SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING AND DESIGN
THE DESIGN SCHOOL
FOUNDATION IN NATURAL BUILD ENVIRONMENT
NAME: KIMBERLEY EE SZE ANN
STUDENT ID NO: 0315319
FILMS SELECTED: ANIMATED FILMS
WORD COUNT: 1180 WORDS
ENGLISH 2 (ENGL 0205)
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT 1: COMPARE – CONTRAST ESSAY
LECTURER: CASSANDRA WIJESURIA
SUBMISSION DATE: 5TH DECEMBER 2013
Released in year 1937.
Disney's first animated
Disney took great risks.
First ever full-length
animated motion picture
entirely new techniques.
Flat and boring
Beautiful but weak.
The prince and Snow
White do not develop a
Kindness and caring
Gain trust and adoration
Expected of girls at that
Time of release
Released in year 2010.
Past sacrifices by Disney
Created in a time of digital
Attractive and stimulating
Strong female lead.
Ready to take charge and
stand up for herself.
Rapunzel and Flynn
Rider (male lead).
Bravery and courage.
Dreams will be fulfilled.
Girls should be more
Disney Animated Films, Then and Now
I am most definitely a loyal Disney fan but of all Disney’s productions, their animated films
are what interest me the most. When I was a child my parents would buy my sister and I different
Disney tapes and we would spend hours in front of the television watching and re-watching what
had fast become our favourite films. In fact, even after all these years my sister and I still make a
point of watching all Disney’s animated productions together. These days, we enjoy new
animated films on wide movie screens at the cinema and are even able to experience realistic 3D
effects. This change can actually be directly attributed to the significant development in the
industry of animated films. I will continue to describe the differences in time of release,
advances in technology, movie plots and moral values in the animated films Snow White and
The Seven Dwarfs and Tangled.
Firstly, it is important that we take note of the different time releases of Snow White and
Tangled. Snow White is the first ever Disney animated film and was released in 1937
(History.com, 1974) while Tangled was released in the year 2010. Although both films received
great amounts of success, a significant difference that we can observe between these two films is
that while Tangled received success in a time where Disney had already developed a sound
reputation, Snow White on the other hand was Disney’s first venture into the world of animation
and was generally observed to be a great risk taken by Walt Disney. In fact, according to
(History.com, 1974) naysayers, including his wife, warned him that audiences, especially adults,
would not sit through a feature-length cartoon fantasy about dwarfs. It is admirable then that
Disney went ahead with the production, willingly placing his future on the line. He even went so
far as to borrow most of the $1.5 million that he used to make the film. Thankfully for Disney,
Snow White was an immense success and the film quickly grossed $8 million, a staggering sum
during the Great Depression and the most made by any film up to that time. Risks like these are
what has established Disney in our hearts and minds and allowed new releases such as Tangled
to quickly become global sensations.
Moving on, the next point that I wish to elaborate is the advances in technology from 1937 to
2010, the time gap between the two productions. When Snow White was created, Disney was
considered pioneer in the production of animated films. Thus, with Snow White being the first
ever full-length animated motion picture to come into fruition, Disney was required to cultivate
entirely new techniques. However, nowadays due to digital media and computer generated films
such as Tangled; we tend to overlook what was actually Disney’s golden era. Today, animation
that was an achievement in the past will easily be perceived as flat and boring to the modern
viewer. When we contrast the visual quality of Snow White and Tangled, we will find that the
graphics used in Tangled are much more attractive and stimulating. However, we cannot forget
that Snow White stands at the root of modern animation technology and is in fact prototype for
all future animated films produced by Disney. Moreover, Snow White was the first animated
film to employ the use of Technicolor and also featured the first large-scale use of the multiplane
camera which became a signature of Disney for decades (Backlots, 2013).
