What works and what doesn't work in Angelina Jolie's new take on 'Sleeping Beauty'
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Best: It's a bracing antidote to princess mythology
Any mother of little girls knows the heartbreak of the relatively recent trend toward all things princess. Before they're old enough to see the movies, little girls are buying into the trappings of Disney princesses -- the tiaras, the gowns, the overly-embellished shoes. It's the very stuff that limits girls in the way it limited real princesses and corseted women of eras past -- they don't want to get dirty, climb trees, or explore for fear or tearing their precious finery. It's a gold mine for Disney but horrifying to mothers who don't want their kids to mindlessly sing about wishing for their prince to come, who want their girls to stick up for themselves and not be passive within their own lives. Recent years have seen a reversal, yes, but it's going to take a lot of revisionist movies about powerful women like this one to grab little girls' attention away from what's certainly the most toxic messaging little girls can get, and one that we've become so used to seeing we hardly notice it anymore -- that a woman's life is meaningless without a man to save or love them.
- Liane Bonin Starr