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Disney Princess effect

(23 Posts)
user1476360546 Thu 13-Oct-16 13:55:48

Hello, I'm an a level film student and I'm doing course work on the effects Disney has on young girls and was wondering if some of you would be willing to share experiences you have in relation to this. I'm looking for both positive and negative experiences you may have had personally growing up and experiences you have had as mums. Thank you smile

Soubriquet Thu 13-Oct-16 14:09:47

Such as what?

I was and still am a big Disney fan

My 3 year old adores Disney too

enchantmentandlove Thu 13-Oct-16 14:20:07

I have always loved Disney. It sounds silly, but they taught me a lot as a child, and remind me of lessons even now as an adult. For example, Cinderella (my favourite) taught me making the best of your circumstances, Belle taught me it's okay to be different and not to judge a book by its cover, and when I was in my late teens Rapunzel showed me to be fearless and take control of my own life. They help me to escape if I feel a little down and I always feel better after watching one.

Although I showed my 4 month old daughter her first Disney film yesterday (Bambi), and her favourite scenes seemed to be the stags fighting and the forest fire hmm

WankingMonkey Thu 13-Oct-16 14:52:45

I loved disney films, my fave was the little mermaid closely followed by Aladdin (I fancied Aladdin for an embarrassing amount of time, until I was much older than I should have been blush )

The only thing they 'taught' me though was that it takes a guy to make your life perfect. I was always waiting for that special guy to come sweep me off my feet. And it never happened. I got more realistic in my teenage years though, but I always wanted to be a Disney princess and be swept off my feet :S

I also had the vision of step parents being horrible evil things due to Disney. So I was skeptical about my parents new partners when they split up

And the Lion King, though not a princess film made me terrified for months that my dad was going to die.

I still loved them though, but looking back Disney gave me a lot of anxiety as a child

PuertoVallarta Thu 13-Oct-16 16:49:12

I keep checking to see that this is really in FWR, but it seems it is. Ooookay, then.

Disney films have taught my nieces and nephews that women must have very thick, long hair, teeny tiny waists, massive eyes, heart-shaped faces with dainty chins, etc. etc. etc.

Imagine! Every female character except the baddies and oldies looks almost identical. It doesn't matter what time, place, or background they are meant to come from.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 13-Oct-16 17:54:57

Disney films have taught my DN(7) to sing loudly and tunelessly. They have not taught her that dressing up frocks get wrecked when she wears them to climb trees or out to round up the sheep. I blame Merida.

kesstrel Thu 13-Oct-16 21:34:21

I had to be taken out of the cinema screaming in terror at age 6 during a showing of Snow White (the evil witch with the apple was just too much!) I've been prejudiced against Disney films every since grin

kesstrel Thu 13-Oct-16 21:36:40

OP, have you seen the Big Bang Theory episode with 3 grown women squabbling over which Disney princess they get to be? A reference to it might make a nice introduction to your piece.

Kennington Thu 13-Oct-16 21:37:50

Um it has taught me that women must be unfeasibly thin, hairless and with no obvious employment prospects.
It reinforces sexist stereotypes too.
I hate it more as time passes.
The jungle book is great though!

zippey Fri 14-Oct-16 07:49:56

I think Disney princess role models are essentially damaging for young girls. It's telling that boys don't want to be Disney princes, like Prince Charming, they prefer to be pro active action heroes whereas girls want to be passive princesses who must wait for Prince Charming to rescue her with a kiss (Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid etc)

Merida, and perhaps Elsa Buck the trend.

Almostthere15 Fri 14-Oct-16 09:11:09

I think disney was reflective of its times. There have been efforts to redress the balance. Merida, belle, anna, elsa, rapunzel (who ultimately saves herself), mulan and tiana are pretty different? Disney themselves are trying to redress the balance now - it might be worth looking at their latest princess offering which seems to be about dreaming big rather than looking pretty.

For younger children sofia the first does tackle some gender stereotyping well, and doc mcstuffins is pretty impressive on this front (I think dad stays home and mum is a doctor).

You can love dressing as elsa and still be active and confident. For me it's about being able to choose.

GreatBritishBakeOff Fri 14-Oct-16 15:54:39

kennington so you dislike sexist stereotypes in Disney movies but love jungle book? hmm The only females are subservient to males, the girl at the end is singing a song about her role as a female "to fetch the water" "have a handsome husband" "cooking in the home" yet all the males characters in the story get to stomp around the jungle showing off how macho they are... angry

GreatBritishBakeOff Fri 14-Oct-16 15:57:50

Disney princess films hack me off, not necessarily because of the gender stereotypes they include, they are trying in baby steps to change this a bit, but the sheer outnumbering of male to female speaking roles is deplorable!
In frozen, it's all about the 2 sisters, but there are like 4 or 5 female speaking roles in the whole film, compared to about 20 male. They are all like it. Boils my metaphorical, it does.

