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17 March 2011 @ 01:34 am
Ever wondered where/when the princesses' movies take place?  
I asked this some years ago on a Disney forum and got nothing but "they all take place in a magical fantasy land far far away!" for an answer. Hopefully I can get a little more expansive thoughts here.

Beauty and the Beast is obviously set in 18th century French countryside, Aladdin is Medieval Arabian Peninsula, and Princess and the Frog is Prohibition-Era New Orleans, but what about the others? My guesses:

Snow White: Renaissance-Era Germany or possibly Switzerland
Cinderella: 18th Century France (Chateaus, French names, etc)
Sleeping Beauty: Medieval England
Little Mermaid: 19th Century Denmark (Caribbean-accented characters aside, I'm basing this one off of the architecture and technology presented in the film, as well as the story's origin)

Yes, I edited the post...I accidentally sent several drafts to the queue and the first one is the one that was accepted.
ღ「A★KiNG!」: {HAPPY} - Ariel daydream swimsonicelectronic on March 17th, 2011 08:14 am (UTC)
Sleeping Beauty is based in Medieval Germany, not England. Her castle is based on Schloss Neuschwanstein, a German castle- and the story itself has German roots. Snow White is also German.

I remember in a book it said which version of Cinderella the movie version was based on and I think it was the French one.
Softpaw,  the fae kitty of roses and columbinesoftpaw on March 17th, 2011 08:18 am (UTC)
Yes Disney's Cinderella is based on Perralt's version of the story, so it would be French.

*edited for stupid html booboo*

Edited at 2011-03-17 08:19 am (UTC)
(no subject) - sonicelectronic on March 17th, 2011 08:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kirakirajenjen on March 17th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mogumogu on March 17th, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yuna_hime on March 17th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - destructogirl77 on March 17th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - destructogirl77 on March 17th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Sailor Donut: Ariel splashjeweledeyes on March 17th, 2011 09:04 am (UTC)
I agree about the Little Mermaid, aside from Sebastian it seems to fit best. Eric's kingdom seems especially Danish to me, and a lot of the characters have names that would fit that location.
Abigail: Kingdom Hearts Squaremdmbrightside on March 17th, 2011 09:08 am (UTC)
This is often a hotly contested debate, but I'll throw my opinions in the ring! I tend to use architecture and language as a guide for what era the movie's supposedly based in (never costuming, as that's all sorts of anachronistic in a Disney film), but on the whole I consider the films to take place in "Magical Europe," which has magic and no concept of history.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Medieval Germany. This one is widely accepted but I couldn't really tell you why. The Queen's original name was Grimhilde, the word dwarfs is a more Germanic spelling than the English dwarves, and many of the concept artists imported from Europe were German. The movie has a German look, so Snow White usually gets to be Germanic.

Cinderella: Early 1700s France. Cinderella lives in a Chateau, the mouse's name is Jacques, the ladies at court are addressed as Mademoiselle, and the furniture/architecture is a dead ringer for French Rococo.

Sleeping Beauty: I will get furniture thrown at me, but 1300s Northern Italy. Almost all the names have Latin origins: Aurora, Stefan, Flora, Fauna, and Maleficent. In my heart of hearts, I'd have to say the architecture of the film comes from the Netherlands as seen in tapestries, illuminated manuscripts, and the work of Dutch masters like Van Eyck. I think I prefer Northern Italy because the kingdoms (rather, duchys) would be smaller in size and easier for kings (or dukes) to travel between.

The Little Mermaid: There is tropical aquatic life off the coast, so Portugal. Big on sailing? Check. Rocky coastlines? Check. Palm trees? Check. Could it also be Spain? Sure, why not. Any reason to prefer Portugal? I like the idea of Triton's merkingdom being in the mid-Atlantic.
Kartos Dal'Avier: Ligia in the waterkartos on March 17th, 2011 09:57 am (UTC)
One could reasonably argue that anywhere near the Mediterranean for Little Mermaid. I mean, Triton. For those that don't know, he's Poseidon's son, and that is the stomping grounds of that pantheon.

