My daughter is four years old, which means we consume a lot of Disney Princess merchandise: movies, toys, etc. As one might expect, everyone in our house basically knows every word to every song from Frozen. It’s a great movie, of course, but I’d love to see an anarcho-capitalist take on the Disney Princess narratives. Where did the resources come from that paid for the castle? In one of the songs in Frozen, Anna sings “who knew we had a thousand salad plates?”

Who paid for those thousand salad plates?

Perhaps Anna and Elsa’s parents were the pictures of wise and benevolent rulers, trading protection of property rights for tax revenue, but who had their dreams deferred in order to pay for a thousand salad plates collecting dust in the palace?

The “benevolent ruler” view comes into question toward the end of the movie when there is a royal proclamation that the kingdom of Arendelle will no longer do business with “Weasel Town.” Granted, the Duke of Weselton is a scoundrel, but why should the queen stand between her subjects and willing trading partners in Weselton? How is the edict to be enforced?

I suspect there are much darker histories behind the princes and princesses than Disney (or the original authors of the fairy tales on which Disney movies are based) is willing to admit. What happened before “once upon a time”? How did the royal families get their power? And how, for that matter, would they respond to competing providers of security services in their jurisdictions?

A friend once said a fish doesn’t question the water in which it swims, so we can perhaps expect Anna and Elsa to be oblivious to the (likely) immoral ways in which their ancestors obtained power. One would hope, though, that if they were truly the paragons of virtue the movie makes them out to be, they would seek to make amends for the sins of their fathers post-haste.