Disney Princesses

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Claire Crumback
CMCL-334
7 November 2012
Response Paper 2
Over the course of the past 80 years we have seen major growth in the company of Disney and the way it presents itself to the rest of the world. One of the many ways Disney presents itself is by the animated films they produce, more specifically, the princess films, that we all know and love. In this paper, I will explore the role and functions of the Disney princesses over the past 80 years and discuss their differences. In particular, the femme fatales we see when Walt Disney was in charge, and how it is the princess rather than the hero who becomes the central figure in these films. On the other side, I will look at Team Disney and how they turn the princesses from damsels to more democratic.

In 1937, Disney released its’ first princess film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In this film, we see a young maiden who had to spin, wash, and mind the animals; housekeeping was always imposed upon her. As the film moves forward, it becomes apparent that she was “merely concealed behind this inherited drudgery, waiting to be revealed in the new form by the storytelling props…” (De Rozario 37). After the princess comes of age, we see her meet her true love, the prince, and we see the evil queen, femme fatale, start to take action against our damsel. In Walt’s princess films, the princesses are innocent to any hatred that is pinned against them, their only downfall is their beauty which drives the femme fatale crazy. We see the same course of action in the second princess movie Walt releases, Sleeping Beauty. In this film, Aurora, our princess, is sent away to live in a forest and performs duties the same as a housewife, cleans, cooks, and washes. This was normal in the 30s, 40s, and still the 50s. It is something that the women of that age can relate too. Also, like the evil Queen in Snow White, the femme fatale in Sleeping Beauty really wants to rule the kingdom for herself “…so it is when...
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