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.
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
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).
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.
Before she is able to meet with the Matchmaker, she must dress up and apply makeup on herself to make herself look beautiful and strong-willed. Critic, Nandini Maity, states in her article, Damsels in Distress: A Textual Analysis of Gender roles in Disney Princess Films, that Disney uses the princesses or heroines in each princess movie to demonstrate how women should act, dignified and beautiful. By doing so, it portrays how Disney has a set purpose to make society understand that women should always act this way in society, that they should be helped out by men. While Mulan is being washed and dressed, the women helping her “sing to Mulan a song called Honour us all, a song that imposes the traditional roles onto Mulan. They say that women should have tiny waists, be calm, and obedient.
(Beauty and the Belles Discourses of Feminism and Femininity in Disneyland, Allison, 2002) critically analyzed Belle in a more general and brief historiography of the fairy tale. It uses a rather general feminist approach to do so. This paper critically analyzed Belle alongside with Snow White in terms of beauty, costume, psyche and the motherless similarities between the two Disney female characters. The representations of these women can be seen to replicate certain of the myths of femininity perpetuated in Disney fiction, including feistiness, tragedy, associations with mutant masculinity, and an unusual relation to maternity (Allison, 2002 page 135). However, the masculinity stated by the author was not further
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.
In a modern approach to Cinderella, Jessica Day George’s Princess of Glass gives fairy tale readers a whole different Cinderella perspective. Poppy, the main protagonist, is a young princess who is shown to be smart, independent, and not your usual royalty. She takes part in a royal exchange program to help unite her kingdom. Over there, she meets Prince Christian, the ‘Prince Charming’ of the story. He is first introduced to the readers as a young man whose parents want him to marry therefore throwing him big parties to meet the girl of his dreams.
At some point in life, being a Disney princess was every females’ dream. Their kindness, courage, and beauty is thought to provide a safe culture for children (Mcbride, 2016) Not to mention, their flawless appearance and their happily ever after makes the princess culture. For these reasons, parents perceive the Disney as quality family entertainment (Buckingham, 1997). But in actuality, princesses may not be the most positive role models for young viewers. The issue associated with Disney Princesses movies is that their usual gender stereotyped as the submissive female who falls in love with a man to live happily ever after.
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.