With the Princess Sofia controversy and the idea of a Latina princess on everyone’s mind, we wondered what stories might lend themselves to a Latina fairy tale film. While some of these stories are told throughout different countries and have different endings, we would imagine (and hope!) that the children’s version would deal with a happily ever after scenario. (Hey, have you read the original tale of The Little Mermaid? Yeah, not quite Disney material in its original state.) Here are our top picks for a reimagined Latina "princess." What folk story would you add to the list?
The Bear Prince
This story, originating in Mexico, deals with a beautiful daughter of a woodcutter who agrees to marry a bear in order to save her father and sisters. Once they are married, she finds that the bear turns into a handsome man at night, as he has been cursed by an evil spirit, but that she has to promise not to tell anyone. You can guess where this leads… the story focuses on redemption.
The Noblewoman’s Daughter and the Charcoal Woman’s Son
A Cuban folktale, this story is modeled after the story of Moses and centers around an evil noblewoman who is carrying a child. The “charcoal woman”, who is also with child, tells the noblewoman that she hopes she has a daughter, as she believes she is having a son, and they can grow up to marry! The noblewoman, after giving birth to her daughter, orders one of her servants to seek out the charcoal woman and if she has a baby boy, to kill it. When he finds the boy, he can not bring himself to slay the baby, so he sends it out on a basket in the river. Eventually, the childless king and queen take him in and raise him, and fate brings the two youngsters together.
This Mexican folktale has many twists and turns, but essentially recounts the story of a magical young woman, Rosalie, who helps her suitor complete challenges in order for her father to approve the marriage. Once the suitor completes these tasks, however, he has to follow through with one more task: to get something from a village without touching anyone or he will forget all about her. He does his best, but eventually falls asleep, and his grandmother kisses him lightly on the cheek. He is eventually betrothed to another, but once Rosalie gets the object from a child outside the village, she is finally able to convince her suitor of their past together and he marries her.
This Colombian figure represents Mother Nature, and is not so much of a story as it is a character. But honestly, what child wouldn’t want to see a movie with singing animals and a magical forest? (Sounds like a fairytale to us!)
Rosha and the Sun
A Mayan tale, this female character is actually a secondary character in a story about a boy, Tup, who steals the sun. Rosha, his sister, has to return the sun to its rightful place in the heavens – and goes through quite the journey to get it there.