With Halloween just past, I’m still buzzing with the joy of seeing some of my favourite characters coming to life before my eyes. I’ve always loved to see women and girls dressed as strong, badass female characters. My first favourite of such characters comes from one of the books I was sure to buy my niece when she was born–The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch with art by Michael Martchenko. That’s what makes announcement of a The Paper Bag Princess movie even more exciting.
This 1980 classic children’s story has always been one of my absolute favourites. As a kid, some of that came from the fact that the main character and I shared a first name (Elizabeth), but it was mostly because there were princes and princesses and dragons–and the princess saves the day. Today maybe that’s not so unheard of (though it’s still not seen as often as it should be), but when I was a kid, it was revelatory for me. I know I’m not alone in that!
If you’re not familiar with the tale or need a refresher, let me give you the rundown: Princess Elizabeth lives in a castle in a lovely kingdom and is getting ready to marry Prince Ronald. One day, a dragon comes, burns down the castle, and kidnaps the Prince. After the fire, Elizabeth is left without clothes. Undeterred, she grabs a paper bag, puts it on, and head off to rescue her Prince. When she does rescue him, Ronald is decidedly unimpressed by her attire. Instead of thanking her for saving him or telling her how cool and badass she is, he goes on about how she’s all sooty and doesn’t look like a proper princess. Elizabeth is so not here for that, is all BOY, BYE, and leaves.
This empowering tale has been inspiration for many a young girl and I can’t wait for it to be brought to life on the big screen! Universal has optioned the film rights with Elizabeth Banks set to direct, Margot Robbie attached to produce and star, and Katie Silberman attached to write the screenplay. These female powerhouses seem like great choices to have at the helm. I can’t wait to see what they do with it!
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