A wee idea in the beginning stages is fragile and weak; if it isn’t shared, it will die. I have an idea and I’m sharing it for Fiction Friday to force myself to develop the story. I want the next bonafide Disney Princess to be Robin Hood, one of my favorite fairytale heroes.
I haven’t figured out a villain or a plot, but what I do know is this: I want Princess Robyn to be a bi-racial, Muslim girl with a knack for medicine and healing paired with an intense dislike of violence. Robyn can probably communicate with nature and small to medium sized woodland creatures. Her father is the infamous Robin Hood we know and love of English lore, fighter in the crusades for King Richard the Lionheart. Her mother, Maryam, is a Middle Eastern princess who leaves or is kicked out of her privilege and station when she realizes she is pregnant with Robyn. Robin the Father is called back to England and Maryam joins a group of mystical Healers. Of course, Maryam dies when Robyn is very young because this is a Disney movie, but the Healers train Robyn in science and medicine. When she is a teenager Robyn is determined to find her father and before she sets off on her adventure, the Mother Healer gifts Robyn with Maryam’s beautiful green scarf which Robin dons as a hijab. Robyn will eventually make it to England where those she first encounters question her ‘hood,’ thus the infamous Robin Hood of lore is born anew.
Major motivations behind Robyn leaving her home in the Middle East will be a strong desire to know her father, paired with curiosity about her identity. I would like the story to end with Robyn being back in the Middle East after coming to terms with her father in England. I want her story to be one of reconciliation, discovery, and independence; I want Robyn’s journey to show her that she is powerful, smart, brave, cunning, caring, even without a father. I think Robin the Father should be a character she’s built up in her head, who while being a great swashbuckling adventurer and savior of the poor, doesn’t necessarily make for a great father.
I want little girls who watch the movie to see a girl who possesses cleverness and caring, which make her just as strong as the bow slinging hot head, Merida, and the martial arts master, Mulan. I want little girls to see a bi-racial outsider find strength and community in her Otherness. I want little girls to see an independent and brave spirit in a hijab. I want one of my favorite fairytale heroes to be retooled into a dynamic and modern princess with the same beautiful artistry, attention to detail and powerful storytelling afforded the likes of Rapunzel, Anna and Elsa, and Merida.
So, I’m going to write that story.