‘Predator’ Is a Disney Princess Story, Says Director

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The Predator in the original 1987 film

Credit: 20th Century Fox

The Predator franchise is one of the all-time great science fiction series, anchored by a simple premise: a terrifying alien hunts humans as trophies. However, it turns out the most critically acclaimed entry in the Predator series is something different: a Disney Princess story.

Predator Alien looking around
Credit: 20th Century Fox

That might not seem like the most logical conclusion to draw, but according to director Dan Trachtenberg, his Predator film Prey (2022) is actually a Disney Princess-style tale.

Prey Predator
Credit: 20th Century Studios

It seems that he felt so strongly about this that Trachtenberg kept referring to it that way during production. While we would not necessarily place it alongside the stories of Snow White, Elsa, Cinderella, Ariel, and all the rest, he does have a point.

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Dan Trachtenberg recently told Vanity Fair that “[T]his movie was so elemental at its core that even before [the] Fox-Disney merger happened, I kept on saying it’s like an R-rated Disney princess film. It’s like a Pixar movie.”

Amber Midthunder hiding from Predator in Prey
Credit: 20th Century

Prey stars Amber Midthunder as Naru, a Comanche woman in the Great Plains in the early 18th Century, before widespread European colonization of the Americas. However, Naru and her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers) encounter something almost as bad: a Predator alien looking for the deadliest prey that Earth has to offer.

According to Dan Trachtenberg, Disney Princess movies are “about dreamers and underdogs. So it just kind of was stirring and moving…And what I kept saying and was well heard—everyone across the board, from the crew of the movie to the movie studio, in success gets to hug each other and high five each other over, wow, we made something special and we made something that does good for humanity.”

Predator with Bone Mask in Prey
Credit: 20th Century

The director also specifically says of Amber Midthunder’s performance as Naru, “For little girls, for older girls, for First Nations, any Indigenous person, for people from any walk of life that feel like they are capable of more than they’re aware of— it has all sorts of positivity. So to be able to be like, yes, we can do good things and also deliver insane Predator killing, and be a fun time, it gets people motivated to want to pull it off.”

Prey was released on the Disney-owned streaming platform Hulu and was immediately an enormous hit, becoming the most-watched premiere of any movie or television series on the service (as well as Disney’s sister Star service).

It was critically acclaimed, currently holding a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Amber Midthunder’s resourceful, resilient Naru being particularly praised.

Credit: 20th Century Studios

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Prey also acted as a revival of the Predator series (now owned by Disney under 20th Century), which had been seeing diminishing returns in the last several decades. The franchise originated with the titular 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie and since then has become a staple of science fiction action, often compared to (and crossing over with) the Alien series.

So if Predator is actually a Disney Princess story, what does that make Alien?

What Disney villain would you compare Predator or Alien to? Let us know in the comments!

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