But we felt that it deserved to be on this list. Sam Spade. Feminism in the U.S.: Wenzel, Sarah: Amazon.nl The Princess and the Frog With regards to that sequel film, people starting trending the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend. Frozen: A Feminist Princess Disney Films Not There Yet Frozen breaks down the stereotypical barriers of Disney movies. A Jedi? Disney has been around for over 80 years, and during that We even got the endorsement of Jodi Benson, the actress who brought Ariel to life. Several studies have shown that beauty and goodness are linked in Disney movies – … This movie has a female hero, a female villain, a female helper, AND a female DJ. The central message of the movie challenges a very fundamental of gender order by empowering woman and giving them a chance of controlling everything by themselves (Howson, 2005) The reason behind this kind of movies stems from the change that occurred recently in the society and impact of the fourth wave of feminism, where we can see the neoliberal values. She has a passion for books. Feminism in Disney Movies Conclusion Impacts girls and boys Girls: Think that that is the way to be successful Boys: Think that is how they should behave Real Life Situation Grew up watching these movies Influences view of success and beauty Relevant Ways of Knowing Aimee Grech Our impact areas are Education, Health and Wellbeing, Prevention of Violence Against Women and Growing Community Capacity. I don't think we can talk about this without a thematically-appropriate musical number, so I'll be back in a minute and continue. DISNEY’S FEMALE GENDER ROLES: THE CHANGE OF MODERN CULTURE Barber 3 Abstract Disney Animation and their films are a huge part of the entertainment industry in America. Meanwhile, there are tons of stories from American minorities that have talked about positive roles in media telling them they can do more, be more than the house wife, the gangster, the silly, flamboyant best friend. Yes, there are romance storylines in this movie but ultimately, it is about the love between sisters. Rapunzel chooses to chase after her own goals and enlists a thief to help her. I agree that it was a right decision to make the prince the main character. Representation of Women in Disney Movies Viewing Brave from a feminist critical perspective reveals that it is not filled with instances of patriarchy, as past princess movies have been. Instead of saying "Do what men do, but better," it's now more "Do what you want to do, whatever it is." It started around the time the previous wave was ending and has grown in fervor to this day. Find articles, reviews and interviews at CineNation Podcast on Medium. Many of the female protagonists were bland and only defined by exterior beauty. There's a black lady on TV and she ain't no maid.". (Original post by yara560) that's because it is amazing to have women representation. No problem. I know, Disney doesn’t have a reputation for being feminism friendly; what with all the waiting around for Prince Charming. It Now, before accusations of mansplaining arise, let me make a disclaimer: I am NOT REMOTELY an expert on feminism. In this wave, women (still largely white, since non-whites were having to literally fight for basic human decency in many places) were pitching the idea that anything men could do, so could women. Watch Queue Queue. The hashtag became prominent enough for Idina Menzel, who voices the icy Elsa in the film, to comment on the trend, and she responded positively to the idea. For white, cisgendered, heterosexual men like myself, media has been exceedingly kind. ©2020 Verizon Media. Second-wave feminism arrived around the 1960s and 1970s, a time when a lot of movements popped up. Many feminist critics have analyzed In the beginning, Disney studios went along with the beliefs from the period that women should be … With a mostly female cast (including vocal feminist Amy Poehler) this film is about emotions and what they can do. A Terminator? Add your voice. She is defiant in the face of men who want to make decisions for her. Number of female mentors or rulers? No longer was she a damsel like the other princesses, but a strong, rebellious young woman who did not want to conform to the norm. This movie includes the line “You can’t marry a man you just met”, thus touching on the ‘love at first sight’ theme found in many Disney films. makeup, physiology, and anatomy (Kraus, 2017). The recent 2000s have rejected the old tropes to keep up with the times. The fairy godmother gives Cinderella a beautiful gown and an enchanted carriage. On the one hand, Belle maintains a strong sense of self throughout the movie. Specifically, if a movie has two women that talk to each other about something or someone other than a man, the film passes. While some see this as liberal political correctness gone mad (because gehys are t3h gross or something), it can't be denied that there have been growing, and more accepted, pushes for popular film franchises to include more women, non-whites, and LGBTQ+ characters in their growing stories (see also: #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend). Generally, the most anti-feminist views could be more prevalent in the decades preceding