Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Princess Jasmine: A YA Character Study

It's baaaaaaaack! It's been way too long since we did a Disney-fied character study, and today is Jasmine's turn.

Why Jasmine? She's a Disney princess, but NOT the protagonist. (Hi, Aladdin! We love you!) The story isn't hers, so I get to analyze her as a secondary character and love interest.

(This prospect makes me gleeful. I'm such a nerd.)

Princess Jasmine 411.
She prefers flowy, stomach-baring outfits.
Her best friend is a tiger.
She's not too street smart.
She's mom-less with a kindly-but-suffocating dad.
She's SO over d-bag rich boy princes.
She's going stir-crazy in that palace.
She rocks the incognito look.
She's not afraid of heights. Or pole vaulting.

The pluses. Jasmine has one of the strongest personalities of the Disney princesses, so it's no wonder that Aladdin falls for her. She stands up to her father and refuses to marry someone she doesn't love. Despite her luxurious upbringing, she doesn't care about class or wealth. And she's a saucy little risk-taker. Seriously! A guy's all like, "Hey, wanna check out the back seat of my magic carpet?" and she's like, "Why not?"

* Did anyone ever notice that Aladdin and Jasmine's first kiss happens way earlier than any other first kiss in a Disney cartoon? And it almost happened the first time they met. Feisty lady!

The negatives. Despite her inherent awesomeness, Jasmine doesn't really develop as a character in the movie. If this were a novel, I'd want to see a shift in her personality. I mean, Aladdin finally begins to accept who he is, but Jasmine ends up the same person as when she started. And suddenly having a live-in boy toy means she's ok with her humdrum palace life? (Honestly, you can argue with me here. I forget the other two movies. Maybe her social calendar evolved a bit?)

I'd love to know... Are there no other rich girls around to be friends with? (No offense, Rajah.) And when did her mother die? How did it affect her? What does she do all day in the palace? Why is she smart enough to figure out that Prince Ali is Aladdin, but too stupid to realize her hopelessly inept father is being sorcerized by Jafar?

AND are Rajah and Abu jealous that Iago can talk...
 but they can't?
(They're totally up to something.)

And because this is what you've probably been waiting for the whole post...

Ok, what are your thoughts on the great and beautiful Princess J?


  1. I have to say that while my son forces me to watch to this movie every day, I never thought about Jasmine in such a way! I honestly look at plot and character development while watching any other movie, but Disney movies somehow make me lose it and I simply get lost in the magic of it all (even now at the age of 25).

    Great post! I'll have to really pay attention next time I watch this movie!

  2. Whelp. There goes a day without having a disney song stuck in my head ;-)

    Cool post Donna! Love the series idea!!

  3. Princess Jasmine is one of my favorite Disney Princesses. Those questions about her backstory are pretty interesting and this would be really interesting to read about as a novel. Great post. I can't wait to see what other princesses you analyze.

  4. Great points, Donna. I really like it when the secondary love interest also changes, *especially* if those changes parallel the MC's. I'm trying to do that in my novel. The characters help each other along with certain struggles--sometimes inadvertently--which strengthens their ties beyond simple attraction.

  5. I love the Disney posts!!! They bring back to such a magical and innocent place. Keep them coming!

  6. Love this post! I have to admit, I never really thought about what it is that makes Jasmine tick. Why doesn't she have friends? Is she one of those girls that just doesn't get along well with other girls? Maybe she was a total flirt, and the other rich girls are jealous because all the d-bag princes are after Jasmine and not them...

  7. Love this post! You gave me a lot to think about. I never thought about Jasmine this way. Thanks for getting A Whole New World stuck in my head!

  8. HAHAHA..amazing... I never got how she didn't see that Aladdin and prince Ali where the same... that's how i feel about sailor moon..come on same hair

  9. Harley – Trust me, when I watch the movie, I’m lost in the magic too! But I find it fun to analyze it afterward. Does that mean I need a social life? Hehe

    Sara – Hey, any day with a Disney song stuck in your head is a good day! My all-time favorite is One Jump Ahead from Aladdin.

    Najela – The first in-text link in this post goes to another character study, and THAT post includes links at the end to all the others. Glad you enjoyed it!

    Laurel – Yep. I hadn’t actually considered that about Jasmine til I wrote the post, but it definitely adds something to a novel.

    MeganRebekah – Thanks! I’ll never be too old for Disney movies.

    NotNessie – Hahaha I would love it if Jasmine were like the Queen Bee of the rich, popular girls.

    Elizabeth – No problem! :)

    AndriaJ – It’s the Clark Kent syndrome. A little hair gel and glasses and women are clueless. Sigh.

  10. She rocked that first kiss, too! Go Jasmine!

  11. Jasmine is my favourite disney character besides Belle. She is fiesy! I mean, she works one at Jafar at the end. Am I the only one who noticed that that was so mordern of her? Sliming up to the big slime ball wasn't exactly common practise in those days so, simply adding that to her awesomeness, I deem her TOTALLY AWESOME. The end.

  12. Hahahaha!!! Excellent. Loved this movie. A whole new woooooooorld...

    Great assessment of dear Jasmine. Spot on, for sure.

  13. Oh, I LOVE the fabulous Ms. J. I totally need to get all of these Disney movies for the kiddies. They'd LOVE them. And so much better than watching Max and Ruby for the 800th time.

  14. She's one of my favorite princesses next to Belle. I think it's because they're not afraid to admit their feelings-and when they want something, whether it be freedom or adventure, they go for it! :D

    But I never really thought about how her character doesn't evolve throughout the movie-I guess it's because I was too busy being amazed by Aladdin's adventures and that Robin Williams was voicing the Genie ;)


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