I am aware that Rick O’Connell (of 1999’s “The Mummy”) is not a Disney character (Universal) and is not a prince (adventuring rogue) but all the same he is probably the best Disney prince there is.
What makes a Disney Prince? Other than the obvious answers I have come up with a few characteristics that make a Disney Prince into a true Disney Prince.
1) Disney’s princes are almost universally thrill seekers or adventurers (whether they chose the adventure life or not). They are not just sitting around wondering when their princess will come, that’s only Snow White who does that sort of nonsense. They are off; having fun, stealing bread and tiaras, riding their horse through the woods, and looking for wealthy wives. That is just the way those boys are.
2) A Disney Prince is handsome, if not well dressed (Aladdin). Have you ever noticed that about movies? The leading man is always played by a handsome actor, even when the point of the story is “what’s inside counts more than whats outside.”
3) The Disney Princes adhere to a moral code. They’re good guys as well as good guys. They don’t lie, cheat, and take advantage of unsuspecting women. Even princes who are world class scoundrels are good guys who we root for.
4) A Disney Princes are romantic. Lets face facts, every disney prince has some sort of romantic attachment. They meet a lady and fall madly in love with her. They must be with THAT woman or else nothing in life matters. That is how I feel when I see a great pair of boots.
5) Disney Princes always deal with some supernatural entity before the end of the movie. ALWAYS. If you don’t believe me you can go back and watch those movies yourself because I don’t have the time to list them all for you here.
“Why does her hair glow?”
So now lets talk about Rick O’Connel of the Mummy movies (specifically the first one because the second one was awful and it has been a while since I saw the third one).
1) A Disney Prince is an adventurer or thrill seeker.
When the audience first meets Rick he is fighting in the French Foreign Legion at (location I cannot spell). That sounds an awful lot like adventure and excitement to me. In fact that sounds like more adventure and excitement than most of the Disney Princes see in their own films.
2) A Disney Prince is Handsome.
When I was at my freshman orientation in high school we watched a scene from “The Mummy” at the beginning of the library part of the tour (I think you can figure out what scene) but before that scene started we watched Rick O’Connell wander through the desert for a little while and fight bad guys. After the lights were turned back on a boy asked WHY we watched the first scene. The librarian (who was in her early twenties) said “because I just wanted to look at Brendan Fraser for a minute.” The other girls in the room agreed.
Okay, I was never the girl who absolutely loved Brendan Fraser. He’s okay. He’s not funny looking or anything but he’s no Chris Hemsworth. However he is not an unattractive fellow and besides we are not talking about Brendan we are talking about Rick. Every one knows that 45% – 75% of someone’s attractiveness is in their personality. That’s why we love Aladdin and Flynn Ryder (wait… that may be because they’re dashing rogues).
3) Disney Princes adhere to a moral code.
Okay okay okay. He was just looking for a good time and got the death penalty and then he steals things and shoots people BUT he saves the whole world and even though he hates Benny and Benny abandons him twice he tries to save him a couple of times. He knows that you don’t leave a man behind.
4) Disney Princes are romantic.
“I was about to be hanged, it seemed like a good idea at the time.” Now there is a love sonnet if I ever heard one. That is the right thing to say to a woman that you kissed very unexpectedly. Seriously though. He fights an undead and all powerful mummy to save Evelyn because he thinks she’s pretty. We actually get a lot of great moments between the pair through out the movie. They slowly fell in love over the course of the weekend rather than all at once at the end of the film. …it’s adorable!
5) Disney Princes always deal with a supernatural entity.
Do I really need to explain that one?
To restate my argument Rick O’Connell is the best Disney Prince there is. He is also the only one besides Aladdin to be featured as the hero in THREE films. I think I’ve made my case.
“Yes I see what you mean. Filthy, rude, COMPLETE scoundrel, nothing to like there at all.”