Otherwise Known As: Kida
Name Meaning: “Raising Away the Darkness”
Premiered in: Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Voiced By: Cree Summer
Nearly as infamous as Eilonwy, Kidagakash Nedakh of Atlantis, or simply Kida to her friends and those incapable of pronouncing her name correctly, hails from a film that did not do well in its initial run but has something of a cult following in the years following it. As I’ve said before, Atlantis: The Lost Empire was a big leap for Disney to make by how different it is from most Disney films of the time, again much like how The Black Cauldron was in its time. The lack of success, and the heavy amount of seriousness, is likely the main reason why Kida is not included amongst the Disney Princesses though I’ve often heard jokes and quips about other traits. These traits include her inability to sing, lack of an animal companion (outside of the attempted television series), and how she’s not “pretty enough.”
While I doubt that she can’t sing, as I’m a firm believer that anyone can sing it’s more of how good a job they do it, and I can argue her lack of sidekick I just don’t understand why anyone would think she’s not as pretty as the Disney Princesses. She is rather like Elphaba of Oz renown insomuch that while not “a fair maiden” she’s most definitely of a kind of beauty that’s rather exotic to see in any woman, no matter her heritage. Speaking of…
Kida’s domain is that of Atlantis and I will say right now that not only would it be a place worth visiting, it would be one that I would wholeheartedly love to take residence in. Taking aside the futuristic technologies the likes of which include flying vehicles and sentient war-machines/guardians, the crystal fragments that each citizen of Atlantis wears bestows upon them a longevity that is roughly eighty times that of a normal human. However, I should point out that the source of this longevity is not the shards themselves but the source from which they are carved, the Heart of Atlantis. As such, should the crystal pendants be outside of the Heart’s area of influence, essentially the city of Atlantis itself then the longevity is null and void.
The Heart of Atlantis is a quasi-sentient energy-based being conformed to a crystalline structure and is, in effect, Kida’s sidekick in the film or as close to one as such a being can get. I say this because it is only the royal family, and apparently only those of the female persuasion, that can be joined by the Heart of Atlantis and, using their bodies as a medium, allow it to access a level of power that is frightening to behold. When Kida’s mother used it, at the cost of her life I might add, it not only sunk Atlantis to below the ocean floor but also created an environment in which the people could continue to survive if not actually thrive, for the people of the Atlantis were dying though not in the physical sense of the word.
It was Kida’s love-interest, and later husband, Milo Thatch whom discovered that Kida, and a good number of citizens of Atlantis, had become stagnant to such a degree that though they were alive, they were not truly living. They were forgetting how their very empire once functioned to such a degree that they had forgotten not only how to use their own advanced technologies but their own written language as well. Like Hercules and Meg, Milo and Kida’s relationship is both humorous and endearing to behold with Milo being the very epitome of scholarly nerd and Kida a, almost literal, Amazonian warrior that should be way out of his league. Their courtship consists mostly of Milo learning of her culture and, in essence, teaching Kida at the same time and while it’s not often that one sees something of a teacher-student relationship, this interpretation of one was rather refreshing, especially when one considers that Kida is, technically, the older one of the relationship.
On that note, I would like to point out that Kida is, by all accounts, over eight thousand years old and if one were to translate her Atlantean years to us mundane folks, she would be twenty-eight, easily the oldest princess of the Disney Animated Films and one of the few whose story is not told during her teenage years. In fact, aside from her age and a whole bunch of other random trivia, the one thing that makes Kida the most unique amongst any princess, official or otherwise, is that she is the only one that is entirely original. She and her story are not based on anything beyond the mysteries surrounding the city of Atlantis and I feel that is the most prevalent reason why she should be included amongst the Disney Princesses.
Any child who watches a Disney film will naturally be curious as to its source material and upon discovering how different the characters are will likely argue as to which is the “true” character. I myself was rather surprised by what became of Ariel at the end of her original story but despite that, I actually like that ending more than the film’s. Kida however, is the only princess whose film is her story from beginning to end and those children who grow interested in her origins will find only speculations on Atlantis. Perhaps, just perhaps mind you, desire for more than what is currently known and seek the truth behind the myth that is the Lost Empire.