Next, I wish to contrast the plots of both Snow White and Tangled. Although both these films
were based on fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, the truth is, the approach taken by Disney in
outlining the plots for these films was quite different. In Snow White, we are introduced to a
weak female protagonist who is admired only for her beauty and has little means to defend
herself. Throughout the film we watch as Snow White is continuously saved from danger by
stronger male characters, be it the huntsman, the dwarfs or the Prince. Snow White was
portrayed as a passive character, whose only redeeming qualities are her beauty and kindness.
Snow White is otherwise naive and submissive, not exactly the perfect role model for young girls
of our generation. In contrast, Tangled presents a fresh new heroine who is ready to take charge
of her life and stand up for herself. In fact, Rapunzel needs little help defending herself as she
steps out into the world, frying pan in hand. Furthermore, in Tangled, we actually witness a
meaningful relationship developing between Rapunzel and the leading male character, Flynn
Rider. Whereas in Snow White, the Prince is only seen for a brief moment as he comes to deliver
a true love’s kiss and sweep Snow White off her feet before carrying her away to his castle.
Thus, we can say that Disney has grown with the times, following the trend in which both film
and television have shifted toward female-centric productions with strong female leads.
Lastly, I would like to contrast the difference in moral values seen in both Snow White and
Tangled. The moral values of each female lead are markedly different and portray two very
different kinds of role models. Firstly, we can observe that the moral values depicted by Snow
White are mainly kindness and caring towards others. Snow White was truly the perfect role
model in the time of her creation as it was a time when girls were expected to be sweet natured
and polite. Snow White’s pure sincere personality allowed her to easily gain the trust and
adoration of others. Conversely, the moral values that Disney producers chose to highlight in the
character of Rapunzel were courage and bravery. Rapunzel’s dream is to escape the captivity of
her tower and discover the mystery behind ‘the stars’ that show up every year on her birthday. In
Tangled, we are able to watch as Rapunzel plucks up the courage to fulfil her dream and is justly
rewarded with the revelation of her true identity. Thus, we can observe that the moral values that
Disney aims to capture in its modern day films encourages girls to be more outgoing as is
required for their own success in the modern world.
In conclusion, Disney has seen many changes in the 73 years between the release of Snow
White and Tangled. By contrasting the time of release, advances in technology, movie plots and
moral values in the animated films Snow White and Tangled, we are able to understand how
time has wrought many changes in the world of animated films. However, one thing remains the
same and that is the time and dedication that Disney is willing to put into fulfilling their mission
to be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment. For more than nine
decades, the name Walt Disney has been preeminent in the field of family entertainment. From
humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to today's global corporation, The Walt
Disney Company continues to thrill audiences around the world (Thewaltdisneycompany.com,
1) HelloGiggles (2013). Disney Heroines Take a More Pro-Active Role. [online] Retrieved from:
http://hellogiggles.com/disney-heroines-take-a-more-pro-active-role [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].
2) History.com (1974). Disney releases Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs — History.com
This Day in History — 2/4/1938. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.history.com/thisday-in-history/disney-releases-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs [Accessed: 1 Dec
3) Backlots (2013). Disney Production Process and Innovations in Animation Technique in
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937). [online] Retrieved from:
http://backlots.net/2012/11/28/disney-production-process-and-innovations-in-animationtechnique-in-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs-1937/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].
4) Thewaltdisneycompany.com (2013). Disney History | The Walt Disney Company.
[online] Retrieved from: http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/about-disney/disney-history
[Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].
5) Rysted, K. (2011). Kirsten's Blog for ENGL1213: Thin, Pale, and Beautiful: Disney’s
Tangled Continues to Promote the Beauty Equals Goodness Paradigm in Princess
Movies. [online] Retrieved from: http://kirstenrysted.blogspot.com/2011/11/thin-paleand-beautiful-disneys-tangled.html [Accessed: 4 Dec 2013].
6) Shoes, Y. (2013). The Prince from Snow White..... [online] Retrieved from:
http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/the-prince-from-snow-white.21823/ [Accessed: 4