I read a movie tagline for a Disney film called "Punched" the other day, pitched by a user in an online forum I frequent, and it instantly captured my attention.
The concept/tagline was:
"Most Disney princesses wear a ring. This princess dominates one."
Disney's 'Punched' Coming 2019
It was jokingly posted in response to a discussion about Disney building its empire on the "Princess Movie" brand and debating whether or not the most recent Disney Princess feature, Moana, was a risk for the media conglomerate in today's sociopolitical landscape. That debate aside, I thought the mock concept was just way too awesome, so I had to make a #poster for it.
I submitted the above #teaser poster concept to /r/movies on Reddit yesterday morning and it was met with an enormous response almost instantly. I was taken aback. All the positive reactions were overwhelming, as nearly everyone was keen on the idea of subverting the Disney Princess trope by making her a #boxing #champion. Many of them even offered up really great insight for the plot beats.
Some of my favorite story bits mentioned were her father could have been the undisputed "King of the Ring" years before, and another #Reddit user gave "Punched" the perfect emotional thrust, saying:
It's such a solid concept if done right. If they don't water it down. She has to get punched, she has to bleed, she has to struggle and she has to get back up. She doesn't have to win. She just has to fight to win.
If they show that, the emotion of that, and the perceptions she might struggle with both on her own and from other people, then it could be a surprisingly real life story — and it's the real emotions and relationships that are best about these films.
Ahh! How amazing does that sound?! I absolutely need this to happen.
Another Reddit user posted a shorter, spoiler-ridden synopsis for "Punched" that gets straight to the point:
Spoiler alert: she's undefeated, she gets beat, training montage, and then she wins her title back. End of movie.
As concise as that description is, I honestly think that's a strong enough framework to build a feature film on. I mean, it worked for 1982's Rocky III perfectly in my opinion. Another user responded to that brief plot synopsis with something a little bit more optimistic and fleshed out, along with some added nuance to beef up the story, saying:
Nah, she'll be undefeated, she'll get beat, get her title back, then give it up to go for the world title, move up the world rankings but get beat to a pulp by the world's number two.
At this point people start thinking she might be punch drunk but it turns out she's okay. She also has a cute male-nurse crush that never goes anywhere and a cuter, taller rival that she'll never get to fight against. The movie will have infinite sequels and the final will be 30 years after the opening.
Thinking ahead with infinite sequels, and a finale 30 years later?
The concept might overstay its welcome if it were to go on that long, but hey, I'm totally game just to get the first installment greenlit. There's no denying it, I'd love for Disney or #Pixar to come out with a #DisneyPrincess film where the princess is a champion prizefighter... but what about you?
Would you watch Disney's Punched?
Oh, and in addition to the story, some also mentioned what animal sidekick this boxing Disney Princess would have. My favorite suggestions were a runt boxer puppy with a scrappy personality and a betta fish she carries around in a bowl. She could have both too, seeing as how Moana had both Pua and Heihei! If you have your own animal sidekick ideas, leave them in the comments!