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With 'Frozen 2' on the way, a look at the evolution of Disney princesses

During a call with investors on Thursday, Disney made official its intention to produce a sequel to the $1.2-billion-earning "Frozen." That film's massive success may finally show the entertainment giant that its princesses don't always have to play second fiddle to the male characters. Here's a quick look at how past Disney princesses have reflected their times.

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937): Walt Disney's first animated feature starred a woman, but aside from fleeing the Evil Queen, her role was to take care of seven little bachelors as live-in domestic help and then be rescued from a deathly sleep by a handsome prince. A few years after the movie was released, many women entered the workforce during World War II.

"The Little Mermaid" (1989): Though Princess Ariel was more active and adventurous than princesses before her, she was still willing to give up her voice and leave behind her entire world in order to land the affections of a man.

''Beauty and the Beast" (1991): Years before Katherine Heigl wound up with Seth Rogen in "Knocked Up," there was brainy, bookish Belle willing to look past Beast's horrifying appearance and moody demeanor to see the good-hearted guy beneath. Lots of women try this in real life, but there are no witches' curses in reality, just a lot of beasts.

"The Princess and the Frog" (2009): Tiana wasn't born to royalty, but she became Disney's first African American princess. And though the film was set in the 1920s, this wasn't the story of a passive princess waiting for her prince. Tiana's dream was not to be swept off her feet, but to sweep out an old building and turn it into a happening New Orleans restaurant. In the 21st century, the princesses aren't window-dressing. They own the windows.

Photo credits: Disney

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