Friday, February 6, 2015

So This Is Love: Our Disney OTPs

One of the things Disney is known for is true love. In the world of Disney, love is magical--and Disney taught us that magic is something worth believing in. So, then, love is worth believing in as well.

While true love manifests itself differently in the real world, these movies filled our childhood and adult years with tales that reflected it. And these stories are not easy to forget. So during our Month of OTPs, we've decided to feature some of our favorite Disney couples--the ones that, however cheesy, showed us what love could look like. Whether from new or old Disney movies, they're the couples we still believe in today.

Reminder: OTPs stands for One True Pairing. An OTP is a romantic couple in a fandom that you like. "Shipping" an OTP means you: 1.) very much like this couple together, 2.) have "feels" (feelings) about them, and 3.) want them to succeed.

Jaime Heller

It’s so hard to choose. So. Many. Options.

But obviously, I’m going with Rapunzel and Eugene Fitzherbert. :) These two make me smile and cover my face with my hands because they’re adorable. Also how they fall in love: it’s not a “love at first sight” kind of deal, though they do seem pretty infatuated with each other after about a day (but hey, what’s a little adventure and being hunted down by multiple people to make you fall in love?) But they learn about each other and open up little by little and slowly fall in love (or at least slower than a lot of other Disney couples). They balance each other: she boosts his dreaming and he grounds her back to earth.


But my biggest reason they are my OTP is that Eugene dies for her. Dies. Yes, she was going to sacrifice her living life so he could be healed, but he won’t accept that. He would rather die than know she can’t be free. It’s rare you see that happen, especially with people who don’t know each other that well. Plus I can’t keep a straight face when they whisper “You were my new dream.” “And you were mine.” My shipper's heart beats loudly for them. 
Memorable mentions: Belle and Adam (the Beast) because that is probably the greatest love story in Disney existence and Carl and Ellie from Up because dang their story creates my own Paradise Falls on my face and it’s told without any words, just music. (Plus these two remind me of my grandparents in almost every way.)

Mirriam Neal

As I write this, I’m listening to the Strange Magic soundtrack and preparing to go to see the movie for the second time tonight. My partner-in-crime Courtney and myself are taking my sister Riah to see it because a) she hasn’t yet and b) we really, really need to see it again. I was shocked with how much I adored the movie – and how hard I shipped two certain characters; namely, the Bog King and Marianne. Their ship name? Butterfly Bog, of course. Because Mog and Barianne sound just a little too funky, I guess. 

I have never, ever shipped an animated couple this hard. Not even Hiccup and Astrid in HTTYD 2, even though they were completely adorable. I mean, I ship Butterfly Bog almost as hard as I ship Bellarke, and anyone who knows how hard I ship Bellarke has an inkling of what this means. I shipped Bog and Marianne before they were even in a scene together, okay. They were written like real, flesh-and-blood characters and not two-dimensional cartoons. And it was beautiful.

In fact, Strange Magic is legitimately the most romantic movie I’ve ever seen – and I’m a cinemaphile who has seen a lot of romantic movies. Strange Magic is from the mind of George Lucas, and so we get a romance that’s reminiscent of Madmartigan/Sorscha or Han Solo/Leia – except it’s more like the distilled essences of these characters, with a twist.

The Bog King tries very hard to be ‘the bad guy,’ when in reality he’s an awkward sweetheart who got severely burned from his last ‘love’ attempt.

Marianne is a thick-skinned, tough fairy princess who has sworn off men after her former Romeo spurned her.

When these two meet, they find they have a lot in common – namely, people-hate and bad attitudes toward love. Sparks fly (literally – as the saying goes, it’s not a real OTP unless they’ve tried to kill each other at least once) but there’s quite a lot of awkwardness since the Bog King’s mother is trying to set him up with every female that breathes, and Princess Marianne’s younger sister Dawn is head-over-heels for Bog thanks to an errant love potion.

