So last night, I re-watched The Swan Princess. Shut up, I was bored, and it was on-demand. Upon re-viewing, I couldn't help but notice just how STUPID Prince Derek is in that movie. He has to be one of, if not THE most stupid cartoon fairy tale princes EVER.
Besides the obvious in-story stupidity (the "what else is there" answer):
- He spends what looks like several months "practicing" saving Odette. However long it is, it's enough time for his mother (and the entire kingdom) to think he needs to just move on already.
- When not practicing, he is "studying" to better save Odette. His plan is to apparently read every book in the library, hoping to decode the cryptic message Odette's father left before he died.
- He interprets the message WAY wrong.
- He goes skipping out to the forest, thinking his genius interpretation is going to make him save Odette before the ball THE NEXT DAY. The interpretation? That the "great animal" could be anything. So his uber confidence comes from the fact that he's probably looking for any animal. What was his plan? Kill everything?
- The only thing he almost kills is Odette herself, accidentally. Because he is a dumb ass. (And another note: after all that amazing animal shooting practice...he can't hit a swan? Not just a swan, but a human being that only just recently turned into a swan?)
- Odette is being held captive in a place that he can WALK to from his house. A castle owned by a reclusive crazy wizard. Yet Derek had to study for months (at least long enough for Odette to become quite adept at the whole flying thing) to figure out where to start.
Blah blah blah, it ends happily ever after. It should have ended that Derek tripped down the stairs and accidentally killed himself with his own arrow. That would have at least been believable. Odette can just learn to live as a swan. She'd still be better off than her dad, who dies and no one seemed to care.
So what are your thoughts? Can you think of a stupider animated fairytale prince? They aren't the smartest lot of fictional characters, but I don't think anyone can be as dumb as Derek.