A Psychological (not really) analysis of Disney vs. YA Boys

o I was catching up on my blogs a few days back and I stumbled upon this post by Nicole from Word For Teens where she compares YA romances to Disney romances. Which got me thinking….Disney love interests definitely end up falling in the same categories as so our lovely YA boys, so let's do this!

(note: i'm not counting any sequels, JUST the one movie)

the awkward boy who has no idea what he's doing:

I’m sure most people would put Beast in the category of bad boy turned good but I see him in a different light. He’s that YA boy who has no experience dealing with girls and therefore, tries to do things to impress them that end up coming out COMPLETELY WRONG. He’s that cute boy across the cafeteria that catches you staring and drops his tray and turns around because he thinks you’re looking at the jock behind him. And then he gets frustrated because he has NO IDEA what to do with you. (in Beast's case, a little too frustrated, but I'd be pissed too if a witch decided to just make me a werebear)

I wish there were more awkward boys in YA today, because really? That’s like 70% of the boy population.

The guy with no personality:

Sadly, this is much more common. I hate reaching the end of a book and not knowing…well anything about the love interest. What is his family like? Where does he like to go? Does he like ANYTHING ELSE BESIDES THE HEROINE? I hate love interests whose whole life seems to revolve around the main character and sadly, these Disney boys make the cut. And Eric, you and that dog doesn’t really count as character development. And the other love interest hardly even have...names! Two are called Prince Charming, for crying out loud!

The cocky, suave boy turned good and responsible:

Aw, you all know this one. MOST common in YA, as if we all have hot, witty boys in our life who are confident smooth talkers that also read camus or something. And the thing is, as well as most of the YA boys, you can’t help but love them. Aladdin happens to be one of my favorites ever and Simba? Who doesn’t LOVE Simba? And then they have their change of heart to pulls them out of their cocky, arrogant, snotty-ness, which always ends up being the very heroine herself (or in Simba's case, his family, and the vision quest spirit thing of his father)

The one that is “just right”:

This is Unearthly. And Anna and the French Kiss. And every fantastic slow build-up of a romance you can think of. Characters like Shang and Flynn and Dimitri get to KNOW their heroines before they end up in a romantic relationship with one another, whether through a journey or a war or anything of the sort. They respect one another and earn each other’s respect and love by doing things (most of the time saving each other’s lives or something of the sort) and genuinely end up together not because he picked up a glass slipper or woke her up from a long slumber. But they got to know each other along the way. (Beauty and the Beast would also count here too) (and I have just discovered Anastasia is fox but I DON’T CARE) (Also, Naveen's face messed up the format, so he had to go)

I think what I really like seeing is that Disney is changing with the times. It’s not instant love anymore in these movies, and it’s always a journey that brings these people together instead of a curse or an apple. And I hope it stays that way! Mulan was the start of it and I hope the rest of the Disney princesses earn their respect from their man just like she did! Yeah!

Happy Reading!


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