the Disney Renaissance of the 1990s. If you see anything you disagree with, I'm always willing to learn and love to have conversations, especially about things I'm ignorant of. Representation of Women in Disney Movies Viewing Brave from a feminist critical perspective reveals that it is not filled with instances of patriarchy, as past princess movies have been. Ursula turns Ariel human. ★★ Frozen: A Feminist Princess Disney Films Not There Yet Frozen breaks down the stereotypical barriers of Disney movies. First-wave feminism is the simplest to understand. The classic Disney movies pushed the idea that finding your soulmate was all anyone could hope for in life, but “Brave” showed viewers that finding one’s own purpose in life is just as important as falling in love. But, frankly, there still are a LOT of people that don't know what it is. Not The Typical Love Story Women Empowerment Frozen shows the importance of the bonds of sisterhood. Then it’s a good thing I said it was the MOST feminist Disney movie… The new version is released later this month. The fruits of this labor really started to become more visible in the 1980s and '90s. If you want to watch a wholesome film, consider one of these feminist Disney movies (in no particular order) ... 1. This is another tale of the relationship between sisters, and their new friend. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series, talked to NPR about how Martin Luther King, Jr. convinced her to remain with the show because, at the time, she was the most prominent black actress on television, in the middle of the civil rights movement, treated as an equal (for the most part) to white men. This wave, as it were, is also very beneficial for men that want to, say, be stay-at-home dads, or enjoy fruity alcoholic beverages, or wear makeup. There is no romance story in this movie, which is another reason this movie has made this list. Female Hero: Belle. In fact, I will be referencing some previous looks during this series. As a child of the '90s, I grew up loving — nay, worshiping — virtually every film in the Disney classics canon. Female Hero: Riley and her inner emotions Joy, Sadness, & Disgust (plus the male emotions Anger and Fear). Mulan stole her father’s armor and went into battle for China, even though it was illegal for women to fight in the military. This movement spread, especially with the acceptance of the 19th amendment (voting right for women). Sometimes they break gender roles but that is nowhere as often as showing us those… Main character male or female? I think people often forget that feminism is about BOTH men and women. There’s no denying that princesses are popular with Disney. Feminists have long grappled with the contradictory forces that are at play in the 1991 Disney film. Surprisingly, The Little Mermaid can actually be viewed as a feminist film, and Ariel as an empowered heroine. Many argue that this film isn’t very feminist. And Disney is such a cultural powerhouse that it has itself created and proliferated many gender-associated tropes... some of which are incredibly unfortunate and find girls growing up to think unfortunate things. Moana. Even with a topic this controversial you can discover many great works surrounding the feminist movement. In a very knowing nod to their own legacy of heterosexual romance breaking spells (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty), Frozen showed Anna specifically turn away from the true love's kiss with Kristoff to show her true love to her sister. Today is National Voter Registration Day! (This should be unsurprising to anyone that recalls Idina's role as the bisexual performance artist Maureen in both the Broadway and film versions of Rent.) Myself included. Feminism In Disney Movies 1187 Words | 5 Pages. After all, the company has its roots with a princess movie, and some of its more recent animated blockbusters tend to star princesses… Name a job or profession, there's a white guy that has been it in movies. Disney released the film Mulan in 1998 during the third wave of feminism, so perhaps this can explain why at first glance, Mulan seems to be a feminist film encouraging the individual empowerment of women. Enter the next generation of princesses, featured in “Disney Renaissance” films like The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), Pocahontas (1995), and Mulan (1998). My favorite Disney movie is Mulan because it’s defintely feminist. Number of times named female characters saved from peril by male characters: 229). The fondant-fancy Disney-ness of it goaded my gag reflex. female - led superhero movies are generally (At least, as far as I know) pretty rare, so it's always nice to see a woman being generally badass and awesome. She has a passion for books. Introduction 2. Despite positive feminist images, the film is not free from traditional gender stereotypes. Well, as many of you likely grew up watching Disney animated films, it is undeniable that Disney has a HUGE sway on young girls (and kids in general). On the one hand, Belle maintains a strong sense of self throughout the movie. Everybody has 5 core emotions; Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. There is also elements of casual (and not so