The Heart of Robin Hood, a new feminist fairy tale from Mirvish, morphs Maid Marion from a prissy damsel into a spunky swashbuckler
For little girls, the most indelible image of 2014 was that of Frozen’s Queen Elsa, shimmying and shimmering as she discarded the manacles of her regal existence. At that moment, Elsa became an avatar of tweenage girl power, trumpeting the virtues of self-expression, pragmatism and independence. Frozen, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, is the latest fairy tale to be reimagined as a badass feminist manifesto. We’ve also seen Snow White and the Huntsman, which recast the porcelain princess as a hard-core warrior played by Kristen Stewart; Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie as an evil fairy turned motherly martyr; and Wicked, which transformed Elphaba, The Wizard of Oz’s reptilian witch, into a sensitive victim of bullying. After centuries of docile damsels and nefarious crones, the new fairy-tale heroines have pluck. They fight battles, stand up for themselves and belt out the swelling go-girl anthems that inspire millions of YouTube covers. As female role models, they form an unimpeachable sorority.