Ifounddory Fri 14-Oct-16 16:07:14

I love the newer Disney movies as they buck the trend of princess waits around for a man. Merida is my favourite.

What amazed me the most about Disney recently was going to Disneyworld. As predicted lots of little kids "male and female" going nuts over the various characters, half the girls dressed as Elsa. What I didn't expect was just how many adults without kids were lining up for autographs! Not just photos for nostaliga but full on dressed in costume, autograph hunting, pin collecting, screaming adults.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Fri 14-Oct-16 16:07:34

Um it has taught me that women must be unfeasibly thin, hairless and with no obvious employment prospects.

No it has not. Unless you can't actually distinguish between fairy stories , cartoon characters and real life.

Ifounddory Fri 14-Oct-16 16:07:50

the " should be , blush

almondpudding Fri 14-Oct-16 16:37:28

Doesn't the Little Mermaid rescue the Prince, rather than the other way around?

The Jungle Book is very much a stereotypical SAHM role model, but that isn't a bad thing.

almondpudding Fri 14-Oct-16 16:38:34

Actually doesn't Belle rescue the Beast rather than the other way around as well?

AmeliaJack Fri 14-Oct-16 16:46:51

Disney films are not reflective of real life and of course there are inherent issues with regard to the treatment of/behaviour of both sexes but particularly women.

However that does not mean that they are inherently or specifically evil. Much popular culture/literature has the same issues. Disney just has superior merchandising.

I allow both my son and daughter to watch Disney films. Where there are issues we discuss them afterwards.

I'm always vaguely concerned when posters say they 'ban' Disney, I'd rather teach them to be critical consumers.

Doesthissounddodgytoyou Fri 14-Oct-16 17:10:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kennington Fri 14-Oct-16 20:25:32

But the jungle book has the bear necessities song but I take your point.
I dislike elsa especially because her only talent is magic, which isn't real.
And I do think little girls cannot distinguish between reality and cartoons. As evidenced by some adults behaviour when organising their wedding.

Toffeelatteplease Fri 14-Oct-16 20:29:02

I learnt nothing from Disney Cartoons.

They do however entertain and amuse me enormously.

They are afterall fiction.

MySqueeHasBeenSeverelyHarshed Sat 15-Oct-16 13:37:29

I do some work sometimes as a party entertainer in princess costumes, and I've been a Disney fan since I was small. The whole Disney princess marketing avenue is relatively recent, I think it's a result of everything for children becoming more commercialized and drawn down the gender lines.

The first three princess films (Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty) were never made with the idea that they were going to sell tons of merchandise, the studio chose films that had a simple structure and the princesses themselves don't take up most of the running time, they were rotoscoped, which is expensive, and there's more time devoted to slapstick action with the mice, the dwarves and the fairies because they were just easier to animate. Cinderella was done on a tiny budget since the film just before it had tanked at the box office, it probably saved the studio from going under.

When they started making the Little Mermaid the studio was in trouble again and they tried something that had worked for them in the past, a simple fairytale with a happy ending, and it was majorly successful. And because it came out towards the end of the eighties when media aimed at children was pushing toys and merchandise heavily, they got in on that too. Beauty and the Beast followed suit, and Aladdin and so on, and now the films are almost second to the merchandise.

I do think Disney, and the princess line in particular, cops a lot of unfair criticism, they are basically doing what all the other production companies do. Other media aimed at little girls, the likes of the early My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite etc. plugged a 'tea parties and cupcakes' sort of genre and there was precious little outside of that to broach a different view. Rainbow Brite had her moments and her theatrical film was surprisingly dark, but if you wanted to see a female character triumph over adversity a lot of the time you only had Disney. The gender-neutral shows often had just one or two token female characters (Smurfs, G.I Joe, Inspector Gadget etc.) and more recently Dreamworks has been pretty godawful about this, actually worse than Disney in some ways.

I do think the princess line is valuable in its own way, even though they are merchandised to hell and back. They've at least tried to have representation for little girls of colour and tomboys, and they're still trying with Moana and Elena of Avalor. Little girls are continually getting fobbed off everywhere else.

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