The first Disney princess, Snow White, sang "some day, my Prince will come," and for years it seemed that every other leading lady in an animated flick hummed along to that same tune. However, not every Disney princess has aspirations of wooing a prince — some just want to understand themselves better. That is reportedly the case with Disney's latest princess: The titular character in Moana reportedly won't receive a love interest in the upcoming film, and it's an important statement to make for kids everywhere.
This awesome news comes from Entertainment Weekly, which reported Moana's possible lack of a love interest following the Moana panel at Comic-Con 2016. According to Moana directors John Musker and Ron Clements, Moana doesn’t have a love interest in the upcoming film — and instead of a love story, Moana will be a film about the titular heroine finding herself. Of course, Moana isn't just on a journey to learn who she really is — she's also on a quest through the South Pacific to find a banished demigod in order to save the planet. NBD.
That certainly sounds like an ambitious goal for the 16-year-old Moana, and it's hard to imagine that there's any teenage boy worth paying attention to when the weight of the world is on Moana's shoulders. However, Disney has the choice to insert a love interest no matter how dire a situation, so the filmmakers clearly made a deliberate decision to leave it out. Allowing Moana to accomplish her goals sans love story is an important statement for any film, but especially a Disney one to make, and hopefully it resonates with the young audience who go to see Moana, and who will eventually look up to the new character.
Of course, having a romantic interest doesn't make a woman any weaker or less of a developed character, but oftentimes love stories in cartoons tend to trump the other, often extremely important action surrounding the characters.
It's also important to note, however, that Moana won't be the first recent Disney princess to go through a film without a love interest. Though Anna receives a (non-prince) love interest in Frozen, her older sister, Elsa, goes through the film solo. Moana will take it one step further by removing a love story from the narrative (at least, when it comes to Moana herself) and showing young fans that finding romantic love is not the only way to get to a happy ending. Moana's strength will come from within — she won't need the validation of finding a boyfriend or girlfriend to tell her that she's done with her journey as a heroine. While love stories aren't going away any time soon (as well they shouldn't, because... The Notebook), it's time that Disney shakes up the narrative and reminds young women that they are perfectly great all on their own.
Images: Walt Disney Pictures; Giphy