When we think about the villains Disney cinema produces, the first image that comes to mind is the powerful women who use their magic to cast spells, summon forces greater than life, and enhance their agency. Often, identifying the villain in Disney films is easy, since they differ considerably from gender conforming characters due to their physical features, abilities, and style of dress. When examining the villain, one of the characteristics that stand out, is the villains’ dehumanization and non-heteronormativity. As a result, the villains’ stories may not adhere to idealistic social norms, but it’s their own just the same. Historically, Disney Animation fairy-tales elevated the triumph of good over evil in a world of magic. Usually, this …show more content…
Within the scope of this discussion, different dimensions of “queer” are presented as emulated by villains. “Queer” can be described as an umbrella term used for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual nor cisgender. Correspondingly, Disney cinema villains obliterate all established notions of gender and sexuality, especially heterosexual norms. Through this frame, Disney cinema villains such as Ursula, Maleficent, and Elsa may be read as queer-coded in contrast with the relatively more heteronormative heroes. Queer-coding is essentially understood as fictional characters, who have not been revealed as queer, but are given traits or are being read as non-heteronormative, because of the style, behavior, gestures or overall appearance. While Disney cinema appears to constantly equate queerness with evil, at the same time, they are opening the door for diverse representations of queerness by blurring the binary oppositions of gender and presenting dynamic expressions that challenge everything that is considered …show more content…
Although this distinction in skin color may build on to Ursula’s villainous and dehumanizing appearance, it also explains the inspiration many Drag Queens draw from villains’ deviant spectacle, as they are famously glammed up dramatically with heavy eyeshadow, contour, glitter, and blush among other coats of makeup. “Drag Queens” are men who perform highly theatrical forms of femininity for the purpose of entertainment. Further evidence that villains inspire the queer community includes Todrick Hall, a well known Drag Queen and YouTube sensation who reimagines and pays tribute to Disney villains through his YouTube videos complete with flair and flamboyant arrangements. As Todrick Hall notes about his rendition of the “Spell Block Tango”, “I have always had a strange fascination with the Disney villains’ side of the classic fairy tales and now through the music of Chicago you’ll get to hear their stories.” No doubt, the diva and unapologetic attitudes of Disney cinema villains is a source of empowerment for queer femmes who are oftentimes ridiculed and ostracized for their flamboyant expression. Of course, Todrick’s not the first and only Drag Queen inspired tribute. For example, West Hollywood, known as the largest gay nightlife district in Los Angeles, hosts an annual Halloween Carnaval parade, where many queer folks
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Making Disney Villains seem queer might sound very offensive towards homosexuals, in particular gay men, and it seems as if Disney is trying to create a metaphorical message that villains dress and act like stereotypical gay men. However, given the fact that the numbers of animators, creators and voice actors themselves are queer and take part in the creation of the film, such metaphors (e.g. “villain = queer”) might not be as what they seem, seeing how the homosexual audience’s reception of the films are, and how Disney influences their own lives. For example, every first Saturday in June, there is an event called the “Gay Days at Walt Disney World.” It started in 1991, and since then, every year, lesbians and gays gather in WDW to enjoy
Rhetorical Analysis Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and many other Disney movies all have one thing in common, they feature a female lead who need a male figure to save them. However, things started to change after the release of Mulan 1988. It changed from only having those female leads who always needed to rely on someone, to females who were able to show off their more masculine side. In the article “Post-Princess Models of Gender: The New Man in Pixar/Disney,” Ken Gillam and Shannon R. Wooden explored the idea that Pixar movies were starting to show male characters who weren 't afraid to show their emotions and feminine attributes, to promote the “New Man” model.
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. These films taking into account the earliest film and certain popular characters that have represented a shift from being the coy damsel in distress to a woman who plays an active role in determining her own destiny. The portrayal of the Disney princess has changed in accordance with the development of women in society over time (1937 to 2013) from demure and traditional to
Disney had created a character that jived with what the public was looking for. However, this archetype did not appear with the creation of Maleficent. The “Wicked Witch” archetype has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The association of witches with evil can be traced all the way back to the Bible. In Deuteronomy 18:10-12, Moses relays the words of the Lord God to the Israelites, specifying that anyone “who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells… is detestable to the Lord” (Deuteronomy).