Hahaha just read this: "Triton was often multiplied into a host of sea-spirits called Tritones which were regarded as satyr-like daimones of the sea." Satyrs amuse me beyond words, so to imagine Triton as one? Hilarity.

Edited at 2011-03-17 09:57 am (UTC)
(no subject) - mdmbrightside on March 17th, 2011 10:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kartos on March 17th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
BGE: Flynn and Rapunzelbehindgrey_eyes on March 17th, 2011 10:33 am (UTC)
I think most of them do have quite a specific place, but TLM is always more confusing. I once heard that Eric was Spanish :D

I always thought of Sleeping Beauty to be English as well tbh. I kind of like to think that they're two grumpy old English kings XD
Aratelinwen: Storybook Endingaratelinwen on March 17th, 2011 01:00 pm (UTC)
Sleeping Beauty is actually based in France. (Can't remember what century tho.) Disney acknowledges this by having Aurora meet in France at EPCOT. Also, if you have ever driven through the country France, itself, her castle is there. (It's absolutly gorgeous!) Also, for various projects, I found that the first half of Perrault's version of the story, very closely resembles Walt's movie. Just don't read the second half, or beware some nightmares.(This makes sense, as Walt claims that he only relied on Perrault's Cinderella, and what better way to save time and money then by using the same author for both stories.)

I agree with everyone else tho: Snow White- Germany, Cinderella- France, and The Little Mermaid- Denmark because of Hans Christian Anderson.
Ms. Pollenpuff: two chickens or best offerdestructogirl77 on March 17th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
As to when, in the movie Phillip says "Now, father, you're living in the past. This is the 14th century!"

(no subject) - aratelinwen on March 18th, 2011 02:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mdmbrightside on March 17th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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princesse des reveskirakirajenjen on March 17th, 2011 03:10 pm (UTC)
As far as I know, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella take place in France, as well as Beauty and the Beast (but that's quite obvious XD)
Snow White I would say Germany as well.
I always thought that Eric looked Mediterranean, so maybe Greece or somewhere in the area? There is also the legends of the Sirens from that area.
As for Rapunzel, I'm wondering if it's supposed to be somewhere in Scandenavia since the guys in the pub kind of looks like Vikings. But it also might be Germany due to names sounding pretty Germanic.
Jennifeffa Barbie™: Arielyuna_hime on March 17th, 2011 04:26 pm (UTC)
I agree, I always pictured the Little Mermaid taking place somewhere in the Mediterranean. The castle alone looks very Mediterranean.
werkelijkheid90: arielwerkelijkheid90 on March 17th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
I think with most of the Disney princess movies (TLM, especially) you kind of just have to think of them as existing in their own little Disney AU, or at least I do. I've tried to pinpoint locations in the world and history for each story, but it can get frustrating when the pieces don't fit as they should.

So, IDK, that's just how I look at it.
BGE: Eric and Ariel are the cutest ever!behindgrey_eyes on March 17th, 2011 04:46 pm (UTC)
I just suddenly thought about Rapunzel, that could be set ANYWHERE XD
huit: Rose of Versailleshuit on March 17th, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
LOL, we were debating this for The Little Mermaid not too long ago. We were trying to figure it out based on the architecture but eventually gave up. If I knew more about ship designs I'd try going off off that.

Most fairy tales, especially Disney movies, I assume to take place "nowhere" or "anywhere" just because they've been re-appropriated so many times. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella don't really seem to have a set time or location from what I can tell, it's just generalized fantasy, especially since they leave out any kind of city scene (showing shops, transportation, etc) that would give good clues. I see Cinderella-like castles pop up all the time in fairy tales - even if it's smack dab in the middle of Paris - so castle styles don't really help much.

