By now, it”s common knowledge that Disney movies should never be taken as the authority on a story, be it fairy tale or historical account. The little mermaid in the movie doesn”t turn into sea foam but marries the prince, Cinderella”s stepsisters get to keep their eyeballs and toes, and Quasimodo and Esmeralda don”t perish in a heap of bones. You get the idea.
History, however, is a lot more interesting. Luckily for us, illustrator and animator Jason Porath brings us Rejected Princesses, which he describes as “Women too awesome, awful, or offbeat for kids” movies.” He”s worked on a few kids” movies including The Croods and How To Train Your Dragon 2, so he knows what”s acceptable and what”s not.
Even though these women were epic (pirates, generals, warrior queens, and one sword-wielding, fire-starting opera singer), they aren”t exactly kid friendly. Or “princesses.”
1. Osh-Tisch (1854-1929)
2. Shajar al-Durr (1220s?-1257)
3. Julie d”Aubigny, “La Maupin,” (1670-1707)
4. Noor Inayat Khan (1914-1944)
5. Boudica (20s?-60 CE)
6. Tomyris (6th century BCE)
7. Hypatia of Alexandria (360s?-415 CE)
8. Gudit (920s?-980s?)
9. Naziq al-Abid (1898-1959)
10. Charlotte Badger (b. 1778)
11. Tsuruhime Ohori (1526-1543)
12. “Onake” Obavva (d. 1777)
Each illustration is designed to be as historically accurate as possible, though Porath will use his own artistic license where needed. A complete rundown if each lady is also provided, as are notes on Porath”s illustrative choices. We”ve given you a sample-sized summary, but you can check out their full stories on the site, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.
The “princesses” we”ve looked at are historical figures (more or less), but Rejected Princesses also covers mythological figures that are just as awesome and have the added benefit of supernatural powers. This is an ongoing project, and Porath shows no signs of stopping, so be sure to keep up with it on the website. It”s not always PG, as you might have suspected, so use your discretion if younger kids are interested.