The Princesses in Disney’s animated films have been known to have a great influence on young girls’ lives, portraying what a princess is all about. The Disney Princesses are consumed of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, Little Mermaid, Belle, Pocahontas, and now Brave. They are loved by millions, and are featured all over America, everything from cups to costumes. Combined with Disney’s already popular image, the princesses of his stories created the image for “princesses of all princesses”. However, the roles and functions of Walt Disney’s Princess (ex. Sleeping Beauty (1959) and Snow White (1937) have changed significantly compared to Team Disney’s Princess (ex. Little Mermaid (1989) and Pocahontas (1995). For one, their images have changed over the eras, as critics’ would say, they have become “sexualized and independent”.
Walt’s princesses are seen as peasant slaves that scrub floors and clean all day while they sing and daydream of a prince taking them and sweeping them of their feet. This is usually because an evil stepmother is behind it. Team Disney’s princesses take on a different role and possess no chores, run wild, and neglect their obligations.
A majority of Disney films take place in a patriarchal society; where a society is dominated by men. The definition of a princess is based mostly on birthright rather then a marital decision. What is noticed in the films is the absence of a mother figure and in return is replaced with an evil stepmother. However, the father figure places an important role in later day Disney. Walt’s princesses were depicted as helpless and relied on a man, or say a prince to rescue them from their troubles. In Team Disney’s Princess, she is quite independent and more revealing, and can save herself then depending on someone to rescue her. The role changes for the man, and he becomes rather the weak one in the end of the film, than the hero.
The movie Pocahontas is a good example of this. The film was first released in June 1995. It was directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg directed it. The plot is about a daughter of Native American Chief Powhatan named Pocahontas, which discovers English settlers trying to explore their land and ends up falling in love with one of them named John Smith. Captain John Smith arrives in the ‘New World’ leading many skilled English soldiers. They are searching for gold and riches, hoping to bring it back. Once the English arrive, the Native Americans watch the English and decide that they are not to be trusted and must be fought off the land. The English likewise decide that there should be a fight between them and the Native Americans.
There is tension between Pocahontas and her tribe, and the English settlers because of the British already stereotyping the Native Americans as savages and being dangerous because the British are unaware of their Native ways. Pocahontas and John Smith, on the other hand, meet by chance when they are both alone. They begin to...