For several years now, Disney seems to be determined not to offend anyone in order to keep its audience; indeed we are confronted with animation films full of compromises; they are not as degrading for women as Snow-White and the Seven Dwarves (1937), but they are nonetheless still filled with clichés. Films such as The Princess and The Frog (2009), Tangled (2010), Wreck-it Ralph (2012), have in common the sense of being progressive and however we can notice the resurgence of harmful gendered stereotypes on the subjects of the social scale, women’s role in society, or the status quo. Frozen comes in and turns out to be no exception. Though it includes several encouraging and gratifying elements, it contributes insidiously to spread numerous biased and pre-conceived ideas about gender roles.
Contrary to that in How to Train Your Dragon, just as in other DreamWorks animation films such as Shrek (2001), try to challenge gendered stereotypes. The film lived up to its expectations by delivery a storyline and characters that are politically more interesting than most protagonists in the majority of animation films from the same period.
One of the main characteristics of Frozen is its duo of heroines, which is unusual in animation film but even more in any given film genre in general, where the lead character is often a white young male. Of course, this could be justified by the target audience, as it is a Disney princess film after all. However, this relationship between two sisters is special enough to be analysed. Indeed, female friendship is often depicted as conflictive, in films such as Bride Wars for instance, whereas male friendship is made more valuable, as seen in most Seth Rodgen films. Here, the feminine solidarity is th...
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...g, she is by far the best warrior of her generation.
However there is a drawback that must be taken into account at the end; both Hiccup and Astrid end up together in a heterosexual relationship, though she is the one to initiate the seduction process, which is always reserved to men. Also during the ultimate combat scene again the huge Dragon, though Astrid is the best at fighting it is Hiccup that is going to get ready to battle; after saving her, he will let her with the rest of the village so she can watch him triumph and become the hero his father always wanted him to be. Finally the last scene of the film somehow goes against what had been constructed about gender representation; Hiccup gains even more recognition from his father and village after having accomplished the supreme manly act of killing a dragon, he saves his love interest, and ends up with her.
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