The Disney films depict changing the perception of women over time, even though most of the roles remain as they were, several years ago. To illustrate this, below is two explanations; Gender roles depictions in Disney movies tend to conform to regular perspectives of men and women. Princess-hood is bound with being frail, latent, and subservient to guys, devoted, and unequipped for carrying on with an autonomous life . The greater part of the Disney princesses from the first two involves women traits portrayed as being useful, passionate, requiring help or being a casualty, dreadful, conditional, touchy, supporting, tender, physically frail, and physically alluring (Britain, Descartes, and Collier-Quiet, 2011). The first era of Disney princesses specifically are more accommodating and tend to conform to the traditional portrayal of women roles.
The Disney princess movies had a great deal of influence on many young girls watching princesses represent what royalty looked like. The princesses are always beautiful, polite and seeking the love of their Prince Charming. This plays a strong role in perpetuating the idea that being a princess means seeking only love from a man, and a man who contains all the stereotypical masculine qualities; handsome, powerful and rich. For example, in The Little Mermaid, Ariel had to give up who she was in order to win over the affection of her prince charming. She traded in her voice in order to have real legs and near Prince Eric.
Since the 1930’s, Disney has been producing adaptations of fairy tales. Disney is known for their use of stereotypical images which is prominent still in today’s society. The first Disney film emerged with the adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and soon after that came Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Since the beginning, when the fairy tale princesses were “born”, it became evident that young girls and women were trying to imitate their behaviors. Young girls and women identify themselves as these character which affects not only how they view themselves but also their future roles in society based on the girls’ unrealistic beliefs.
From its onset with its first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, Disney has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon today. But over the years, various parent groups, scholars and film critics have accused Disney for creating shallow, stereotypical princesses whose ultimate aim was to find her 'prince charming ' and live happily ever after. In her article, “What’s Wrong With Cinderella?” in the New York Times, Peggy Orenstein expresses her concern over the effect of princess figures like Cinderella on young girls ' perceptions of themselves and how they should behave (“What’s Wrong With Cinderella?”). However, the later Disney films have gradually attempted to break away from this stereotype resulting in stronger female characters like Ariel, Mulan, and Elsa among others. Keeping this transition in mind, this paper uses semiotic analysis of four popular Disney films, namely, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), The Little Mermaid (1989) and Mulan (1998) to depict the influence of societies ' changing perceptions of women on the portrayal of Disney princesses.
he dwarves could also be interpreted as Walt Disney 's employees and the prince as Disney (Bell et. al 38). In reference to the present, critics often scrutinized Snow White as one of the common Disney movies that demonstrated the need for women to constantly wait or their prince to make everything better and take no action on their own (Bell et. al 36). This idea was further analyzed by M. Thomas Inge, Professor of Humanities at Randolph-Macon College, who mentioned that when Snow White sang the song “Someday My Prince Will Come” which encouraged girls to wait for their prince patiently and filled their brains with unrealistic romantic expectations (Bernard qtd in Inge).
Abigail threatens the girls knowing that they will listen. As a result of, Abigail gains tremendous power and influence over the girls and their actions, this is seen in pages 114-123, where Abigail pretends to see Mary Warren’s spector and the other girls join along. Nonetheless, Elizabeth has a good reputation of a Godly and honest woman in the town of Salem. This is shown on page 81 where Elizabeth willingly goes with Cheever because she knows who she is and is faithful that her character, reputation, and that God will save her. Elizabeth is always true to herself and doesn 't hide from who she truly is.
This reflects that the woman’s reputation is much more important than a man’s reputation in Victorian England. Like in the other novel “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”, the reputation of a woman is easily tainted and cannot be hidden; women cannot start their life over as if nothing has happened. Henchard is worried about Lucetta more than he is worried about himself. In addition, Lucetta seems as a romantic person that gets excited about the prospects of love without thinking about the relationship itself. When Lucetta waits to meet Henchard and ran into Farfrae, she quickly agrees to start a love relationship with Farfrae despite that she did not really know him.
Disney tells stories about pretty girls and princes who meet each other once and fall in love. This indirectly implants in children’s mind that appearance and materialism does matter, which might lead to vanity. For instance, the Hunchback of Notre Dame shows us that no matter how caring and kind Quasimodo is, Esmeralda and Phoebus are one couple because they are adequately good-looking. Another research has shown that in Disney classic movies, female characters are praised for their appearances (55%) and only 11% are for their abilities; however, Disney has changed their practice as in the millennial Disney movies, women are commented on their skills and abilities more (40%). (Guo 2016) In my opinion, despite the changes, children could barely realise as my niece still wants to be Elsa or Rapunzel because they are pretty.
When we have a closer look at Disney movies such as "Cinderella", "Snow White" and "Aladdin", Disney 's princess portray is feeble and desperately in need of intelligent, strong savior. When young girls watch these movies, they are modelling Disney princesses on their
Also in both stories, Cinderella still fits into the slipper and the step-sister are caught for trying to be Cinderella. However in the Disney’s Cinderella everyone lives happily ever after. In contrast, in Grimm’s Cinderella the step-sisters do not live happily ever after instead they are blinded by the birds pecking their eyes out. Another difference between the two stories is in Disney’s Cinderella the two step-sisters try to put their feet into the slipper, but it was obvious that they were both too big, then Cinderella tried it one and it fit just right. However in Grimm’s Cinderella the two step-sisters cut their heels and toes to fit into the slipper.