I loved Frozen and I'm dying for a sequel with romantic ice skating scenes that can be replayed at Disney on Ice shows. Perhaps Elsa feels pressured to deal with problems like disapproval of Anna's engagement to a commoner from the people and their trading partners. And Princess Diaries style she may be struggling with her own concerns over making a marital alliance, freezing her heart against someone thought inappropriate--and thus causing winter extremes out of season again. Actually I thought Olaf was Elsa's representation of her ideal man--not in looks, perhaps, but in his goofy personality. Perhaps she steels her heart against such a guy because she feels a queen needs to marry someone solemn and dignified.
Apart from that, I wonder who the next Disney Princess will be. Having exhausted the usual fairy tales, Disney has been creating its own or using alternative versions, as in The Princess and the Frog. Here are a few possibilities.
1. Psyche. Not sure anymore if she was really a princess in the original myth but she was in C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces. This wasn't written for children but though heavy material contains nothing inappropriate for kids either. Anyway, in the original, Psyche is beautiful and good, a perfect Disney Princess. Venus is jealous of her and orders her son Cupid to keep men from falling in love with her, which Cupid does gladly because he himself falls in love with her.
I have a great title for the Disney version: Psyched! Since Psyche ends up feeling insecure despite her beauty, as guys seem to avoid her this makes her a great Disney Princess: lovely but not conceited. Her parents are desperate to marry her off and pray to Venus for help. Venus wants Cupid to make Psyche marry a monster. Cupid works it out so she ends up with a mysterious guy whose face she never sees until she sneaks a look one night. It's Cupid, of course. Because Venus can see into young girls' minds, she knows now, and strives to keep them apart.
Psyche is made to undergo various trials by Venus and in the end Cupid defies his mother and rescues her. Disney hasn't really dealt with mother-son conflicts yet, so Psyched! can do something new that way. I'm not sure how I feel about a classical myth character being commercialized, though. I wasn't really that keen on Hercules.
2. The Goose Girl. Disney version: Goosed! Alexandria would make a great Disney Princess. You'd hardly have to change this hilarious story by Patrice Kindl. Alexandria is as beautiful as the dawn, has enchanted hair ogresses use to entrap her, and is tomboyish and socially awkward, never been around anyone but her late mother and their geese. She is pursued by a wicked duke and a prince who she sees a ninny, being rather naive and impractical, but ultimately she's won by his devotion.
3. Dulcinea. Don Quixote is said to be the world's most popular novel. I've never read the original in full, but I remember enjoying the classics comics of it as a kid and I loved Man of La Mancha, the musical version, at ten. Of course, Aldonza, the girl Don Quixote imagines is his lady Dulcinea, can't be a whore in a kids' movie. But I think it's enough to make her ragged, disillusioned by being abused, and prickly. The Disney version can focus on how imagining herself as Princess Dulcinea changes her life. I suppose they'd either make Don Quixote younger or give her a youth as a love interest. The latter is more acceptable, I guess, as it's hard to imagine Don Quixote as young. They shouldn't make the mistake they did with Hunchback and tamper too much with the characters in a classic novel.
4. Thumbelina. In the original, Thumbelina ends up marrying a prince of the flower fairies. I'd rather she discover she's a lost flower fairy princess and end up marrying the roguish, clever Tom Thumb who has saved her from marrying a mole. She and Tom Thumb can both have been divested of their wings and given to childless couples by a sneaky wise woman that couples consult when they want children.
5. The Parrot Pirate Princess. This is one of my favorite of Joan Aiken's fairy tales, and has the potential to be a really entertaining movie. A princess is turned into a parrot as a baby and ends up as a pirate's mascot. Another pirate's parrot, Bill, takes the parrot they named Jake under his wing. She gets turned back into a princess and waits for Bill. Of course, she's too free-spirited to act as a proper princess. The movie can take it further by having her save her family from the pirates who attack the royal ships, and have her find Bill again in the process.
6. Esmeralda. Other good Joan Aiken princess stories include "Cooks and Prophecies" where a princess is cursed to be plain and have no talent but cookery. A king is so impressed with her cookin he wants to marry her, but she refuses and in any case jealous girls get a witch to send her by magic to a desert with a dragon. She ends up befriending this dragon. It's not quite explained how they get out of the desert in the original. It would be easier if the dragon flies her out of the desert and gets turned back into a prince afterward. Esmeralda would make a refreshing Disney Princess, being cute rather than beautiful (she's described as having button eyes and red cheeks) and with practical skills.
7. Helen. Another Joan Aiken one, from the story "People in the Castle" which is intriguing in describing a castle where the people only appear at night. They're not ghosts, as Helen, when she marries the doctor who restores her power of speech, integrates into regular society. It's more that they can move from one time to another, I think. The doctor is a rather solitary person and he is charmed by Helen when she's quiet and mysterious, but when he marries her he gets worn out by her chatter and snaps at her, making her disappear by magic. So then he's desperate to find her again.
8. Lorilla. From a Frank Stockton fairy tale "The Floating Prince" Lorilla is a fairy who helps a displaced prince build a kingdom. It's a funny story, with all sorts of unlikely characters who are drafted as the people of the kingdom, like a giant and a lot of naughty schoolboys. The boys are supposed to be the aristocrats and are featured in another even funnier story "How the Aristocrats Sailed Away." Lorilla advises to have them sail around with their teacher until they are old and educated enough to act as aristocrats, but the boys take over the ship. Lorilla, by the way, gets turned into a woman and marries the prince.
9. The Sky-Maiden. This is a popular Philippine myth, though also found in other cultures. The sky-maiden is a princess of the heavens whom a man tricks into marrying him by hiding her wings. She comes to love him, but then she finds her wings and flies back. He then undergoes a series of challenges to win her back.
10. Princess Lidi of Lloyd Alexander's "The Rope Trick." Okay, so she's not actually a princess but a magician who calls herself one. She travels through Italy, performing magic shows. Along the way she meets the manager of an acrobatic pigs show and a rebel on the run from the law. And in the end she comes to a magical kingdom, where she can be princess. The magic and the colorful characters would make this a visual treat as a film.
11. Nur-Jehan from Llloyd Alexander's The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha. She is the queen of a country that adjoins accidental king Kasha's kingdom. She prefers to ride about dressed as a commoner and gets taken prisoner by her neighbors without Kasha knowing she is queen. While prisoner, she goads Kasha (originally a rogue named Lukas who has been living it up since he was named Sultan) into taking his responsibilites as a king seriously.
Though traditional princess tales may be pretty much exhausted, Disney has plenty of options, as can be seen here. I only hope they can preserve the best qualities of these good stories should they ever translate them to film.