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Disney: An Essay

Disney princessesHere’s why I hate Disney.

I don’t hate Disney because of the way they steal traditional stories, that stupid greedy vault, or even the fact that they seem incapable of producing an animated movie without someone breaking into song. I hate Disney for their gender politics.

I will exclude Pixar from this, because they are so removed from Disney proper and so often avoid the “princess gets in trouble, prince saves the day” nonsense.

Let us pick a few of Disney’s classic films: Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, and Tangled. I chose these because they are the first, the most celebrated, and the most recent films. In each of these movies, there is a “strong female lead” who goes on a magical journey in a public domain fantasy setting.

Snow White spends the entire movie running from the queen, and getting men to protect her. Her only character traits are her niceness and her overwhelming beauty. So, that’s a real positive role model there. In Beauty and the Beast, Belle is a far stronger character, with an iron will and overwhelming beauty. Unfortunately, she is still only able to achieve a happy ending with a man in her life. Actually, I just realized that the Beauty and the Beast bit can be recycled word for word for Tangled.

Really, I hate these movies because the gender nonsense is both offensive and lazy. There are countless interesting stories to tell and this company seems incapable of telling one without resorting to this tripe. This is precisely why the first Shrek movie was so successful. They inverted almost every aspect of the genre and created something interesting. Also, it wasn’t a musical.

This is why I am excited about Pixar’s Brave. Here we have a princess who openly flaunts her disdain for the men available to her, and sets out to prove that she is every bit as tough and independent as any of them. I have to admit I am nervous that the movie will fall into the Disney trap, but based on Pixar’s track record, I am hopeful. Also, there are funny Scots.




Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor


Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python


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