Friday, October 26, 2012

DISNEY ANIMATION HISTORY Part X: The DE-GIRLIFICATION OF DISNEY FEATURE ANIMATION

Not too long ago, Disney swore off their princess and fairytale formula that had worked so well for decades to make leaden films like ATLANTIS, THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE, TREASURE PLANET and also the charming and beautiful LILO AND STITCH
   
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THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS 11/7/15

2 comments:

John L said...

Great post, you make a lot of good points. I think every studio producing "family" films tries to appeal to the widest audience possible, unfortunately.

I think Disney is also trying to counter criticism that their past princesses have represented an antiquated view of female characters being timid, helpless, concerned only with domestic things, waiting to be rescued by a prince. Not exactly great role models. You point out that Tangled was saddled with many boyish additions like a hero with a goofy horse. But I would argue that the heroine was just as "girly" as any previous Disney princess. In her opening scene she is wearing a pink and purple dress, in a room decorated with pastel colors, cleaning, cooking, reading, and gazing out the window wishing she would be let out.

Of course, she does assert herself later in the story. But I think Disney has a hard time writing ANY character who doesn't fall into gender stereotypes, male or female. (I think the prince in Tangled also veers into stereotype as the roguish but likable scoundrel.) So I guess my point is, while adding boyish elements to girl-focused stories may be unnecessary and detrimental, I think a bigger issue is whether Disney female protagonists are getting any stronger.

Nora Lumiere said...

The problem with trying to please the widest possible audience is that you have to be flat and inoffensive and end up pleasing almost no-one.
There's currently an unpleasant entertainment trope of portraying females as super smart/active/superior and males as incompetent bumbling fools which has contaminated animated films too, as seen in TANGLED.
Disney princes and boys have been pitifully under-developed so it is time that they appear as more than token characters but not as blithering idiots.
The chances of seeing a strong character who just happens to be female in a Disney animated movie any time soon are probably remote.