Gender itself is a very complex concept to understand and portray onscreen, the concept of gender performativity was introduced by Judith butler in her book Gender Trouble: Gender Performance and Performativity. It is important to note that Butler
Throughout history the portrayal of gender roles have been maintained by a specific standard, specifically where the man is the main figure, and the woman is the submissive figure that is being acted upon. However, lately, specifically the last ten or so years, many movies have shifted this ideology. These movies in modern times show increasingly more women in positions of power, as well as in marriages where there is an equal amount of power between both the husband and wife. There are also more movies showcasing non-traditional relationships, such as, domestic partnerships and LGBTQ+ relationships. One movie in particular that showcases a shift in the status quo, in terms of the masculinity and femininity expected from individuals especially that of a relationships, is Tyler Perry’s
The characters in The Little Mermaid are stragetically designed in a way that conveniently adheres to stereotypical ideas of how males and females should behave, value, and appear according to their gender roles in a patriarchal society that demeans women. In order to do this, the main male characters, including King Triton and Prince Eric, must depict hypermasculinity to dramatically contrast from the creation of their fragile and inferior female counterparts. This is to also exhibit the men’s hypothetical ownership over these women, and using their displayed incompetence as justification of their assumed possession of Ariel. Ariel, the central female character, is depicted as beautiful, because she meets stereotypical standards of beauty
In contrast to the twentieth century we still see some of this in our current day and ages. Contrasting portrayals of men and women in films leave us with the fact that we haven’t changed. Men and women are sought to have different gender roles within
Amanda Putnam’s essay, “Mean Ladies: Transgendered Villains in Disney Films”, is a compelling piece on gender portrayal and views in Disney films. Putnam opened the essay with a personal anecdote about her daughter. Her daughter wanted a Disney movie without a “mean lady”, as in most Disney films the villains are scary, evil women. The real life evidence strengthened her claim that children are noticing the characterization of female villains in Disney films. The antidote was brought fill circle when she referred back to her daughter in the final paragraphs of her essay.
A STEREOTYPE ANALYSES ABOUT ‘‘THE LION KING’’ Disney’s films have unexpected, unpredictible gender based streotypes. If you analyze into all details, you will realize that these films, which are made for children, have unbelievable secluded concepts. These films speak for more than you watch at first sight. In this essay, ‘‘The Lion King’’, one of the Disney’s most famous films, will be examined by stereotypes about gender, race, discrimination and characters. Racial stereotypes are one of the most striking points of the movie.
As one of the most influential entertainment producers, Disney dominates the global market for ages attracting the countless audience around the world. However, Disney’s most famous “‘princess’ fairy tale stories” (Barker, 2010, p. 492) are criticized for racism and sexism. In 2007, Disney confirmed production of the film, The Princess and the Frog, featuring the first African-American Disney princess, Tiana. For Disney this film was the response to the accusation of racism and sexism represented in its animation. Also, it was filled with African American parents’ anticipation and excitement who longed for a non-stereotypical black woman on the screen (Breaux, 2010, p. 399).
Princesses’ in Disney movies are tied down to a recurring theme: the princess that must be saved from the evil woman by the charming prince. A significant contrast to the usually weak and easily persuaded figure of the father. Even though the women are portrayed as weak, nobody stops to think how strong they have to be to carry the responsibility of an entire household on her shoulder, while the men always seem to be traveling or ill. Fairytales are based on a patriarchal way of thinking and as time passes by, it’s proven to be detrimental to society Women and men are constantly being bound to a series of stereotypes.
The Little Mermaid which was produced in 1989, was the first Disney movie to challenge the traditional gender roles, for the fact that Ariel wanted to explore, and was more independent and assertive in her desires than the earlier princesses of the 1930’s and 50s films. Also the prince in The Little Mermaid went against traditional gender roles as well, simply because he was more affectionate and loving than his prince counterparts in other Disney films. “Both the male and female roles have changed over time, but overall the male characters evinced less change then the female characters and were more androgynous throughout.” (Descartes & England, pg.566). Disney movies have been for a long time a strong media target for children, and can serve as a way to address stereotypical gender roles (Leaper, 2000).
The very act of cross-dressing itself was subversive, especially in Spain where costume was hugely important, not just on stage but in real life. Literary critic William Egginton notes in An Epistemology of the Stage, that when it came to costume the "Spanish public was extremely sensitive to such signifiers of class and could not, for example, tolerate or comprehend a scene in which the signs of social status presented by costume and speech would conflict". (402) With the audience so sensitive to costume details, what must they have thought about Rosaura 's male attire? Women dressing as men was a common device used by playwrights in the Golden Age (mujer vestida de hombre ) and one wonders was it merely because it was practical?
Ridley Scott’s ‘female buddy movie’ Thelma and Louise centres around issues of male dominance and the freedom of release from society. Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) are women suppressed by the men in their lives. They take a vacation to escape for a few days and after an attempted rape and murder they end up fugitives on the run for their lives. This unintended event ends up being for them the best adventure of their lives, as they are able to divest from the rules of society and become the independent women they are. By subverting the traditional role of gender in the genre, the film shows how feminism impacted the film industry by challenging Hollywood and the gendered myths and social patriarchy, providing women with a voice, and changing how spectators view how women are looked at through women’s eyes and their experiences.