I have to first say that I loved loved LOVED this reading! I have already used my “reflection” blog option, SO I have decided to do a hyperlinks blog this week. I was really shocked to read about the Disney information and was sad that most of it is…true. I like many other children grew up with Mickey Mouse and friends and even all the Princesses. Let me tell you, my heart BROKE reading that section of the reading because as a child I believed every girl should grow up and find her prince. (Cliché ..I know), but after reading, I realize how the role of women is poorly portrayed infact..many roles are. I mean I would love to be whisked away to a castle and live my life without any worries but truly that's not the case. (Keep in mind during this whole post, I am a huge disney fan, But what must be analyzed will be analyzed.)
Looking into cartoons, the woman became portrayed with different body types and even race. We have the desirable and beautiful Jessica Rabbit and then the Evil Ursula. Very different body types and personality portrayals
Jessica Rabbit is portrayed as a white, desirable, perfect figured character, were as Ursula is not. "The young pretty one's only ant to hook their man; the old, pretty ones are mean because they're loosing their looks. " (131)
Author Christiansen mentioned the absence of parents in cartoons. From Donald Duck cartoons, to Aladin, either a mother or father role is missing. Another big point that stuck out to me was how people of color are absent or misrepresented in many in many of the cartoons. Even charters who are over weight are portrayed differently from the roles of the "tinner" figured characters. Take a look at this clip from Beauty and the Beast. " Little Town " shows a variety of characters who are not as "beautiful" as Bell or "good looking" as Gaston. And the people of this town sing that Bell is the "odd" one yet they are all portrayed differently than her perfect character. WHICH I NEVER NOTICED! (palm to face)
I feel as though I did what the students in the reading did and deciphered all these cartoons and Princess movies and now I analyze them ALL. Christiansen mentions that many of the students later stated " I want a toy that isn't sexist or racist" ( 134) Does that toy exist? i found this perfect example in a reading where adults ask this same question and even share examples os extremely racist or sexist toys. Remember BRATZ dolls girls? take a look at this article .
I truly believe Disney has tried to add diversity to their mix of characters and while many of the Mickey and friends cartoons or even Loony Toons don't have as much, Characters such as Tiana, a Princess of color, has recently been added to the Disney family. Tough she still portrays this ambitious and determined girl working to make her dreams come true (again stereotyping a woman, working a small job, who later finds love with a man and her life is all set), there is a small touch of added race diversity.Yes, now that we have all read this article and understand the analyzing aspect, this may be hard to accept but in some way Disney tried and in many ways succeeded. There are quite a few characters who have different nationalities and are from different places all over the world. Points to discuss in class could be how society has changed the way we look at various roles of men and women. Even look at some cartoons and movies from disney today and compare to older classics.
I am in no way saying Disney is awful for creating these cartoons, because believe me I grew up watching Mickey Mouse and loved watching the episodes. I was probably a princess every year for halloween until I was 7. My mind is just more open now to how the myths are created and portrayed to younger audience. Loved this article though my "happily ever after" isn't so planned out anymore haha:)