Sarah Silverman Says ‘Wreck-It Ralph’s Vanellope Is Disney’s First Jewish Princess
Little Jewish boys and girls have never had a Disney princess to call their own. Sure, they could enjoy the sleepy adventures of Snow White or Cinderella’s sartorial magic just like anyone else. But there hasn’t been an explicitly Jewish princess in more than 80 years of feature films from Disney.
Technically, there still isn’t an explicitly Jewish Disney princess. However, Sarah Silverman, the voice of the plucky racing heroine (and princess — she’s definitely a princess) of Wreck-It Ralph and the new Ralph Breaks the Internet Vanellope Von Schweetz, has been arguing on the Ralph press tour that Vanellope is, in fact, the first-ever Disney princess of the Judaic persuasion.
First, she tweeted this:
Then, when Yahoo! asked her about the tweet, she argued Vanellope was Jewish. “I say she is,” she told Yahoo! “Nobody has said no. So, yeah.” And Yahoo! also asked her directors on Ralph 2, Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, about Vanellope’s religious persuasion, and they agreed with Silverman. Moore said he “thinks that very much so,” and Johnston said Vanellope is “a Jewish animated princess, absolutely.”
There’s no clear evidence of Vanellope’s Judiasm in the movie, at least that I picked up on. She doesn’t attend Shabbat services or refuse to eat a pulled pork sandwich or anything like that. When Yahoo! asked Silverman for evidence of her claim, she told them “she’s feisty, she says what’s on her mind, she’s a little pushy.” Which is all true, I suppose. Maybe the Von Schweetz family changed their name when they arrived at Ellis Island? (Fictional video game characters arrived in this country through Ellis Island, right?)
I certainly didn’t feel like this was a key component of Vanellope’s character when I watched the movie, and I wouldn’t have made the argument myself. But if the woman who plays the role and her writer/directors both say it’s so, who am I to argue? Mazel tov to them all.
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