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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 16th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
Have you read anything about 'Tangled' yet?

I've been following the newest Disney movie for a while now and have had people attack and insult me because the 'princess' is said to not rely on a prince and I was celebrating that piece of info. "It's not a princess movie. Who the hell do you think you are? This isn't Disney! She SHOULD be saved by the prince! That's how it's done!"

There is a scene in the trailer that shows Rapunzel knocking her 'prince' on the head with a frying pan. I thought it was very funny that something so domestic and 'womanly' was used to initiate their relationship. The other people watching this movie? "I'm so tired of girl power princesses! What's wrong with being saved by a prince? It's traditional!"

Hoo boy. What really scares me is that these movies have such a hold on people and how they see fairy tales that they can't even see what traditions they're defending.

Aug. 16th, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but, internet comments. You know how it works. Disney has been having their princesses save their prince for quite a while now. Belle, in a way, but more obviously Mulan and Tiana and Giselle and Pochahontas and Esmeralda and Megera. A lot of them are saved in turn, but that doesn't really change it.
Aug. 16th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
It really lays it all out, doesn't it? Although I think the take on Belle is a bit reductionist. But the "prince" one is right on. (Am I the only one who finds The Beast more attractive in his non-human form?)

I just finished reading "The Mermaid's Madness" by Jim Hines, a great take on the (original) Little Mermaid story that shows just how creepy the whole thing is: girl meets boy, girl gives up her entire life for boy, girl is discarded by boy and lets herself be destroyed for the sake of his happiness. Ugh. That's one case where I think the Disneyfication of the story actually made it better.
Aug. 16th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
I'm so sick of people hating on Disney for this as if they're the sole bearers of cultural messaging about gender. What pisses me off the most about it is that they seldom do it accurately. They focus on the movies and the characters therein rather than the real devil, that being the side-along merchandising. They deliberately ignore, misinterpret and boil down characters in movies while simultaneously cherry-picking their examples and ignoring traits and characters that don't fit their argument.

What pisses me off the most about it is that Disney is one of the only companies that bothers to make media for little girls. Good media. Good, unafraid movies with bona-fide heroines, who have, since Ariel, had a lot of agency even when they used it for doing stupid shit. Lots of other companies make excellent kids movies, far fewer of them with women at the centre of the narrative. And considering how gendered everything else in life is, and how girls aren't allowed to touch things that haven't first been repackaged in pink and marketed to them, it's kind of important for somebody other than Barbie (for the record - also not that bad) to bother.
Aug. 19th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
Granted, Disney has made some major improvements in this department, starting with Beauty.

Granted, Disney shouldn't get all the blame.

But still. owlmoose had a great post summarizing why the Bechdel test is a telling metric.

I still need to see The Princess and the Frog, though.

But I think the thing that jumped out at me the most from that "what Disney teaches" article was not the girls, but the message to the boys.

That, too, has improved somewhat (Phoebus in Hunchback comes to mind-- gosh I wish that movie had been more popular). Nonetheless, I think it's tended to slip past the radar, and it's definitely something that ought to be considered. It was the main problem I had with Hunchback. They couldn't fix it without changing the story more, but the happy ending felt a little strained with Quasi losing his true love to the good-looking guy (much though I love Esmerelda/Phoebus.)

Edited at 2010-08-19 03:32 pm (UTC)
Aug. 16th, 2010 11:53 pm (UTC)
The princess dissection? Meh. Morelike:

Cinderella = work very hard, be sweet despite this, make friends and be happy;

Sleeping Beauty - dang, Malificent## was the BEST! - and the fairies should've given Aurora some benefit to keep her from failing 'charm person' saving throws

Personally, I think that Disney is -WAY- more of a bad example for mothering. Every mother** dies - even Bambi's - and stepmothers are eeeevil.

** ... except for Mulan's mom, but then IMO Mulan is an exceptional Disney heroine. She leaves to save her father, works with others and with very little aid saves everyone.

## - Malificent is IMO the best Disney villain ever, she has the 'Achilles heel' of having bad minions. The next best Disney villain IMO is Ezma from 'Emperor's New Groove' - who is delightfully wicked - and even her minion [Kronk] is great.
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