Disney Princess Film Analysis

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Can Every Girl Be a Princess?: Disney’s Biased Color Symbolism in Their Princess Movies If we believe Cinderella than “[e]very girl can be a princess” (Grady and Panzer). Actually, we have nothing more to do than “close [our] eyes and see” and then with a tip of the magic wand, we will be gone from “just [us] to royalty” (Grady and Panzer). But is it really this easy? For many young girls the Disney princesses serve as idols. Nevertheless, not for every girl it is possible to identify with a princess. In this essay I am going to express the color symbolism in Disney princess movies and what causes this might have on young children, especially girls. Disney’s use of a binary color system in their princess movies has an impact on girl’s creation…show more content…
The scene in which Cinderella meets her fairy godmother shows perfectly the color symbolism discussed above. To help Cinderella to go to the ball where she will finally meet her prince, ”[t]he godmother turns brown, low-status, mice into white human beings and animals: white horses, white coachman, and white doorman. Moreover, she transforms a pumpkin into a white coach” (Hurley 225). Cinderella wears a white dress, which perfectly matches her blonde hair and blue eyes. Furthermore, the stepmother’s mean black cat is called “Lucifer”: an obvious religious reference that underlines the connection between bad and black. Visual media influences children unconsciously in creating their ideal of beauty. The Disney versions of fairytales have been successful for many years. As Janet Wasko describes it “those creations, when they are accompanied by the Disney name, become even more significant because of their prominence as well as their special appeal to young audiences” (138). Or as Hurley points…show more content…
“…[S]elf-image in children is shaped in some degree by exposure to images found in written texts, illustrations, and films” as Hurley (221) makes clear. She explains further, that children need to identify with the character they see to built up a positive self-conception (221). Fact is, that most of the Disney princesses have white skin. For dark-skinned girls it is almost impossible to identify with these characters. Nevertheless, “in a global array of children 's merchandise and play things, the Disney Princess franchise stands out” (Wohlwend 57). One might argue that Disney created a row of multiethnic heroines, such as the Chinese war heroine Mulan or the native American princess Pocahontas. But also here we can find counterarguments. Pocahontas’ body for example is not orientated on the natural features of native Americans. Rather, it is a collage of diverse ethnicities from all over the world: “Pocahontas becomes an historically-impossible multiethnic body” (Edwards 151). The Disney animator Glen Keane described Pocahontas as follows: “an ethnic blend whose convexly curved face is African, whose dark, slanted eyes are Asian and whose body proportions are Caucasian" (qtd. in Edwards 152). Furthermore, there existed no darkskinned princess until 2009 when “The Princess and the Frog” came to the
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