The Bog King is ugly. He’s prickly. He’s ‘a scaly-backed cockroach’ who happens to have a heart of gold that he tries very hard to bury. Marianne is beautiful and lively and has a soft heart that she’s attempted to harden through sheer determination and ‘realism.’ Their chemistry is something I rarely see even in live-action movies or – well, even television shows.

This movie. Guys, this couple – let me tell you right now, when I’m in a relationship, I’m not making my man watch The Notebook. I’m making him watch Strange Magic. If you think I’m kidding, just wait. This relationship is everything I aspire to write, everything I love. It’s perfect. I don’t even care that it’s insta-love – it’s an animated movie and they’re allowed that. It’s beautiful. I – guys. I can’t stress this enough – the movie has great animation, great music, great dialogue – but this relationship is my jam. I can’t tell you enough. And you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Alan Cumming belt out Mistreated.

Sky Destrian

It's honestly hard for me to zero in on just one Disney couple. However, when gathering images for this post, I realized that, um, I shipped Lady and the Tramp so hard as a kid. I had a lot of feelings about them I had totally forgotten about.

While it may seem odd to ship a pair of dogs, the love story perfectly crafted in The Lady and the Tramp stuck with me. Who could forget the infamous spaghetti scene?


Quick warning: I'm about to go into some character analysis about animated dogs.

I think I love them so much because the Tramp is the perfect contrast to Lady's prim and proper demeanor. He gets her into trouble, and she reigns him in. They complete each other.

One thing that strikes me is Tramp's loyalty to Lady. He'll do anything to take care of her. From the moment he meets her, he keeps an eye on her. For a mutt off the streets, I think that's a big deal. I don't think Tramp cared for anyone quite as much as he cared for Lady.

The Lady and the Tramp is actually an intense movie--not everything is okay, not at first. Lots of things stand in the way of their perfect love story. They lose each other throughout the movie and then find each other again. "Pidge? Where are ya, Pidge?" The two of them have to overcome many obstacles to end up together, but when they do, they have the cutest puppies ever. Truly, a love story to behold.

Another favorite is Carl and Ellie from Up. Their movie felt so real in the space of about ten minutes. As a writer myself, I realize that making the audience care in such a short time span is an amazing feat. Some couples have two hours devoted to them and don't have as much chemistry as Carl and Ellie did. Carl's loyalty to Ellie was especially touching, as was their thrill for adventure. I especially related to Carl's difficulty of letting go. But in the end, it was the memories that mattered, and Ellie knew that.

If I can find a love story like that, I'll be a lucky person indeed.

However, my all-time favorite, like so many of us from The Fangirl Initiative, has to be Flynn and Rapunzel. Ever since I watched Tangled three years ago, I've wanted a Flynn Rider. They are perfect together. If there's one animated couple I can get behind 100%, it's them. And I definitely want a relationship like that. As Flynn Rider said about his frying pan, "Oh, mama, I have got to get me one of these!"

Honorable mentions: Tarzan and Jane from Tarzan & Wall-E and Eve from WALL-E

Sarah Munson

The older I get, the more I love Disney movies. I credit Disney with making me first fall in love with, well, love. A few couples stand out above the rest to me. These are my Disney OTP’s. (Or at least, this is a sample of them. I could probably find reasons for loving most Disney couples!)

1. Beauty & the Beast, a.k.a. Belle & Adam. They were my first ever OTP, long before I knew what it meant to have one. Simply put, I was four years old and in love with them being in love. Now that I am old enough to see beyond the charming songs and how handsome the Beast turns out to be, I have more solid reasons why I adore this couple. Firstly, their love isn’t instant. They have tension and fights initially, but working through those difficulties eventually brings them closer. Both of them understand what it’s like to be an outcast. Belle, because everyone considers her “odd,” and Adam, because he’s shunned for being cursed. Because they’re both so often misunderstood and outcast, I love that they find friendship and later love in each other. Their characters are both tested and strengthened throughout the story. Belle sticks with the Beast even when he doesn’t deserve it. For his part, he treats her as well as he can, keeping her in the palace as a guest rather than a prisoner. Later, he releases her to return to her sick father, but when Belle accidentally places the Beast in danger, she is quick to rush back to his side. They both make sacrifices for one another, and make each other better. It may be a tale as old as time, but I’ll always love their love story.

