.
Aside from being Disney’s 25th animated feature, it has the distinguished honor of being Disney’s first animated feature to be rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America. That, kids, is due to the film’s depiction of the villain’s creation of an undead army. A villain who, in the end, is devoured by a tunnel of fire and blood. And, really, it could have received a much more mature rating, had the animators not decided to cut out several violent and/or explicit scenes. I won’t go into details on that, you can research it yourself. Wikipedia is amazing, BTW.
It’s a good movie. I’ve seen it a few times in my life. I actually didn’t see it for the first time until I was in college. Being PG, it wasn’t the kind of movie that my parents would take me to see at the age of five. And since I didn’t see it in the theater, it wasn’t one that my sister and I were hounding my parents to buy when it was released on VHS. But it is a good movie. It has a great story and is beautifully animated. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out.
Should You Date Her?
I’ve barely even touched on the kind of character Eilonwy is. When the princess is introduced to the audience, she is making her escape from the Horned King’s dungeons when she bumps into Taran, the film’s hero. They join forces and escape together with Fflewddur (I had to look up that spelling). She later volunteers to accompany Taran on his quest to destroy the Black Cauldron before the Horned King can get his skeletal hands on it. Knowing those things about her, I’d say yes. That’s the kind of woman a guy should want to date. She’s brave and independent, not waiting around for a knight in shining armor to save her from the evil villain.
But she’s quite young. At least, that’s how she’s depicted in the movie. According to synopses of the novel series on which The Black Cauldron is based, Eilonwy and Taran end up married. So, there’s that.What Did I Think of the Other Princesses So Far?