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Does This Violent ‘Prey’ Heroine Count as a “Disney Princess”?

disney princess prey
Credits: Fox and Disney

As we have previously established, Prey is absolutely not a child-friendly Disney movie.

The gory and violent movie follows a Native American woman named Naru as she engages in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse with a murderous alien who arrives in the Great Plains back in 1719. The Comanche woman proves herself to be an admirable warrior, and she is portrayed by actress Amber Midthunder.

However, as pointed out by Screenrant, the “Fox merger” actually made the film a Disney film — and potentially made Naru a Disney Princess (even if she joins Esmeralda and Tinker Bell in being left out of the Disney Princess merchandise franchise).

Amber Midthunder as Naru in 'Prey'.

Amber Midthunder as Naru in ‘Prey’. Credit: 21st Century Fox

Disney Princess Qualities = “Instant” Success?

According to¬†Screenrant writer Ben Sherlock, the female warrior Naru is technically a Disney Princess due to 21st Century Fox’s merger with Disney. However, Sherlock also argues that Naru’s Disney Princess qualities are the main reason for her movie’s standout success!

The¬†Predator¬†franchise began back in 1987 with a film that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, and has since continued with several sequels that failed to match the original film’s success.

However, this new film about Naru was apparently “instantly praised as the best entry in the¬†Predator franchise since the classic” when it premiered on Hulu!

Sherlock has declared that “it wasn‚Äôt until Prey came along that the Predator was as well-matched with an opponent as¬†Schwarzenegger‚Äôs Dutch Schaefer.”

disney princesses

Princess Tiana, Rapunzel, Princess Jasmine, Mulan, Moana, and Belle are some of the well-known Disney princesses. / Credit: Disney

“Disney’s Unlikeliest Princess Story”

Prey director Dan Trachtenberg also directly stated that he thought of Naru as a Disney Princess.

In a Vanity Fair interview, the director said that the movie was “an R-rated Disney princess film,” “even before the Fox-Disney merger happened.”¬†Vanity Fair even labeled the interview as a discussion about “Disney’s Unlikeliest Princess Story.”

Disney Princesses are certainly known as heroines with a general collection of similar characteristics. Disney tends to focus on courage and kindness in events like World Princess Week, but Ben Sherlock has also highlighted some other traits that Naru the Comanche warrior shares with Disney Princesses like Moana, Merida, Cinderella, and Rapunzel!

a hunter in the movie 'prey'

Credit: Fox

Have Courage and Be…Violent

“Like any Disney princess movie, Prey is a coming-of-age story about a young woman overcoming adversity and proving herself,” Sherlock explained.

Sherlock also pointed out that Naru’s film¬†Prey¬†has another Disney Princess film quality: a sequel. Fans are clamoring for¬†Prey 2!

If the next “Disney princess story” is made about Naru, then the Disney heroine will be able to do what many Disney Princesses do in their film sequels: overcome a “struggle” in order “to maintain the power they earned in the first film.”

What do you think defines a Disney Princess? Do you think that any heroines who fall under the Disney umbrella, like this violent warrior, can automatically be labeled as Disney Princesses and welcomed into the “pantheon”?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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