Princess Clara


Princess Clara

Drawn Together character


name=Princess Clara
gender=Female
race=Caucasian
hair=Auburn
age=20
job=Princess
sexuality=Heterosexual
religion=Fundamentalist Christian
voice actor=Tara Strong

Princess Clara is a fictional character in the animated series "Drawn Together". She is voiced by Tara Strong.

Conception

According to creators Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein, they partially based Clara on Julie Stoffer from "", a Mormon who had little experience dealing with gays or people of other races and who tended to make offensive remarks without realizing it. [cite web|url=http://tv.ign.com/articles/746/746056p1.html|title="Drawn Together"'s creators face reality|work=IGN.com|accessdate=2006-11-27]

Background

Princess Clara is a pampered, naïve, racist member of royalty, and a spoof of the Disney Princesses. Her features (her hair and eyes in particular) are based on Ariel from "The Little Mermaid", while her outfit suggests Princess Aurora from "Sleeping Beauty"; other noticeable influences are Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" and Snow WhiteFact|date=October 2008. Like many Disney princesses, Clara has a beautiful singing voice, and has many animal friends who like to join her while she sings; at least until Spanky Ham kills most of them for food. (In an in-joke, Clara is revealed to be friends with several of the actual Disney Princesses, including Ariel, Aurora, Snow White, and Mulan.) Clara is also the only character drawn without a black outline, another reference to her Disney pedigree. She has a cousin named Bleh who is mentally retarded and speaks only in blurbs taken from critical reviews of the film "I Am Sam". Clara is initially ashamed of (and exasperated with) her cousin until the other housemates come to accept Bleh. Clara then becomes overprotective of Bleh when she realizes that the men of the house- particularly Captain Hero- consider her sexually desirable. Clara seems to have inherited many of her basic personality traits from her father, the King, but has become more independent since she has been living in the Drawn Together house, and with the help of her housemates (particularly Foxxy Love), she has worked on correcting many of her character flaws.

Clara's father, the King, is the ruler of a medieval-type kingdom. Her mother died when Clara was young as a result of her father driving a carriage while intoxicated. The King remarried, and Clara's new stepmother (a reference to the wicked stepmother, a stock character from fairy tales), for reasons unknown, placed a curse on Clara's vagina, causing it to turn into a giant, tentacled monster (called the Octopussoir) which can speak, and appears to have its own personality. Clara's attempt to remove the curse in "Clara's Dirty Little Secret" resulted in Prince Charming's genitals turning into a similar monstrous creature. Though it becomes hysterical and vicious when frightened by loud noises, the Octopussoir for the most part, is quite gentle and kind. In "Alzheimer's That Ends Well", Clara had Octopussoir surgically removed, but after undergoing numerous plastic surgeries to correct every little flaw she perceived her vagina as having (a parody of body dismorphic disorder), she ended up with a vagina resembling Joan Rivers. Clara tried to get Octopussoir back, but he had graduated from college and married a Jewish woman in the time Clara was gone, and informed Clara that he was happy with his new life and did not wish to go back to her. Clara eventually came to accept her new Vajoana (as she calls it) after it saved the housemates from the murderous intentions of some angry senior citizens.

Personality

Clara represents a stereotypical upper class WASP, and is insensitive toward minorities and those less fortunate than her. She is also very anti-Semitic, which is ironic considering her voice actress is Jewish. In this manner, Clara often acts as the (also Jewish) producers' vehicle for Jewish humor on the show. Though she makes the occasional spiteful comment, on the whole, she doesn't seem to hate or look down on people of other races, but she cannot seem to let go of the stereotypes she holds; for the most part she is completely unaware that she is being racist. The episode "Hot Tub" suggests that these beliefs were ingrained in her by her father (for instance, her ignorant belief that black people have a blowhole). Later episodes have furthered the notion that Clara maintains these attitudes because she is simply behind the times, and has yet to recognize the social advances recent years have brought. She overcomes her prejudice to form a friendship with Foxxy Love, though her repeated mention of black stereotypes sometimes puts a strain on that friendship. In the first season, Clara's racism was the source of most of the character's humor; however, beginning in the second season, her racist tendencies would be largely de-emphasized, and instead, Clara's narrow and unbending religious views would become the character's driving force. (See "Religion" below.)

