There are some good parts to the Disney princesses (although we're holding off on most no matter what, b/c they are way too violent/intense for DD anyway) and we do really enjoy the Disney fairies, too. DD has totally gotten into inventing things. Not bad for a character I HATED from the Peter Pan play (she tried to kill Wendy, for heaven's sake! talk about "there can be only one" anti-feminism
We watched the Disney TV Cinderella again, as it happened, for movie night, and had a lot of great conversations about how Cinderella was getting out of there on her own, before the prince showed up with the shoe, and how she had to make her dream come true, and how he loved her in rags, not just her pretty dress, and how the prince was unhappy with his fancy life and pressures, too, etc etc... but mostly DD A) loved the dancing and singing and big white poufy dress and B) was ticked they only showed the beginning of the story, and not when Chris and Cinderella make babies
Because when you get married, then you're a mommy and daddy. So we got to talk about how so many stories stop at the wedding, too.
I was thinking of another great movie, for way older kids-- Ever After. Cinderella/Danielle saves herself with a sword and rescues the prince, too. And fights for class rights!
The few times DD has played princess, she's ridden a pegasus to find and save a lost baby dragon. But luckily as much as she likes princesses, she never wants to dress up as one and plays paleontologist and doctor and fairy and Mary Poppins MUCH more.
Someone mentioned Ella Enchanted-- the book is much better than the movie (I student taught middle school when it hit, and everyone was disgusted with the movie!) and Gail Carson Leviene's Two Princesses of Bamarre is EXCELLENT. There are even fairies, too