Behind the Magic. An Examination of Gender Representations in Disney Princess Feature-length Animations

by Megan Hilditch
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Publisher: GRIN Verlag

Publication Date: April 04, 2018

ISBN: 9783668508774

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Bachelor Thesis from the year 2017 in the subject Sociology - Gender Studies, grade: 75.0, Keele University, language: English, abstract: This study offers an examination of gender representations present in the Disney feature-length animations incorporated into the Princess Collection. The import of such films has become increasingly relevant in recent years due to the increased anxiety around media representations and the development of the Princess franchise into a dominant aspect of Disney. In an attempt to test the claims of the existing debate and update the discussion through the inclusion of male protagonists, as well as female, the method of content analysis was adopted to conduct an in-depth analysis of: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and Frozen (2013). This choice of films enables us to trace how these representations have changed over time to reflect the changing attitudes of gender in mainstream society, to answer the question of; to what extent do Disney princes and princesses represent traditional gender stereotypes? After data was collected the results of the content analysis were interpreted by drawing on literature and situating them within their historical context. The findings have shown that these princesses have evolved from passive damsels in distress to much more active, dynamic heroines. Whilst the male characters were found to have experienced less change but have become more feminised. However, both were found to still be influenced by traditional stereotypical ideas.