Being a Disney Princess is a very big deal. There are, of course, many iconic characters that have been created by the filmmakers at Walt Disney Animation, but the Disney Princesses have an important legacy of their own, and they’ve now been making a significant pop culture impact for decades. It’s a particular history of which now actress Naomi Scott has become a part – starring as Princess Jasmine in Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin – and it’s something that only recently she has started to fully wrap her head around.
I had the opportunity to sit down with the actress at the Los Angeles press day for Aladdin this past weekend, and one topic of conversation that came up during the interview was the simple significance of being the newest live-action Disney Princess. You can check out this part of our chat by clicking play on the video below:
Naomi Scott is now the fourth actress to bring one of the Disney Princesses into the live-action realm – following Lily James (who starred as the titular character in Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella), Emma Watson (who played Belle in Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast), and Elle Falling (who brought Aurora to life in Robert Stromberg’s Maleficent). Sadly she has not yet had the opportunity to meet her colleagues in this field – something she is very excited to eventually do – but while she waits for that to happen she is doing just fine with all the love she’s been getting from fans since Aladdin started screening.
The Disney Princesses have long been making an impact because of the strength of their personality and character, which has been inspirational for young girls and boys for years. Obviously playing a live-action version of one of these icons is a big responsibility as a result, but it’s something that Naomi Scott is ready to embrace. Discussing her realization of the roles importance and significance, the actress explained,
I'm realizing more and more and more 'Wow' - just the impact that these characters had on my generation growing up. The opportunity to potentially inspire the next generation is just mind-blowing. I think I felt it when we were in Iman. We went to a screening and literally just the joy... there was a bunch of kids, and they'd just seen the movie and all these little girls just attacked me. And I was just like, 'Yes, give me the love! Gimme the love!' But that was the moment that I was like, 'Wow.' I now feel like, you know, 'Her.' So that was pretty incredible.
Jasmine is one of 12 characters who are considered part of the official Disney Princess group – with the others being the aforementioned Cinderella, Belle and Aurora, as well as Snow White (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Ariel (from The Little Mermaid), Pocahontas (from Pocahantas), Mulan (from Mulan), Tiana (from The Princess And The Frog), Rapunzel (from Tangled), Merida (from Brave), and Moana (from Moana). As of right now the live-action realm has only seen a third of the ensemble brought to life, but that number is growing quickly. Yifei Liu will be playing Mulan in the Niki Caro-directed remake that is scheduled to be released next year, and while casting has not yet been completed, a new version of The Little Mermaid is currently in the works.
One can imagine that Disney will eventually make some kind of effort to bring all of the live-action princesses together – either on the big screen, or just for an event – so we’ll just have to be patient and wait for it to happen.