Special thanks to Emily from Little Flecks of Gold for sharing her favorite childhood movie characters in today's guest post!
It’s only natural that our favorite childhood movies will have a new meaning to us when we’re older, it’s always a pleasant surprise when you realize your favorite childhood movies are filled with strong female characters and inspirational storylines, not just slyly mature dialogue. Lately, when I’ve rewatched a few of my favorite childhood movies, I’ve been able to see the characters that influenced me the most as a child, whether it was to improve, stand up for, or simply be myself. While I have many I could add to this list, here are just a few of my favorites:
I was obsessed with Princess Diaries as a child and decided to rewatch it a couple months ago. While I always wanted to be Princess Mia as a child, this time around, I found myself admiring her best friend instead. Not only is Lily incredibly loyal to and supportive of Mia, she has an immense amount of self-respect for any woman, let alone a high schooler (I wanted to cheer when she tells Jeremiah “The way to a girl’s heart is not by treating her like a vending machine.”)
The title of “favorite Disney princess” was on frequent rotation during my childhood, but Belle wins it by a landslide now. Beauty and the Beast focuses very little on the superficial aspects that a lot of other movies do. Besides the obvious “don’t judge a book by its cover” message in the film, Belle’s knowledge and love of learning is portrayed as one of her best attributes, instead of tiny feet or mile-long hair. I also love that Belle’s story doesn’t revolve around a typical damsel-in-distress storyline, instead the story begins with Belle saving her father from the beast.
The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady were my favorite musicals as a kid. While I used to love My Fair Lady for the music and costumes (and still do), I’ve come to love it for its inspirational main character. Even though Eliza was raised in poverty, she made a career for herself and took the first opportunity to improve her living conditions, even though it would be demanding. Eliza was determined to become more cultured and worked hard, even when her training was draining and tedious. Although Henry Higgins was condescending and misogynistic towards Eliza, she wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself. In the end, Eliza doesn’t change who she is or succumb to social pressure. Instead, she becomes a better version of herself (while rocking some really great hairstyles.)
As someone who watched the Harry Potter movies countless times and read the entire series twice before hitting my teenage years, it figures that it’s been a major influence in my life. While nearly all the female Harry Potter characters belong on this list (except for maybe Cho Chang and Dolores Umbridge), Luna’s been my favorite ever since Order of the Phoenix came out. I was immediately drawn to Luna for her quirky charm and positive attitude. Nothing could keep Luna from being herself and looking on the bright side, which I think is a great lesson for any young girl.
Now that you’ve seen some of my favorite fictional characters, who are some of yours?
Want to see more posts from Emily? Check out her blog, Little Flecks of Gold.