casual) racism (or specism?) in this movie – e.g. 2010 saw the release of Disney’s fiftieth animated classic, Tangled, and the powerfully feminist Rapunzel. The Disney and Pixar movie ‘Brave’ (2013) is clearly one of the most feminist movies from the company. In modern Disney movies, the female leads are strong-willed, independent, and three-dimensional, and yet they still live to get married. In the 1980s, during a rise of feminism, "The Little Mermaid" was released and Ariel redefined Disney gender roles. All rights reserved. Gaston is the most handsome man in the village, so why wouldn’t anyone want to marry him? They influence and reach children through many avenues, not just with movies, but through clothing, games, and toys. I hope to do this once a week (Possibly with other posts during the series? She is fiercely loyal to her father. Poppy, the troll princess, must rescue some of the trolls who have been kidnapped, even though no one else wants to help her. Yes, the movie with the “feminist” Disney Princess is pretty low on this list. The finale of the movie only allows her true happiness when the law is changed and her choices are fully her own, to which she happily replies, “I choose Aladdin!” 3. Who will she marry? Her island and the people living on it are threatened and Moana leaves on an adventure to save them. Does the film pass the Bechdel Test? DISNEY’S FEMALE GENDER ROLES: THE CHANGE OF MODERN CULTURE Barber 3 Abstract Disney Animation and their films are a huge part of the entertainment industry in America. Modern Disney movies released within the future can then hopefully continue to parallel a rising trajectory of feminism, so that female characters are represented in ways that are both truthful and rich. A star rating has also been included to help you to determine the strength of feminism in the movie, some fare better than others. In the classic Disney films, both the princesses and princes were essentially fairy tale blanks -- royal, beautiful, magical, boring. The actual princesses and female protagonists in Disney films do not get to perform magic. One is queen who only wants to protect her little sister, the princess. Before seeing the film, I was told it was about a kick-ass princess. For those who want to celebrate quietly, why not sit back and pop on a feminist Disney movie. We know, this is not a Disney movie. Everybody has 5 core emotions; Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. 1. To get in contact with us please call 0413 714 599. foxes are not trusted and are discriminated against. The third wave, the most recent wave, has butt against the second wave a bit. Disney movies introduce the independence, strength, and rights of women to the younger generations and hopefully for many future generations. And second-wave feminism still exists in the minds of many, particularly among the older women, many of whom were part of the wave, if not leaders, when it first began, like Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Robin Morgan. Sorry, Brave fans.) Lilo is a girl who doesn’t fit in. Feminists have long grappled with the contradictory forces that are at play in the 1991 Disney film. movies, and is an example of how to better represent women. Number of openly transsexual characters: In the new Disney movie, Elsa finally gets to wear pants. There are many wise lessons to be learned from Disney films, many of which I … Frozen I have tried to educate myself on the subject, both by reading and conversing with people (most often women) who have either personal life experience or academic education, and this post will be based on my personal understanding of the various feminist movements over the years. Beginning from the 19th-century, women were fighting for equality. She uses her wits where she isn’t physically stronger and it is her quick thinking that saves all of China. D isney has taken a lot of flak for perpetrating sexist stereotypes in its princess movies. Moana is the daughter of a Polynesian Chief, who will one day be Chief herself (female chiefs are a non-issue here). Number of named non-white characters: Why? Disney’s first black princess, Tiana, is portrayed as a workaholic. Watch Queue Queue. The Bottom Line: Brave was the first film to break the typical princess mould and capture the essence of a strong female bond above all others. She wants control of her own life. Yes, this is not a new subject, and many people have tackled this issue from many several different angles. The animals of Zootopia have evolved into anthropomorphic beings who no longer need to hunt each other, yet society is still split into predators and prey. While at first glance Tangled might feel like an unwritten script from the 1990s that’s been given a fresh coat of paint, its story is far more progressive than that of Frozen, and Rapunzel has more feminism in her flowing locks than Anna and Elsa put together. The Changing Role of Women in Walt Disney’s Princess Movies 2.1 The first wave: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) 2.2 The second wave: Beauty and the Beast (1991) 2.2.1 Analysis of female gender roles in Beauty and the Beast 2.2.2 Comparison of the first and second wave of Disney princesses 2.3 The third wave: Frozen (2013) 2.3.1 Analysis of female gender roles in Frozen 2.3.2 Comparison of the second … “Mulan” is an animation movie that was released by Walt Disney Pictures on 5th June 1998 in USA, while in Indonesia it was released on 23 October 1998  . Number of named female characters breaking gender stereotypes with their actions (performing "masculine" feats): This post is the first in a series on feminism and Disney. Well, certainly not because of Tiana. After each analysis, I will summarize my thoughts on the movie and explain how I think things fit together and what specific problems or successes I feel there are, particularly those that don't fit my criteria. No longer did women have to be secretaries or house wives or simple sexual objects... they could be rock stars, businesswomen, and many other things. So, long overdue, but better late than never, I've decided to attempt to quantify and qualify Disney films through their feminist and non-feminist tropes and stances. Disney's The Little Mermaid, released 30 years ago on Nov. 17, 1989, gets a lot of flak for being anti-feminist.So why do women still love the film? Through this series, I will try to judge, by the standards I've created based on certain feminist tropes and representations, what the "most feminist" Disney film is, but also lay out my process for everyone to see and judge for themselves. Feminism In Disney Movies 859 Words | 4 Pages. All main characters are white and unrealistically thin. Instead of destroying gender roles by appropriating them, it's the desire to destroy gender and sexual roles by invalidating and obliterating them entirely, attacking the support system for those beliefs. (Remember, non-whites were still having... trouble... being seen as equals, much less being allowed to vote, no matter what the Constitution said.) Disney has a gender problem. The past decade or so has definitely seen the word crop up more and more in the popular vernacular as we increase not only our connection to the world at large through social media, but also increase certain progressive stances on equality. Disney princess movies are good at showing us the typical gender roles and stereotypes between male and female. Mulan, 1998 And she actually gets the credit for saving the country. A long line of feminist scholars and activists has used Disney princesses as examples of exactly what is wrong with the representation of women in mainstream media. Part of HuffPost Entertainment. While stereotypes are still bad and inaccurate, the complete rejection of the idea that a woman should be a stay-at-home mom or should marry young or should be more domestic has been, itself, rejected. This movie is an excellent story of breaking with traditional gender roles and the bonds between mother and daughter. Their nemeses or their mentor figures are born magical or learn magic, while the princesses have magic thrust upon them. Snow White for instance, was stated as being “fairest of them all.” Here, physical beauty was the primary fuel for the queen to attempt an assassination. With a mostly female cast (including vocal feminist Amy Poehler) this film is about emotions and what they can do. I know Hercules is not supposed to be a regular human, but if he’s really a different species, maybe Disney shouldn’t feature him kissing a girl in a children’s movie. All main characters are white and unrealistically thin. The classical Disney princesses (Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Jasmine, etc.) Many of the animated royals are rooted in actual time periods, political movements, or are loose interpretations of historical figures. This makes the list however due to Belle’s attitudes towards marriage, men, and life in general. She sets off by herself and faces danger on her own. Merida’s parents want her to marry for the good of the kingdom, and she is extremely vocal about her dislike toward this idea. Tiana is a woman who works hard to achieve her goals, and does not need anyone – least of all a rich spoiled prince – to help her. This wave is the one that has attempted to more directly include women of color and LGBTQ+ issues into the platform of equality... and has somewhat rejected the idea, to an extent, of breaking stereotypes. You can find out more about the tests here. And if you think of any criteria that may belong on the list of consideration, please, comment and let me know. This movie was included on the list because we not only have a female hero (and villain), we also have a society split into two (sound familiar?). One member also collects small china unicorns, wonderfully turning gender expectations on its head. In fact, when the aforementioned Frozen came out, people started lauding the movie with incredible praise as "the most feminist Disney movie ever." 1. Without giving away too much, the movie tweaks the boy-saves-girl formulas that have become the standard plot for all the Disney princess movies. Despite being green for most of the movie, Tiana is Disney’s first black princess. Disney’s Moana incorporates feminism in its story. We follow them inside Riley’s head as she navigates a great change in her life. Important conversations are happening now. 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