Female Roles and Stereotypes in Disney Animated Films

676 Words2 Pages
The females and stereotypes in Disney animated films gradually changed over the years; From the early 1900s, beginning with their first feature film Snow White (1937) to their most recent box office film Frozen (2013). Since the Walt Disney Company was founded in 1923, the way the roles of women were portrayed depended on the time period. Snow White (1937), Cinderella (1950), and Sleeping Beauty (1959) were the first Disney princesses in the era. All three princess were portrayed as helpless or a damsel in distress, who were saved by a prince's sword or kiss. Cinderella, in particular, was a prime example of this stereotype. Living with her neglectful stepmother and sisters, she was repressed from all of the daily activities her step family would partake in. She was regularly tormented and made to slave around; cleaning and cooking for her spoiled family members. She didn't have the self esteem to stick up for herself. All three of these princesses had secondary characters to care for them, to have a happy ending and "marry the prince". The godmother in Cinderella magically giving her a dress, carriage and glass slippers, and the house mice helping her as well. Snow White has the seven dwarfs, and Sleeping Beauty had her three fairy godmothers. With the second wave of women's rights surfacing, Disney upgraded their roles of females as well. With The Little Mermaid(1989), Aladdin(1992), and Beauty and the Beast(1991), they all had different roles, and they shared one specific trait: curiosity. They also strived for something new. Belle was the most remarkable with the fact that what defined her was her brains and intellect. Beauty and the Beast really pushed the patriarchal views of women in France at the time. Gaston being th... ... middle of paper ... ...cent films show complete independence and variety in characteristics. Works Cited Thomas, O. (1995, October 26). Cinderella. Christian Science Monitor. p. 12. Garside, C. (2006). Essentialized Females Animated. International Journal Of The Humanities, 3(6), 33-40. England, D., Descartes, L., & Collier-Meek, M. (2011). Gender Role Portrayal and the Disney Princesses. Sex Roles, 64(7/8), 555-567. Zarranz, L. (2007). DISWOMEN STRIKE BACK? THE EVOLUTION OF DISNEY'S FEMMES IN THE 1990s. Atenea, 27(2), 55-67. Snow White (December 21, 1937). Film Cinderella(February 15, 1950) Film. Sleeping Beauty(January 29, 1959) Film. The Little Mermaid(November 17, 1989) Film. Aladdin(November 25, 1992) Film. Beauty and the Beast(September 29, 1991) Film. Mulan(June 19, 1998) Film. Lilo and Stitch(June 21, 2002) Film. Brave(June 22, 2012) Film. Frozen(November 27, 2013) Film.
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