Happy St. Valentine’s Day, everybody! Today’s discussion will be about…what else?
Who is your favorite Disney couple?
My personal favorite is Tiana/Naveen (of Maldonia) from The Princess and the Frog. They have a lot of sweet, heartwarming moments together, like just about every Disney couple from the ’90’s onward. But aside from good chemistry, Tiana and Naveen also demonstrate throughout the story that the more they come to care for each other, the more willing they are to make some pretty big sacrifices for each other. Some detractors might complain that it’s not good to send a message to kids that they should be willing to throw away their whole lives for one person. However, unlike, say, the shenanigans that go on in The Twilight Saga, Tiana and Naveen have a good relationship and neither one of them necessarily demands that the other should give up his/her dreams. They’re willing to do it because they love each other that much. Honestly, I think if we were all a little bit more willing to let go of our own desires to help other people, the world would be a nicer place.
Anyways, like Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel and Flynn, these two characters do not start off on the right foot. Tiana doesn’t want to date anybody; she’s more focused on finally opening up her own restaurant. Naveen doesn’t want to really settle down either; he’s more focused on being lazy and having fun. Once they get turned into frogs, they’re still at odds with each other, but like a lot of today’s Disney couples, they go through some misadventures and learn to appreciate each other more. I like how they both widen each other’s horizons; Tiana by teaching Naveen how to mince mushrooms for her gumbo recipe, and Naveen by helping her learn to dance. I also love how Naveen minces the food that he makes for her when he’s about to propose- awwww, the first Disney couple with their own inside joke! Speaking of his hilarious attempt at a proposal, that’s one of the best scenes in the movie:
But then Naveen finds out that unless he marries a rich girl, he won’t be able to help Tiana by giving her the rest of the money she needs to buy her restaurant. As for Tiana, she realizes that if Naveen marries someone else, she still won’t be completely happy even if she gets her restaurant. I love the movie’s message that hard work and love are important, and especially that Naveen is willing to give up a life with Tiana if it would make her happy. We don’t see that message about love shown very often in movies. We’re usually told that love is about being with somebody no matter what, not “love is being willing to let go of someone if that’s what she needs/wants.” Of course, everything gets resolved and cleared up in the typical Disney, happy-ending fashion; nonetheless, I really enjoyed watching them get to that resolution.
So, who’s your favorite couple, and why? Discuss, and have a happy Valentine’s Day!