Everyone thinks that Snow White is the first Disney princess, but 3 years before another character was born
In 2023, Disney celebrated its centennial. For many, the first princess of the studio is the famous Snow White. And yet, three years earlier, the company had produced a short film, forgotten by many, starring a little-known heroine.
The rest after this announcement.
Mulan, Pocahontas, Cinderella and many others, for 100 years Disney has been the official teller of princess stories and, over the years, it has tried to move away from traditional clichés. For long, Snow White, from the 1937 animated film, is the first Disney princess. And yet, although this is the studio’s first feature-length princess film, a short film with a completely different heroine had seen the light of day three before.
an ancient myth
In 1934, Disney released a short film titled The goddess of spring (The Goddess of Spring) which takes up the Greek myth of Persephone, kidnapped by the king of the underworld, Hades. It is part of the collection Silly symphoniesa set of short films that tell fables, stories and have almost no dialogue.
Once upon a time, long ago, a time when joy and laughter were everywhere, flowers grew all year round, and the world was eternally beautiful. In fact, there lived a young woman so sweet that the whole world loved her dearly, and life was then so pleasant that joy was always present and the world became more beautiful every day. The flowers danced around her, formed a garland and crowned her, the goddess of eternal spring, the goddess of eternal spring.
So why is Persephone the first Disney princess? Simply because in Greek mythology, She is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter (goddess of agriculture and crops), and therefore, a divinity, but also a princess, Zeus being the king of the Gods.
An influence on the creative process
if the collection Silly symphonies has fallen into oblivion, it has a special importance in the studio’s creative process. During the production of the short film, the artists learned and improved their techniques to recreate human characters and movements.
Cartoonists of the time were experts at recreating and animating animals, but they lacked practice when it came to animating humans.. The goddess of spring Therefore it served as a test for the team, and it is one of the first short films in which there are human characters. A work that we found three years later in Snow White and the Seven Dwarvesin which the animation has improved significantly.