Though she is tolerant and supportive of her gay housemate Xandir, Clara is also severely homophobic as a product of her conservative religious views. Ironically, Clara herself exhibits bisexual tendencies at the very beginning of the series, though she does not seem to realize the implications of this. She is in a state of bliss after Foxxy Love kisses her in "Hot Tub". However, it becomes apparent that Clara is not actually bisexual herself; she was simply caught up in the moment because it was her first kiss, and did not yet understand the importance of gender roles in the romantic process, a fact the second episode makes clearOr|date=October 2008. In that episode, after learning the differences between men and women, Clara begins seeking love with the opposite sex. The show has featured occasional references to the hot tub kiss; in "Ghostesses in the Slot Machine", Clara performs an erotic dance with Foxxy Love as part of a strip show, and in "Charlotte's Web of Lies", she and Foxxy are seen getting frisky in the hot tub before they are killed by Captain Hero. In the former instance, Clara is trying to make her father notice her, and the latter instance is part of a running gag where the women of the house act wild whenever the men are not around. Near the end of Season One, in what Foxxy called a case of "Daddy's girl falling for the bad boy", Clara begins a quasi-relationship with Spanky, though the relationship would prove to be short-lived. Though it has not been indicated there has been any activity between them, Clara's father, The King, behaves in such a way as to suggest he has incestuous feelings for her. Clara doesn't seem to notice these feelings, equating his leering with paternal love. She is also extremely naïve when it comes to sex; after her lesbian kiss with Foxxy, she believes she is pregnant, and it takes a sex ed lesson from Foxxy to make her realize she cannot become pregnant by kissing someone. Clara is the least promiscuous of the eight housemates, and the only one who seems to possess any sense of modesty about his or her body. In Season One, it was suggested that this was because of her character's innocence, but as the series has progressed, her religious beliefs have also become a significant factor.

Aside from her prejudices, Clara is usually depicted as a very warm and caring person with a genuine love for most living creatures. She occasionally shows a quick temper and fits of anger, though these outbursts are seldom long in duration. Though she is frequently guilty of insensitivity and closed-mindedness, she usually realizes when she is wrong about something, and always tries to make amends. Clara is often characterized as being well-educated and sophisticated, but lacking in common sense. In this regard, she is the complete opposite of Foxxy Love, who is unsophisticated and poorly educated, but with a great deal of common sense and practical wisdom.

Clara's darker side

While the first episode of the series designates Toot Braunstein as the house's "bitch" character, that designation has begun to shift to Clara over a few episodes' time. Whilst Toot has been portrayed as more sympathetic and less malicious in recent episodes, Clara's darker personality traits have begun to take on greater prominence than her positive personality traits.

Originally, while Clara was portrayed as being extremely bigoted (including being a member of the Ku Klux Klan), she never seemed to be genuinely and completely hateful; for example, she seemed to get along with both Foxxy and Xandir despite being both racist and homophobic, and acted surprised and confused when they were offended by her behavior. However, later episodes have her as harsh, strident, fundamentalist and intolerant; concerned solely with crusading against sinfulness, her desire to quench sin is so strong that she shows no concern for the happiness or well-being of others. In "Foxxy vs. the Board of Education", she vows to stop Spanky's gay marriage to Xandir despite Spanky's life being in danger without the insurance Xandir can provide. In "Clum Babies", she crusades against both Wooldoor's masturbation and the use of the Clum Babies to heal the sick despite the number of lives that are being saved and diseases that are being cured, but ultimately, and hypocritically, disguises herself in an attempt to procure a Clum Baby to cure her tuberculosis. On her behavior in this episode, Executive Producer Bill Freiberger stated, "Clara's attitude about it all is completely in character for her as a character and for her as a symbol of the religious right. She's definitely a meat eater as we've seen in the past. And she's not above killing animals. But she is against harming embryos no matter how much good it will do for the living... unless it benefits her directly, then she's more than willing to be a hypocrite to save her own life." [cite web|url=http://forums.toonzone.net/showpost.php?p=1981231&postcount=60|title=Bill Freiberger comments|work=Toonzone.com|accessdate=2006-11-27]

This version of the Clara character is used to satirize right wing conservative Christians; thus, Clara goes into evangelical mode whenever that angle is needed for a story. To this purpose, she serves as the villain in these episodes, trying to foil whatever she objects to. In fact in some episodes, she is depicted as having witch-like powers (most notably the ability to teleport in a flash of black smoke).

In the first season episode "The Other Cousin", Clara displays a further dark side, acting towards Captain Hero in a threatening manner in order to seek his true intentions towards her mentally challenged cousin, Bleh, at one point claiming she once killed a man with her bare hands.

