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Is there Anything Wrong with Disney Movies?

By Alan Jambulatov

For decades, the world has grown up around the seemingly innocent and joyful Disney movies, influencing society and furthering globalism. From a young age, children will spend hours fantasizing about the magical lands and environments that surround the mystical animated royalty. However, are there issues surrounding the Disney princess of one’s childhood? Yes, there are. Many Disney movies often portray women poorly.  

Numerous Disney movies are male-dominant, with little representation of women. According to the Washington Post, it can be seen that men are the predominant speakers in numerous films “’all of the princess movies from 1989-1999 — Disney’s ‘Renaissance’ era — are startlingly male-dominated. Men speak 71% of the time in Beauty and the Beast (1991); 90% of the time in Aladdin (1992) 76% of the time in Pocahontas (1995)’” (McLean). This revealing information demonstrates an imbalance within the movies, tipping the scales in favor of the male. Though concealed, inequality shines through, demonstrating the injustice done toward women by portraying a world that is male-dominated. Thus, numerous Disney movies give an inaccurate picture of the real world in relation to gender.  

Throughout these films, assumptions about women arise as dependent on men, often in a negative light. Watching numerous princess Disney films, a similar plot surfaces: women who need saving. It is the same story over and over again; whether from Cinderella needing a man to valiantly take her away from her cruel life or Rapunzel who needs a man to rescue her from her evil kidnapper, the story holds true. Such movies paint women as ‘damsels in distress;’ a stark difference from the modern women who can hold her own, or the single mother who unilaterally cares for her family. Yet, these movies still play, showing women as seemingly incapable without the stern male heroism.  

There are nefarious hidden meanings toward women laced into some movies, damaging toward women. Mclean sheds light on a story of a mother’s attempt at banning the Sleeping Beauty from her child’s school, “recently, one mum – Sarah Hall from Tyneside – called for Sleeping Beauty to be removed from her child’s school due.” Why does she pursue this censorship? Because of a scene, where in order to save her kingdom a princess must be kissed by her ‘true-love,’ yet, this is a man without consent, kissing someone in no condition to resist the potentially unsolicited action. Unfortunately, this portrays the women as someone to be preyed upon, a photo allowing unwarranted actions when one is asleep. This action is not directed to men, but to the women innocently sleeping without a chance to resist. Thus, portraying women, their bodies, and their rights in an appalling light. 

Disney movies, albeit full of cheer and memories, can secrete toxic ideas toward women. Nonetheless, it is vital to note, though some Disney movies portray heinous acts and do injustice in the direction of females, some films do not. Luckily some movies and series are good old fun, meant to be enjoyed by any age without wrongful meanings. Similarly, as of late, Disney has been making progress, through films like Mulan, and empowering their characters. However, the issue still stands, women are often portrayed unjustly in Disney films, which continue to seep into the nurturing minds of the nations. 

Work Cited

McLean, Craig. “Is Disney Sexist?” BBC Three, BBC, 11 Dec. 2017, www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/24e20f4c-5f17-45fa-9179-f8a9fdccbe9a.

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