The Underlying Truth about Disney’s Princesses

analytical Essay
1780 words
1780 words

Over the years, Disney has presented many movies to their audience—most having a Princess as the protagonist. These movies became a babysitter for most parents in the early stages of their child’s life. Most people found these movies as relatively harmless. The obvious assumption about the Disney Princesses is that they only desire true love since almost every movie ends in romance. Parents just viewed these movies as romantic movies on a child’s level. However, these movies were not solely intended for an audience of an age that can be counted on both hands. They were intended to speak to “an intelligent and active audience” (Sumera 40). However, there are many people who disagree with the ways of the Disney Princess movies. The disagreements lie within the portrayal of women gender roles in these movies. It is argued that Disney portrays women as a being nurturing individuals without any control over their identity. The women are unable to think for themselves, because they are uneducated, and they are quick to fall in love with the first man that pays them any attention. However, this is not completely true. The people that are against the portrayal of women in the Disney movies are failing to recognize the underlying concepts in these movies. For example, Belle, in Beauty and the Beast, was well educated, Mulan went to war despite the consequences, and Merida, in Brave, stood up to her mother in refusal to marry. The Disney Princesses desired intelligence, bravery, strength, and independence—not true love’s kiss.
Beauty and the Beast is a Disney movie that debuted in 1991. When it first came out, the idea of the beautiful girl falling in love with a man because of what is inside of him was not a new concept. Inner beauty a...

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...e movie Brave, Merida was strong, and independent. Before passing judgment on the Disney princess films, perhaps one should pay closer attention to the underlying concepts in each movie. Each princess is different. However, they all desire independence.

Works Cited

Cummins, June. "Romancing the Plot: The Real Beast of Disney's Beauty and the
Beast." Children's Literature Association Quarterly 20.1 (1995): 22-28.
England, Dawn Elizabeth, Lara Descartes, and Melissa A. Collier-Meek. "Gender Role Portrayal and the Disney Princesses." Sex Roles 64.7-8 (2011): 555-67.
Levy, Ariel. "Female Chauvinist Pig." Emerging: Contemporary Readings for Writers.
Barclay Barrios. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins (2013). 265-78. Print
Sumera, Lara. "The Mask of Beauty: Masquerade Theory and Disney's Beauty and the
Beast." Quarterly Review of Film and Video 26.1 (2008): 40-46.

In this essay, the author

  • Argues that disney princesses were harmless, but they were meant to speak to an intelligent and active audience. disney portrays women as nurturing individuals without any control over their identity.
  • Explains that beauty and the beast is a disney movie that debuted in 1991. the audience enjoyed watching the relationship of belle and beast evolve from absolute disdain to pure adoration for one another.
  • Analyzes how disney's belle is an educated woman who enjoys reading and can think for herself.
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