It had been months since I had cast my Barbies in a play. Their faces looked back at me with their familiar smiles. My mom had requested days ago that I organize the playroom and sort through the Barbie jungle. Over the years I had collected numerous Barbie characters and accessories and had ventured to unknown parts of the globe through their playacting. I was procrastinating on my Mom’s request because this meant my childhood was moving in another direction.
People of all ages throughout the years are very familiar with the concept of Disney movies. Some notable classics of Disney are “Beauty and the Beast” which was released in 1991 and “The Little Mermaid” which was released in 1989. Among the children, the Disney princesses left a good impression on them like Cinderella from “Cinderella”, Pocahontas from “Pocahontas”, and Mulan from “Mulan”. However, many believe that Disney movies serve as a good influence to young audiences but people should know that Disney also has its flaws. Disney have showed negative portrayals of Disney princesses in their films especially when it comes to their usual unattainable beauty ideal and portraying their princesses as inferior to men.
When I was younger, I watched the animated Cinderella I, II, and III movies countless times in the car and in the family room of my house. Both times when I watched Zootopia, I felt the same way when I was watching the Cinderella series. This movie reminded me of the fun times that I had in my childhood. All of the lessons throughout these movies brings to life what children fantasize about all the time. Zootopia is not different from the other Disney movies.
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.
There have been several informative researchers that address gender role portrayals in children’s media. Through the years, Disney has received criticism for their gender interpretations and absence of color diversity (May, 2011). But that scenario changed after the release of Princess and The Frog 58 years later. However, as gender roles have changed, the female characters in Disney animations have also changed with gaining more importance in their roles (Yerby, Baron, & Lee, n.d., pp. 1-11).
Over generations, the Disney Princess has seemed to evolve in a way, but yet holds true to old, classic traditions and ideas that have been around since these stories came about. There are three major eras of Disney princesses: The first era includes Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty; the second era includes The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Mulan; and the most current era includes The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Brave, and Frozen. Between these three eras, parents, children, and almost anyone who has seen a few Disney movies can see that the character has evolved from the traditional, ancient-themed scenario to a more modern one that fits in a little better with society in
The guilty one for it? My grandmother. She made sure that I knew, by heart, all the Disney stories, because she loved them, which meant that I had to love them too. And I did, but Cinderella was my absolute favorite. So, I made her tell me the Cinderella Story almost every night (now, that I think about it, my grandmother probably got sick of it pretty fast), and I knew every version of the story, even the Grimm Brothers’ one: “Cut a piece off your heel”, my grandma used to say loudly and clearly, while immitating the stepmother.
Little Mermaid is a film produced by Walt Disney, it came out it 1989. The movie Little Mermaid is based on a girl named Ariel, who dreams of going on land. When her father, King Triton, forbids her to go on land, Ariel visits Ursula who her father had banished. She fell in love with a Human Prince and makes a deal with Ursula to let her be a human for 3 days. Both movies have role models but Mulan is a good role model for teenager.
Disney also excels quite well at mirroring changes in society through its products as can be seen in their recent films. In today’s society, we see topics of feminism, diversity, etc being brought up constantly. We can see these being mirrored in films such as Zootopia which addresses issues such as racism and discrimination and Tangled, Frozen, and Moana. These three Disney films showcasing princesses who break free passivity and are very action oriented and independent, either have a love interest that may not be “socially acceptable” in terms of the film or have no love interest at all, and showcase and celebrate diverse
Annette funicello was a singer and an actress as well as having multiple sclerosis, she was known for her lead role in Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Club. When she was younger her parents signed her up for dance class, to get over her shyness. She was scouted by Walt Disney himself. In 1955 Funicello was performing the lead role in “Swan Lake.” Walt Disney cast her as the 24th original Mousekeeper. Funicello recorded 15 albums in the late 1950s and late 1960s, which were all a hit.