Damsels no longer in distress

Damsels no longer in distress

The portrayal of the Disney princess has transformed in the 73 years since it’s first appearance on the big screen.

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” made  in 1937, was the first Disney princess movie released. Snow White, followed by Cinderella and Sleeping beauty all exhibit the same stereotype of a damsel in distress, who can only be rescued through the heroics of a dashing prince. Some students don’t think of the classic princesses in such a negative way, “I think the movies are OK, it’s only a kids movie, there’s no reason to make a fuss.” said Maggie Peterson a freshman.

After 1959 Disney Princesses began to mimic the ideals held by the common public. “The Little Mermaid” (1989) was the first Disney princess movie in which Ariel, a young  princess mermaid who dreams of living on land, ends up taking here fate into her own hands. “Beauty and the Beast” (1991) featured the main princess Belle as a well educated young woman in France who relied on her intellect to make wise decisions. ” I think Belle’s independence shows a different take on a princess.” said Peterson.

Prior to 1992 all of the Disney princesses were Caucasian in ethnicity. Realizing their bias the Disney company created a new group of Disney princesses varying in background. Movies like “Pocahontas”, ” Mulan”, “Aladdin”, and “The Princess and the Frog” showcased different cultures and customs.

As public opinion changes, so do the characters in Disney films.