In my investigation I will be looking at how women are represented in Disney films,
-in 1937 when the film was made the traditional thing for a women to do was to become a housewife she would cook clean and care for her husband and children while the man was out working. Is this something that has changed in socicity? If so why hasn’t it in disney films?
Representations of women in Disney films. Gender
My Films Focus Film: Snow White and the seven dwarfs William Cottrell (1937) Second Film: The Little Mermaid, Ron Clements, John Musker (1989) Third Film: Mulan, Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook (1998) Forth Film: Enchanted, Kevin Lima (2007)
I decided to do my small scale project on women representation in Disney films, as I enjoyed watching Disney films and I found it interesting reading about this topic.
Snow White and Seven Dwarfs Snow white is a young Princess, her wicked step-mother wishes her to be dead, However Snow White escapes and finds a little cottage in the woods she enters the Cottage and begins to clean and tidy it with help from some animals the cottage belongs To seven dwarfs to come home from work to find snow white there. The step mother finds Out that snow white is still alive and goes to kill her by herself she gives snow white a poisonous apple which she eats without a doubt, snow white faints and needs to be woken up by a kiss from a prince. Snow White stays In the cottage while the seven dwarfs go to work, she cleans And tidies the cottage. Snow White is pretty and has skin as white as snow, lips as red as roses.
Evidence on Snow White… ‘ She is shown to be young, pretty, virginal and obedient. She doesn't mind housework because she is sure that a rich young man will soon come and take her away. This is the introduction to Snow White.’ ‘ I think that being an ordinary housewife became Snow White's natural role. As this movie was a big success, Disney decided to use this character profile in all their forthcoming films.’ http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=122745
Little Mermaid This is the story of a little mermaid named Ariel, who dreams of going on land. When her father, King Triton, Forbids her to go on land, Ariel visits Ursula who her father had banished. Eventhough she helps her get to land, what Ariel doesn't know is that Ursula has plans to destroy her to get revenge on her father. She is the prettiest of all the daughters. Ariel is shown to be pretty and feminine by wearing shells. She still desires to have a man and wants to live with humans She doesn’t listen to what her father has told her and ends up Putting her family and friends in danger- her teenage side coming Out.
except that she is shown wearing a bikini made out of shells (she is shown to be more attractive). However, her role is still male dominated. She will do anything to make the prince fall in love with her; even give up her voice.
http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=122745 Ariel is a feisty little redhead who defies her daddy, hoards shiny trinkets, and smirks. While the other princesses were elaborately draped, Ariel runs around in little more than a clamshell bra and fishtail, looking like jailbait. If she had legs, they’d be in stretch toreador pants. Her belly button is always visible, leading to inconclusive ruminations on just how mer-reproduction is accomplished. http://www.frederica.com/writings/the-women-of-disney.html
Mulan Mulan is a girl, the only child of her honored family. When the Huns invade China, one man from every family is called to arms. Mulan's father, who has an old wound and cannot walk properly, decides to fight for his country and the honor of his family though it is clear that he will not survive an enemy encounter. Mulan, who just got rejected by the matchmaker because she had set her on fire, decides to prove that she is worth something and steals away to fit her father's place in the Chinese army. She prays to her family's ancestors for protection and luck before leaving as a man in her father's armor with her family's horse. The ancestors awake and decide to send Mushu, a little dishonored dragon to aid Mulan in her quest. Weeks later, Mulan and the other troopers have survived the training camp and are on the way north to stop the huns. After being spotted and pursued by the enemies, an impass situation in the mountains forces Mulan to come up with an idea. But then, her real gender will no longer be a secret. She decides to risk everything in order to save China.
Many people are also concerned with the portrayal of women and the questionable behavior in Disney animated films. Typically women are shown in a position of princess, queen, or homemaker. For example, Ariel in the Little Mermaid , Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella is a maid and then a princess, and Jasmine in Aladdin . It also seems that they are illustrated as being subservient to the male characters who typically display forceful behaviors , such as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and Hercules. They both are portrayed using forceful behavior in order to get what they want, whether it is the girl or a material object. It seems as if women are seen as a commodity in a patriarchal society . They go from being the possession of their father, right into being the possession of their husband or another male . For instance, Ariel is handed over from her father to Prince Eric, Jasmine to Aladdin, and Belle to the Beast. The lack of a mother figure is also a prominent finding in a majority of Disney animated movies . These characters are role models to the children that watch Disney movies and they are reinforcing gender stereotyped behavior by depicting males as using forceful behavior and females as submissive.