Lady and the Tramp is obviously turn of the century Americana (I always assumed New York or elsewhere in New England), and Pinocchio seems to take place in a very condensed version of western Europe though primarily Italy. The Little Mermaid gives barely enough information to show it's semi-historical but it's still hard to place other than a coastal country.
Renakichan on March 17th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
I always tried to guess this based on what they wear. If you take that into account, Little Mermaid is in a REALLY weird place and I'm not going to bother even -trying- placing it.

The only one I've really been able to get a handle on is Cinderella.

Cinderella is definitely Victorian, and probably in a small country bordering France. Walt himself had a fondness for the 1890s, and MOST of the clothing and the interiors of the houses and the hair ('cept for a few exceptions; Cindy's hair, her wedding dress (which is so very 40s), her work dress) match up. There's lots of bustles, some very textbook Victorian clothing in the background, Cinderella's mother's "old-fashioned" dress looks like it could be from Regency, and the clothes the little stepsisters and Cindy and her father wear are very early Victorian looking, the Prince/King/Duke are wearing 19th century formal military jackets with epaulets and decorations, and Tremaine is always dressed in old lady Victorian chic.

Beauty and the Beast is a little more confusing. It's got some Rococo (which would be mid to late 18th century) elements, some Baroque elements (late 16th to early 18th century), although they mention Baroque in the movie, so I'm guessing it's not Baroque (don't fix it). I'm also going to guess, based on what Cogsworth says, that it's been some time since the Baroque period. "As you can see, the pseudo facade was stripped away to reveal a minimalist rococo design. Note the unusual inverted vaulted ceilings. This is yet another example of the neo-classic baroque period..."

I actually think that's a joke about how Cogsworth has NO IDEA what he's talking about, but it does give some clues. This is definitely after Baroque, it's at least long enough for Rococo to have been covered up. The neo-classic period came after Rococo. Based on all this and the clothes Belle and the Beast wear, I'm going to say that it's actually mid-19th century, which is after the French Revolution AND Napoleon. The Royalists came back to power in France with a Consitutional monarchy, which would allow for Beast to be a Prince (not THE prince, just a prince) with some power/money.

Snow White? Probably Germanic, probably medieval, especially based on clothing/architecture.
Shizuka: snow white & cinderella & aurorashizuka85 on March 17th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
I always considered them to be nonexistent fictional kingdoms.
Gracesaku_teiki on March 17th, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
I watched Aladdin a couple weeks ago and during "A Whole New World" they glide past a man working on the Sphinx. Also, the Greeks (or Romans...) are still around. So I wouldn't call that medieval at all. Definitely BCE.

I felt stupid while watching Mulan last night because I majored in East Asian Studies and I couldn't remember what time period it was. >_>
The puriny one: *lurk* Jafarmogumogu on March 17th, 2011 11:01 pm (UTC)
I think it's supposed to be the Tang dynasty, the commentary said.
wardah_ahmar on March 18th, 2011 03:28 am (UTC)
I remember seeing something on the Disney Channel back in the day that said Sleeping Beauty's art direction was inspired by Russian folk art. Take from that what you will.
themermaidgirlthemermaidgirl on March 18th, 2011 04:30 am (UTC)
There's a globe in Tokyo Disneyland where it shows Ursula's placement on the map.

ariel's grotto
ladyorihime: Ariel: Looking at Eric's Castleladyorihime on March 21st, 2011 01:59 pm (UTC)
Going by that, Mer du Norad is the North Sea (marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean), which is located between Great Britain and Scandinavia, so it could very well be set in Denmark.

But then I don't understand why Labrador (Newfoundland and Labrador is a Canadian Atlantic province) is shown so close to the North Sea, when Canada doesn't border it.
spinflowersspinflowers on March 18th, 2011 05:54 am (UTC)
Doesn't the Princess and the Frog take place in '26? I think prohibition was over at that point.