Being in The Royal Family really is hard work
If you are lucky enough to live in the UK right now, you know that everyone apparently has Liz fever. Despite this being the darkest timeline, the Queen will become the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years on the throne. While no one here at UDS would commit to being a royalist, we do find all the pomp and circumstance utterly fascinating and worth exploring further.
Cody Rhodes taught us that “Wrestling has more than one royal family”, which got us thinking. The world has more than one royal family and by extension, so does the film industry. We’re going to run through what we think are the best films about the royal family. Any royal family. Everything “royal” is fair game. So join us for the best films featuring a royal family and see if you get sick of the word “royal” by the end of it.
The Simpsons Movie – Craig
The Simpsons footprint on pop culture and society remains unmatched by any other animated franchise. The Simpsons “brand” is estimated at $12.33 Billion and each episode reportedly costs $5 million to make (as of 2011, anyway). This is a roundabout way of saying The Simpsons is animation’s “royal family” and no one else comes close.
The Simpsons Movie is a feature length film about animation’s royal family and could’ve been a complete disaster. There were multiple attempts in the past to make a Simpsons flick, but they could never find a story that would fit the scope and timescale. As time went on The Simpsons popularity increased and the pressure to create a film that appeased classic and modern Simpsons fans seemed to be something that was impossible.
Despite the odds seeming to pile up against Matt Groening and his merry band of writers, The Simpsons Movie released July 2007 to positive acclaim. Reviewers praised the slick animation and great writing that harkened back to The Simpsons glory days. They showed the world even if you’re an old royal family, you can still please the people.
Into the Woods (The Princes From) – Ryan
While I disagree wholeheartedly with Craig about animation’s royal family being The Simpsons, I have decided to write not about animation’s actual royal family, The House of Mouse, but instead about the two princes from the film Into the Woods (2014).
Based on the Stephen Sondheim musical of the same name, but stripping it of some of its best moments, the Into the Woods movie is a disaster from start to finish. Who thought James Corden would be a good choice for anything? Why does Johnny Depp’s Big Bad Wolf not have a big bad penis (I’d Google that, I’m not making it up).
However, the two princes (Cinderella’s Prince and Rapunzel’s Prince), are the highlight of both the stage show and the film. Played pitch perfectly by Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen, both trying to one-up each other with how difficult their love lives are, and how much AGONY they are in. Both are absolute highlights of the film, and make it worth at least a watch.
The Elective Monarchy of Naboo in Star Wars – Tom
I’m not a huge fan of the British Royal Family. They’re thrust into a position of power and comfort by some draconian birthright, and stand as a bastion of stodgy traditionalism, when our society is in dire need of a good overhaul.
But what I am a fan of is Star Wars (Editor’s Note: Yes, we know, Tom). And as always, they’re here to show us the way with a monarchic system done right.
In Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, we’re introduced to the idyllic planet of Naboo and their reigning monarch – Queen Padmé Amidala. But despite her fancy frocks and regal disposition, she didn’t come to power through her family. Instead, she was elected to the role, which also comes with the responsibility of fighting for the planet on the galactic political battleground. No waving, collecting flowers and in bed by 8pm here.
There’s even a term limit set to prevent abuse of power. Like many real world leaders, it’s a couple of four year terms, then you’re out. So successful was this system, the people tried to bend the rules to keep Amidala in office.
The past few years have seen the Prequel Trilogy finally get the appreciation it’s so long deserved, and I think it’s about time this kudos extends to its portrayal of what a true, fair and effective monarchy should be.