Disney hopes to empower young girls through new breed of heroines

(WSVN) - Disney Princesses have long inspired young girls with their grace and style, but these days, they’re doing a whole lot more.

It’s no longer all about prince charming. These ladies are taking their destiny into their own hands and empowering millions in the process.

Snow White was pined for her elusive prince in the early days of Disney, but today there’s a new breed of heroine out to overturn all the stereotypes.

Princesses have always been royalty at Disney–winning the hearts of millions for decades. Today, they’re helping to both empower and inspire.

“These Disney princesses are not just wearing ball gowns,” said CNNMoney Entertainment Reporter Chloe Melas. “They’re getting down, and dirty, and they’re fighting, and they’re speaking their minds and it’s incredibly powerful–specially for this young audiences to see that.”

Disney has every incentive to keep their princess franchise humming.

Frozen, featuring two strong heroines, is the best performing animated movie in Disney history–taking in over $1.25 billion worldwide.

Beauty and the Beast coming in at a close second with earnings of more than $700 million, after just a few weeks in theaters.

“I think they’ve been smart enough to recognize that they needed to evolve to suit the times,” said CNN Media Critic Brian Lowery, “and they couldn’t be mired in the sort of someday my prince will come mentality.”

Beauty and the Beast is the latest film that has changed with the times. Emma Watson, who plays Belle in the latest remake, knew immediately that her character needed a reboot.

“In our film, she is actually an activist within her own community,” said Watson. “She is teaching other young girls to read.”

Disney’s effort to freshen up its catalog is just beginning–with its new films blending live action and cutting edge animation.

“When you look at their 22 live actions that are in the works, we have several that will feature strong women like Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Mulan,” said Melas.

Princesses have always been in Disney’s DNA, and the studio wants to preserve its beloved stories for the generations of princesses yet to come.

Disney’s next live action remake, Mulan, has been considered one of the company’s most independent heroines and will hit theaters in 2018.

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