2. Mulan & Li Shang. I feel like this is one couple that’s often overlooked, but because I’m a fan of Mulan, these two deserve a mention. They have perhaps more tension than any other Disney pair I can think of. They’re both strong characters, and stubborn at times. But their dedication and passion to their beliefs ultimately pulls them together. I’m not always a fan of sequels, but I really like the further development of their relationship in Mulan II. They’re like yin and yang together. (Also, shout out to Mushu the dragon, for being the best and worst third wheel in Disney romance history!)

3. Flynn & Rapunzel. They’re a popular OTP, but they remain my absolute fondest! I could write an entire essay on the reasons I love them as individuals and especially a couple, but I’ll try to contain myself. They have the perfect blend of similarities and differences. Both are adventurous, dreamers (Flynn is a little more reserved about it, but he does have a dream. No, really! It’s just much less touchy-feely!) Neither one had a perfect life or enough love, nor is either particularly eager to discuss backstory. At least, not at first. Once they open up to each other, though, they begin to connect in a quiet, understanding, accepting way. Flynn’s bolder, shrewder and snarkier side is balanced out by Rapunzel’s gentleness, innocence and kindness. He’s typically calm and collected; she’s excited and a bit scattered. His traits enhance her life, and vice versa. They don’t instantly fall into romance, first taking the time to be a team, looking out for one another and having fun together. My favorite scene involving them is the kingdom dance, because it’s full of little details that show how much they care for each other. Then comes the lantern scene, which makes my heart flutter and soar. Their duet is the most perfect ever. And then the end of the movie. There are no words. Rapunzel and Flynn (or rather, Eugene) are possibly the most perfect pairing I could imagine. Now if you’ll pardon me, I need to go watch Tangled again!

Now it's your turn: who's your Disney OTP?

Note: Several images in this post are from this article of Disney valentines. 
They're adorable, so check them out!

Special thanks to:
Jaime, for coming up with the idea for this post and finding the Disney valentines
Sarah, for sending in a few of the images used in this post
Mirriam, for overflowing with her effervescent opinion of Strange Magic.


  1. Ooh, what a lovely Valentine edition! I think my fav couple on the list is Eugene/Rapunzel -- probably because Eugene has the best snark ever -- but it would be Mulan/Li Shang if not for the fact the pairing was not in the original. Yes. I am a stickler for originals.

  2. Ooh, what a lovely Valentine edition! I think my fav couple on the list is Eugene/Rapunzel -- probably because Eugene has the best snark ever -- but it would be Mulan/Li Shang if not for the fact the pairing was not in the original. Yes. I am a stickler for originals.

  3. Rapunzel and Flynn forever! They have got to be my all time favorite Disney OTP.


    Closely followed by Eugenzel!

  5. I'm just gonna say, that, although i agree with absolutely EVERY. SINGLE. ONE on here.. well apart from ellie and carl.. his obsession annoyed me tbh :/ but the others: YES! But, I also love Ariel and Eric ESPECIALLY in their sequel <3 it's so cute! The chemistry is sooo so so strong! They are there for each other no matter what and always try to understand each other as best as they can.. I understand it's not the original and yes the little mermaid is my favourite (as well as Beauty and the Beast, Mulan and Big hero 6 ofc (+ ALL THE OTHERS)) but TLM stands out abive the rest... anyway, even though i may be biased, i just love how strong their relationship is. And you can tell that in the off screen time they really got to know each other because there is a deep understanding that can JUST. BE. FELT :)
    That being said... ALL DISNEY SHIPS ARE OTPS (except snow white and the prince, and aurora and philip.. NO CHEMISTRY!... still love the movies though! (hate snow's voice but)) so uhh yeah, I'm a fan :)
    Love the post btw! <3