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Making her own destiny: Disney's diverse females


Anders, Lisann (2019). Making her own destiny: Disney's diverse females. In: Frankel, Valerie. Fourth wave feminism in science fiction and fantasy. Volume 1: essays on film representations, 2012-2019. Jefferson, NC, USA: McFarland, 39-48.

Abstract

Brave, Frozen, Moana. These are three of the new Disney princess films, which feature strong independent girls who are trying to grow up in a world, which is still dominated by traditional role models. Each of the princesses, Merida, Elsa, Anna, and Moana, need to go on a literal and metaphorical journey to find their true selves. In that way, these films can be read as feminist coming of age stories. However, only classifying these films as feminist because they do not revolve primarily around the classic love story, would be too short sighted. The feminist trend in Disney started quite a bit earlier with several princesses rebelling against their parents and trying to find their own way – be it Jasmin in Aladdin, Ariel in Little Mermaid, or Rapunzel in Tangled. These are all examples of strong modern women. Disney took the criticism of feminists seriously, though, and, stirred away from the classic boy meets girl plot in the second decade of the new millennium to show how diverse individual feminism can be and that marriage can be an option but does not have to be the only option for a fulfilled and satisfying life. As a consequence, Disney is broadening its definition of love to parents, sisters, nations, and oneself. It is once again emphasized that the most important quality in characters is that they should be true to themselves. The recent films do exactly this. Thus, with regard to the most recent Disney princess films, I attempt to show that fourth wave feminism can be defined as a diversity in dreams of female protagonists and as a journey to the true self in order to make one’s own destiny.

Abstract

Brave, Frozen, Moana. These are three of the new Disney princess films, which feature strong independent girls who are trying to grow up in a world, which is still dominated by traditional role models. Each of the princesses, Merida, Elsa, Anna, and Moana, need to go on a literal and metaphorical journey to find their true selves. In that way, these films can be read as feminist coming of age stories. However, only classifying these films as feminist because they do not revolve primarily around the classic love story, would be too short sighted. The feminist trend in Disney started quite a bit earlier with several princesses rebelling against their parents and trying to find their own way – be it Jasmin in Aladdin, Ariel in Little Mermaid, or Rapunzel in Tangled. These are all examples of strong modern women. Disney took the criticism of feminists seriously, though, and, stirred away from the classic boy meets girl plot in the second decade of the new millennium to show how diverse individual feminism can be and that marriage can be an option but does not have to be the only option for a fulfilled and satisfying life. As a consequence, Disney is broadening its definition of love to parents, sisters, nations, and oneself. It is once again emphasized that the most important quality in characters is that they should be true to themselves. The recent films do exactly this. Thus, with regard to the most recent Disney princess films, I attempt to show that fourth wave feminism can be defined as a diversity in dreams of female protagonists and as a journey to the true self in order to make one’s own destiny.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:16 October 2019
Deposited On:28 Oct 2019 11:14
Last Modified:07 Apr 2020 07:22
Publisher:McFarland
ISBN:978-1-4766-7766-8
OA Status:Closed
Related URLs:https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/fourth-wave-feminism-in-science-fiction-and-fantasy/ (Publisher)

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