In the episode "Ghostesses in the Slot Machine" Clara seems to be aware of how her behavior comes across to others, and she wants to let everyone know this is not all there is to her character. In that episode, when Foxxy thinks she plans to object to exotic dancing, Foxxy sarcastically says, "I know, there's probably something in the Bible about 'Thou shalt not grind thou's coochie into thy neighbor's boner tent'," to which Clara responds, "You have me all wrong- I'm more than just the same joke over and over! You're thinking of Toot". Clara even parodies this aspect of her own character in the episode "Wooldoor Sockbat's Giggle-Wiggle Funny Tickle Non-Traditional Progressive Multicultural Roundtable!". Convinced that Wooldoor's new children's show will turn the world gay (a charge which turns out to be accurate), she angrily bursts onto the set of Wooldoor's show and shrieks, "What in the name of one-dimensional characters and predictable reactions is going on here?"

In the third season, Clara's characterization took on a decidedly negative turn. For several consecutive episodes at the beginning of the season, Clara was shown treating her housemates quite harshly. In the past, Clara had been sweet on the surface and insulted people mainly through ignorance. In Season Three, however, she was shown behaving with actual malice and spite. Additionally in the first two seasons, whenever Clara behaved badly toward one of the other housemates, she was usually allowed to realize she was wrong and given the chance to make amends; however, in Season Three, she shows little or no remorse for her behavior, and her character receives no real redemption. In "Spelling Applebee's", she coldly manipulates Captain Hero into satisfying her sexual fetish for car crashes, realizing — but not caring — that he actually has real feelings for her. However, she is overcome with grief after her closest friends are killed in one of the crashes. (see the "Spelling Applebee's" article for Executive Producer Bill Freiberger's explanation on her character there). In "Unrestrainable Trainable", she mistakes Wooldoor for a Jew and pushes him into the pool in order to baptize him. When Wooldoor contracts hypothermia, Clara expresses a distinct disdain for being forced to take care of him, despite having played a big sister role to him in earlier episodes, and despite the fact that his condition is her fault to begin with. When she begins receiving accolades for taking care of him, Clara develops Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy and deliberately keeps him sick and/or injured in order to keep him in her care; when he later confronts her about this, Clara becomes remorseful and promises to make amends, but then has him step into a bear trap while she is helping him recover (although, as this happens, both are killed in the nuclear explosion caused by Captain Hero's son hugging the Pooh-bear-shaped reactor). In "N.R.A.y RAY", she spitefully insults Toot seemingly for no reason, interrupting Toot's happy mood to say, "What are you so happy about, do you know how fat you are?"

Executive Producer Bill Freiberger has stated, when discussing Clara's behavior in "Spelling Applebee's", "While Clara is sometimes misguided out of ignorance or naïveté she is also very often misguided because she is a selfish, spoiled princess (figuratively and literally)." [cite web|url=http://forums.toonzone.net/showpost.php?p=2323224&postcount=38|title=Bill Freiberger comments|work=Toonzone.com|accessdate=2006-11-27]

Religion

Clara is extremely religious, sometimes to the point of fanaticism. Clara is a devout Christian; she mentions Jesus often, and on more than one occasion has gone off on crusades against things she considers abominations in God's eyes (see "Clara's darker side" above).

Clara's faith is mentioned multiple times in the first season. The first mention of her religion is in the second episode, "Clara's Dirty Little Secret"; when Foxxy mentions that Clara will believe anything she is told, the show cuts to a flashback of Clara accepting Jesus as her Savior. Though the moment is a quickie non-canon joke done to illustrate Foxxy's point, it would be confirmed in "The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist" that Clara is indeed a Christian. In that episode, when her group is assigned the task of promoting religion to the masses, Clara cheerfully declares that she loves Jesus "like "more" than a friend." She then directs Foxxy and Toot in a blatantly anti-Semitic film depiction of Jesus's crucifixion (a parody of the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"), revealing what would become yet another prominent character trait for her, her strong anti-Semitism.

