In 2001, the film "The Princess Diaries" was released, changing the lives of tweens and teenagers alike. Produced Whitney Houston, nonetheless, it was a massive hot, grossing one hundred and sixty five million dollars at box office level. Based on the much-acclaimed 2000 Meg Cabot novel of the same name, the plot is, as the title suggests, about a princess. Mia Thermopolis, an ordinary teenage girl from San Francisco, or, as it turns out, Princess Amelia of Genovia. With a stellar cast, including Anne Hathaway's debut on film, and Julie Andrews, the story follows Mia's struggle with teenage life, love, and the unusual discovery that she is, in fact, royal. Although not a lot of people can relate to the last situation, the film has certainly developed a significantly large fanbase.
As previously mentioned, the protagonist of the first film is Anne Hathaway, as the teenager Mia Thermopolis. Living with her artist mother in a converted fire station, Mia struggles, but seems to be doing well, getting good grades, and having fun with her best friend Lily. Sure, she has a seemingly unrequited crush on a boy in the popular clique, and get so anxious during a debate that she has to run to the toilets to throw up- but, on the whole, things seem to be going well. That is, until, she meets her grandmother. Namely, her father's mother. As it tuns out, her father was Crown Prince of the Country of Genovia, and her Grandmother is Queen Reagent. As her Grandfather, and now father, have passed away, Mia is next in line to rule. This results in hilarious, heartfelt scenarios, and the important lesson that true friends stay with you, through both good times and bad.
It seems that one film wasn't enough, as in 2004, Hathaway and Andrews rejoined forces, in "Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement." Grossing nearly twenty three thousand dollars world wide, whilst clearly not as successful as the first film, it certainly still earned a place in many people's hearts. This, now set in Genovia, relates to Mia's duty as Princess, mainly related to whom she should marry. Although, as a sixteen year old, this is a little worrying, the audience is reassured that she is required to be engaged, rather than to marry. Despite the two candidates, Mia's current boyfriend Oliver, and the neighboring Prince Chris Pine, both Mia and her Grandmother come to the same conclusion; namely, that there is no need for her, as the rightful heir, to have an engagement, especially at such a young age. As a young woman, she still has both a right and ability to rule, without a potential husband. A similarly poignant and strong message, this is undoubtedly a satisfying sequel to the first film.
Both Princess Diaries films are undoubtedly enjoyable, encapsulating, and fun for the whole family. Despite Mia not counting as an 'official' Disney Princess, she has certainly earned a place in everyone's hearts. Charming, kind, and realistic, Mia Thermopolis should be a role model for both tween girls, and boys everywhere.