Disney’s New Gendered Directions

Sorry, guys – no time for a real post today.  Why don’t you tell me what you think about the following posts from Ms. Magazine:

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Disney’s Male Execs To Stop Making Movies Starring Girls : Ms Magazine Blog by Margot Magowan

At first it seems like possible good news. Disney/ Pixar announces: no more fairy tales, code for princess movies. Great! No more damsels in distress who end the movie by landing a man.

Now we’re going to have a slew of new movies with cool girl heroes who bravely rescue boys from peril, exuding power and beauty by performing all kinds of risk-taking tasks and challenges. But, no.

First of all, the reason the fairy tale movies are stopping is because Disney/ Pixar executives have decided that little girls aren’t worth making movies for at all.

The Los Angeles Times reports the fairy tale movies “appealed to too narrow an audience: little girls. This prompted the studio to change the name of its Rapunzel movie to the gender-neutral ‘Tangled’ and shift the lens of its marketing to the film’s swashbuckling male costar, Flynn Rider.”

Can you imagine if Disney decided to shut down a genre because it only appealed to little boys? Or if they switched a movie title so it wouldn’t risk highlighting a male star?

Read on!

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Disney’s Gender Roles Remain Un-Tangled by Natalie Wilson

The good news is that Disney’s new animated feature Tangled is funny, fast-paced and visually stunning.

The bad news is that it re-hashes the same old story: As a woman, you can either be a princess awaiting her prince or an evil stepmother/witch; as a man, you get all the action (in many senses of the word). And beauty, of course, equals white, blonde, thin and young.

Keeping in mind Disney’s recent announcement that after Tangled they won’t be making any more princess films, one can see Tangled as a transitional movie, an indication of where Disney’s future is headed…

To this end, Disney brought in a new directorial team in 2008 to overhaul the planned Rapunzel and “wring the pink out of it,” as the Los Angeles Times aptly put it.

The resultant Tangled, with a non-heroine title, more action and a platoon of mega-muscular-man characters (in contrast to only two key females–Rapunzel and the evil Mother Gothel), bodes ill for Disney’s post-princess era.  While one blogger has called this a “gender neutral makeover,” it seems to me more of a masculinist makeover.

Read on!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Disney’s New Gendered Directions

  1. Adryan

    Belle:

    Ariel:

    Snow White:

    I think the second article sums it up pretty well – “gender neutral” almost always mean masculinizing. So I have nothing to contribute, just thought I’d attach these videos: Relationship from Disney Princesses. Care to write the script for Rapunzel?

    Like

    • kera

      I saw the first two but the third is definitely a good addition. I was surprised they even remade Rapunzel! It’s a story about a girl who has long hair and needs to be saved – what’s so interesting This genre move definitely reflects not only the media’s (and society’s) privileging of masculinity, but how the media (and perhaps our society as well) has absolutely no interest in creating interesting new story lines. I wish there was a market for Indie kids films rather than just Disney/Pixar.

      Like

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