Despite these references, in the first season, Clara's racism remained her primary character trait. It is not until Season Two that her religious nature becomes a defining part of her character. In "The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist, Part II", when the group is interviewing potential new housemates, she declares her wish for a roommate who shares her deep Christian faith (then adds, "or a beaner"). It would be the second episode of the season, however, that would mark the major turning point for her character. In "Foxxy vs. the Board of Education", when she learns that Spanky Ham is planning to enter into a gay marriage with Xandir in order to receive health insurance, she immediately declares that the act is an abomination against God and vows to stop it, revealing the true depth of her religious convictions. From this point on, Clara's racist behavior would be largely phased out in favor of her extreme religious views. Additionally, as her racial prejudices would (for the most part) cease to be mentioned, Clara's homophobia and anti-Semitism would become far more prominent.

Clara's specific denomination has not been explicitly stated, but there are numerous signs she is Roman Catholic.

* In the televised version of "Hot Tub", she remarks to Foxxy that all her servants at home are black or Presbyterian.

* In both "Clum Babies" and "Xandir and Tim, Sitting in a Tree", Clara is shown observing forms of penance, the former instance involving corporal mortification, and the latter involving praying incessantly wearing a dress made of sack cloth.

* During the flashback sequence where Clara is shown accepting Jesus, Wooldoor is depicted as a priest; though Wooldoor's presence in this scene is just a gag and not series canon, the fact that a priest is depicted at all may be another sign Clara is Catholic.

* In "Lost in Parking Space, Part One", Clara is shown to own both a rosary and several crucifixes, two of the most common external trappings of the faith.

However, elsewhere in the series, it is suggested Clara may have ties to Protestantism. Clara adheres to the doctrine of a pre-Tribulation Rapture (such as that described by the "Left Behind" series of novels), which is rejected by Roman Catholicism. Also, Clara praises her Octopussoir for supporting what she refers to as a "worthwhile charity" - Jews for Jesus (a controversial organization dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity), which is part of the evangelical movement. There is also a fact that "accepting Jesus as her Savior", which she claims to have done, is a popular Protestant phrase.

Target for violence

For some unexplained reason, Clara seems to be a natural target for violence by the other characters, having been subjected to numerous acts of deliberate (and often extreme) physical violence:

* In "Hot Tub", she is attacked twice by Foxxy after making unintentional racist remarks.

* In "Clara's Dirty Little Secret", she is pushed down several flights of stairs by Toot. Though she is at first a willing participant in this act (believing it to be a way to avoid a kiss-induced pregnancy), she begins having second thoughts before committing to it, only to have Toot push her down anyway.

* In "Dirty Pranking No. 2", she is stabbed in the arm with a fork by her father, the King. Later in the episode, she is vaporized along with everyone else when robotic aliens take over the world.

* In "The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist, Part II", she is punched out by both Foxxy and Captain Hero.

* In "Clum Babies", she is given electrical shocks by Foxxy. Later in the episode, Clara is kicked by Foxxy after collapsing to the ground. She is also the first victim of Bob the Cucumber's shooting spree at the end of the episode, dying instantly after being shot in the head at point-blank range.

* In "Ghostesses in the Slot Machine", she is again attacked by Foxxy, and then afterward by a tree.

* In "A Tale of Two Cows", she is violently shoved to the ground by Captain Hero on two separate occasions.

* In "The Lemon-AIDS Walk", she and the rest of the housemates are brutally murdered by Captain Hero when they confront him about his steroid use. During the rampage, she is slapped and later thrown through a window; she is killed off-camera after the scene cuts to Hero in the confessional.

* In "A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special", she dies when Captain Hero throws her through the wall as part of an extended role-playing sequence the housemates are running.

* In "Alzheimer's That Ends Well", she is struck violently by Wooldoor countless times to anesthetize her before surgery. She is also burned with a cigarette by an orderly at a nursing home.

* In "Freaks & Greeks", she has her hair and the top of her scalp ripped off by Captain Hero.

* In "N.R.A.y RAY", Foxxy's grandson Ray-Ray rips off her hair and scalp (the second time this has happened) and gives it to Toot to grant her wish to have beautiful hair like Clara's. When Clara threatens to report Toot for this, Toot wishes for her to be gone. Ray-Ray then murders Clara off-camera and hangs her body from a towel rack.

Character design

In old artwork before the show's release, Clara was originally drawn as a blonde, with a different dress and a lighter skin tone. [cite web|url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117893385.html?categoryid=14&cs=1&query=%22Drawn+Together%22|title=Reality fever hits cartoons|work=Variety.com|accessdate=2006-11-27]

Prototype comparison

Ariel from "The Little Mermaid" (l); Princess Clara from "Drawn Together" (r)

References


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