This blog was inspired by the research I did on my dissertation ‘If the Glass Slipper Fits: Examining the Disney Princesses as Models of Womanhood’. Below is a copy of the abstract for my paper.
The Disney Princesses have been criticized for representing unrealistic models of womanhood that reinforce traditional ideals of femininity. At the same time, the princesses have been presented by the company as realistic woman and girls with whom those in their audience can identify with and emulate. I will examine the appearance, movement, voice, and persona of one princess from each of the three Disney eras containing princesses, Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (David Hand/ U.S.A. / 1937), Mulan from Mulan (Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook/ U.S.A. / 1998), and Merida from Brave (Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman/ U.S.A. / 2012), and using an analysis of their films alongside an examination of production materials will determine which of these two models of womanhood has been more prominent in the Disney Princess throughout the history of the role. In doing so, I will prove that even the earliest princesses were more complex figures than the idealised women others have claimed they are, and that the Disney princess has moved towards an increasingly complex and accessible model of girlhood over time.
If you would like to request a copy of the full dissertation to read, please send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.